This summer’s transfers: Chelsea reveal just how deep FFP is hitting

By Tony Attwood

There are now two types of club in each league of English football.  Those that are calculating every financial move from the viewpoint of how it affects their FFP standing, and those who have the view that “we’ll sort that out when we get to it..

Man City and Liverpool look at the moment as if they are in  the latter state of mind – but each for different reasons.  Man City have all the looks of a boxer who has been hit with an absolute sucker punch, and has got back up completely unsure what has happened, strolling around the ring, hands drooping by his side, and saying “come on hit me again”

Liverpool on the other hand remind me of the kid who has just amazingly knocked out an ex-champ and is jumping around in the ring screaming, “come on, I’ll take you all on” and doesn’t even put up his guard, so confident is he.

Both look likely to get hit one more time.

That’s one side.  On the other there are teams like Chelsea and Arsenal.  Arsenal don’t have to think about FFP because they have so much profit lurking around (at least in FFP terms, which is based on counting the losses year by year), and Chelsea who claim to have invented FFP in a conversation between Abramovich and Platini.

In fact Chelsea are so acutely aware of FFP that they are now trying to cut the price they have to pay for Fabregas.    Even a few million off the deal could help Chelsea, for failing to meet FFP regs would be the greatest embarrassment of all time for the club.

Arsenal sold Fabregas to Barcelona for £25.5 million, but what is within the contract beyond that point is hard to sort out.  Read five articles on the subject and you get seven different viewpoints.

One says that Arsenal get £800,000 a year for each year Fabregas stays at Barcelona.    Another is that Arsenal get a cut of anything that Fabregas is sold for.  Yet another is that Arsenal get paid for each trophy Barcelona win with Fabregas on their books whether he plays or not.

And here’s the latest: Barcelona want £30m for Fabregas but Chelsea only want to pay £27m because anything below £27m will mean nothing goes to Arsenal.

That last rumour is suggesting that Arsenal have constructed the pay-on clause so badly that it is easy for Chelsea to get around it.  If the fee over £27m involved say 50% going to Arsenal, Barcelona have less interest in it – since obviously for each £1m more they only get £500,000.  So Chelsea can say – make it £27m and quite separate from this we will offer you the loan of ….

It would be bizarre if it were as simple as this given all the complexity that seems to revolve around the rest of the deal (not forgetting all those blood tests to show that the city’s DNA really was running through his blood).  Bizarre because with everything else being some complex, why leave in a clause that anyone with GCSE maths could work out how to avoid rather than pay?

So Chelsea’s apparent argument over a few million pounds, where in the past they have thrown the money at players just for fun, suggests that they really are watching the pennies.

Now I don’t disapprove of that.  Indeed I’d welcome more of that in football.  But the question is why is Chelsea taking such a view?

It can’t be because of Abramovich, unless something has happened to his fortune that none of us knows about.

So it can only be FFP.

Chelsea made a loss of £49.4m for the year ended 30 June 2013 despite achieving an all time record turnover.  But the previous year they made a profit of £1,4m, so the FFP bandwagon did not come knocking on the door.   But that tiny profit, which when taken away from the losses gave Chelsea their escape from FFP punishment, was the only profit made by Chelsea since the Abramovich billions rolled into town.   And that profit in itself came after a loss of £67.7m loss in the previous financial year.

So Chelsea have got no room for manoeuvre and a lot of spending in the transfer market will need to be balanced by more income.

But more income from where?  The ground can’t get any fuller.  Prices in the stadium are unlikely to rise enough to make much difference, and there are no big new Chelsea marketing contracts on the horizon, for in a field where Arsenal are playing catch-up, because of the costs of the move to the Ems, Chelsea have long been established and have the money rolling in.

And that’s why, despite all the bravado of big signings there is argument over a few million pounds for Fabregas.  Every £1m counts when it comes to FFP, and the allowable losses get less each year.

For this season under Premier League FFP the maximum increase in salaries is £4m plus extra income from commercial deals – which could be a bit of a problem for Chelsea, what with salaries still rising.

But the real problem is that the permitted loss under Uefa regulations for the three season period that ends next summer is just 30 million Euros.  Now although Chelsea made headlines when Abramovich took over by paying all their transfer money up front to the selling clubs, this doesn’t cut any ice with FFP.  Transfer money is accounted for year by year over the length of the contract.

So if Chelsea buy Fabregas for £30m and put him on a 5 year contract then the cost in FFP terms is shown as £6m a year.  Not a huge amount – except that all the other purchases that Chelsea have made across the years as they have changed managers over and over, also show up in the same way – including players that they bought maybe three years ago.

We really are now seeing a situation in which every £1m is considered – not from the point of view of “have we got the money?” but rather from the point of view of “how does that affect our FFP?”

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162 Replies to “This summer’s transfers: Chelsea reveal just how deep FFP is hitting”

  1. Great post Tony.

    It easily highlights the fact that from now on, every club – even former billionaire clubs – will have to conduct their business “the Arsenal way”. Yes, I admit that in some points in the past I thought that some decisions were parsimonious to the point of being mistakes. For instance, not willing to pay the extra 2 million for Xabi Alonso when he decided he wants to quit Loserpool, or that chance to bring David Villa BEFORE Euro 2006, when he was (reportedly) keen on joining us, for something like 15 million.

    But those 2 examples are the execption, not the rule.

    The extreme inflation in football ecnonomy – transfer sums and salaries alike – is crazy and unjustified. It is not coupled by anything positive: a rise in ticket prices, which pushes out long-serving fans who just cannot afford to buy a ticket, is just one detrimental effect. The second one is that it became very difficult for clubs to win anything without some sugar daddy backing them up. This led to football being a game of money, first and foremost [I have written in a few former posts about how (ideally) football should look up to American proffessional sports in order to achieve financial competitiveness).

    So if clubs like Chelsea, who are the prime example for “moneyball”, find it necessary to count every dollar – it means good news for everyone, not just Arsenal.

    As for the Fabregas deal – I don’t think it’s a mystery. Not every situation has a contractual solution. Actually, an agreement whereby the seller has to share excess consideration with a third party is always exposed to a conflict of interest (i.e. the seller having a much lesser interest to sell for a price which is beyond the “sharing” threshold). There is almost no way to circumvent that problem.

  2. Great article again.

    As I said before. Abramovich is a gambler and risk taker but he is not an idiot. He puts all the money into a club and establish a club that can match those at the top level. He gambled that he can find managers that can deliver the result with his financial strength.

    He calculated that if things work out according to the plan, the club will at least be financiablly stable after certain number of years. Then he can decide whether to keep it or sell it.

    City and PSG changed the game and provided much higher risk. The team might need further investment in the future.

    If the FFP was indeed an idea they thought of or helped to come up with, it is set up precisely to stop people copying his method again.

    That is how good business man work.

  3. great post Tony

    Two things: I had heard that Barca still owe for Cesc, does nayone know if this is true?
    Also as Chelski have reportedly sold David Luiz to P$G for £50m (and cleared his wages off the books) they might not be in such a tight predicament

  4. Very very wrong about City but perhaps right about Liverpool but we can only really know when they actually start buying players. It does seem like based on who they are linked with in the media but then again this does not fit with there past record or the type of owners they have Also cannot see Chelsea having issues with FFP

  5. blacksheep63

    Somebody mentioned (on here recently) that Barca still owe over £7Million on Cesc, which will have to be repaid as soon as a new transfer deal is completed

  6. For me it’s simple we have first refusal, so wait until the last minute then just out bid chelsea.

    Getting one of the best midfielders in the world for under £30m, whilst stopping one of your main rivals from.getting what they want is simply to good an opportunity. Change the way we set up to suit.our best players, ie 352 – giroud gets a partner, we pack the midfield with creating talent whilst the skipper returns to the starting x1. Our full backs are clearly our weak links, even falling down their international pecking order. Buy caulker and lescott to link up with Jenkinson as a back up trio of Cf entry backs whilst gibbs and monreal might benefit from converting to left sided midfielders.

    Then it’s just 3 more signings, fabregas, cavani, valdes

    Koscielny mertesacker vermaelen
    Wilshire Ramsey ozil cazorla
    ……..Walcott cavani

    Jenkinson caulker lescott (or miquel)
    Chamberlain arteta diaby rosicky
    ………Giroud podolski

    Rest of squad: martinez monreal gibbons campbell plus all the other under 21s

  7. I think the whole FFP thing may now help to get the wage policy back in order too. Let’s face it, it’s “out of control”. It’s well documented how much players are being offered to play for City, Utd and co.

    The wage bill has a big effect of FFP yes, but it also has a big effect on the quality of the EPL! So many great teams have gone into administration trying to “keep up with the Jones'”.

    I hope we can get back to the days of good old days of what is really important, “football”!!

  8. This is the trouble when someone with only top sheet knowledge of another clubs financials try’s to make sweeping assumptions about a rivals actions or should I rumoured actions in a particular matter.

    First you infer that Chelsea wage bill is ever upward. Wrong
    In 2010/11 our wage bill was £191 million in 2012/13 it was down to £176 million. The small % increase last season was in respect of provision made for RDMs payout which will be completed in the next few days.
    Chelsea have over the last few months either moved on or re negotiated 4 of our very top earners wages (Terry, Essien, Cole & Lampard)

    By comparison Arsenal £111 million up to £143 million in 12/13 and with the increased contracts offered to the likes of Walcott, Gibbs, Wishire & Ramsey I cant see how Arsenals wage costs are going to reduce. That sort of is reflected in the fact that Arsenals season ticket costs are reported to be up again next season whereas my costs are yet again frozen.

    Next you state that Chelsea don’t have any big marketing contracts on the horizon. Really? What about the £300 million 10 year contract that kicked in this season that along with the significant % increase in the Samsung deal or the ever increasing line of global partners.

    In 2012/13 Chelsea showed profit from player sales of £673k. In 2013/14 ( if the David Luiz sale goes though on 10 June as reported) that figure will be nearer £80 million.

    Ok you cant use the increase in TV monies to increase wage costs and from everything I read Chelsea don’t intent to do that.

    Chelsea have been moving steadily toward a business model that fits both versions of FFP. The trouble it seems to me is that those dastardly people at Chelsea are pretty switched on

  9. @Blackshhep

    Most, not all clubs pay a transfer fee over the period of the players initial contract. I believe clubs like Bara & RM do just that. When this happens the transfer fee is stated as being higher to compensate/ pay interest for this facility.

    Other clubs are often in a position to pay the transfer fee in full so no such additional payments come into play.

    A players transfer fee is written off over the period of the contract (Amortisation)

    If/ when Fabregas is sold on one of the deciding factors as to which club Barca sell will be how the fee will be paid and not just the sum.

  10. Mike T
    It’s good that Chelsea are becoming more FFP worthy, but there are people here who will never, ever forgive or forget and will keep reminding you of your commitment to FFP. It will just keep on repeating very few months or so. Still it’s always a pleasure to hear your own views.

  11. Will Rickson

    “Think the person above might be forgetting FFP himself”

    By just buying three players. Are you sure?

  12. Will
    In the unlikely event of us signing those three players (that bc suggested) at their current market worth and paid them appropriately for five years, then we would still be well within FFP regulations.

  13. @oldgroover

    To a degree Tony is right in that Platini and RA met about FFP and yes Chelsea were happy to go along with the concept although the original concept was all about debt and that seems to have been forgotten somehow along the line.

    I do smile a bit when people talk about how Chelsea somehow broke the rules prior to FFP they didn’t as there weren’t any rules to break.If they do now rules are in place then any sanction will be fully deserved

    Its often voiced that Chelsea’s spending following the arrival of RA changed the market. I don’t agree with that view just as others don’t agree with my view that such claims are just a lazy argument as it far more convenient to blame someone else.

    2013/14 financials are going to very interesting and I think there will some deep intakes of breath. Like Tony I will be very interested in Liverpool’s and of course Chelsea but I watch with great interest as well as to where Arsenal are for despite increased TV and commercial revenues it is clear that the wage bill will be up, player amortisation will likewise be up but how will the reduction in transfer fees received, property income down reducing interest charges all balance out.
    As I aid earlier you are in trouble about trying to make judgements when you only have top sheet knowledge of a rivals financials

  14. Oldgrover is that a fact have you done the maths just think about the costs involved

  15. Will
    No, It’s only guess work. But having seen some of our financial experts (here on untold) estimates I’ll take the “we can afford them” view. We’re actually a very well off club.

  16. @ Will Rickson

    Some opposition fans (this is not solely aimed at Arsenal fans of course) are completely ignorant of what’s going on at other clubs and fail to see the bigger picture. It is of course possible to educate some of these people but others are so wrapped up in their own tribalism that there’s no point even discussing it with them. I don’t know about the inner workings of Chelsea and Liverpool so I’m reluctant to cast aspersions about either club with regards to FFP but the full extent of what’s going on at City seems to have passed many opposition fans by although plenty of local United fans have now belatedly cottoned on to it. It’s probably a bit unfair to just name Arsenal and United fans because the obliviousness stretches way further but as one City fan put it yesterday regarding the ongoing plans:

    “Can you image what the training academy and the Etihad stadium are going to look like in 5 years time. As for the Collar Site and Etihad Campus around the stadium, who knows? But one thing is for sure, it’s going to look mind blowing, whatever’s planned and built.

    As for City’s revenues. Bye, bye Arsenal. And by the time the leisure destination of national and international significance is built, and the Etihad Campus is fully operational, bye, bye United.

    It’s just that United, Arsenal, etc, fans, just can’t see it and don’t get it. The vast majority of them haven’t got a f***ing(sorry for swearing) clue what’s being built and being planned. Oh my word, are they in for a shock! :-)”

  17. M18CTID
    “can you imagine what the training academy and the Etihad stadium are going to look like in 5 years time”
    I should think pretty much like Hale End academy and The Emirates only we’ve had ours for five years or more. Plus our world class (used by international teams) training ground at London Colney.
    Not sure if we’ll have a leisure destination though.

  18. No wonder football is suffering, when all the rules about football becomes too complicated.

    20 men kick a ball up and down a field trying to get the ball into the opponent’s goal, 2 men defend their goal to stop the ball going into it, one man runs up and down trying to control the game, with his 2, sometimes 4 helpers running up and down the sided of the field.

    Why o why does it have to get complicated?

    But seriously, If FFP can stop sugar daddy clubs, and allow the smaller clubs to challenge alongside them, it will make for much more interesting leagues and the much needed competition to stop football becoming stagnant.

    I hope that this is the result of it all.

  19. oldgroover

    Not doubting the quality of your facilities mate and the Emirates is the best stadium in the country bar none in my opinion, although I would put a friendly wager that our training complex might trump all others in the country once it’s complete this autumn. Aside from that and the stadium expansion though, I was highlighting the fact that there is a whole lot more planned for the surrounding area and the collar site.

    Just to clarify, my post wasn’t aimed in your direction but to pick up on a point you made to Will. I don’t think he doubts you’re a very well off club but was probably basing his opinion on the pattern of Arsenal’s transfer spending in recent years. I would be tempted to counter that though and use the example of the Ozil transfer as evidence that you’re finally going to spend big now that most of the stadium debt has been paid down.

  20. Mike T

    I don’t think people really accused Chelsea of breaking the rules as they where then.

    Most, like me, where just pointing out how a Club that had recently been sold for just a £1 where suddenly buying themselves titles and cups on the back of some random Russian oligarchs whim to have himself a new toy.

    Within the rules, outside the rules? Well certainly doesn’t seem it WAS outside the rules.

    Fair, unfair? Well that depends on your point of view.

    But what I will say is FFP has been introduced for a reason.

    And that reason is, the powers that be have deemed the business models of the likes of Chelsea and City, amongst others, to be UNFAIR.

    That is of course if you can in fact call buying anything with a pulse a business model in the first place!

    Basically they see the concept of just throwing 100’s of millions of pounds around like confetti to buy trophies, without the need for a solid, self sustaining business model, to be a recipe for disaster for the long term good of the game.

    So Mike, you can have whatever view you want about what Chelsea have been doing over the last 10 years, the bottom line is it has been deemed as UNFAIR and would now be seen as breaking the rules?

    I can see that Chelsea are, and it seems have been for a while, been trying to adjust there business model. But the damage has been done.

    It’s a bit like the fox sitting in the coup nonchalantly chewing away, surrounded by nothing but feathers saying “what? I’m just sitting here minding my own business”.

    Well yes, now you are, but we all know what you’ve been doing.

  21. Para FFP will destroy the smaller clubs its based on revenue The Oil clubs now have revenue and lots of it Whilst the old elite also have lots f revenue the smaller clubs have no rich owner and no rich owner will want them because of FFP and growing revenue without being allowed to buy players success and revenue in the longer term is near impossible

  22. Oldgrover How much do you think those players would cost ? How much did your earn profit wise last year? I doubt anyone has looked into your ability to buy those specific three players let alone really any marquee players. Apart from last year signing players like that would not fit with Arsenal past signings or at least the image Arsenal want to put across

  23. M18CTID

    Just think how proud you would of been had you actually earned some of the money being used to buy all that stuff.

    I know How proud I am of Arsenal.

    Still, as in life it seems some like to work hard and actually earn the things they have. It gives a sense of achievement.

    Where as others like to just sit back and let others buy them things.

    I think we know what camp you and city are in don’t we.

    Nothing wrong with that, I just wish you’d stop trying to dress it up as some kind of benevolent community project.

  24. Jambug Who decided What City Chelsea and PSG are doing or where doing was unfair ? Who was it that decided that what city are doing is not the right business model? On what basis ? The answer is the rival clubs is that fair ? City have a fantastic business model and should not have to justify its actions to anyone certainly not rivals and bias competitors

  25. Will
    At a guess (again more guessing) I’d say in total £90Million to buy, and wages of £450.000 per week total, and within our budget if reports are true.
    Remember they were not my choice of who we might buy, but just 3 names that bc put up & who you queried. I doubt if all (or even any) would be suitable for our requirements.
    I do believe though that we can afford those type of deals and remain with FFP regulations, but like I say I’m only guessing.
    I do have views (or to be more accurate non views) on FFP but if I were to air them here I’d take some flack from diehards.

  26. Will,

    “City have a fantastic business model and should not have to justify its actions to anyone certainly not rivals and bias competitors”

    More to the point, we certainly don’t have to justify what our club is doing to armchair fans of rival clubs that hide anonymously behind their keyboards while spouting their ill-informed sanctimonious bile. When jambug has actually attended as many Arsenal matches as I’ve attended City games then he might have an opinion worth considering. I suspect I’ll be waiting a long time for him to get to that point though 😉

  27. Why should you care what other people think speak the truth speak your mind and perhaps you will silence the critics.I notice you did not counter what I said regarding FFP City and its business model

  28. M18CTID

    What’s that got to do with my post?

    Don’t get me wrong I can see why you’ve avoided actually responding to my post because other than

    ‘Yeah you’re right’

    there’s not really much you CAN say, is there?

  29. Will
    I can’t counter City’s business model. It’s excellent and will put the club at the front of money earners for many years to come. Well done to City.
    As regards the other thing, well It may look like I give a fcuk about FFP, but I’m not really all that bothered to tell the truth as it will eventually resolve itself, Arsenal will keep rolling on, occasionally/regularly win something, be universally hated, and the good people here will continue to obsess & pontificate over FFP. And all in the name of Arsenal Love.
    It’s great being an Arsenal supporter.

  30. Will Rickson.

    I don’t like City, Chelsea, or anyone else for that matter, who just have a Billionaires buying them trophies, but what really pisses me off is when you try to pretend that’s not what you are doing just because you built a bit of social housing.

  31. Will Rickson,
    yes it is unfair for other clubs. Not that long ago clubs from Belgium, Holland, Yugoslavia,… had the chance to compete in Europe for top honours. That door has been shut in their face because of the oilers and money teams. It surely ain’t the other clubs in the PL that wanted FFP that much apart from the only club that has been working under it in a voluntary way and that is Arsenal.
    But the majority of clubs in Europe found it completely unfair that they were out prized for any good player by the oilers. When Utd and Chelsea played the CL final they were both in more debt than ever seen (apart from Barcelona-Madrid maybe).
    ECA (European Club Association) wanted this to change and found this unfair. So if you want to attack someone attack ECA. You might leave European football in some form of protest? 😉

  32. The circular debate on FFP starts again. All I know is that FFP will have SOME effect. That it won’t stop the power of unlimited money, and equally will not kill the small clubs as some on both sides of the argument like to think. It is simply another piece of legislation which theoretically should help in reducing the gap (and yes, curbing billionaires even to some extent reduces the gap between them and all clubs, even small ones)

    It will also have some unforseen offshoots as happens with all legislations. There will be loopholes, there will be some negative effects, and new issues which need to be addressed.

    As for Arsenal, we’re well placed, but we’ll need to keep being very good at what we do to compete with clubs which are not run as a ‘normal’ business. But equally, they are likely to have more instability than Arsenal at some point in their future.

    We’ll see. But FFP has had more effect than many, including me, initially thought it would. This is a good thing.

  33. You can tell when people are losing there argument when they start saying things like:

    “we certainly don’t have to justify what our club is doing to armchair fans of rival clubs that hide anonymously behind their keyboards while spouting their ill-informed sanctimonious bile”


    “….has actually attended as many Arsenal matches as I’ve attended City games”

    Not addressing points and making statements of fact about people they know nothing about is the literal version of putting your hands up really.

    It seems my ‘sanctimonious bile’ touched a nerve 🙂

  34. Walter, Tony, All at Untold

    There are reasons I don’t use adblocker, and among them in that some of the sites I visit I actually help by clicking on ads there. One of these is Untold. But I absolutely cannot handle the auto playback video ads that have started popping up on Untold. I request that you put an end to such ads. Please. It is intensely annoying and a severe disincentive to come on Untold more often.

  35. @ Jambug & M18CTID,

    I don’t get you guys. Really.

    I would not give a flying fuck in a rolling donut if someone gave me a present. I don’t mind it one bit. I don’t mind winning a trial if the other party made a shit-stupid mistake; I don’t mind it when Arsenal score due to a silly defensive gaff by the other party; I don’t mind being bestowed with gifts (unless someone would contend later on that it was bribe, etc.)

    So in that sense, if someone would (theoretically) tell me that everything in Arsenal would be kept the same way, AND the club could have unlimited resources – I would be thrilled.

    In that sense, I find the stance of “I like it better when it was worked for”, and the similar stance of “community project” – self righteous to the point of suspicion.

    First – WE ARE TALKING ABOUT FOOTBALL. I want my team to do better. That’s all. How they got the moeny and how it’s spent and what’s the community is getting out of it is, at best, by products of the important stuff which is HOW THE TEAM IS PLAYING [not to be confused with winning trophies, which I like but don’t really care about as long as the team plays great football].

    Second – I think that my argument is valid for almost anything in life. Don’t get me wrong: there are side benefits to achieving things the hard way. However, it is not always so. Sometimes the hard way can have detrimental effects.

    My point is, that from a moral point of view, to be proud of doing things “the hard way” is sometimes the luxury of people who do not have to REALLY do things the hard way.

    So in my eyes you are both a bit weird: Jambug for your pride, M18CTID for trying to portray things in a certain way instead of saying: yes my club’s owners are rich and it benefits my club, just like in the past 60 years or so there were other, richer clubs, that enjoyed that status.

  36. jambug,

    Sorry but it’s got everything to do with your post. I’ve never once denied that City are buying success but you’ve tried to twist it to imply that I did. However, what’s even more laughable is that while you were on your one-man moral crusade, you painted a picture of yourself as some kind of uber-fan that has actually in some way made a significant contribution to what Arsenal FC is today but the reality is that you’re an armchair fan who hasn’t put the time, money, and effort into following their club and then have the cheek to bask in the reflected glory of the hard work put in by others while taking pot shots at fans of other clubs who in following their club through both good times and bad have earned their stripes far more than you ever will. Fact is, anyone can pull on the shirt of a famous club and claim allegiance to that club without actually putting in any real effort to do so.

    If you want to cream your pants about how Arsenal always do things “the right way” then by all means do (it’s a free country after all), but until you’ve experienced getting up at daft o’clock in the morning to travel in the p*ssing rain to some godforsaken sh*t-hole in the arse end of nowhere just so you can witness the buzz of seeing your team live then you’re not in much of a position to play Top Trumps in pontificating about how other clubs are run.

  37. Tommie Gun

    I’m not sure why you’re having a go at me mate – I actually agree with pretty much every word you say there 😉

    Looking at it from a purely selfish point of view, I’m primarily interested in City and if City are doing well then what’s not to like? When it comes to supporting a football club, morals pretty much go out of the window for 99.99% of football fans. I’m not trying to claim that City are morally any better than Arsenal because we, as a club, are doing things that benefit the local community during the ongoing development of the stadium and the surrounding area but at the same time I’m not accepting the myopic view that some opposition fans have that our owner’s, cough cough, not inconsiderable spending over the past 6 years is the root of everything that is evil about the modern game. Simply put, every club has baggage so this moralistic points scoring is a futile exercise.

  38. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    If you want to talk about moral compasses may I suggest you find something more noble than football to follow?

  39. M18CTD,
    Arsenal has also done a lot for the community when building the Emirates. Old Highbury is for the wealthy ones. But all around the new stadium Arsenal has bought the land and have been working together with London housing companies to build social housings. The difference once again… we (Arsenal) did it ourselves. If you have been to the Emirates at the start and come back next season you should see the difference. In a way it is not such a big deal what City is doing 😉 Arsenal been there, done it, ….

  40. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    Oh, and remind us all who Arsenal’s second biggest shareholder is? Have you renounced your support for the club in protest yet? 😉

  41. m18ctid,
    I think in general on Untold most readers for 99,95% are happy that he doesn’t get a seat on the board.

  42. Walter,

    I’m not disputing any work that Arsenal have done for the community mate.

    Oh, and apologies for my rant questioning your commitment to the club the other week – I did read about your marathon trip to watch the screening of the cup final at the Emirates. Fair play for that 🙂

  43. Walter The only way for teams to compete with the old elite is with rich owners spending more than the clubs can afford initially and then sorting things out later as City are doing. Thats why I am against FFP. Not sure why other clubs supported FFP not all clubs did several small clubs have not. Why does FFP not deal with wages or debt at least not directly ? Could it be to avoid action by the law could it be because it was instigated by the powerful old elite? Does it not worry you that these clubs pushed it more than the smaller clubs? Do you think Gill has the interest of football at heart? Why no mention of greater redistribution of money in sport ? Why have we still not seen any action on state aid in sport ?

  44. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    Not forgetting who Arsenal’s biggest sponsor are. Where’s your moral compass regarding the money Arsenal receives from a neighbouring country to that of City’s owner? Has it mysteriously disappeared?

  45. TommieGun

    “So in that sense, if someone would (theoretically) tell me that everything in Arsenal would be kept the same way, AND the club could have unlimited resources – I would be thrilled.

    In that sense, I find the stance of “I like it better when it was worked for”, and the similar stance of “community project” – self righteous to the point of suspicion”.

    Be as suspicious as you want. That is what I believe.

    And to think there is something ‘weird’ in taking pride in ‘earning’ something is, well, weird.

    And I never said ‘doing it the hard way’ I said earning it. It’s not the same thing.

    I don’t claim going to work every day is hard. I see it as ‘what a lucky bastard I am’.

    I do see value in, and taking great pride in, earning the money with which I attain the things I have in life.

    I compare this to how I would feel if I attained the same things via a lottery win.

    I’m sure I would enjoy the house, the car, the holidays, whatever, just as much, but I certainly wouldn’t have the same feelings of achievement and pride.

    That is my point. I am not trying to be ‘self rightous’ or whatever other slight you wish to throw at me.

    To me there is no glory in winning anything on the back of unlimited funds donated by a benefactor. If you think there is, that’s up to you.


    “However, what’s even more laughable is that while you were on your one-man moral crusade, you painted a picture of yourself as some kind of uber-fan that has actually in some way made a significant contribution to what Arsenal FC”

    I never intimated that at all.

    “the reality is that you’re an armchair fan who hasn’t put the time, money, and effort into following their club”

    That’s twice you’ve said that. How on earth have you a clue what I do?

    “but until you’ve experienced getting up at daft o’clock in the morning to travel in the p*ssing rain to some godforsaken sh*t-hole in the arse end of nowhere just so you can witness the buzz of seeing your team live then you’re not in much of a position to play Top Trumps in pontificating about how other clubs are run.”

    That’s 3 times.

    You’re not only obsessed about being allowed to spend as much oil money as you can get your hands on you’re obsessed as to whether I go to games or not.

    I’m assuming you’re a die hide loyal guy who goes to all the games. Well done. As far as I’m concerned you deserve a meddle with the crap you’ve been watching till the oil money turned up.

    But I’m only taking your word for it, because, to be honest, to me you sound like a frustrated 50 year old hormonal house wife, and I should know because I’m married to one.

    Oh, and thanks for confirming you just buy everything it’s just I must of missed that bit before. Well done.

  46. City pay there bills and will end up earning more than perhaps any club in the world. So does it really matter how that happened ? We still have not established who is morally clean enough or able to determine how things should be done. Would it be unreasonable to suggest that someone other than the current lot? Especially given the pressure put on the people involved by the old has been elite? So far all we have is Arsenal fans agreeing with FFP in a broad sense perhaps not even the finer details. We could reasonably pick many many wholes in the rules and the implementation of them

  47. M18CTID

    I drive past the Etihad regularly as have customers near by and as such I have seen some of the building work that is going on around the complex. I take it the stadium opposite, that is near completion and has the bridge linking it to the Etihad is the training facility, or is it a Stadium for the U21’s etc?

    I also see clearly that there is a lot of land around the Stadium (opposite Asda) which, as I have yet to visit their on a match day is used for parking on match days, is it this area that is being used for the expansion programme?

    Finally, how do you feel about the “Johnny come lately supporters that follow your club now”. This is not a dig, after our Invincible’s season I got really pissed off with all the people claiming to be Arsenal fans that had never and will never go.

    I live in the Midlands, there are kids at the local Junior schools wearing Man C shirts, not quite as many that are wearing Man U but it is something that you would not have seen a few years ago. To be fair there are also Arsenal shirts, however two of the kids that have them are mine.

  48. M18CTID

    That’s a bit juvenile to suggest that Arsenal supporters would renounce the club over major shareholder. I mean you never give up on your club do you? Alisher Usmanov isn’t actually on the board right now, but who knows what will happen in the future. It’s fair to say that most of us don’t want him or his money at the club. And yes we know Danny Fiszman invested millions in the club.

  49. Actually jambug, I’m 44 so you weren’t too far off. Not sure about the housewife bit – last time I checked down below the meat and 2 veg were still there.

    As for the rest of your post, are you aware of Arsenal’s history or do you genuinely believe the club has never benefitted from benefactor investment and has grown totally organically ever since it was formed as Dial Square back in 1886?

    Tut tut.

  50. Jambug you talk of working hard are you really suggesting city are not working hard ? In someways we are working harder than other clubs we are after all more ambitious and have a lot of staff working on things. City do not have a unlimited budget in fact we have tightly checked and regulated budgets for every section of the clubs and the group as whole

  51. oldgroover,

    I’m not suggesting Arsenal fans should do anything of the sort mate – my post was directed at one person in particular who was spouting something about moral compasses. I was just letting said poster know that if he’s that bothered about morals then perhaps he shouldn’t be a football fan because if one wants to go on a moral crusade, I don’t think you’ll find too many moral values in professional football.

    And yes, I fully agree that it isn’t in the make-up of us football fans to give up on our clubs no matter how disillusioned we may get with them. That’s the beauty of football fandom to me – it lends very little to commonsense but everything to blind loyalty.

  52. MC18CTID

    Yes, I’ll accept your rebuke in the kindly way it was offered.

  53. Ian,

    Yes, you’re right on both counts. The development you’re referring to will house both the first team and the academy. The mini-stadium you’re referring to will hold 7,000 and host youth and reserve matches.

    The JCL thing annoys me too but we have to be realistic in that any success the club has is bound to attract new fans and those new fans will help increase revenues. I accept that there’s some hypocrisy in what I’m saying because for years I berated my United supporting mates for the amount of supporters they had that weren’t from the local area. Having said that, I doubt we’ll ever have as many fans worldwide than United have and in a way I’m glad because that’s one of the reasons why they’re so universally disliked.

  54. M18CTID

    I know about 1886. There’s a big article on it on UT.

    Not even in the same ball park. But hey, if it makes you feel better that’s alright with me.

  55. TommieGun

    Perhaps some of us feel that the idiom about no free lunches is true? Morality, I think we all decide for ourselves simply because there is no black and white, no right or wrong. It’s a question of degrees rather than simple ‘logic’.

    I protest against Arsenal being owned by a single owner (and in that sense I hope Usmanov doesn’t entirely go away), and even more so a single owner that seemingly spends their wealth in running Arsenal as a plaything, ie not for monetary gains. ‘How odd!’ you might say to that. But the fact is I do not believe someone who is looking to do charity would invest in football. There are far more worthy causes. Hence, in my view, the objective there is something other than football, which is what is Arsenal’s core business. And if it’s not about making money the obvious way, it is about making money in a hidden, non-transparent way. And that I do not want. Partly for moral reasons, but also for reasons of protecting Arsenal against being part of an eventually disposable network.

    CHelsea and ManCity seem like the ‘norm’ now, but they are not. How many ‘businessmen’ in the world are rich enough, and willing enough, to plough their money into a never ending spiral of increasing wages, and lower chance of ‘glory’? The answer is… not enough.. And even those that are there, have been there for only about a decade (or less) Who knows how it’ll turn out.

    In the meantime, I am comfortable not being one of them. Trophies are irrelevant, and not the reason I support Arsenal. And yes, as jambug said, there is a greater sense of pride associated with our FA Cup than with Chelsea’s triumphs. And I know Chelsea fans from prior to the Abramovich era who feel the same.

  56. Shard

    “there is a greater sense of pride associated with our FA Cup than with Chelsea’s triumphs. And I know Chelsea fans from prior to the Abramovich era who feel the same.”

    “I was a fan before abramovic”.

    Every Chelsea fans first words……if they can, and lets be honest, there isn’t many.

  57. Jambug perhaps you could expand on your comment when you ask am I for really and also point me to this article your referring to and yes I am for real

  58. Dont think there are any or at least many City fans that care about how we got the money we are enjoying the ride and can see the bigger picture of the future without needing our owners money because we will be top of the money leagues. we already earn more than you and Chelsea and will pas Bayern soon

  59. @ Jambug – no slight intended. I’m sorry if you were offended.

    I would try to stay loyal to my way of resolving differences here in UA and not try and take a word and make the debate around it, but rather try to address the point in question – which is, if I understood you correctly – pride in “earning it”.

    If this is what you meant, then I agree. It’s very normal to feel proud when things were “earned” rather than given.

    However, and [maybe I was wrong] I got the impression that you PREFER to EARN things rather to be given in order to feel that PRIDE; moreover, you think it’s the RIGHT way.

    So that’s where we differ, I guess, regarding life in general.

    But that’s not really important.

    The important bit is about Arsenal. I don’t care what Usmanov (allegedly) did; today he owns a part of Arsenal, tomorrow he sells it. Can anyone really contend that I should suspend my support because some guy who happens to own a part of MY beloved football club, might be an asshole?!

    That’s fuckin stupid [M18CTID]. Why should I care about him? I’ll start “caring” about him if he intervens with professional decisions.

    And to me it’s similarly stupid to be proud of my club if it’s major shareholder was a nobel prize winner or some great guy. Couldn’t care less.

    That’s my point: I fail to see the relevance of morality to the achievements of my football club.

  60. Jambug

    I was a Chelsea supporter before RA and just about everyone who sits close to where I sit at SB is likewise.

    You make out that before RA Chelsea had no supporters. That’s a myth that some will try to justify indeed they will quote a time or a crowd that supports that view but the simple fact is that Chelsea have either the 4th or 5th all time highest average attendance in English football.

  61. M18CTID

    Football does not take place in a moral vacuum. Just look at the fuss about FIFA and the World cup. And I would be extremely saddened if Usmanov had any influence over how Arsenal do things. Currently, he is, as you pointed out a share-holder and nothing more. He purchased the shares at the rate at the time. He is as reprehensible as Abramovich and the Sheikhs. If Arsenal did go down that route I WILL give up my support. At least I would hope that we Arsenal fans and supporters would not put signs up around the stadium saying “London thanks Usmanov”. Anyway, how his shareholding has anything thing to do with the ManCity or Chelsea situation is beyond me.

    Also, you have not even attempted an answer to my post which in any case included a very interesting clip from Sky Sports news.

  62. jambug,

    I don’t need to say anything to make me feel better – believe you me, I’ll still sleep soundly at night regardless of our little disagreement as I’m sure you will 😉

    Talk of different ball parks if you want but the game has moved on and pretty much everything has changed within it which means, amongst other things, that different ownership models are in place these days. It’s all part of football’s rich tapestry.

    What’s your opinion of the considerable part that Arsenal played back in the 1980’s when, as part of football’s so-called “Big Five” (the other clubs being United, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Everton) they carved up the domestic TV rights meaning that the “Big Five” clubs kept most of the TV revenue whilst the rest of the clubs pocketed a tiny amount in comparison? Does this deliberate attempt to manipulate the playing field in your club’s favour represent “fair play” in your eyes?

  63. @ Shard, only saw your post now.

    Well, obviously we see it differently.

    I agree that people who started supporting Chelsea after Roman, might be looked down upon by pre-Roman supporters – but that’s because the post-Roman supporters are glory hunters, and not true fans.

    I would also imagine that there are quite a few “new” Man City supporters after the oil money has started being pumped there.

    But that’s not what we’re talking about.

    I’ll try a provocative line, which I do not believe in since it’s also connected to morality (which I’m against in this context) – prior to the “sugar daddy” period, there was the “old money” period. Guess what? We were part of that, together with a few other clubs: Juve, Inter, Milan, Bayern, Barca, Real Madrid, Man United. Clubs with tradition. Clubs that were there up top for years. True, none of those clubs had a “sugar daddy” pumping in instantly billions of dollars; however, the money was spent, slowly, for years. It’s hard to dispute that we were in a much better financial situation than Chelsea and Man City.

    Do you contend that fans of poorer clubs in the 90s should have felt more pride than us, when they won something? I put it to you, that when we bought St. Dennis for a record 7.5 mil, or Seaman (can’t remember how much but it was the most expensive goalkeeper in England) – nobody felt it was less of an achievement to win stuff.

    My problem with the new money is not moral, it’s practical. It’s the polarity, it’s the crazy amounts being spent; it’s the fact that it harms competition; the fact that it has serious detrimental effects on other issues.

  64. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    The clip on SSN related to Abramovich so why would I directly address that when he doesn’t even own our club?

    Oh, and funny how you’re quick to slate Mansour’s character but you sidestepped my point where you don’t appear to have any issues with his close neighbours in Dubai pumping money into your club via the lucrative Emirates sponsorship deal. Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to how money pumped in from Abu Dhabi is more reprehensible than money pumped in from Dubai…..

  65. TommieGun

    What happened in 1886 wasn’t great. Nor the 80’s. But both are irrelevant.

    If we use what happened in the past to justify what we do now we will soon be in big big trouble.

  66. @Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    The clip from Sky is one mans take on things. He has an opinion and he is entitled to that view. Doesnt mean he is right, doesn’t mean he is wrong

    Although he didn’t push home the point Tony Cascarino pointed out that most wealth men/families have deep issues in the past.

    My MP, a very rich landowner, family made their money following the abolition of slavery and the compensation that the government of the day paid to his family

    I support my club, not the owner, if he were to walk away I would still support my club.

    I love the saying a club is for life not just Christmas and.

    The reality is for just about every service or product I buy I do apply some sort of moral test yet in respect of my football club I don’t or perhaps its better to say I cant and in all honestly I doubt many supporters of a club are any different in their thinking

  67. Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    Syed takes on and beats both of the eager and keen Sky plundits, and in their devotion to the transparent and all too obvious Murdochian model they betray their own poverty of mind.
    And to wrap the move up he neatly nutmegs* the other guest Tony Cascarino whilst tapping him on upon his loose Tapie or as some might say, his Bernard 😉

    Three against one and Syed wins all the points. Not bad, not bad at all.

    * go back and re-watch the face Cascarino pulls as Syed says “Money”, absolutely priceless comedy if you know his and Marseille’s history…very, very funny.

    I guess these references to Tapie will be over the heads of those burying their heads in the sands.

  68. M18CTID at 3:10 pm

    Matthew Syed also went on to discuss the motives of the Gulf States, with specific mention of Abu Dhabi and Mansoor.

    Arsenal’s sponsorship deal with the Emirates is not being investigated, unlike the Etihad one. And, FFP was brought in because of clubs like ManCity….

    Look, just accept it, you hit the jackpot….everybody is naughty in one way or another….all is fair in love and war…perhaps you don’t care about how we in the west screw many parts of the world and how those who screw their own people invest the wealth they steal in football clubs. Fine. I just have a problem when you try to dress it up as another acceptable way of doing things….

  69. Oh, and I have no problem slating Mansoor’s or Abramovich’s character. Mansoor is a despot, a dictator and Abramovich and Usmanov are gangsters….

  70. Mike T.

    Mate, The Arsenal’s local M.P. is Jeremy Corbyn.

    Jermey Corbyn survived the Blairite purges and he was never associated with the revealingly named Neo-Labour/Tory faction. He’s been the Arsneal’s M.P. for a long, long time. I believe he had a role to play in the stadium move, for example.

    The principals of fair play are at the heart of English football. It is why all games are meant to kick off at three o clock on a Saturday afternoon. This is an old tradition now, comments on a blog in denial of the structure of football in the U.K. can not hide that history and understanding that fair play was and is a concept at the heart of the sport and in the evolution of the clubs around the country. All these comments do is betray the lack of appreciation and understanding of the very principals that were essential in building up the sport in the first place. Slightly, tragic.

    A poor, poor, effort above.

  71. I know people who work for Gazprom-upon-Fulham. Very nice they are too. And I say these same things to them. Because there’s absolutely no point in attempting to counter the undeniable. It is foolishness.

    I don’t like Wal-Mart, but I do understand what a scale is.

  72. So you slate Abramovich and Mansour except you do that after slating the club like the fans had any choice in who took over then when people point out issues regarding your clubs owner or past owners you then pretend to hold them in contempt so as to try and avoid being labeled as the hypocrites that you the truth is you are hypocrites

  73. Etihad was investigated and found to be sound and passed FFP at full value. The point is the money comes from the same type of regime and so looks equally badly on both clubs all kit makers also make there kits without proper attention to child labour laws etc Except you choose to ignore this so you can have cheap shot at our owner and try and let your club off the hook. Your also ingore how we got the stage we did where you need a wealthy owner with issues in his own country so as to be successful. I actually find it unlikely that the views of the people running the club including the owner actually match that of those the whole of the countries government as viewed by rival fans they seem to 21st century to western educated but perhaps I am being to optimistic. Perhaps also tho the government cannot control everything perhaps some people want change and other do not perhaps they want power and stability at the expense of their actual views

  74. I found Walter’s comment on the effect of wealth accretion in the larger football nations on smaller nations opened a parallel thought in my mind. Certainly the way smaller nations and indeed England can counter the effect on home teams and players must be another Untold hobby horse namely the coaching and nurturing of young talent and grass roots football. This will enable emerging top managers and carefully matured local talent to challenge in the way that Borussia Dortmund and to perhaps a lesser extent Atletico Madrid have done.

    Sadly in England the FA has completely let down both our youngsters and our grass roots game by focusing solely on Wembley stadium, The England team and putative futile world cup bidding. But I must be careful as by now I am way off topic and even worse will get Tony started.

  75. We have ended up talking about the morality of where the money comes from rather than earning it verses being given it the end the the day the aim of FFP was meant to be sustainability City are sustainable whats the issues about how or even who we got the money off ? No one has even started debating the issues around the flaws in FFP lack of effect directly in debt or wages lacks anything regarding state aid. How does it improve competition and fairness in money distribution? How do we implement FFP fairly when it is driven by certain clubs with agendas who want to control the sport and keep themselves at the top Arsenal and your complaining blind manger leading the charge regarding FFP

  76. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    100% wrong – the Etihad deal isn’t being investigated and UEFA doesn’t have any issues with it. Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.

    That wasn’t the point I was making anyway and you know it. I was merely asking why you can call Mansour’s character into question yet you don’t have an issue with the ruling family of Dubai (a country whose laws mirror those of Mansour’s Abu Dhabi) injecting money into Arsenal. Your hypocrisy is staggering even by football fan standards.

  77. @Finsbury

    Love the bit about not knowing the traditions and then going on about football being a Saturday 3.00 clock thing when the truth is far from that. The town I live in for instance always had a Thursday league others a Wednesday league (Sheffield Wednesday anyone)
    Football is so different on so many levels now its moved on so to try and draw direct comparisons with the past is flawed.
    Or should we abolish floodlights, substitutes, bring back the minimum wage have laces in footballs, the refs in blazers and so on. You are trying to compare apples with pears.
    As for Jeremy Corbyn, I knew the name but after looking him up and his association with certain groups and causes I am not sure I could ever put the tick in the box alongside his name

  78. Will,

    It’s funny seeing these rival fans take some kind of mythical moral high ground when slating City. There was a classic case the other week of a United fan on one forum questioning the morality of City’s owner and because he was a fully paid up member of Amnesty International since 1978 he could never entertain the idea of anyone from that part of the world owning United and if they ever did he would turn his back on the club. Somewhat hilariously, one of the City fans he’d been arguing with went through his post history and found that when there was talk a while ago of a possible takeover of United by a Qatari-backed consortium fronted by the “Class of 92”, far from being against it he was actually in favour of it. Never have I seen someone who has had so much to say on one topic disappear from a thread so quickly never to return.

  79. Mike T,

    Yep, while we’re at it let’s bring back the tradition of playing football matches on Christmas Day. If only to see how everyone manages to get to the match when there is no public transport running!

  80. M18CTID

    I have a problem with despots, dictators and gangsters. As far as I know all the gulf states have despotic regimes. Therefore, I detest them too.

    I have no say over who owns and runs Arsenal. My point is rather simple. I will NEVER try to justify them if some such outfits did take over Arsenal. I would just accept that we will be distorting the game and it will no longer be a test of good management under the regulatory regimes I hope would be implemented in an open, democratic country.

    Naive, maybe, idealistic, for sure, hypocritical, I think not.

  81. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    I’ll point out that I too have no say over who owns and runs MCFC yet people like you laughably seem to hold us City fans accountable. If you feel so strongly about gulf states and despotic regimes, why aren’t you protesting outside the Emirates stadium on a matchday over Arsenal’s continued sponsorship with, ahem, Emirates? I’m not trying to justify anything – I’m just pointing out your sheer hypocrisy. Doubtless you fill your car up with petrol that originated in Abu Dhabi as well. Seriously, talking to you is akin to banging my head against a brick wall so for that reason I’m sticking you on ignore when posting on here in future. I’m sure we’ll both be happier with that.

  82. Tommie Gun

    “My problem with the new money is not moral, it’s practical. It’s the polarity, it’s the crazy amounts being spent; it’s the fact that it harms competition; the fact that it has serious detrimental effects on other issues.”

    I agree completely. I might have moral issues with somethings but that is my personal slant. I do’t say everyone should follow that (although as with anything, that isn’t absolute) Although that doesn’t mean that I won’t take pride in doing something I think is the ‘right’ way.

    But as always, every debate on FFP gets distorted into a moral debate. It’s not. The ManCity fans always claim that they were hard done by in the past and so a billionaire owner is justified and any attempt to block the distorting effects of billionaires are unjustified and unfair. Which , to put it bluntly, is stupid.

  83. M18

    Do you seriously see no difference in sponsorships and ownerships? Do you not understand the difference of degrees and only deal in absolutes? To argue that Arsenal’s sponsorship from Emirates is the same as AbuDhabi’s involvement in ManCity is ridiculous and gets to the point of saying all money is tainted so no one can grudge ManCity getting money for nothing (and chicks for free 🙂 )

  84. M18CTID

    Christmas Day now there’s a thought but alas why the concern about public transport lets just dig two trenches.

    @ Shrad

    Its easy to justify money when its only from a sponsor and not an owner (as it happens I don’t have an issue with Emirates) but when taking the moral high ground in terms of origin of funding which may on here tend to do, then surely there cant be any difference.

    As for all money being tainted in truth there probably is a lot of truth in that take on things.

  85. M18

    What do you think made the ‘big 5’ clubs ‘big’ in the first place? If the money from TV and gates was equal for everyone prior to that, why were these clubs more confident that they’ll earn (key word here being earn) a bigger share of the pie? Is it because they had done more work in the background to be in such a position, rather than just go with the flow?

    A (long) scenario

    Person A studies hard, works hard, starts up a business, and runs it successfully for years, gradually becoming bigger. He then uses this business to indulge himself and buys larger homes with great gardens..

    Person B started at around the same level as person A, but perhaps due to a lack of luck, or some personal issues was not at the same capability level. Instead of working hard to bridge the gap, he concluded that because person A had a head start, he could never catch up anyway. He simply plays the lottery while living on benefits such as state housing. The lottery nearly bankrupts him, but his luck turns and he wins a major jackpot.

    He then proceeds to buy even larger houses than person A, and hires workers to go rip up A’s garden for good measure so he can feature higher in the MTV Cribs awards, even as he drops some sacks of coin down so A won’t complain to the police about this. Person A decides to let it slide since after all, he did get paid, and starts to tend to his garden again from the proceeds of his business.

    Person B then repeats the process again and again and finally A decides he doesn’t like this and finds others B has similarly harmed or could harm and approaches the police, who say since nothing on this scale has ever been attempted before, their laws are incapable of stopping it, at which point A approaches his MPs to change the laws.

    Person B here not only claims this change in law is unfair, he also proclaims that it is unfair that A had a garden in the first place while he had to rely on state funding. That A was completely selfish when he moved away from playing on the streets to further his own business and so is only reaping what he sowed. Or rather, is hence fair that B reaps what A sowed. That A is only campaigning for a change in law for his own interests hence making him selfish and the change in law should be invalidated. While B is only campaigning for the good of all who have smaller gardens since he would like them to have the same one in a billion chance of winning the lottery.

    Now, who makes more sense? A or B? A person with a smaller garden C sides with A because he figures he has more chance of maintaining his garden and planning for its expansion if there is a commercial limit to which his garden can be ripped up, that the price of saplings and gardeners doesn’t increase to a level he isn’t able to afford. Person B then also claims that C is only doing this because A intimidated C into saying this.

    In other words, B believes that not only should the money he won in the lottery buy him fancy gardens, but should allow him to keep expanding his garden at the expense of anyone else whenever he chooses with no limit imposed on him, since no law to prevent such an unforseen circumstance was in occurrence before he won the lottery. His main claim remains that what he does is more fair, with the logic that since anyone can win the lottery, and not everyone can be a success at business, he stands for fairness. Having been the ‘little guy’ for so long, it is self-evident that he empathises with them and cares for them more than A can having been off the streets and living in his mansion for so long.

    Here ends metaphorical story..

    Ok so it’s not the best, but I think it’s close enough to the truth. Based on what I’ve seen from City fans. Chelsea are worse, but also cleverer at it. Since they sided with A, which A takes despite the boorish nature of Chelsea and their past actions.

  86. Shard the reason City fans say they are hard done by if they do at all is because Arsenal fans and the like should be asking why it is that City have had to spend what they have to get to the top. Could it be because owners invested large sums of money in their respective clubs before City got lucky as you would call it. Feizmen the Pools money Moor family Edwards Walker Abramovich etc. Could it also be the massive difference in income between clubs meaning owners investment is needed to catch the smaller clubs up with those especially those with the Champions league or ( History lol ) In which case its a question of size time and where it comes from perhaps a bit of racism ? Again City have no control over who owns us just like you do not just like you do not over sponsors whilst sponsors are not the same and perhaps as important from an ethics point of view we can still judge them and thus the club if you cannot accept that City fans could judge sponsors kit makers and other clubs owners etc then perhaps you should stop judging city

  87. Shard terrible analogy since I could perhaps twist it to this Person (A /Arsenal FC)Worked hard but also got massive investment from an owner but that was ignored by the nabourhood Whilst he made a great business. So it was said person A worked hard. Person A past on his business and its revenue and assets to the next person so that this person was in such a position that this next person could not fail but to do Whats with the massive revenue they have. Mean while Person (M/ Manchester City) Was run poorly for a very very long time so that Person A was miles and miles ahead. One poor owner passed it on to a very very rich person. Who worked hard invested and was very wise and ambitious but he spent more than A and his money came from somewhere people did not like so everyone got angry and lobbied this body to change the rules so that investment was limited unlike when person A was investing

  88. Will
    You ignore issues of timeframes and merit. Perhaps you should just accept that people will judge city differently. You didn’t work your way to the top. You bought your way there.

    But you are at the top. why is that not enough for you that you feel the need to justify your clubs policies through counter accusations and twists of logic? Hmmm. Perhaps there is something to be said for the pride thing eh?

  89. but when person A was investing it did not distort the market as to make other persons gang up on him which is whats happening to person B/M (based on shards and wills post) right now.

  90. Will

    Who made a massive investment in Arsenal?


    I really appreciate having a civilised discussion with fans of other clubs and I certainly enjoyed my exchanges with you. So, I accept that you will ignore me from now on. However, by judging some of the other posts on here you must have knocked yourself unconscious by now!

  91. Georgaki

    Will is using Tony Adams’ eulogy for Fiszman as conclusive proof that Arsenal received 50m pounds of Fiszman’s money sometime in the 90s. When exactly, over what period of time, what that money was used for, whether it was even invested into Arsenal or into buying stocks, or indeed if there was any money at all, is not to be looked at any deeper. Adams said it, so it is true, and hence Arsenal fans cannot criticise City’s dealings.

  92. In what way did I ignore merit or timeframes. So because we are on top we should take things that are wrong and things that attack our club and owner? Also if we are not allowed to respond perhaps you should not be allowed to comment on clubs you know very little about especially when your bias as hell

  93. Will

    Even if you say Arsenal are equally guilty, it still doesn’t exonerate City, nor change the fact that your argument that every club should be allowed to play the lottery, and everyone else stand aside and let your club price everyone else out is still stupid. fine, Arsenal are terrible and hypocrites. But billionaires cannot be considered good for the game as a whole. Because they are not as has already been seen.

    Where do you think the billionaire league extends to? You seem to have a problem with an established order and champion billionaires for breaking it up. Do you think billionaires, including yours, won’t take steps to make their own exclusive order, which if anything will be even more exclusive because they have even more, practically infinite funds and make no use of merit as a rewarding principle (quite the opposite in fact)? Of course they will, and that is a club that no one, whether big or small, will be able to break into because THAT level of money is open only to a select few in the world. I am talking literally in the dozens in a world of over 7 billion people. How can any sane and fair person justify that and then claim to be fighting for fairness?

  94. Shard let ignore Fiszman’s money then lets look at other clubs United had Edwards Blackburn had Walker Wigan have Wehlan Fulham had Al Fayed Spurs had Alan Sugar Spurs and Villas current owners both had periods where they spent there own cash Chelsea goes with out saying. Our owners money was invested into stock essentially hence why we are debt free

  95. Shard

    Oh yeah, the £50m that cannot be found in any of the publicly available AFC accounts!


    Biased as hell? Who was sanctioned recently under FFP, you know, had their Champions League squad reduced to 21 players?

  96. Did City finish high in the tables to get their wealth? Did they run their club responsibly and securely that they got rich? No… They did much the opposite. Did not use their advantages (such as a large fan base and local flavour, free use of stadium etc) in fact did the opposite.

    Whatever you may think of the older richer clubs, they all worked for it to various extents. (Merit) Some rose, and fell. Others rose in their stead. This has been going on. None used the advertising budget of an oil producing NATION to accelerate their growth to within a period of 5 years rather than 20 or 30. (Time frames)

    I don;t go around on other clubs blogs and try and ‘explain’ to them that Arsenal get a raw deal from the referees. That the ‘same old Arsenal’ song they chant is ridiculously unfair. That Arsenal are misrepresented in the press? Why? Because I know this is true and I don’t need their validation. City will not be viewed the same as any other club because they have not behaved like any other club, with the exception of Chelsea. You can’t have your cake (be top) and eat it too (be respected for it like others).

  97. Will

    you act as if the FFP precludes investment. It doesn’t. It just slows it down from the bubble bursting pace that your club has undertaken. Hopefully it will also rationalise prices and wage bills, since this will also make it easier for other clubs to catch up.

  98. Will

    To mention every owner of every club, is ridiculous. For sure clubs’ owners put money into the clubs. The question is to what extent and how extreme is that influx of funds.

    That’s one.

    Two (and in my opinon the more important factor) – > what’s being done with that money.

    I will find it difficult to defend a club that spent a lot of money in building the right squad, because it is true that to penetrate a new market one must make a relatively large(r) inveestment compared to the current players in that market. So yeah if you want to have a Champion League quality squad, you need to pay more than the clubs who are currently competing in the CL.

    Fair enough.

    What’s not fair enough, and what (in my humble opinion) puts City in it’s own bracket, differnt to KGB, differnt to PSG, different to other historically unlimited clubs (Real Madrid for instance) is the apparent tactic of buying world class players and letting them rot on the bench, with the only (viable) explanation being preventing other clubs from emplying those players.

    City is the only club I know who would have someone like Tevez and let him rot on the bench; same goes for you going after Sagna while having Zabaleta; having 3 world class goal keepers (3 or 4 years ago); I’m sure that other members can add to that. We’re not talking depth here. Tevez is not someone to have for “depth”. And a strong indication that this indeed is your tactic is the fact that almost all of those buys were from other english clubs.

    In competition law it is called predatory pricing. And it’s illegal.

  99. Shard,

    If I wanted to read War And Peace, I’d have read War And Peace mate lol.

    Seriously, you know I know the difference between sponsors and owners but that wasn’t my point. It was, as Mike T said, in response to the poster (not you of course) that called City’s owner a despot yet doesn’t appear to have an issue with Arsenal receiving sponsorship money from an organisation associated with a similar “despot”.

    I can assure you that City fans are in a very good place at the moment and we don’t need to justify what our club is doing to anyone. However, our club has come under sustained attack from all comers ever since the ADUG takeover in 2008, much of it being the same old re-hashed rubbish and much of it aimed directly at us fans, and as such we’re going to come out fighting our corner.

    We accept that we won the lottery and we accept that in doing so it’s given us a huge advantage so no, it’s not fair. But show me a time when football has ever been fair because ever since the sport turned professional it’s always been about the haves and have nots.

  100. M18CTID

    Then why argue that FFP is unfair? That somehow the billionaire lottery is fairer? It absolutely isn’t.

  101. Let’s be fair here – forget Fiszman for a moment and talk Henry Norris. If Norris hadn’t pitched up when he did then Arsenal FC probably wouldn’t even exist. That’s not being flippant – that’s a fact. Same as John H Davies at United who were a joke of a club before he ploughed his fortune in, saved them from extinction, bought them their first trophies, and gifted them a new ground in Old Trafford.

    Now if Mansour hadn’t shown up at City we’d still exist as a club.

  102. Shard,

    Because it cements the position of the elite clubs. It’s self-preservation plain and simple. Now if football was invented yesterday and every club was starting out on an even keel then FFP would be a wonderful idea.

    If you want true fair play then we should adopt the US draft system but that will never happen.

  103. *rolls eyes*

    You really want to go back a 100 years to argue about the merits of now?

    Well, a hundred years ago, Britain ran a colonial empire and drained half the world of its natural and economic resources, which allowed them to boost their industries, which allowed clubs to be set up in the first place, so I suppose it is also justified if a former colony exhibits its own draconian laws to buy back one of the clubs indirectly founded from its historic wealth.

    How’s that for absurd?

    Maybe in a 100 years from now City’s achievements will be seen as just one of those things. It isn’t now and nothing you say about the past or the present makes it so. It isn’t ‘normal’ and as you admitted, it isn’t fair. I don’t know what you expect me as an Arsenal fan to say to you that would count as a satisfactory response to your club’s situation.

    Look, the fact remains that football, despite as you say, always having been composed of haves and have nots, never in the past felt it necessary to take the step that FFP is taking now. There’s a reason for it.

  104. I have no problem with the sugar-daddy model if the sugar daddy did not steal the wealth of nation to protect himself by investing that wealth in a highly visible asset in a first world democratic nation.

  105. Because it cements the position of the elite clubs. It’s self-preservation plain and simple. Now if football was invented yesterday and every club was starting out on an even keel then FFP would be a wonderful idea.

    If you want true fair play then we should adopt the US draft system but that will never happen.


    But as discussed before, over 200 clubs form the ECA which was involved in the negotiations with Uefa. Sure, self interest exists, but you can’t argue it is unfair only because some clubs are interested in having that law passed. Especially when the majority of clubs want it.

    You think the US draft system is completely fair? And yet you were the one saying it is ‘unfair’ that Arsenal are in London. The draft system is basically an exploitation of young talent since colleges exploit them without paying them anything and in turn earn huge amounts, while billionaire funded clubs (who form a closed league and draw profits from running it) get access to a free academy system. There’s plenty wrong with the Us drafts as well, and in any case it doesn’t take away advantages that teams in larger markets enjoy.

    They do however use systems like salary caps and luxury taxes to prevent one rich club stockpiling talent and enforce contracts to the end of their term, irrespective of transfer from one club to another. Again, meaning players cannot be tempted to break their contracts and seek a move just by money.

    The FFP prevents (to some extent) clubs like City from indulging in predatory pricing and stockpiling talent. It acts as a ‘salary cap’ of sorts, and at the same time allows unlimited investment in infrastructure and training. City can still have better teams since they get a free academy (as in do not have to pay for it)like the US drafts. But so can Southampton in the sense that academies come cheaper than first team players, and the associated churn (ie instability) is less.

    If they were to adopt one law from the US I’d bring about the contract enforcement. Even if Nasri moves to City, he must be on the same contract that he was at Arsenal until it runs out. Then we’d see how much players move for trophies and how much for money.

  106. By the way, FFP, in my opinion, is influenced by the US leagues rules. Such as the punishment of fines being used to pay every other club is sort of a luxury tax.

    The exclusion of contracts signed over 3 years ago from calculations of FFP. This is what the NBA does (at least used to, I’m not sure about the new agreement) to promote squad stability. Reward a team for holding on to the same players over a long period of time rather than simply chopping and changing the squad, by allowing those players’ salaries to be exempt from the salary cap calculations. The corollary is that clubs will try and improve the players they have rather than simply going out and buying to replace them.

    There might be more, but these restrictions as they are, should generally speaking have positive effects on clubs. All clubs. Not just the rich ones.

  107. Lastly, for all the potential flaws, the FFP is more fair than widening a wage and transfer fee gap through the funding of a nation’s wealth. So self preservation or not, the FFP is better for for all of football than allowing billionaires unrestrained access to football clubs. If you argue for billionaire funding as opposed to FFP, you are not arguing out of a sense of fairness.

  108. Shard,

    I’m not arguing that having a billionaire owner is somehow fair whereas FFP isn’t. I’m arguing that owners should be free to invest as much or as little of their own money in their own club as they want which is what happens in any other business. I’d also be arguing this same point if Mansour hadn’t bought City and acquired another club instead. I’m not against some kind of regulations, ie: vetting club owners to try and ensure that another Pompey type scenario didn’t come about, but I’m not in favour of the break-even part of FFP in it’s current form.

    Of course the irony of FFP is that it will probably help cement City amongst football’s elite so from a purely selfish point of view it will almost certainly benefit us. But from a neutral standpoint I don’t agree with it as it stands at the moment.

  109. Why say city have unlimited resources when its not true City are a business and so we have budgets very tightly kept to budgets in fact all areas of the club have a budget thats very very tightly looked at

  110. TomieGUN What world class players have City let rot on the bench and do not mention Tevez he went on a jolllu came back and went back into the team all that happened was City refused to sell him when he wanted at the time he wanted we perhaps lost out in the end we got less for him but we kept him he came back we won the league

  111. Tony, the base premise that you construct your entire hypothesis on here is flawed. i.e., that Chelsea have definitely bid £27m for Fabregas. That is just paper talk at this time…shame on you for taking it at face value!

  112. TomieGun who are Arsenal fans to say how much being spent in inline with previous owners and what is over the top? Your are aware of inflation and that its far greater in football than elsewhere. Do you know your highest transfer is higher than ours that your manger is the highest paid in the world That your ticket prices are far higher than ours You pay rubbish player nearly as much as your stars because Wenger is a some sort of Champaign socialist.

  113. Sanga will replace Richards so we will have to RB we rotate our left and RB more than any other pozition even if Richards does not leave he is always injured how is that excessive

  114. M18

    City’s place in the top is pretty much assured now anyway regardless of FFP. Which other owner is going to come in and be able to blow Abu Dhabi’s wealth out of the water? None. Very few could even come close to it. So don’t pretend FFP helps City become an established top club and you are arguing against it as a sacrifice. The only way City cease to be among the elite now is if Mansour withdraws support and indulges in asset stripping, but that’s unlikely to happen since he doesn’t have much to gain by doing that. Right now. Who knows about a 100 years from now though 🙂

    The problem with your ‘free market’ assertion is that predatory and monopolistic practices are taken as contrary to free market principles. So no, every other industry will not allow its owner to ‘invest’ whatever amount he wants. There are also regulations against using companies as tax holes, ie companies which are purposely shown as making losses for purposes of tax avoidance. While that might not apply here, your contention that other businesses have no regulation of the behaviour of their owner is wrong.

    Plus, a league system relies on some level of shared regulation. Why else do you think clubs like Arsenal and ManU get almost the same TV money (or sometimes less) than City do? Because they agreed to sharing their tv rights with the rest of the league in a formula that is contrary to the ‘earn way more than others’ logic. Your stated views are so in dissonance with your stated objectives of fairness, equality and a more vibrant league that I find it hard to believe you actually are even thinking about what you are saying, except with a pre defined narrative of supporting your owner and opposing FFP.

  115. M18 – I think “invest” is the wrong word. “Spend” is better. Can’t see how Mansour could conceivably expect a return on his “investment”?

    Will – I believe City’s ticket prices for Arsenal away fans were comparable to Arsenal’s (much protested) prices to City fans (within a few quid).

    Will – Ozil’s transfer fee may be more than City’s highest. But Arsenal’s net spend over the last 10 years is close to zero while City’s is not close to zero. In fact City’s payments to Arsenal with respect to their asset stripping is a significant contributor to this!

    In general, repeat the point that Arsenal fans did not, in general, want Usmanov. A questionable background, he writes carefully. In any event, he has NOT put any money into the club and is not on the Board. So therefore is of insignificent influence in terms of the running and financing of the club.

  116. @WillRickson, when your own club is accepting that it was fidgeting on its accounting, please do not come here and argue about the soundness of its business practice.
    Accept and enjoy the fact that your benefactor is extremely rich and does not care about balancing the books, except when it means missing on The Champion’s league global exposure. If tomorrow there is a new sport or new activity that could guarantee more exposure to Them, they would be gone in a flash and would leave you the Manchester City fans to deal with the aftermath of their ill-thought reign.

  117. Shard without FFP we blow people out of the water with our owners wealth assuming he does not care about making money which is false with FFP we blow them out of the water well most clubs with revenue legitimate earnt revenue from sponsors affiliates ticket sales leisure destination. Shared in what way is what City doing monopolistic ? Especially given they will not spend unlimited amounts since we want to make money. Regulations on monopolies govern market share and collusion not spending tho spending may relate to market share in some respect. City do not have much of the football market nationally or internationally nor can any clubs control that market in the same way that say Tesco say might control UK supermarket market share. Especially given the nature of support of clubs when compared to super markets even if you treat glory hunters as treating clubs like supermarkets. My club has never said such a thing Valentin regarding accepting Fidgeting of accounting not sure what that even means. City disagreed strongly with the punishment given to them and nearly fought it all the way but decided it would not be wise to do so. City where punished not because of some financial issues but because UEFA had to punish the rich clubs and because of different interpretation of the rules the rules should not be interpreted differently they should be clear to all furthermore City had been in constant contact and communication with UEFA and so should have had the same interpretation perhaps something changed along the way so that City no option but to fail is this fair ? What sport is going to give them more exposure ? What aftermath given we will break even this year ? Even if a new sport would give them more exposure our Owner will carry on with City so that it realizes its full potential and he makes his money back. FFP does not deal with debt wages deep flaw You mention fairness of distribution of money so why mentoin fairness of money unless your stupid or delusional. The reason we City fans are against FFP is because the only way to over come the gap in income between Say United and everyone else is with the sugar daddy that is stopped by FFP its not ideal but neither FFP FFP is anti -competition its being challenged in the courts as we speak Do you think your owner and people like Gil and abramoich have footballs best interest at heart when pushhing FFP ?

  118. Bloody hell the Tony Adams 50 mill bollocks AGAIN. Arsenal wanted to buy some players in the days when there was no transfer window.As they had yet to receive next seasons ST money and therefore had a short term cash flow crisis, the club borrowed 50 mill from a bank,Barclays I believe.Danny Fiszman stood as guarantor as there was a history of clubs going bankrupt,entering Administration and thus not paying their debts.However Arsenal paid all the money back to the bank on time and Fiszman did not have to pay a penny.CHECK THE BLOODY ACCOUNTS.

  119. Linz assuming your correct still does not really change anything anyway

  120. @M18

    “City have a fantastic business model”

    Spending a few billion pounds to win a couple of silver pots worth a few thousand dollars each is not any sane persons idea of a good business model 😉

    Sitting in a stadium does not in any way increase your knowledge, capability or eligibility to comment on football finances.

    As far as I am aware FFP doesn’t stop billionaire owners spending as much money as they want on their clubs, it just means that they have to spend it on actually developing the club and it’s infrastructure rather than the short term gain from buying players which could possibly cause the financial collapse of a club if they suddenly then withdrew their funding. A desirable goal, although I’m sure it could be argued to be an imperfect implementation.

  121. Are you that Silly MK that you think City have even a remote chance of going into financial melt down? The way you describe football as a business suggest that players and wages should amount to a few quid its not about how much trophies cost its about how much money you can make whilst winning them. This silly business model is going to break even this year. And do things other clubs have not done such as owning subsidiary clubs and teams and will see city become a brand that will be on all sorts of products not normally branded by football clubs to this extent Then there will be the World class world famous leisure destination and a global scouting footballing sporting type company spreading knowledge for a fee

  122. You say it could be argued that the implementation of FFP might be wrong in which case whats the point ? Should the expert not have sorted it before implementing it ?Your right FFP does not stop Billionaire owners from spending but whats the point in spending on youth and stadiums doing it the right way if you still cannot get a a decent team and keep it together with wages and trophies. What good is producing players if you have to sell them what good is a nice new stadium if no one turns up because the footballs rubbish because the players are rubbish because you cannot offer good wages and trophies. How can you grow revenue in those conditions?

  123. Don’t be stupid Will, I wasn’t referring to the way City is doing things just the principles and goals of FFP, there is defending your club and then there is considering every single comment as an attack on it and writing unrelated nonsense in response.

    I didn’t describe football as a business, I made a joke stating that spending lots of money to win trophies is not good business in the general sense.. it may be a good way to win trophies and build a club from the lower levels of the league but it isn’t a great way to make money (as is what is generally considered ‘good business’, ie owning a football club is not a good money making business and obviously isn’t the goal of your owner).

    In response to your unrelated oft repeated rant and more of an ‘attack’ on your club (I guess?), the main reason City may possibly become anywhere near break-even in the near future is largely due to the sponsorship from companies closely related to the royal family of Qatar. City is still currently vulnerable to withdrawal by its owner and associated sponsors until it has gained enough long term success and large enough global fan-base to become self sustaining without these ‘associated’ sponsorship deals. Perhaps not ‘melt down’ worthy anymore but certainly to the point of being able to sustain title challenges.

    My original point was that FFP attempts to stop the situation in which it could happen that the sudden withdrawal of an owner could cause a club to go bankrupt due to an unsustainably high wages to revenue ratio and even if you seem to be unable to imagine a scenario in which your club could have had this happen after it was first bought there are many ways in which it could happen to FUTURE clubs and at some point a historic club with a large fanbase could have one day ceased to exist at the whims of someone with a lot of money to throw around and no ‘fit and proper person’ test can ensure this doesn’t happen.

  124. I didn’t say FFP was wrong I said it might be argued that it is “imperfect”, hint nothing is perfect and adjustments could be made to improve it in the future.

    If you keep producing good players and have good facilities you have a base from which to generate additional revenue, ie you can fit more fans into the stadium and sell some of your players to cover the wages of the players you do keep. Your team will gradually improve along with your revenue. Also the owners are able to inject some money into the playing staff just not so much as to cause major issues if they stop doing so.

    It obviously is a longer term proposition than spending lots of money up front, but it HELPS avoid both excessive player wage inflation and the possibility of club bankruptcy which is a good thing for the sport as a whole.

  125. 1. City does NOT have a business model because none was meant in the first place.

    2. City’s purpose is alleviate the brand recognition of UAE.

    3. That alone cannot be counted in simple dollar and cents. E.g. if UAE pumped net 100m into advertising every year, will you take notice of UAE?

    4. Instead they did the smart thing and dumped those millions into a football club.

    5. And you get some $$ back in return.

    6. I am indifferent to what they are doing as I do understand their reasons which is kind of sound.

    7. However on a sporting level, it is indeed unfair.

    8. Unfair have existed in a long while. Serie A giants were funded by big businesses in the same way.

    9. But with the new rich kids, they not only skew the sporting competition, which in a way is ok; they make life extremely difficult for other clubs by causing hyper inflation.

    10. Thus FFP is necessary.

  126. Will

    Don’t you sleep? Impressive tenacity…..not even I can bang on continuously about Arsenal…….

  127. Will,

    Are you seriously trying to compare the CHEAPEST club in the country (us) with the most SPENDTHRIFTY club in the WORLD (you guys)?

    I mean, I’ve heard a lot of idiotic presumptions in my life; I could relate to quite a few of M18CTID’s contentions, but this really proves (against my initial feeling) that you Man City fans have a huge chip on your shoulder.

    Rejoice, you have a sugar daddy, you have a great squad, you are winning stuff. If I were you I would have told everybody else to piss off and stop being jealous. The fact that you keep trying to defend the fact that you are the football equivalent of Anna Nichole Smith is pathetic.

  128. TommieGun

    Didn’t something rather unpleasant happen to Anna Nichole Smith?

  129. Shard,

    You lost me there mate. I can’t think of any other business that limits owner investment – sure, there are regulations but they don’t centre around investment. As for monopolies, well it can be legitimately argued that FFP in it’s current form helps cement the monopoly of the elite clubs. I wouldn’t say it was much different to the way the Big Six energy firms behave, putting the smaller firms in their place. If FFP was really about stopping clubs getting into financial trouble then why is there nothing in the regs that tackles debt? After all, when all this was first mooted Platini was voicing his concerns about indebted clubs yet as if by magic the regs morphed into something else. Sorry, but this has got the fingerprints of the G14/G18 all over it and I doubt whether a single one of those clubs gives too much of a flying one about another Pompey style scenario materialising – after all, I didn’t see any of those clubs voicing their concerns when Pompey’s financial troubles unravelled a few years back. To your credit, you’ve admitted that self-preservation is driving a lot of this but some other fans can’t bring themselves to admit the same.

    I think it’s pointless you and me debating this now Shard unless a new angle comes into the discussion – we’ve talked about this at length and while we don’t agree with we clearly understand each other’s position. Neither of us is going to change our opinion in all honesty 😉

  130. TommieGun,

    “If I were you I would have told everybody else to piss off and stop being jealous.”

    That’s a very good point and I’ve used that line more than enough times in the past. However, coming on an Arsenal forum and posting something like that would only seek to inflame matters and it wouldn’t add anything to the debate either. I’d sooner take part in a constructive debate rather than resort to hurling cheap insults, although I do admit that I’ve lost it a fair few times on here in the past lol.

  131. Pete,

    “M18 – I think “invest” is the wrong word. “Spend” is better. Can’t see how Mansour could conceivably expect a return on his “investment”?

    It’s long-term mate and I’m confident that he will get a significant return on his investment over the coming years. I appreciate that it might not seem too obvious from the outside but a lot of people appear to under-estimate just how much City is growing as a club.

    As for City’s ticket prices for Arsenal fans when we played you at home, I totally agree. Those prices are out of order and it only serves to jeopardise the numbers of away fans travelling to games in future. That’s not a good thing as away games are more enjoyable than home games IMO and it’s a tradition that needs to be preserved, not threatened.

  132. @ OldGroover – I heard she choked on her own boobs or something (after fighting that gruesome, ugly divorce case against mr. Marshall heirs, you know, him being 90 and dying 5 minutes after marrying her, etc.)

    @ M18 – that’s the honest truth. I think it actually puts you Man City fans in a much more sensible light instead of pretending to make lame excuses about the situation. That was what I initially meant when I first posted in this thread.

  133. TommieGun,

    Damn – do you realise how many hours of my life I’ve lost discussing this when that simple one liner could’ve done the trick lol?

    As for Anna Nicole Smith, I wouldn’t kick her out of bed. When she was alive of course – I’m not keen on necrophilia 😉

  134. TommieGun/M18CTID

    a)Just because I don’t like the way City and Chelsea have won there Trophies does not make me ‘jealous’. You could not be further from the truth.

    b)Just because I prefer to win Trophies on the back of our own self generated wealth does not make me ‘self righteous’

    c)Just because I have a preference as to how things are achieved, not only within football, but in life as a whole, does not make me sanctimonious.
    Jealous, self-righteous, Sanctimonious ?

    And all because I just don’t like, or agree with, how a football club is run.

    Take a look in the mirror lads.

  135. M18 – the long term is what you should consider with any buyer. How long before the Hijab becomes mandatory for women & alcohol free stadium gets mooted? Can a Brit reciprocate purchase in the UAE?

    There are always some bigots going to get into the picture and try to deviate from sport. Blatter & co have already reduced the World Cup to WC. We may enjoy the sport while its being shown but knowing the underlying ownership has a different agenda is scary.

  136. Mike T
    June 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    All four old divisions have a notional kick off time of 15.00 on a saturday. Nothing in your comment addresses why or how this convention of teams kicking off at the same time in the Football League evolved.

    Not a successful side-step.

    And of course you don’t agree with Mr.Corbyn. That much is obvious. Regardless of your opinion fortunately for Arsenal Football Club (see new stadium) and for the local residents he’s been the local M.P. for many decades. Voted in year after year.
    Perhaps if the governor of Siberia or wherever/the owner of Chelsea FC understood how it is that local government in this democracy works he would have had more success with those alternative sites in W.London, or with those Chelsea fans who block the sale of Stamford Bridge?

  137. menace,

    “How long before the Hijab becomes mandatory for women & alcohol free stadium gets mooted?”

    Are you talking specifically about Mansour and City here? I bloody well hope not because that’s tinfoil hat territory mate!

  138. More FFP discussion in our next article/series just published on Untold.
    The wider look. 😉

  139. M18.

    Time will tell whether or not Mansour does receive a return. From the outside looking in it does look doubtful, to put it mildly, but I can’t be sure!

    Yes – agreed on away ticket prices. Also think away allocations should be increased as well… but that’s another debate!

  140. M18CTID has basically said what I have been saying recently but broken it down in multiple post and so seems to have got a better reception. We are going round in circles. You suggest that City basically do what Everton do what have they won ? How often have they been in the champions league ? Will they loose Barkley ? Have they lost Rooney ? United having had what would normally be a season that would put back a team for years are going to blow more money than City perhaps ever have and will end up in the top four. Arsenal are good at spending little money but they pay the fourth highest wages usually and are usually fourth. If a youth player of high quality has the choice of almost any club he will probably pick the one that pays the most and has the best chance of winning stuff not rarely is it the one which because its team is rubbish will give him the most chances How do the poorer teams compete with that> City have a sound business model so regardless of the merits of FFP or morality or the merit of any other model What right does anyone else have to have a go or create regulation of City

  141. M18CtID

    yes not much point to be had in going around in circles, and yet you bring up the absence of debt as some sort of ‘proof’ that the G14 pushed this ruling. Do you not remember the discussion on debt earlier?

    That it becomes difficult, if not impossible to define debt as ‘good’ or ‘bad’? That debt is a legitimate business practice to grow a business, not just a millstone around its neck. The principle for excluding debt is probably largely the same as the principle for curbing the oilers’ excesses. “Why should everyone suffer for the actions of a few?”

    Just because ManU’s owners took them over in an LBO and drowned them in debt, why should clubs like Arsenal not be able to borrow money from banks to build their stadium, or even to buy a few players? Or to pay salaries? Why should clubs like Swansea not be able to get a cash infusion when they feel they need it.

    You argue for a cash infusion from a billionaire, which has no basis in business (unless you go on about long term. How long is long term, and how much is the opportunity cost of waiting that long?) and want to exclude clubs getting capital infusion from banks which they’ll get on the basis of a sound business plan and have to pay back? It won’t work. It’ll actually drive more clubs under if they are unable to borrow money when needed.

    I’ve said this before and am yet to hear a counter argument except that you seem to carry a chip on your shoulder regarding the big clubs and maintain that because FFP was first mooted (not announced) in a different form no change should have taken place. I mean get real man. How do you think legislation is drafted?

    Everyone argues for self interest. No one argues contrary to it. But that doesn’t make their arguments less valid by themselves. The majority of the football world agrees with FFP and blaming the G14 for it just makes you look petulant.

  142. Will

    No right at all, except City doesn’t have the right to play in a league without conforming to its rules.

    Sound business model. Do you even hear yourself. I guess you just believe the statements from your club. Well good on you, but the rest of the world defines business a little bit differently than you seem to.

  143. Debt is not always bad but owner funds is always better than debt there is no on going costs less risk. Our cash infusion from our owner is on a sound business basis I do not know what his time scale is but its of sound basis not for you or anyone else to determine how long that time frame should be I do not know what his time frame is and nor do you or UEFA. Anyway long term think is good and he is thinking long term so your just confusing me there. You must be blind or stupid if your fail to see our counter argument we have said it several times its. One rival clubs rival fans and an organizations run by probably thick ex footballers that are probably corrupt should not tell successful business people with the best experts around. Second it risks limiting competition and making football boring

  144. Shard we know that the Sheik is not a City fan We know City are going to break even then make money after that unless your going to say you do not believe the club in which case provide evidence. Anyone without bias can see things are a foot to make lots of money even if they are not so clear on how far this will go or the exact details or how much money it will make. So in what way is it not a business? Have you spoke with the people at city what can we go on other than there statements ? Anyway assuming our owner has other motives Walker at Blackburn had other motives Abramovich might have other motives FFP was not deemed need till we came along is that fair they did not win everything City have not won everything City wont spend all our owners money and cannot own all the players and are in no danger financially so whats the point in FFP. Guess it must be to stop other clubs being stupid enough to take on clubs they cannot compete with but should that not be for the clubs to decide ?

  145. Shard,

    I’m not saying clubs shouldn’t be able to go into debt because as you say there’s good and bad debt (and not all debt is bad of course), just that it’s funny that FFP in it’s final draft didn’t address debt in any form whatsoever.

    I don’t think there’s anything petulant in my comments about the G14/G18 clubs being the main driver in all this, especially as there are quotes from the president of UEFA himself basically admitting it:

    “It’s mainly the owners that asked us to do something. Roman Abramovich, Silvio Berlusconi at AC Milan and Massimo Moratti at Inter,” Platini said. “They do not want to fork out any more.”

    That was Platini himself in August 2009. That’s right, not some random paranoid City fan on the internet but Michel Platini of all people.

  146. Will Rickson

    You are hilarious. You do not know what the business plan is, and yet to you it is a legitimate business plan because your owner says so. I’ll tell you what his plan is. It’s been said many times. It’s to advertise his country to the world. Wealth begets wealth so he’s using your club to show off their economic power and hopes to get more visibility and publicity. That is his business plan and has nothing to do with football really. No bank, no investor would sanction the sort of spending he has in your club if it were to be about the football business.

    And the argument that allowing a few billionaires to distort the market and potentially hoard talent is aiding competition is just flabbergastingly ridiculous.

    Your billionaire still has the right to unrestricted spending in infrastructure under the FFP. He can also put in money in the team but this has limits. Which you think unfair, and the rest of the world doesn’t. Deal with it.

  147. Shard,

    “No right at all, except City doesn’t have the right to play in a league without conforming to its rules.”

    And that’s fair enough. I might not agree with the rules but I accept that they’re now in place and we have to conform to them. I think that City appear to be taking the rules a lot more seriously than PSG but perhaps we shouldn’t be judging PSG on the Luiz transfer alone and wait until the transfer window shuts to see what their net spend is before forming an opinion.

  148. M18

    And the rest of the ECA (more than 200 clubs) agreed with it in the end. I already agreed with you that self interest is a mover in anything. Why would you work if you stood to lose something rather than gain? That’s how things get done. So yes, the G14 are influential and self motivated. We agree on this and you know that. But you cannot ignore the fact that so are other clubs, and while some of them can be coerced or whatever, it doesn’t change the fact that they felt the need to act on it too. You cannot tell me an organisation of 200+ clubs was ridden roughshod by a dozen clubs simply to harm a handful of clubs, who just stood by and did nothing to coerce and dictate agenda themselves.

    Also, the ‘they do not want to spend anymore’ line should serve as a warning against more billionaires allowed to get involved. In the end they will all say the same and will have a truly exclusive club. I’ve also talked about that above so will not repeat it.

    Anyway. I’m done.

  149. Shard,

    What are you going to be saying about City’s business plan, or lack thereof, if we’re turning over record revenues and profits in the next 5 years? For one of the better posters on here, I think it’s pretty poor form for you to mock City’s plans going forward.

  150. Shard,

    Any chance of posting a link to how many ECA members voted in favour of it because I can’t seem to find it? Unlike Premier League FFP where we know exactly which teams voted for and against, I can’t see a breakdown anywhere.

  151. M18

    Accounting is magic. City will post profits. Your owner won’t have profited from ‘investing’ in City. Not directly anyway.

  152. I’m not going to look for that. It’s moot to me. You’re welcome to continue looking. It might make for a good discussion at some point.

  153. Despite the fact I do not think you will believe a word I say I will attempt to show How City will make lots and lots of money. Even tho I already have After doing that it should become clearly that whilst its not just about profit in the normal and direct sense City will make a profit in both sense of the meaning not that I have ever come across more than one real meaning of the word until now. Normal clubs make lots of money Arsenal Bayern United Real Barca etc yes ? Now City are doing some things that I think will add extra profit The Etihad campus which could go global if replicated in sister clubs or whatever you want to call NYCFC Melbourne City and Yokohama F Marinos. Now the Etihad campus idea combines sponsorship sport and leisure attractions and youth development all worth a fortune to any club. Think of something like a big shopping center / office area and sporting destination meets La Masia. Look at the plans for round the Etihad when Manchester wanted the Olympics. Now the other thing is these sister clubs city can rightly sell expertise to these clubs so that they perform better major companies sell intellectual property to themselves all the time. You cannot argue it has no value just like you cannot argue or so called fake sponsorship has not value note none of our deals whee down graded by FFP people.Aside from sharing costs and revenue these clubs could help us develop youth and sponsorship in their local markets.Finally I see City putting its brand on more products that clubs have before it was in the document and power point used to sell the club by Cook. City could become almost like a franchise brand. United nearly ended up having a line of energy drinks they have a few restaurants and hotels I think

  154. Even if City do not make A profit on the total investment if we break even or make a small profit year on year then we are not spending much more than other clubs. we could also argue we are adding competition to the clubs with the really big revenue by accepting lower profits. If we are just a tool for the UAE something we have not denied at least it means fake sponsorship according you not FFP people then it add competition and makes us financially stable if not legitimate.

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