What will happen over FFP? Looks like we got it right.

By Tony Attwood

With Untold appearing and disappearing like a thing that appears and disappears quite a lot, it is possible that you might have missed one or two of our great insights in recent weeks.

As far as I can tell all the articles that should be there, are there, so you can go back and read, should you wish, but in the meanwhile, here’s an update on a story that did get published during all our recent problems.

I put forward the notion that clubs like Man City and PSG, along with about 18 others are being investigated for their flagrant abuse of the FFP regulations, but that there would be no attempt this year to throw them out of the Champions League.  Instead, they will be restricted in some other way – quite possibly by refusing them the right to buy in other players.

That option is still on the cards, although the situation around Barcelona’s transfer ban for trafficking in children is now in murky waters.

FIFA has now said that it will allow Barcelona to sign players pending a resolution of the club’s appeal against a 12-month signing ban for the international transfer and registration of players under 18.

The chairman of the Appeal Committee, Larry Mussenden, agreed to suspend the sanctions in light of “the complexity of the matter,” FIFA said.  That is not good news, for the complexity is always there in every court case.   However the fact is one of time.  Barça’s appeal is unlikely to be resolved before the July 1 start of the next transfer window, according to the statement, which noted that the club has signaled its intention to bring the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if the FIFA Appeal Committee upholds the sanctions.

Barça and the Royal Spanish Soccer Federation, or RFEF, were cited after an investigation into several “minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013,” FIFA said then.

But that is all Fifa, and FFP is Uefa.  Still a mish-mash of an organisation, still mired in a desperate inability to deal with racism, but a different bunch on odd-bods.

Anyway Michel Platini has confirmed what we said on Untold that no club will be excluded from European competition.

However, he still said some big clubs will face “significant sanctions” for breaking FFP rules.  Platini is very closely linked to FFP which are seen to have been his idea, and 76 clubs have been asked to submit additional financial information to Uefa following their submission of basic accounts.

Those facing action will be announced on 5 May.

Though Platini promised “significant sanctions”, the worry is that there will be more fudge and compromise, given the way that Uefa has dealt with racist outbreaks in stadia in recent years.  But he did add, “I think significant sanctions will hit the big clubs. We are going to take this to the end.”

FFP rules say that clubs can’t make losses of greater than €45 during each of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, although some areas of spending are excluded, such as on infrastructure.  Man City have lost £149m in the past two seasons and are at real risk of a sanction although the club have been working with the accountants who wrote the rules to look for loopholes particularly in terms of sponsorship.

The same issue concerns the sponsorship of PSG by the slave state Qatar, and its Qatari Tourism Authority. The QTA paid around €200m  in 2012-13 – which is about 50% of PSG’s budget for the season. The Qatari Investment Authority owns PSG.

Tragically but typically Platini has admitted he was unsure if the “innovative” sponsorship deal was within FFP rules. He said: “I will say simply that PSG’s financial model is distinctive and atypical. But is it viable? These are questions for the experts.”

Any clubs found to have breached the rules have until the end of this month to accept the board’s decision or contest any sanction.

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26 Replies to “What will happen over FFP? Looks like we got it right.”

  1. Have a nasty feeling that if any big clubs are found guilty of anything significant, they will be given until 2173 to put their house in order! This is Platini all over, a politician with an agenda who does very little outside that agenda. A major part of his agenda seems to be increasing the number of international games it seems. But whatever his agenda is , he will need the support of the European Clubs Association to do what he wants on the international front, so he is not going to do too much to upset them.
    Can see some Romanian team we have never heard of getting hammered over FFP and Man City taking the 100k fine. I could of course be wrong. But the likes of Platini are not the people for true visionary positive change.

  2. Paper Tiger? FFP, nice thought but Ultimately doomed to fail? It will take balls of steel to carry out this conviction, UEFA and FIFA have as much back bone as a jelly fish.
    Sincerely apologise to any jelly fish’s out there.

  3. FFP seems to be operating in the classic way of most changes in any market. The short term impact is always wildly overestimated – not least due to the hype that surrounds it. However the long term impact is usually significantly underestimated. Cast your mind back to the dotcom bubble and you’ll get the picture.
    There are always going to be those market participants that have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new way of doing things and those with the strongest vested interest will be the last to fall into line.
    Chelsea are already operating very differently to the way they did years ago and we know from Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph (at an AST meeting in March) that Chelsea are very keen to have FFP discussed at press conferences. We can only assume that they now favour nuclear disarmament given that others now have the bomb that was pretty much exclusive to them ten years ago.
    It’s just like ‘Bosman’ the far reaching impact of which is only now being felt, years after its original introduction. FFP will be the same but absolutely has to work in order to help save the many clubs that are on the brink of financial meltdown.
    Arsenal have pretty much always operated under FFP (they may even have invented it, or at least codified it) and therefore hardly need to change at all to meet its requirements. Clubs that got big fairly recently, via routes that are now outside FFP gudelines, have to change business plans that have only just been put in place and are only just bearing fruit. No wonder that they are wriggling around to avoid getting caught.
    The new rules are there to acheive far reaching football benefit and cannot to allowed to fail.

  4. FFP……agreed platini and co don’t have big enough balls to act upon.

    Interesting, what would they do about Liverpool…..

  5. Totally agree with insideright.

    We might not get the pleasure of seeing current offenders kicked out of CL this season or the next but I believe that FFP will work in the long run.

  6. Sorry to be off subject but I have just realised that if you are a spuds supporter (I have a very good friend who is one) and you want to be in the Champions League next season then you must win your last 3 games and pray that neverton and Arsenal slip up.

    However if Arsenal don’t slip up then the best alternative for my friend is not to be in the Thursday league.

    The solution to that is lose your three games and pray that manure will win their 3 games and overtake spuds. So for spuds its a win or lose situation. The problem is which one do you want?

  7. Can’t you just say no. I don’t want to play Europa league and withdraw from the competition….

  8. @insideright 12:22 pm

    “FFP seems to be operating in the classic way of most changes in any market. The short term impact is always wildly overestimated – not least due to the hype that surrounds it”.

    Overall I agree with much of your post but I must disagree with your opening gambit.

    Personally I don’t know a single sole who actually thought FFP would make any difference at all, let alone “Wildly overestimate it”.

    As an Arsenal fan I always ‘hoped’ ! But as they say ‘Live in hope, die in despair’

  9. Think spurs are out of CL almost regardless of the winning / losing situation – on top of needing Arsenal to drop every point (and them win them all), they also need to make up a 19 goal difference.

  10. Good start to the weekend, Wenger seeming to suggest he is staying, Well done Southampton, let’s hope Stoke and of course our boys can round things off nicely

  11. Off topic I know but Southampton much the better team v Everton and worthy winners even though both their goals were scored by Everton players. With a good performance on Monday night we will be most of the way there for fourth place.

  12. If only we could get rid of FIFA,UEFA and the FA and start again with honesty, integrity and fair play.
    But with the game now a case of Big Business…no chance. Money talks and where it doesn’t because of corruption, you will find the big clubs actually running the country.

  13. Following up on Southampton/Everton (and offtopic)

    The BBC had some of the singing from the Southampon/Everton game:
    > 13:20: “We’re Southampton, we don’t need to score. Who needs Rodriguez, we’ve got your back four!”

    Who knows if this is accurate?

    Oliver disallows a penalty for Southampton at 13:24. 14:06, Everton looking for a penalty get booked for simulation instead. 14:15 Southampton appeal for a penalty for handball, denied. 14:25 Everton denied a penalty.

    Reading the BBC commentary, it didn’t really look like Everton was generating much offence, and there most likely chances to score were two denied penalties. As Oliver was denying penalties to Southampton, I would say he just didn’t want to give any penalties today. Hard to say how else he might have intended to help Everton.

    Maybe someone who watched the game (instead of me reading about it) could comment?

  14. @Gord

    I didn’t see the whole game, but arrived home to get the good news about the result & highlights of the critical points.

    One Everton appeal for a penalty at first looked a clear penalty, the Everton player was fouled, but the ball was already going out of play. On a slow motion replay the Everton player was observed going down before the tackle connected. It was a decision that could have gone either way. One for Walter to sort!

    The other Everton appeal seemed to result from a wrestling match & didn’t look like a penalty – but will defer to Walter.

    Sorry I can’t help further – perhaps someone else can provide more details.

  15. I watched nearly all the game.

    Loads of penalty appeals, Fouls, handballs, none given.

    I honestly believe nearly all where 50/50.

    The fact he didn’t give any is fine by me.

    Consistency is what we want. Consistency is what we got.

  16. A win on monday will put us in a good position to get CL football in our last home match against WBA. A match I will be attending in the stadium. 🙂

  17. @insideright

    I understand fully that your view is very much based on how Arsenal operate I do however find your take on Chelsea somewhat amusing.
    When RA came along there were no rules around spending. Some would argue that Chelsea were the cause of FFP but for me FFP was supposed to be about debt and not spending and no the two aren’t one and the same.
    Chelsea want to keep FFP at the top of the agenda because rules are now in place and are complying so they want to make sure that all now play by the rules as written as opposed to a version that only existed in others opinions.
    I somehow doubt that FFP will ever be what some on here had hoped for. UEFA as we all know is not fit for purpose. The trouble is that the alternatives are far worse a prospect.
    The Bosman ruling only came about after a European Court challenge. FFP will only progress if a legal challenge is thrown out but until UEFA impose sanctions that hurt no such challenge will ever come about .The irony is that UEFA probably wont impose meaningful sanctions as they know that the likelihood is that a clubs legal challenge would be successful

  18. Well done, Saints. But the credit go to Alcaraz and Coleman for the own goals.
    I beg to disagree, but with Arsenal almost certain to collect 9 points from 3 games, I was not worried about Tottenham, and I actually was cheering for them to beat Stoke City such is my hatred of Stoke City and their manager. Somehow, Adebayor assisted Rose for the only goal of the game, and Shawcross was yellow carded then red carded; perfect.
    I am not worried, as St. Totteringham’s celebration this year will be on Monday April 28, after we beat Newcastle. Seriously, when was Tottenham ever a threat to us after Rosicky took care of them at White Fart Lane?

  19. I want to go further and wish for the Spuds to finish above Everton, so they will be right there in our shadow. Also, not a fan of Lukaku and his anti-Arsenal gestures with Chelsea and while at Everton, going beyond the game. Not a fan of Deulofeu either: when you get lucky with a goal at Arsenal, you do not celebrate by gunning down the gunners.

  20. I am (a little)worried.
    Arsenal never seems to take handouts very well. The Sou-Eve game is a such handout.
    Now we just have to win to keep our place. A loss would leave us in the same position as before that game, but this is not an option.
    How many times were we in this position and failed to take advantage? As well as the game is at an ab-normal time for Arsenal. OK the doom and gloom out of the way.
    Nothing else but 3 wins is needed from our lads now. Make it so that WE rule our destiny and have done all we could. The lads know what is at stake and their pride is also.
    Come on gunners.

  21. para,

    I don’t think you need to worry. If anything, the pressure for the 4th place is mostly off now. We only need to keep Everton at arm’s length, and 6 points will do the trick. The squad has enough experience, they’ve been there before so many times, and this is actually the moment when our strength shows.

  22. On topic, obviously Platini doesn’t want to lose the big guys support, while also keeping the smaller clubs from Eastern Europe close. They were the deciders in his election as president, and they will feel the hardest hit if radical measures are implemented. So, not likely to happen. Yes, there will be a few minnows here and there, but by and large time will need to pass until all the cracks have been filled. And, who honestly believed that Platini will take the bread from the mouth of his own son, a player agent? I will be very surprised if any transfer bans are upheld.

  23. perhaps platini would have had it easier had he offered up rolling sanctions rather than a total expulsion of FFP rule breakers. something along the lines of: failure to meet targets in your first year means you can’t use players you bought that year. a second failure: you are allowed to register only a depleted list of players, then on the third year of failure, you get the boot. had they set the deadline for 2013 instead of 2014, the first year of rolling sanctions would have started to bite and real mad would have had to do without bale and isco, but could have played.

    platini could have then taken the high ground and said “look, you were warned.” he could then have used the time he bought to get the media and the public on his side. their reaction may have been “it’s harsh, but not so damning.” but who said the guys at the top are necessarily the smartest ones?

  24. I thought Malaga were banned because of FFP regulations. They broke the rules and they were banned. Then what’s with the nonsense that BIG clubs will not be banned, they should be banned if they broke the rules. If the worry is in losing the big players, then unless you ban clubs how will the players realize not to play at a place for “more money” and ” a chance to create history” like one of our former player gave an interview recently. You ban those who break FFP and BIG players will stop going to clubs which don’t comply.

    Yes there will be a few seasons of CL competition without some big name players, but we know of player power and these big players will jump ship inorder to play in the CL.

    If banning is out of the window then there is no hope for FFP. very little hope of us winning a UEFA competition. After building up FFP as the big thing for arsenals future, I am interested to find how Ivan and AW react to this mad statement from Platini.

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