The ECA and FFP punishments -2. “Doing an Arsenal”

By Walter Broeckx

In my article about how FFP rules came along I pointed at the ECA or the European Club Association. They have their own website where you can find a lot of details. And some details are rather interesting. They have different subcommittees and one of them is the Finances committee. Where they work on the financial rules. We have got the words from the vice chairman of that committee, Mr. Michael Verschueren from Belgium, that we will use in this article.

But an interesting fact is that if you look at the member of that committee you see that Arsenal is part of it (see how Arsenal tells us how FFP rules should be imposed you might say) but also Manchester City is part of that same committee or Working group as they call it. So sorry City fans you have as much to say about it in the working group as Arsenal.

But what is a fact and often forgotten by Manchester City fans is that the rest of European football world (apart from the other oilers of course) dislikes the way City is acting. I even could use stronger words to express how they really feel but they will only use such words ‘off the record’ in order to stay moderately polite. But you can believe me that most people in Europe feel very negative about the way clubs like City and Chelsea do their business.

On the other hand and I have mentioned this in the past more than once Arsenal is held in high regards in the  rest of Europe. I have lost count on how many times club directors have said that they wanted to “do an Arsenal”. Saying how they admire the project that Arsenal has started when building the Emirates and how this is the way football clubs should be working. Being self sustainable and still be able to be competitive.  Yes, the admiration for the Arsenal way of doing things is big. Very big! No, VERY BIG! Or should I put it like this: VERY BIG!!!!

Like it or not, the self sustainable Arsenal model is the model that the ECA wants to see used by all their members. Not that all their members want to use it. But the big majority supports the Arsenal way of running a club. And despises the Manchester City way of running a club.

So how does the Vice chair of the Working Group on Finances of the ECA look back on the first round of punishments in regards of the FFP rules from UEFA?

Mr. Michael Verschueren represents the clubs from the middle sized countries in the ECA. Countries like Belgium, Holland, Greece and a few others. Countries that some 10-15 years ago could compete for the CL trophy but since then the arrival of the oil man has made it virtually impossible for them to even come close to it. And that is one of their main working points and one of the main things they want to prevent. The fact that clubs and their supporters already give up before a ball is kicked. But that is they way it is now as clubs from those countries cannot compete with the oilers.

So basically one could say that it is those countries and the smaller countries that are the strongest in favour of FFP rules. As they have suffered most from the arrival of the oil man.

The ECA is very pleased that in the punishments imposed by UEFA there wasn’t just the fines part of the punishments. Just fining them would have been useless. Of course they just would pay it, not with a smile on their face of course as nobody really likes to pay fines, but it would mean nothing to them.

The ECA is pleased that UEFA has given a clear signal that it will implement the FFP for all the clubs. All clubs will be treated in the same way.

They were very pleased with the fact that the squad limitations imposed were given as part of the punishment. Paying the fines is a matter of a minute work to transfer the money. But having to deal with squad limitations is more difficult to do and potentially more harmful for the clubs that thought that FFP rules were not for them.

The hope is that this will bring some sense to the bigger clubs and in particular to the oil clubs. As Mr. Verschueren said: a big club like Real Madrid will always be able to buy a player for 100 million euros as they still will have more resources than a club from Belgium. That difference also existed 20-30 years ago but the gap between those clubs and the smaller clubs should be kept within reason. Now a club from a smaller country can almost forget about beating one of the big boys. But 10-15 years ago this happened and this is something that should return.

If clubs want to grow they must get the chance go grow and the growing should come from within the club itself.  Not from the outside.

Again I would like to say that these thought process is not what Arsenal is saying that should be done or what Untold is saying that should be done. It is what the majority of clubs in Europe think that should be done. Clubs including Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, and another more than 200 clubs.

But unfortunately, the best laid plans can go wrong, for just as this article is made ready for publication we hear that following an appeal by the players’ union Fifpro Uefa has agree to reduce its sanctions against Man City and Paris Saint-Germain.  The original punishment was for the clubs to have only 21 players with eight of those being “home grown”.  Gianni Infantino has just confirmed that the clubs will have to name only five homegrown players.

This is disappointing to those of us who supported FFP, but it should not be seen as the end of FFP.  Appeals are possible, and there is every chance that other approaches will be found to scale back the financial rampage of Man City and PSG.


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130 Replies to “The ECA and FFP punishments -2. “Doing an Arsenal””

  1. How is a club meant in a less league with less money meant to compete ? Would it not stand more chance if it had a sheik ? To make up for the massive difference in income ? How come it is lesser clubs in Belgium I believe that are backing the legal challenge? What right do other clubs have to judge City given the fantastic people running the clubs that are attempting things these special do it right clubs could only dream of and all whilst debt free ?

    I prefer to listen to our Chairmen and what he says in his end of year talk he says The City chairman said: ‘This year we will break even. Next year, we will make a profit. We have a sustainable project, we have zero debt and we don’t pay a penny to service any debt.

    ‘For me that’s a sustainable model. However, our friends at UEFA seem to believe otherwise. They have their view, we have ours. It will not compromise our strategy.

    ‘We will always do what is best for this club and the fans. If it means that we have to take a pinch then we will do so. But we know that we have the right model and will believe in the model.

    There is a philosophy with how we run our club and our football. Six years ago we embarked on this journey. It’s been a wonderful journey and today we are where we wanted to be six years ago. We have brought in both footballing success and commercial success and this model works.

    ‘Over six years, step by step, we have invested in this club. We have invested in top players around the world and continued on in our commercial strategy. We went on a commercial blitz over six years and have partners all over the world. We have offices in Kuala Lumpur and have signed 38 commercial agreements in the last two years.

    ‘I came to Manchester six years ago and we had 130 or 140 people working at City. We have gone a long way from that club six years ago to where we are today.’

    Could these clubs be taking a fake moral high ground in order to protect themselves ?

    Could lesser clubs be going along with it because of fear of a super league belief they cannot get an owner like City have ?

    Is it possible other clubs simply do not understand City the project ?

    Are City absent from any important things ?

  2. Will
    Looks like you’re in for another marathon session.
    There’s better things to do these next few weeks.
    Don’t miss tonight big match!

  3. Walter

    I’m not sure that it is entirely correct that the smaller nations’ inability to compete stemmed from the oilers. I think the Bosman ruling coupled with the explosion of football globally did that. However, the oilers have increased that divide and unchecked, would continue doing so.

  4. “Would it not stand more chance if it had a sheik ?”


    yes, sheikhs are so abundant in the world that all 200 of those clubs should just ‘find a sheikh’. Then everything would be alright. Do you even hear yourself.

    And listen. On your argument that every club should have the right to ‘oil up’ (or ‘find a sheikh’) Fine. They should. But all those clubs have signalled their willingness to give up that right in exchange for a more stable economic outlook.

    Only this seems to offend you because you cannot continue arm twisting anymore and now since every other club has banded together against the bullying tactics of clubs who have no need to run like a business, you portray this as if your club is a victim of bullying rather than the other way round.

    Give it up. You are only fooling yourself.

  5. @Will Rickson
    You are wasting your time trying to get us to agree with you mate. Let’s cut to the chase and describe the Man City ‘project’ in a nutshell.
    Great for Man City (at the moment?)…. Investment and trophies, ability to pay whatever is required to achieve those trophies.
    Detrimental in general for the rest of the clubs (bar Chelsea)….. Transfer fees and wages forced up (by Man City and Chelsea) to ridiculous levels, little chance of a trophy.

  6. And for all your hatred of the big clubs in England, your sheikh would never have come to England to purchase ManCity if England hadn’t had the most watched league in the world. No billionaire is going to go on an ego trip/advertisment campaign to a country where no one is watching. So there is no way Belgium/Norway/Portugal etc are going to get a global financier on that scale. They can’t just ‘find a shiek’ even if they were easy to find.

  7. ECA association a democratic association made up of 214 member clubs- Wrong an association made up of 214 clubs where only 105 can vote!

    My understanding that whilst ECA, as a body, support FFP in terms of its implementation and indeed its management the association plays no part .

    As usual a finger is pointed at of the likes Chelsea & Man City being the reason that clubs outside the big 5 countries have won the CL. The truth is that the last such team was Ajax in 1994 some 10 years before RA rolled up at Chelsea and what 16 years before Man Citys owner turned up.

    The CL as we know it( 32 teams in the group stage) was introduced in 1994. Meaning that the huge TV monies alongside the prize money that the CL delivers weren’t there prior. As I said earlier Ajax were the last team country from a outside the top 5 nations to win the trophy.

  8. It’s a shame that “doing an Arsenal” doesn’t extend to paying it’s employees a living wage rather than the minimum wage. A quick look at the living wage league table shows a certain club in East Manchester at the top and Arsenal are somewhere near the bottom. Interestingly Tottenham are in second place so fair play (pardon the pun) to them. Is it really too much of a burden to pay your non-footballing employees £8.80 an hour (the recommended living wage for London)?

  9. Will,

    stop. You make me cry. Poor City. If only they would understand the sheik a bit better.
    Or if only the sheikh could do with them like he could do with anyone who opposes him in his own country….

    The answer is one word: D E M O C R A C Y!

  10. @Shrad

    You pose an interesting question regarding ownership of Man City and I guess by default you include Chelsea.

    But perhaps you can answer this. Why would American businessmen want to buy shares in an English Club? Ego? or perhaps potentially something else?

  11. Mike T

    Ummm.. Porto? Unless you count Portugal as ahead of France in the top 5, although that would be the first I’ve heard of ranking in that order. England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France are how I’ve seen it.

    However, you are correct that it isn’t just the oilers that have caused this. I said much the same. You are also right about the CL money. But I think it is the growth in certain leagues that has made the bigger difference than the CL money. It is a higher percentage of the earnings, and most clubs have not had perennial qualification for the CL. Others have come in and dropped back out. So I think CL money is less of the cause than global growth of leagues in England and Spain and now Germany, where once Italy held the maximum clout.

  12. Of course there are not enough sheiks for all the clubs but there are lots of wealthy individuals with a love for football. Shard you state that clubs have signalled their willingness to give up that right to rich owners spending what they choose in exchange for a more stable economic outlook. In what way is regulating those that no best about what they can and cannot afford by there rivals achieving financial stability. Especially when one of the most punished clubs has no debt and the richest owner the biggest potential project and so potential for biggest rise in revenue. Your local shop owner does not need government or supermarket trade body regulation to tell him he cannot afford to spend what Tesco do. But equally he should not have Tesco tell him he cannot spend more than he can earn at this moment in time from his own money so that he can catch up with Tesco by accepting losses to instead of profits to invest and grow revenue

  13. Mike T,

    Funny how you should mention that as it’s been puzzling me for a fair while. Anyway, you can’t say that about Stan Kroenke because the way some Arsenal fans bang on you’d be forgiven for thinking he grew up a stone’s throw from Highbury, stood on the North Bank as a child, built his own business up from the humble beginnings of a corner shop in Islington (which is contrary to reports that he earned a considerable proportion of his wealth simply by marrying into one of the richest families in the USA), and bought his shares in Arsenal not for the intention of cashing in for a profit further down the line but because of his lifelong love of the club and his determination to do things “the right way” unlike those nasty bastards over at City and Chelsea.

  14. @ Shrad

    The top 5 based countries in Europe based on UEFa ratings are:

    Spain, England, Germany, Italy & then Portugal (France are 6th)

    In relation to the top 10 clubs Portgual have 2 in the top 10 rated (Porto & Benfica)

  15. Mike T

    Business. Football is a business. That American actually has a sports business empire. Unlike the owners of Chelsea and City, I believe he actually wants to profit from his ownership. Like he profits from his other sports businesses. For this I believe he (and others like Liverpool’s owners) will push for clubs being allowed to sell their own tv rights (Kroenke’s first shares where in the broadband arm)

    And yes, there is a factor of visibility involved too. Being in London in the most watched league in the world gives him some leverage with his other projects.

    I know what you are hinting here. That he is using his stake in Arsenal as collateral in drawing debt from banks. Now I don’t know the legal stance here, but there is absolutely no evidence to support that notion. No harm in being vigilant but so far, Kroenke has done exactly what Arsenal agreed to prior to the sale.

    Do you dispute though what I said to Will? That leagues such as Belgium’s are unlikely to get a backer at that level when the world simply isn’t watching? Russia is a prime example of how supposedly big money isn’t really all that big without global viewership.

  16. M18

    I did not grow up a stone’s throw from Highbury, never stood in the North Bank, have no business or filial interests in Islington and recognise that football is business. It’s one of the things of being a global football club that makes such things less important than the ‘patriarchal’ form of fandom. It is irrelevant to me where Kroenke is from, as indeed it is where your sheikhs are from. What is relevant is what they do.

  17. M18,
    yes I agree that Arsenal could and should pay their cleaning people higher wages. As should all the other clubs.
    Nicky his gran, who cleans at the Emirates would love a raise. So I assume that at City the cleaners get double the living wage? Or do they also get the minimum wage?
    Couldn’t really find it in the article you linked to. If I can believe a sentence from the article on page 2, NO PL club pays the living wage. Including Man City.
    The only good marks you got is that the club had a meeting with those people asking the living wage. But you don’t pay them yourselves. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical? Look how great we are. We have spoken to the representatives of the poor people. We even got 3 points for that. But we don’t pay up. Despite us being the richest club on earth…. (us = City in this case)

    Apart from that I support the demand of paying the living wage and not the minimum wage. It is a good cause to fight for.

  18. Will

    If Tesco and the local shop owner planned to open a shopping mall together (albeit with different sized shops) and had an agreement to respect each others rules, then the local shop owner would have to listen to Tesco and their complaints about financial mismanagement.

    But you seem to portray City as the little shop owner. Which is ridiculous. You are the nation threatening to open its own superstores, buying all of tesco’s prime stock and pushing up employment and inventory costs for the local shop owner.

  19. Shrad

    Interesting what you say about TV rights for I was going to post yesterday about league gate recipts prior to 1983 and how change was forced through.

    I have no doubt that some owners are now rubbing their hand with glee about the potential to take money out of their clubs and personaly I think that will ruffle more than a few feathers.

    Of course the smaller leagues don’t attract as many foreign owners , the reason they don’t is they are just that,they are smaller leagues with little support outside the community or indeed the country. That attraction spreads to the fans as well. I guess Walter is an example of the wider global appeal of a club in one of the very big global leagues.

  20. Fining these clubs isn’t going to work as they have so much money.
    What they should do is penalise them by deducting points from them in the league stages.
    Deduct one point for a first offence. If the club returns to FFP then in the following season it starts from a level position with no deduction. On the other hand, if the club continues to break the FFP rules then it is deducted 2 points. Continue raising the level of the deduction until there is no point in the club overspending as they will not derive any benefit from it.

  21. Walter,

    What part of “We were pleased that Manchester City met with us so readily. They listened to us and committed to the Living Wage. They
    made an executive decision to become a Living Wage organisation and they have moved to pay their directly employed
    staff the Living Wage, including all apprentices and interns” do you not understand?

    Oh dear – you must do better

  22. Of course there are not enough sheiks for all the clubs but there are lots of wealthy individuals with a love for football.

    Really? Where are they? Why have they not come out and bought all the clubs already? And why are such clubs not winning the league titles? There’s been no FFP before.

    And isn’t it self evident where the stability will come from without the distorting effects of a wealthy individual distorting the market? You argue for the instability that they bring anyway when you argue for City, and for breaking up the ‘status quo’. Most clubs know they can never get a backer with the wherewithal and willingness to buy their way to the top. Some indeed fall hoping for such an eventuality. Most others prefer to have stability and plan their business growth. Shocking isn’t it? And so outrageous. How dare they plan their progress?!

  23. On which page is this M18?

    I read on page two a big headline saying “NO PL club or any other league club …..”
    I can’t help it that it is later contradicted in the smaller text that I didn’t completely read.

  24. The living wage thing isn’t a good debate to get into especially bearing in mind I posted about last week a link pointing out that one EPL club were not even paying the NMW and being fined £20k

    A little clue which club. They employ over 3000 match day staff.

  25. Shard,

    It was in response to your comment that the Sheikh wouldn’t have bought a club in a lesser league. I was merely pointing out that exactly the same applies to Kroenke. As for the line that “What is relevant is what they do” well I’d be far more suspicious of Kroenke’s intentions because it’s clear he’s only using Arsenal to make money and has no desire to invest any of his own cash in the club and infrastructure. He doesn’t give a monkey’s toss about your average Arsenal fan, just about how much money he can earn off the back of Arsenal FC.

  26. Shard you said the following Football is a business. That American actually has a sports business empire. Unlike the owners of Chelsea and City, I believe he actually wants to profit from his ownership. Like he profits from his other sports businesses.And yes, there is a factor of visibility involved too. Being in London in the most watched league in the world gives him some leverage with his other projects. This to my mind equally applies to our owner as well as your own. Also I do not think that the hint you suggested was being made was in fact being made at all in fact I do not even know why you thought it was. Whilst Belgium say is unlikely to get a Russian oligarch or a sheik. They might get a wealthy Belgium prepared to suffer losses to compete with clubs with bigger revenues in better leagues

  27. M18

    I haven’t read the article, but a ‘commitment’ isn’t the same as doing. Africa is still waiting on billions of dollars committed to it.

    Secondly, while it is a noble pursuit, you bringing it up in the spirit of one upmanship is not. City have no need to cut costs and run as a business (outside of FFP) Argue about time scales all you want but City’s management doesn’t come under the normal definition of business. They have no need to turn profits, no need to charge anyone ticket prices, and at the same time their policies have pushed up the costs for other clubs, including Arsenal. So these gleeful plays of one upmanship when it comes to ticket prices or living wages, when looking at Arsenal must also come with a rider that Arsenal are not alone in whatever they are accused of, and that their actions do not exist in an economic vacuum.

  28. Does the sheikh give a toss about you m18? 😉
    If so ask him to lower the petrol prices 🙂

  29. Shard,

    I’ve never seen so much one upmanship as I have on these pages from Arsenal fans about doing things “the right way” (pass me the sick bag please), so you can’t expect me to bend over and take it without questioning it. Is that clear?

  30. M18 and Will

    Be suspicious all you want, it is irrelevant to the debate on FFP. Kroenke’s actions do not destabilise the market. City’s and Chelsea’s owners do. The football world has chosen to react to that destabilisation. What is hard to understand there except your sense of injustice accompanying it?

    The debate on Kroenke and his possible intentions is a separate debate.

    And Will.. There are other ways of growing as a club than just getting a wealthy benefactor to run at losses. You don’t like it because your club couldn’t do it. Arsenal did, so I like it. I like the fact that clubs grow on their own merits.

    The systems of rewarding that merit can perhaps be debated and worked at being better. Both the EPL model and the La Liga model have different models of rewarding merit, but they are both at least, based on merit. Wealthy benefactors are not based on merit. If anything they tend to reward poor performance since those clubs are cheaper and easier to buy. So while that is ok by you,it isn’t what I’d prefer, and the fact that an unworthy club gets lucky and then preaches to others to follow the same example, in my view leads to the ruin of the game if they are heard and followed.

    Let’s just agree to disagree.

  31. Walter
    You may be onto something there.
    Perhaps the oilers offer some sort of petrol discount card to season ticket holders.
    Do we get anything for airline travel?

  32. Shard you say that I am arguing for instab8ility by arguing City and other should be allowed to have rich owners and break up the status quo. I thought the instability we where talking about was financial and was about clubs going bust usually without rich owners and usually with debt. neither apply to city in any case breaking up the status quo is normally called increased competition and makes for a better and more interesting league

  33. Walter,

    I don’t own a car so petrol prices are irrelevant to me. Good to see that your marathon journey over to the Emirates for the FA Cup Final screening resulted in you putting a fair few quid in his pocket though 😉

  34. M18

    We at Untold are proud of what Arsenal has achieved, without the backing of a benefactor to buy us the best talent that money can buy, without the state giving us a larger stadium to play in, and without being given enough credit for this in at least the British media.

    Your club cannot claim to have done these things. So you set out to find little nuggets of information meant to show that Arsenal don’t do everything ‘the right way’. As if that changes the initial point of debate one bit. No one said Arsenal is perfect.

    Be sick on your own Club’s blog if it offends you that much, but your musings here are not going to change the feelings of pride associated with Arsenal’s achievements, nor the enormity of those achievements.

  35. Oh well if my boss would only pay me more than the minimum wages I would buy myself an electric car 😉

  36. Will

    Instability in breaking up the status quo was only achieved through causing instability in the economics of football.

    An oligarchy that destroys an older big business does not stand for greater competition. Stop deluding yourself. City are as self interested as they come so stop parroting your owner as some beacon of truth even as you portray the other clubs as evil self interested businessmen.

  37. One of the reasons the premier league has done so well is because of the rich owners. Its made the league more competitive more interesting and that has resulted in more views and more income for those lovely frugal clubs like yourselves

  38. Yes. Poor Arsenal were struggling so much before Abramovich and the SHeikh showed up..

  39. Shard which club has ended up in financial trouble because of City ? Have clubs also not been given lots and lots of money by city in mistaken early ownership. Perhaps we should have every club finish in the same position ever year so there is no instability thats the logical result of your assertion.

  40. Shard,

    “Let’s just agree to disagree.”

    I agree (or is that disagree?)

    Just one point though regarding badly run clubs winning the lottery. That’s fair enough, but why attack the fans for how badly they were run previously? It’s not our fault that Peter Swales ruined our club over the course of 20 years, or Pompey fans fault that they had a succession of shit owners, or Leeds fans fault that Ridsdale mortgaged their club up to the hilt, or dare I say Arsenal fans fault that they have to pay the highest season ticket prices in world football (believe you me, I have a lot of empathy for Arsenal fans regarding that particular issue).

    So if you’ve a serious issue with what City (or any other club for that matter) are doing then take it up with the club directly rather than attack the fans who are the innocent party in all this.

  41. There is politeness and manners but they have patience. What i see reading back through these pages is not an open minded debate on the merits of FFP. Merely City fans out to claim that they are being wronged and sometimes through frankly ridiculously stupid arguments.

    FFP is flawed. Can be improved perhaps. Might have some unintended consequences. And doesn’t take away the difference between rich and poor clubs because nothing will.

    But FFP is absolutely correct in trying to stop instability caused due to spending that is unsustainable (through football), monopolistic, and predatory.

    The ownership models and its morality are open to more debate and I doubt there is any right answer there, but only one rewards merit, and I personally prefer that to the sop based model which passes off as business according to some.

  42. M18

    When did I blame fans for that? I blame fans for acting as if their club is now the paragon of fairness and the example to be followed and refusing to see the effects of their current owners actions on the rest of football. And their pretense that they are poor victims of the actions of evil clubs out for ‘only’ profit.

    I preferred City to win the title in part because their fans are generally better and fair, having seen bad times. But honestly, I am beginning to question that contention.

  43. M18CTID,
    ah the highest season ticket price coming out again…. sigh… For the umpteenth time this highest season tickets also includes the first 6 CL/FA cup matches and if you take that in account we are cheaper than Tottenham per match.

    Of course we would loved them to be lower. Maybe we can ask the sheikh in his goodness to provide a discount. After all he has the best of interests in mind for City, for football in general, for the fans, for the whole world. If I can believe some City fans he is a pure saint. 😉 Now for that American guy…

  44. Mike T

    Getting back to where we were. Hmmm.. I will be in the minority in terms of football fans, but I don’t necessarily see a problem with owners taking money out of clubs.

    (Note the word, necessarily)

    In and of itself, profit is supposed to be a motivating factor for working and improving. If there is no profit to be made, why would a businessman run his company and work to get it to its fullest potential?

  45. Perhaps we should have every club finish in the same position ever year so there is no instability thats the logical result of your assertion.

    You don’t understand logic do you?

  46. Shard,

    “There is politeness and manners but they have patience. What i see reading back through these pages is not an open minded debate on the merits of FFP. Merely City fans out to claim that they are being wronged and sometimes through frankly ridiculously stupid arguments.

    FFP is flawed. Can be improved perhaps. Might have some unintended consequences. And doesn’t take away the difference between rich and poor clubs because nothing will.

    But FFP is absolutely correct in trying to stop instability caused due to spending that is unsustainable (through football), monopolistic, and predatory.

    The ownership models and its morality are open to more debate and I doubt there is any right answer there, but only one rewards merit, and I personally prefer that to the sop based model which passes off as business according to some.”

    Fair enough mate – I can’t disagree with the above.

    “I preferred City to win the title in part because their fans are generally better and fair, having seen bad times. But honestly, I am beginning to question that contention.”

    We’re not that bad really. Well, most of us aren’t – we do have some idiots in our support like any other club and no doubt if we continue to be successful we’ll attract more plastics and JCL’s as well. I’d put your possible change in view of us down to the internet and how things can escalate a lot easier than if it was a face-to-face discussion. If you and me were having this conversation down the pub over a pint, I would absolutely guarantee that it would’ve been more civilised and perhaps I shouldn’t bite as much and remember that I’m posting on a rival club’s blog.

  47. Tony,
    Off-topic I know but I wish you would consider changing part of the page introducing Untold each day. In particular the silly remark attributed to Arsene which, if true, I’m sure he now regrets.
    To say that “anything in life should be done so well so as to make it an art form” is so untrue it doesn’t bear repeating.

  48. @Shard

    I have tried to follow this debate through a number of threads, “tried” – because of traveling disrupting my UA visits!

    I must say I am impressed, as always, with your logic and patience. Unfortunately some of the fans from other clubs have their heads so for into the realms of unreality that they seem fairly impervious to logical debate and have long ago resorted to cyclic distraction.

    I am not sure about owners taking money out of clubs, I know you qualified your comment, but certainly in the present circumstances when Arsenal are struggling to compete with the obscenely rich market distorting clubs it would not be a good time for the owner to take money out – and I realize you were talking in hypothetical terms rather than Arsenal as of now.

  49. M18

    Fair enough and yes I guess the internet amplifies disagreements and stupidity. Maybe next time I’m in Manchester we can share a pint at a pub. Just promise to not bring your fellow City supporters to knock some sense into me 🙂

  50. Another attempt of (unpoular) opinion regarding money, FFP, the Sheikh and competition.

    FFP, as I understand it (and as proclaimed by UEFA) intends to deal with cases whereby clubs would go bankrupt due to overspending, resulting in players (and other employees) not getting their salaries, clubs going into receivership, etc. That’s the main goal and no one could contend that forcing clubs into a break-even model would accomplish that.

    The secondary goal is improving competition. Here, some contentions might be made that although the FFP COULD improve compeition, it could also hamper competition (same arguments being heard by monopolistic companies that call for total free market theory; my knowledge regarding theoretical finance is very limited, but from what I know those contentions are usually rejected – that’s why all OECD countries have some sort of Antitrust authority).

    I am willing to accept the proposition that City, KGB and PSG are clubs that are not concerned with the main goal of FFP (at least as long as the benefactor is there and doesn’t want to put his money in a new toy).

    So we remain with competition. Unlimited money means that players in a certain market can make moves that are financialy, or business-wise, are unreasonable. They can do it because they can afford it, in a way that other players cannot. It does not mean that I can afford a 50 pound suit and you can only afford a 20 pound suit. That’s not the problem. The problem is that if we are having a racing contest, I can throw money at bystanders in the hope that they will run after the money and get in your way, helping me win the race. That behavior is not reasonable [the example is extreme on purpose].


    All those arguments are not relevant to the identity of the benefactor and a lot of you guys are confusing two very different things. Too much money is as bad as it would come from an organization whose purpose is to feed poor children in 3rd world countries. A club can be subjected to financial bullying even if it’s main shareholder is a dictator or despot.

    The fact that the Sheikh comes from a country that treats some people as property is not the issue. It’s not the issue how Roman made his money. I am against this kind of discussion because it has no end, it’s totally a matter of taste and is completly subjective.

  51. bjt

    I think it will happen and I think Mike T is correct that FFP might (eventually) lead to that possibility.

    The only way taking money from dividends is a viable regular practice is if there are regular profits to be declared. The way to assure yourself of profits is to limit your costs at a lower level than your predicted or desired growth in income. FFP limits costs indirectly, or at least makes the rise in costs slower.

    This should then free up some funds as profit.

    Why I qualified acceptance of dividends is because assured profits also means less work needs to be done to get these profits. Owners, especially those in for the short term, could just as easily forget that profit is also supposed to have a component of retained earnings, which are to be reinvested in the business for its expansion.

    Whether the FFP makes clubs so profitable as to pay taxes, retain some earnings and also pay dividends high enough to make it a worthy investment is debatable. I doubt it. However, it is more than likely that at some stage owners will look to use their shareholding for profits directly.

    It must be said though that nothing stops owners from taking money out now. Kronke simply has to pay himself an inflated salary (well, the board has to agree) . this is what the Glazers do (apart from taking dividends) and I think what Randy Lerner did at Aston Villa. (He also charged the club high interest rates for the money he gave to them)

  52. Still do not know what instability City cause? Even if I thought FFP was perfect in both form and structure with no chance of a negative impact on competition I just do not see what right anyone has to tell anyone how to run there business Here we disagree since we see City as a business you do not. I am right you are wrong.

  53. @Shrad

    Any good business will try to keep its tax liability as low as it can legally get away with. There really isn’t a lot of merit restricting investment if all you are going to do is line the tax mans pocket.

    I have tried to point people toward the shift in the landscape in terms of how the TV deal will make such a vast difference to clubs finances this year .Bear in mind that most clubs will be receiving way in excess of £25 million a season more

    I found it very interesting that clubs in the EPL, voted for FFP meaning that much of the additional money they will get from that enhanced deal cant be spent on wages. There is little evidence that clubs (excluding Man City) will be spending additional tens of millions on infrastructure so what is going to happen to that money? Yes I guess over a year or two clubs will reduce some of their debts but what then?

  54. @ Will

    Some honestly believe the fact that Chelsea & then Man City were paying such high wages and transfer fees dis advantaged other clubs it is an opinion that same will say the numbers prove the argument but that argument fails to take into account .Factors such as the growth in third party ownership the global growth in pay for view football, transfer fee and wage history as a % of turnover pre RA.
    Its a valid argument if you are seeking satisfaction or perhaps should I say an excuse.

  55. Will

    We’ve been over this. No one has a right to tell City what they can or cannot do, but then City have no right to compete with other clubs either. FFP doesn’t stop you from spending the UAE’s entire GDP if you want. It simply states that in such a scenario they will not include you in their competition.

    City is a business, but City is not a football business. The football business does not pay for itself and does not rationally justify the level of ‘investment’. You might be ok with that and that’s fine. No problem, but other clubs don’t like it and that’s their take on it. What right do you have to tell them they can’t pass and agree to whatever rules they want?

  56. Mike T

    I was referring to the Uefa FFP rather than the PL one, but you are correct that there will be a lot more money coming in in the PL and it is unclear what these clubs would do with that money since they cannot increase wages by more than 4m a year using the TV funds.

    I don;t know what you mean by reducing tax. Aren’t dividends paid after tax is deducted from profits? Or do you mean that the money extracted from clubs to pay their owners will be paid in forms other than dividends?

  57. So now its about the rights of other clubs telling us what to do. Those rights never use to extend to financing of the clubs they compete against what changed?It was always about the rules of the game offside etc surely what about financial stability what instability have we brought other than more competition? Lets for argument sake say Manchester City will never make any money. What if Melbourne City NYCFC and the other clubs make money What if the tourist attraction makes money in part due to Manchester City making people notice it giving them an extra reason to go there etc. What if Cities global scouting and academy network makes money what if city products make money Should city not be allowed to us that money to improve the football team whoes success costly and loss making as it may be is essential for the others

  58. Its often said the fans know best they live for there football club I do not think a city fan would come on here and tell you they know more about Arsenal than you. And i suspect you believe most if not all of what the club says and does. Yet your asking us to believe you over what we think and what our owner says and does regarding our financial stability with no evidence or qualifications or expertise. Do you not think that is laughable whats more if FFP is about protecting clubs from financial issues why fines why no debt mentioned why wages not looked at more closely why nothing to do with bank balances.Also as it is city fans that will suffer if the club goes down financially do you not find it odd that we are so against it and not in fact for it after all our club is in so much danger (sarcasm)How are other clubs or UEFA in a position to judge our stability better than that of our owner CEO etc bare in mind for a second We have Soriano on our pay role the man that cut costs and trebled revenue at Barcelona amongst some highly rated academy and sporting director type people

  59. Mike T & Shard,

    “I found it very interesting that clubs in the EPL, voted for FFP meaning that much of the additional money they will get from that enhanced deal cant be spent on wages.”

    Maybe the clubs are planning to use some of the extra money to help the fans out and subsidising ever increasing ticket prices (that’s aimed at every club including City by the way)? Then I awoke from my dream and faced up to the reality that there isn’t the remotest possibility that this will happen 😉

    I’m intrigued myself as to why some of the lesser clubs voted for the PL FFP. I’ve no doubt that bringing spiralling costs down would’ve played a part but you wonder whether some canny chairmen and owners did it for an ulterior motive to enable them to cream off some more money for themselves while using FFP as an excuse for not investing in players. Example: Fans of a lower/mid-table club complain that their club hasn’t bought any new players for the season ahead, so the club issue a statement along the lines of “We have to reign in our spending – it’s these new FFP rules you see. By the way, we’re putting your season tickets up another 5% despite the fact that we received an extra £25 million in TV revenue last season”

  60. Will

    “So now its about the rights of other clubs telling us what to do”

    Only because you brought up rights as if they are absolute.

    And learn to use paragraphs. It makes trawling through your comments even more tedious than it otherwise would be.

    Having trawled through that, what are you on about in your first comment? This might surprise you but a normal conversation is supposed to follow a bit of a logical movement from one statement to another. I can’t keep following you down infinite rabbit holes.

    As for your second post, enough with the debt thing, I ave explained the problems in legislating for that and yet you prat on about it completely ignoring that. I have also said that self interest exist so i don’t discount that factor entirely. Like you seem to for City and its fans, as if your arguing all this time and energy for just fairness. Who do you think you are fooling?

    You seem to believe that since FFP doesn’t make all clubs equal, the absence of FFP will. The two don’t follow from each other you know.

    Having no FFP will not lead to a fairer more competitive league as you seem to argue, it’ll simply lead to City being able to increase their dominance and harm the competition as and when they please. Whether that is their intent or not is irrelevant. They could. All you are angry about is that FFP has stopped your access to your daddy’s credit card and instead forces you to accept a regular allowance, pocket money, which would still be sizeable, and daddy would still take care of your housing and your education and living expenses. You’ll just have less toys and will need to think about how and when to purchase them. Oh how unfair!

    And if you believe that City, the football club, is being run as a business in and of itself, please do not start up a business.

  61. @Shrad

    What I was trying to get over is that in there is little value in declaring huge profits , and thus paying Corporation Tax unless it is being doing with the aim of shareholders ultimately getting something out of it.
    Just about any other business I can think about in such circumstances ie not paying dividends, would be looking to significantly improve their asset base.

    Arsenal aren’t going to build another stadium and the training and medical facilities are already up there so, unless there is a shareholder reason to declare vast profits in football terms that would mean buying players.

    It may be that high profits will lead to share values increasing, it may well be that with profits do indeed come dividends ,it may well be a combination of both!

    I have no idea of the position in terms of any retained losses but there is no doubt Arsenal have produced remarkable financial results over the last few years so probably will be required to pay money over to the taxman.

    Forget all this about not being able to spend the cash reserves in full or even in part for very few clubs or indeed any business would have the level of cash reserves as a % of turnover that Arsenal have.

    Irrespective as Tony pointed out very few clubs pay transfer fees in full as a one off. If you like most players are purchased via HP.

    Excuse the pun but the bottom line is that Arsenals balance sheet reflects a sizeable profit. A profit is one thing but the financial model that is constantly applauded is delivering unheard of profits in UK football.

    Arsenals board have drip fed the bad news in terms of not being able to compete but the accounts, the profits and borrowing capacity that Arsenal have show otherwise. That can only mean either an unwillingness to spend or the profits are being delivered for another reason.

  62. Will,
    welcome to the world.
    It is always about someone else telling you what rights you have. In traffic, in tax paying, in football…
    There are always institutions that will make up rules to tell you what you are allowed and what not.

    Did you have your hair cut already like the big leader? As that is the other option…

  63. M18

    I wouldn’t put it past them, but I don;t think every owner is that short termist. Missing out on fans (especially a generation that might follow) through increasing ticket prices is fraught with danger. Especially in a global world. Right now they get away with it because people (you included) attach a higher value to supporting a club from their local area. But millions do not do that and in fact it is these millions who have contributed to the growth of the clubs. People might just decide to watch other sports or other leagues if it gets too bad. Most successful businessmen, despite being profit hungry, are not stupid enough to kill the goose.

    And TV hates empty stadia. In fact if the money from TV keeps increasing in future, I think they might even include a caveat about lower ticket prices being part of the deal.

  64. Mike T,
    I have heard that Arsenal will upgrade their youth academy Hale End in the near future.

    For Arsenal supporters and regular Untolders,
    I think our dear friends of the AAA will go mad about it. 🙂 Spending another few millions on the kids… 🙂

  65. Shard,

    Oh, I’m not suggesting every owner would do such a thing but it’s possible that some would. We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out of course.

    And re: “In fact if the money from TV keeps increasing in future, I think they might even include a caveat about lower ticket prices being part of the deal.”, I really think this should’ve been done when the current TV deal or Premier League FFP was signed off. The Football Supporters Federation is doing a lot of excellent work in at least trying to get prices for away fans reduced and some clubs have adopted a reciprocal pricing policy but there’s a long way to go yet. Also, the Premier League gave every club £200,000 last season to subsidise travelling fans and will be doing the same for the next 2 seasons but you have to wonder why the clubs themselves couldn’t have coughed the money up, given that it represents a tiny amount of what each club receives in TV revenue (about 0.33% of what the bottom club gets and 0.2% the top club receives)

  66. Mike T

    I think your reasoning on profits and their relation to the likelihood of dividends is sound, although I wasn’t aware we were going to focus entirely on Arsenal.

    I’m not sure I understand you completely but I’ll try responding to you one paragraph at a time.

    Arsenal actually are now going to build new infrastructure on the Hale End academy, have new office areas for increased data analytics. So there’s that. Even though it is a one off thing.

    Agree with your second paragraph on Arsenal. Higher share values and dividends. Both are possible. There has been speculation that Kroenke will then get out and sell to Usmanov/any one else, but his track record doesn;t suggest he’s looking to do that (If Usmanov had control, I’d say he would exit for a profit on his shares)

    Arsenal made profits in alternate years I think. Don’t exactly remember. Most of those profits came from player sales. This was prior to the commercial deals in place now though. And the new TV deal of course.

    There is definitely a provision for retaining some cash reserves in the accounts. Swiss Ramble (who doesn’t always get everything right,but is well respected) I think quantified that as around 40m (not exactly, something near that)

    However, we now have cash reserves, as per last season’s figures of over 120m, which excludes the ring fenced amounts.

    Now here’s the thing. Those cash reserves have been the cause of much debate and ire. Here’s my interpretation of why it hasn’t been used so aggressively.

    – It was a safety measure to guard against a prolonged loss in CL money.

    – Reluctance to spend all our savings before we knew where our next income was coming from and how much it’ll be.

    – Considerations that Nike and Emirates underpaid us for years with those front loaded deals precisely because they knew we needed the money. So keep the money so as to not be bullied by sponsors again and letting them use your need as a means to undervalue your brand.

    – Players that we tried to buy with our budgets (remember the money is as big now only because it wasn’t spent in large amounts. It wasn’t always so huge) Reina, Jones, Mata, Hazard, Gotze, there were probably more. We were rarely outbid on transfer fees, but on wages (and in some cases the player’s desire to move elsewhere) Which shows to me that we wanted to spend the money either on players of huge quality who will help us step up our level, or spend it on players who we absolutely need, such as Arteta and Gervinho.

    – In terms of not just spending money for spending’s sake, the eventual promise of FFP on the horizon would also have contributed to the decsion that holding off on spending 15m (and a payment commitment for 5 years) now, would lead to the ability to buy a player worth 40m in the future.

    Now not everyone believes this, but here is what I find in favour of the above argument.

    – The club increasingly went from buying younger players with resale value to buying players like Arteta, Mertesacker , Giroud, who would likely have little to no resale value.

    – The selling our best players every year stopped in the past 2 years.

    – The club themselves have been pushing the message that with the new deals they now have money to spend, and unlike before, the last two financial statements have come with a clear summary of how much our cash reserves are. Basically the message has changed from we find it hard to compete, to we can now compete with almost anyone.

    – We bought Ozil, just when most supporters of the Arsenal model were saying the shackles would begin to be let loose. We’ll see what happens this summer although it is not just a question of money since a player’s availability depends on other factors too. Chelsea or City would have bought Messi by now if that weren’t the case.

    Arsenal’s model is respected widely, and you say that is wrong because they turn profits? As if that is a bad thing and losses are the way to go. However, as I said, those profits came from player sales, and as such were a temporary measure. Arsenal are respected and vaunted because they took that short term pain to build their own stadium even as they managed to stay among the top, and especially when faced with competition from clubs like yours that increased their spending just when Arsenal had to restrict theirs.

    Those cash reserves will be dipped into more and more now that the commercial deals are in place. At least that is what I expect reading into the club’s message. I know Will is going to jump in and say I believe everything they say, but that isn’t it. Arsenal have no need to aggressively push an agenda and then do the opposite. It makes it harder for them, especially since an air of cynicism already surrounds the club.

    So I reject your contention that it can only mean something sinister (you imply that) A reluctance to spend in fairly easily explained. Despite it being at odds with most other clubs in the league, it is actually very reasonable behaviour. Of course, the key is to change the mindset from austerity mode to spending mode and we’ll see how it goes.

    I’m touched you take such an interest in Arsenal’s affairs and have concern over our cash reserves but I assure you, I am not blind to the cause for concern, even as I’m not blind to the genuine reasoning behind it.

    Lastly, you insist on calling me Shrad in every comment addressed to me. Why is that?

    PS. As an aside, I have a book on Arsenal written in 2003, so way before the finances became an issue in the public eye (or an ‘excuse’), and among other financial bits in there it Wenger himself says that he bought Pascal Cygan (french defender) only because there was no more money. We bought Cygan for 2m pounds in summer 2002, after winning the double. The stadium build project had already begun in 2001 (and had a setback when banks cut funding later) Finances have been a big problem for Arsenal for over a decade. And it is because Arsenal have tided them over with minimum fuss that it is ignored. I don’t blame the board for their caution in spending since things can go very wrong very quickly. Surely you remember why Abramovich bought your club in the first place and what situation you were in.

  67. @Shard

    No idea why I transpose the letters .Apologies

    I am not arguing that turning a profit is a bad far from it. My point was with greater profits come greater payment to the taxman
    The question I am posing is more about the need to build up or perhaps the purpose of building up the reserves at Arsenal for it is clear, and has been for several years that the only way in terms of Arsenals finances were up.

    Your explanation is of course possible but with ever increasing income streams and the huge surge in commercial deals elsewhere Arsenal surely must have realised the strength of their negotiating position
    I do take your point about the absence of CL football but the way FFP is scripted means that using reserves to deal with the loss of income could easily see a club fail FFP.
    As for Chelsea in 2003 yes we were in the do do. The problem was that a £75 million(I think) bond taken to re develop Chelsea Village was maturing and also the family of a major shareholder who had been killed in a helicopter crash (Matthew Harding) wanted money that the club didn’t have.

  68. Mike T – I am very reliably informed that Chelsea were days away from liquidation (not administration) when Bates appeared with Abramovich, who had come out of nowhere. The lawyers then stopped working on the liquidation and started working on the acquisition.

    And apparently the story about Abramovich in the helicopter spotting a stadium by the Thames and ordering the pilot to turn round – before being told that that was Fulham not Chelsea – is true as well!

  69. Thanks Mike T, for getting the name right 🙂

    And I didn’t know why Chelsea was in the situation they were in. So thanks for that too. Like I said, finances din’t much matter then.

    You are also correct that it is possible that FFP excludes cash reserves since they aren’t income in the accounting period. If that were to be the case, Arsenal would have to provide a lot of answers to tough questions. I can guess what their responses will be and I doubt they’ll be satisfactory.

    And congratulations on signing Cesc Fabregas.

  70. More broadly, I think most people would agree that the Premier League (and other Leagues) would be even better if the competition was much more even. I.e. there was a much smaller gap between top and bottom and many teams would have a realistic hope of winning the League. The main downside would be the leading clubs would be less competitive in Europe – but I think that is a price worth paying.

    The Americans manage this through a salary cap and the draft system, whereby losing clubs get first pick of the best young players. I don’t think a draft system is workable in this country but some kind of financial control is. FFP, in its various guises, tries to tackle this, albeit not that effectively (yet) in my view. But it is a start.

    I would also advocate splitting gate receipts between both clubs (something that used to be the case albeit not 50:50) and evening out TV revenue even further (no prize money by position).

  71. Pete

    The story you detail is near enough correct but it wasn’t liquidation in most definitely was administration. Bates had started the process to protect SB against which the debt was secured.
    We were closer to insolvency in 1982 which came about due to a massive overspend on the still in place East Stand.

  72. @ Pete

    Up until 1983 gate receipts were indeed shared but not 50-50 I think it was more 70-30 however Arsenal along with Liverpool & Man Utd proposed a rule change, which was agreed by the majority of the then 92 FL clubs that all home gate receipts were kept by the home team.

  73. A the same issues around legislating debt surely applies to losses without debt yet at least in this case there are no repayments. I am very very confident that the league will be less competitive with FFP you might argue fairer but thats then about whats legitimate source of finance and whats not in any case I prefer to focus on quality of competition. And if one source of finance is more legitimate than another (this is not seen as the case in any other business) but even if it where the case the problem is that some clubs have built up such an advantage in non owner finance revenue / profit that the competing becomes harder for clubs left behind year on year with owner finance now taken away from them they cannot compete and this then becomes unfair

  74. @Shard

    The last game that we had prior to RA turning up was the last game of the season, at home to Liverpool. If they won they got the 3rd CL place (there were only 3 teams allocated to English teams those days) if we won, which we did 2-1, we would qualify..
    It was a nervy day/game as the money issue was starting to gain publicity .
    In truth we celebrated that night on the way home from the match as much as if we had won the league.
    I wouldn’t want to wish the likelihood of their club going into administration on anyone nor would I underestimate how important the balance sheet should be but FFP should be about debt as that is far more dangerous to a clubs long term financial well being than anything else.

    As for Fabregas it will be interesting to see how he performs. I guess he will play deeper alongside Matic. I fully expect his arrival to see Mikel leave and possibly Ramires

  75. Off topic!
    While watching BBC coverage of Andy Murray Queens tournament today. When there was a break in play, they interviewed Petr Cech, sitting in the crowd. After the interview, John Inverdale said to Petr
    “Literary, somebody has just whispered in my ear, in the last 10 seconds, you’ve got a new player next season……….Cesc Fabregas, Confirmed”
    Is it the usual BBC bullshit?
    Laughable really!

  76. You seem to be of the opinion that City cannot be a successful business make lots of money. But also think that without FFP we would walk the league perhaps even the champions league etc and destroy the competition. One we have not done this yet. Two clubs that are regarded as having rich owners or spent loads of money eg Chelsea PSG Anzi Real Galaticos Blackburn Leeds have failed to dominate in the way you suggest. Furthermore in part how much you earn depends on your success on the pitch so how do you look at your contrasting views regarding dominance and failure ? I thought City would be more successful than they have been in some ways We had bad year after wining the title we where well behind in the early years of the ownership and we have failed in 2 of three season in the champions league. This despite some people arguing contrary to my personal belief that City have ignored FFP. Whilst our owners Wealth is effectively unlimited regarding whats needed to run a clubs and whilst we disagree on weather city is a business or not surely we can both accept even he wont want to loose money forever or at least not on the very large scale of the past years and there is a limit to how many players a club needs or can persuade to join and mangers and CEO footballing people agents and players pay role an owner therefore is not going to blow all his money even if he wanted to and is therefore unlikely to dominate to the extent your suggest

  77. Well Fabregas has now been confirmed as a Chelsea signing. They’re not messing about this time round.

    I’m surprised they’ve had what looks like a free run at signing him though – how do the Arsenal fans feel about him going to Chelsea?

  78. Shard you seem to think City fans are against FFP therefore they must be against sharing revenue as you said to me the two do not follow

  79. M18,
    I would have taken him back in a heartbeat. But that is the problem. ‘Heart’ is usually not the right way to run a club in a good way. Head probably is better.
    Will he be the next one who’s career goes slowly down the drain after leaving father figure Wenger? After only 3 years of Barcelona they couldn’t get rid of him soon enough. So not a big major success I would say. I have seen Barcelona fans blaming Fabregas for the way the team has gone from almost unbeatable to a much lower level. I can silently hope he does the same to Chelsea 😉

    And in a way it might harm Chelsea a big deal. We all know how Mourinho wants his players to work hard and do all kinds of tactical stuff. And let that just be what Cesc isn’t really known for. So with both Hazard and Fabregas being two players who don’t like too many tactical guidelines this might bring sand to the Chelsea oiled machine. They couldn’t win anything last year with one player who doesn’t like tactics, will it work with two players like that? then they will have to switch managers along the way I think 😉

  80. I get some consolation from this: Fabregas couldn’t bring a trophy to Arsenal in 8 years, Özil did it in 40 matches.

  81. Will

    I would ask you what you mean by that because it makes no sense, but I’m worried that’ll just lead to more paragraph-less circuitous ramblings which would be even more impossible to decipher.

    I can however answer your comment on dominance and why it hasn’t happened yet. Because it takes time. City first over-payed for the likes of Roque Santa Cruz and I think they also chose to ransack Everton since Everton were the club immediately in their path to the top 4. They tried to sign Kaka for 100m but he wouldn’t come to them because they weren’t at the top yet.

    The next step was ransacking Arsenal since Arsenal was a problem to overcome, and although Arsenal didn’t fall out of the top 4, it allowed City to overtake Arsenal more easily.

    They then became a more viable destination for the likes of Aguero, Toure etc. and of course they paid more than anybody as always. This made you champions.

    If unrestricted, what happens next is that whenever a club is a threat, you seek to destabilise them. You have done it in the past. They could also stockpile players and then use the loan system to distort the league results. Something Chelsea have been doing this year for sure,(while not illegal- yet, I think it is highly damaging to the integrity of sport) Nothing would stop this except another ‘rule change’ which you seem to have something against.

    As for earnings from winning. Those are not nearly enough to cover what your costs have been and will be to continue that dominance. Of course, once you have removed most of the competition, you might revert to more rational spending (predatory practice) only to step it up again when needed.

    The league does not become less competitive by restricting funding. US sports with their salary caps prove as much.

  82. Please be sensible do not insult me and tell me what made no sense so i can inform you more properly

  83. This whole FFP will probably come to nothing pretty soon(few seasons) and be abolished as a bad job.

    AW will know why he declined to take Fabregas back. Good enough for me.

  84. M18

    Fabreagas. Positives for signing. Great player. Was a joy to watch. Would have been a feel good signing. Would be an upgrade on Arteta (provided he could adapt to that role – my contention was he could)

    Negatives. Not exactly what we felt we needed. The finances preclude a luxury signing. Team dynamics might be adversely affected, and presence of Dein.

    I never bought into the ‘Cesc loves Arsenal’ line of thinking after the way he engineered his departure. In fact, I fully expected him to sign for City ahead of Arsenal (money talks). But when the Chelsea rumour surfaced, I hoped that maybe he’ll have a little more… sensitivity… than signing for a club that is really a hated rival, for a manager who not only has a fraught relationship with us and Wenger, but also Barcelona. But money and lifestyle choices count for more than all that spiel about ‘love and respect’ and I am not surprised. Sad yes. A little disgusted. Also yes. Because there is history there. But not distraught or overly bothered.

  85. para,

    You might well be right there, but I’m talking more about FFP in it’s current form. There are too many flaws for me as it stands – even the players association has now got involved and City’s squad restriction punishment has been relaxed as a result – but if some amendments are made then FFP can still have a long-term future.

    Re Fabregas – Arsenal are well stocked with players in that position so it probably made sense not take up the buy back option.

  86. Will

    Ok. I am sorry. I admit I was being a dick. In my defense that is because it takes more patience than I have to keep going around in circles and be repeatedly met with views which honestly are just insane. Allowing billionaire owners unlimited spending as a way to increase competition, is about the most absurd argument there is. I know some in the media peddle that line but they have a vested interest in all this too.

    Also, fairness. Some might say it is fair that big clubs earn more since they have done more to deserve it (ie La Liga TV deal) and others might say that big clubs should share the wealth more because they wouldn’t have that wealth if they weren’t playing against good competition (the EPL TV deal) Personally I am more inclined towards the latter model and perhaps that should be further improved. Tony in fact highlighted how the PL is harming the Championship and that cannot be right. I believe more can be done to share the wealth and should be.

    But I am absolutely against a model that does not reward merit in any way, shape or form. That is impossible for all but a handful of clubs to ever work under, and even if they do, will lead to a lesser, more exclusionary, sport, which’ll simply add glitz to make up for its lack of substance. And on top of that to hear it described as being more fair than a rule change that seeks to curb the excesses of that specific model, gets my goat.

    I suspect that if you are being fair in your intentions, you are missing the point and going for a blunderbuss approach to blowing up everything about the current system in favour of something that is different. The problems of distribution of wealth do not go away by bringing in more wealthy people. They exacerbate such issues even further. Whether City rises up or Arsenal does, it makes no difference to the income disparities. In fact City’s money for nothing approach widens those disparities.

    Basically, I find it incomprehensible that you argue against a system and yet support a system founded on the basis of its worst excesses.

    Hopefully that explains my stance on it well enough. Please read it with an open mind rather than simply trying to refute it. I don’t think we gain anything by constantly going around in circles and getting sidetracked onto tangential issues.

    Once again, I apologise for my snarkiness. (But it would help if you used paragraphs)

  87. The clubs that have got rich owners added to competition because they where clubs that where not already rich so how they have made the disparities in wealth less at the top at least but the gap between the rich elite the new rich and the poor have widened thats not solved by FFP its made worse the intention of FFP is not fairness in that sense but protectionism and not of the business but of the owners pockets and clubs place as elite clubs. I support greater equality and redistribution of income I do not support FFP I would say let owners spend whatever they wish however they wish with x amount put in bank account of clubs in case they did a runner so to speak not that this ever happens at least not at the clubs target by FFP. I will also keep telling you its not unlimited spending since there are natural restrictions on what owners can spend on top of the restrictions they place on clubs themselves but you wont accept that because your deluded or stupid as regards to City operating as a business

  88. Will Rickson

    With your ability to talk utter shite for so long have you ever thought of a career in journalism?

    You’d make a fortune.

  89. If your not able to tell someone how they are talking shit either your talking shit or your thick or both. Any event its not very constructive

  90. Shard @ 6.11 pm

    Fully agree with your comments on Cesc – now that he has allowed himself to be taken prisoner by the KGB. 🙂

  91. I believe that Cesc loves Arsenal but his spud spouse agent is abrasive and that is why I’m glad he will destroy Chelsea. The same goes for any player represented by Darren.

    Wenger knows and Wenger is always right – even when he’s wrong.

  92. Will

    I think you’ve been constructive enough for both of us.

    And please tell me your questioning my spelling of ‘shite’.

  93. Shard,
    Remember Cesc’s little (subconscious) back heel pass (er, miss) to Barca during/helping along our CL loss there? This creep has become a total vengeful prick – in sum, the perfect Dein client. Total RVP cold-blooded raptor.

    By choosing Maureen-Ho to complete his “unfinished business” in London, he’s now traded in his father (Barca) and papa Arsene (AFC) for Dein the Lesser, the newest and forever Dad. “It’s just business” has become sheer (high paid) malevolence, after all of his nostalgiac longings for Arsenal. The boyo’s got a Pappa-Problem and gets very well paid to sort it out. Fiscal Therapy. Which makes Dein his shrink. By our not exercising the option (which I feel is a mistake, btw), Cescies’ inner child has been hurt. So he goes to Maureen-Ho to spurn and punish Papa-Arsene for being as cold in not accepting Cesc back as the returning prodigal as Cesc was in leaving us for his boyhood club (not mutually spurned).

    His psyche is bent and its behavior treacherous. Perhaps he and Mareen-Ho will destroy each other. One lives in hope. At minimum, that back healed pass needs to be recovered with a link; so that those like me can see what nasty piece of work (or just as bad, un-self-examined little brat) he remains. Please, mates, no applause for the returning prick. (Sorry, he’s not good enough to be a cunt.)

  94. …Oh, and I forgot to say that imo, his joining Maureen-Ho is his calculated best chance to reap dual revenge against Barca (CL) for getting rid of him and against Arsene (EPL) for not taking him back. All the while, kerching goes he and Pappa-Dein’s cash registers. (I hope a needy someone lifts his piggy bank at the world cup.)

  95. Will

    “……restrictions they place on clubs themselves but you wont accept that because your deluded or stupid as regards to City operating as a business”

    Lol.. So much for being me being polite. As for being deluded, I guess me and the majority of the football world are all deluded and you are the only sane ones. Fine.. Now can we let it be agreed that we disagree and just leave it at that?

  96. bob

    I certainly wouldn’t put it past him to be a little vindictive although indications are that his girlfriend being based in London was a factor in his decision.

    I do think we would have signed him if we could, or indeed felt he would be worth the ‘luxury’ spend that he would be. Unless we sell Arteta or Cazorla, there is actually no space for him. I looked at the minutes played yesterday and tried to fit Cesc in. Can’t really be done.

    Now I would be willing to upgrade on Arteta, but what message does it send to the team that a captain can force his way out and walk back in at whim, at the expense of a player who has given his all to get Arsenal through a tough time AND gotten the trophy monkey of our back. Not good and while I still think Cesc would be a good purchase, this too must be a concern. As would the presence of Dein.

    All in all, since we made the decision to pass on him, it is a little easier to take(although I maintain there is more to that story than simply our refusal)

  97. Shard,
    btw, did you catch his little (imo, none too subtle) dig about Chelsea being the best suited to satisfy his trophy ambition? Yes, I see that, but why not say that she matters to him. Too honest, if true? Of course I’m not his shring, but still seems there’s something multi-layered in this choice the girlfriend’s chateau. (Cherchez la femme?) I see sweet revenge against those who he sees as spurning him. And is Maureen-ho not utterly vicious toward us? Surely the man-Cesc knows this, cloaked by the “it’s just business” rationale.

  98. Now that the Cesc deal is done , soon the AAAA will be on the warpath ( that is if the aren’t already!) to demand the ouster of AW for not bringing back an Arsenal legend on the cheap .
    Well at least till he kisses the Chelski badge – then let the booing begin !

  99. Money has different names.!

    In Church it’s called (offering)

    In Marriage it’s called (dowry)

    In Divorce its called (alimony)

    When you owe someone (debt)

    When you pay government (tax)

    In Court it’s called (fines)

    Government to retirees (pension)

    Boss to workers (salary)

    Master to subordinates (wages)

    Children (pocket-money)

    When you borrow from bank (loan)

    When you offer after a service (tip)

    And… When its robbed from Government Funds, its……(insert name of country’s dominant and ruling party )

    What is it called when it involves
    a) FIFA ?
    b) Oilers ?
    c) Russian oligarchs ?
    d) Betting syndicates ?

  100. A Biology Exam.

    Mr. Jacobs, the biology instructor at a posh suburban girl’s junior college, said during class, “Miss Arnold, would you please name the organ of the human body, which under the appropriate conditions, expands to six times its normal size, and define the conditions.

    Miss Arnold gasped, then said freezingly, “Mr. Jacobs, I don’t think that is a proper question to ask me. I assure you my parents will hear of this.” With that she sat down red-faced.

    Unperturbed, Mr. Jacobs called on Miss Jones, another student, and asked the same question.

    Miss Jones, with composure, replied: “The pupil of the eye, in dim light.”

    “Correct,” said Mr. Jacobs. “And now, Miss Arnold, I have three things to say to you. One, you have not studied your lesson. Two, you have a dirty mind. And three, you will someday be faced with a dreadful disappointment.”

  101. Will and Shard, can’t you two get a room? 😉

    On a serious note Will, to be fair Shard offered you something akin to an olive branch in his last post that you responded to so that last line of yours was perhaps uncalled for. Don’t get me wrong, I can understand your frustrations in trying to explain City’s business plans going forward to opposition fans and some of those fans seemingly dismissing it as nothing more than fallacy. I think (in fact I know) Shard is above that level of ignorance though and therefore isn’t deluded or stupid. However, he won’t necessarily be aware of everything regarding City’s ongoing and future plans (which is perfectly understandable as I wouldn’t expect any rival fans to be fully aware of what is going on at another club) and this in turn has probably led to some of his flippant responses to your posts regarding City’s business plan.

    Shard, Will has made some good factual points about where City are seemingly heading and like I said above, I know you’re too clued up to dismiss everything out of hand. The new academy and training complex is almost complete, and the first phase of the stadium expansion is under way so those are two very visible signs of a clear plan being in place to ensure the club is working towards being a self-sustainable model and therefore compliant with FFP. I know you’re aware of the academy plans because we discussed it at length last year and I appreciate your comments from back then that there are no guarantees that it will be entirely fruitful in terms of both generating revenue and saving the club money so it will be interesting to see how that develops over the coming years. The stadium expansion will, however, clearly generate extra income (providing the team continues to challenge at the top end of the league of course). Those are 2 significant infrastructure projects that are already ongoing but there are further plans regarding the development of the collar site. Strong rumours persist of a “world-class leisure destination” but leaving that aside, I’m sure we will see a mix of hotels, restaurants, bars, etc, being built which will in turn generate extra revenue for the club. Then of course there’s the club acquiring a stake in teams in New York, Melbourne, and Japan which all comes under the City Football Group umbrella. I’m not sure how that will generate any extra revenue for MCFC but I guess having a representation in cities such as New York might garner extra supporters in a previously untapped market – that said, I also know that some of the people planning to attend NYCFC matches when they start playing in the MLS next season are also fans of other big English clubs so club loyalties will obviously dictate that not every NYCFC fan will form an allegiance to City as well.

    The above shows that there’s a hell of a lot going on and like I say I would never expect an opposition fan to be up to speed with it all – in fact, I think some of our own fans are finding it difficult to keep up with everything 😉

  102. Mike T – It absolutely was liquidation I’m afraid… I do have an extremely reliable source. Which would have been awful – however much we indulge in friendly rivalry wanting your rivals completely out of business is a step far too far. I grew up with a Chelsea supporting brother (and now similarly inclined nephews) on the boundary in North-West London between Arsenal and Chelsea territories so for me the Chelsea rivalry has always been more significant than Tottenham.

    As for Cesc, I understand Arsenal wanted him last summer ahead of Ozil but he still wanted to prove himself at Barca. An understanding was reached early last summer that he would move to Arsenal this summer. Then, of course, we bought Ozil in his position and there really isn’t space. He has gone to Chelsea because his partner is London-based (and the money helps).

    I think we all need to remember that, in most cases, while footballers will often develop feelings towards their employers, it is just a job. Exceptions would tend to be where players are local and went through the youth system and/or are supporters. I am pretty sure that Fabregas would have preferred to come to Arsenal but we are not in the position of being able to afford £30mm buys just to keep players out of the hands of rivals… which brings us back to the original point!

  103. @Pete

    In truth its all irrelevant but I am not sure who your source is but Bates was having to consider Administration as opposed to winding up. The reason being to protect the club and its assets. The irony is that Bates had already transferred/sold much of the land to Chelsea Pitch Owners Ltd which in effect rendered the site of little value for anything other than football so the only assets of value were the players. Its one of the main reasons why at this time we aren’t able to push on with expansion plans away from the current site

    In football an Insolvency event is includes Creditors Winding Up, Creditor Voluntary Arrangement and Company Administration. So yes Chelsea were preparing to enter an Insolvency event and yes if a buyer couldn’t be found it was possible that an administrator might be left no alternative but to wind the company but just prior to RA arriving and.

  104. the end of the previous season it was the in ability on Bates behalf due to re negotiate the soon to mature bonds.
    It may have been an attempt by Bates, in his usual manner trying to bully people, the banks etc into his way of thinking and who knows that may well have included a threat to the major bond holder or indeed the Harding family that unless they played by his rules he would indeed wind the company up and that leave them with nothing!

  105. “I’m sure we will see a mix of hotels, restaurants, bars, etc, being built which will in turn generate extra revenue for the club.”
    Perhaps this is the reason why saying yes to Cesc is being considered a “luxury signing”? I’d prefer denying Cesc to Chelsea and United than building a mix of luxuries for the well endowed in a declining economy. Which is riskier in your calculus?, I ask rhetorically. I’m not accusing you directly, but what worries me is this: Will this be the new mantra to invoke if/when there is not ample enough spending to ensure quality at multiple positions?

    “we are not in the position of being able to afford £30mm buys just to keep players out of the hands of rivals.”
    This is linked to my above concern:
    Desirable or not in football terms, just how do you know that we can’t have afforded this move? Please, for information/sanity sake, what’s the specific calculation that makes this a fact?

  106. @Pee

    As a post script to the whole issue regarding the state of Chelsea’s finances in 2003.
    The bulk of the debt, as I had said before, had come about due to redevelopment of Stamford Bridge site .
    On the site we build three new stands, hotels, flats bars, sport clubs, night clubs,10 Millennium suites, huge hospitality areas and restaurants.
    I am not 100% sure but I would guess nowadays this expenditure would be exempt for FFP purposes. It wasn’t the debt repayments that were killing Chelsea it was the inability to renew the bonds.
    So two things out of that
    1) Its possible that had FFP been in place we would have met the requirements but at the same time we could have been forced into an insolvency event due to debt.
    2)I don’t know what Man City`s plans are but Chelsea tried to generate income from hotels bars etc in what is a far more wealthy area of the country and yes they were turning a profit but not enough to make Chelsea Village (the name give to the complex)a really worth while venture.

  107. bob,

    My guess is that the number crunchers at City have calculated that the club is growing enough and there are other plans in the pipeline aimed at increasing revenue streams still further to sustain a model that will be able to afford to purchase one stellar signing plus a couple of cheaper purchases every summer and that ought to be enough to keep City competitive at the top end of the league considering the strength of the squad we have now. The days of making wholesale changes and spending £150 million in a single transfer window are in the past but the squad will still need refreshing each season to keep us challenging.

    All the best teams need to tweak their squads, even if they’ve had a successful season and it’s something that Ferguson did very well at United for years but in recent seasons he appeared to take his eye off the ball on that score and plumped for what seemed like the short-term option to feed his ego of wanting to bow out at the top. A classic example was spunking most of United’s transfer budget on van Persie while ignoring other key areas of the team that needed major surgery. The short-term impact was obvious with United regaining the title but last season it soon became clear that the squad as a whole had aged massively (coupled with some of the younger players not kicking on as much as expected) and the re-building job there is going to cost considerably more than anticipated.

  108. M18

    Are you offering to be the pimp? 😛

    Look, all those plans are brilliant and will help CITY make money (though as you say, not directly from clubs in other countries) Great for you again. But do you genuinely believe your owner stands to make money FROM City after putting in over a billion pounds (infrastructure, transfer wees, wages, opening new business ventures and clubs all cost money)?

    City making money and running like a business eventually, I don’t dispute (although they can always revert and spend again and call it a new business cycle). The reason for buying City being a business investment in and of itself, I don’t believe.

    (and by the way, if it is, it can only lead to a US style league system where billionaires make profits)

    BUT..Even all of that, is irrelevant.

    Whether City is a business or not, it is not a model that is viable for anyone else to follow. (Will’s disputes of ‘many rich men’ is just talk and you know it) It also has the potential to be disruptive towards the competition. City can stockpile players, send them on loan to take points off rivals, pay off agents to restrict transfers to their rivals or engineer them away, and even use their other franchises to make money. Melbourne buys a player for 100m, and MCFC get him for 2 million a season later. etc etc. In fact the last can still be done. (and ways found to do the rest too actually)

    So while you say that FFP is unfair in that it doesn’t curb or solve all the problems of inequality we see today, it will also not solve all the problems that a billionaire owner brings. Like I said, I remain unsure the power of money can be simply legislated away. The rich clubs will still have advantages under FFP, and billionaire owners can still find ways to fund their clubs (and grow)

    It will though curb some of the blatant excesses we have seen from City, PSG, Chelsea and some which are possible even if they haven’t happened yet (or we haven’t heard of them yet)

    Whether you believe that is right or wrong (or can do better/could be worse) is a matter of perspective I suppose. But I do not see how anyone can seriously argue it is ‘unfair’ when suggesting a model that is even more exclusive and moreover has no basis in merit.

    Here’s the thing. The billionaire model that I complain about has come about due to the presence of the current model. I wasn’t just denigrating City when I said your owner would never have taken an interest in you if it weren’t for the interest in the PL generated by clubs like ManU, Arsenal and Liverpool. It was a statement of fact, and a realisation that Arsenal, in part, caused this. Or at least, were benefiting from a set of circumstances that led up to the billionaires coming in. City caused FFP to happen because they (along with Chelsea, PSG) caused football to change.

    The difference between those earlier excesses and this one, according to me, is that the earlier model at least has some component of merit involved. This one seems to reward incompetence if anything, and the potential it has for screwing up a ‘fair’ competition is much much higher. So to me, it is a model based on the worst excesses of its predecessor. Which the FFP will curb to some extent (and only to some extent) And so I think that is a good thing.

    That doesn’t take away that a lot remains wrong with football. Referees for example. Yesterday a referee gifted the home team a win in the showcase event of football and it is scandalous that something like that should still happen. The gap between the haves and have nots. It needs to be looked at and rumours are even Spain might soon get a more equitable TV deal. The Championship and football league clubs should get more money from the PL. etc. None of that changes. But those problems are not solved by opposing FFP. The billionaire lottery is no solution to that.

  109. Mike T. I don’t dispute your understanding of the background to Chelsea’s issues in summer 2003 but I do know for certain that work was being carried out to prepare for liquidation – which was only a few days away at the time Abramovich appeared. I guess this could have been Bates playing high stakes poker but it was far from an idle threat. I was personally really shocked when I was told this – thinking administration as being the worst likely outcome – but my source, who I obviously can not disclose, was very clear about it.

    As noted above, I do follow Chelsea’s off the pitch activities more closely than other clubs because of family interest.

    Bob – Arsenal have a self-financing business model. Therefore there is a finite amount of money available for transfers. Depending on who you believe this is somewhere between 40 and 140 million currently. I suspect towards the lower end of that range. Therefore the money has to be spent with a view to optimising the capability of the whole team. This means buying players in the positions where we will see the biggest upgrade (allowing for the need to have capable reserves).

    The common consensus is that spending money optimally entails buying, in approximate order of preference:

    1. A right back.
    2. A striker.
    3. A defensive midfielder
    4. A back up centre back.
    5. A back up goalkeeper.

    4 and 5 won’t be that expensive, but 1-3 would (and should) exhaust the available pot. That will give us the best bang for our buck. Buying Cesc would be reinforcing the area of the team where we are strongest so likely no significant impact, other than as a similar level alternative to Ozil.

    Cesc is a fantastic player, and will strengthen Chelsea, but we couldn’t spend 30mm on him and adequately fill the positions above… just to stop Chelsea buying him (who I am sure could and would find someone else).

  110. You have really confused me you have been going on about how we are not a business wont make money now you saying we will eventually. Whilst I think we have been running as a business the whole time or at least since we where good enough not to have waste so much money on average players. So anyway if the most vile least business like over spending most punished club in FFP terms is eventually going to pass FFP and run as a business despite according to all other fans its seem disregarding FFP in the first place whats the point in FFP? Until City do one of those sort of deals between their franchises I will ignore that comment except to point out that Those clubs and league are in need of good players but they do not yet require world class stars to win the league. And City are going to pass FFP without doing that. I do not think its even possible to do deals like that but if it where there would only be two players in the world I would be done for And I think we can agree that the odd of them coming to City are next to none. Furthermore City want the next Ronaldo or Messi not the current one. You seem to be sounding a lot more negative about FFP in your last post in fact so much so I wonder if you have changed your mind perhaps I am miss understanding you so are you just out to hate on City ? You talk of excesses at City wage wise fair point player wise not really We had points in time where we developed faster than the players so yes perhaps but recently the players City have had that have not done much have not done much not because they are world class stars sat on the bench its because they are always injured The best way to bring back competition and curb excess is greater redistribution I object to clubs being order to run a certain way. by rivals and incompetent or less competent people. My only financial regulation would probably be some sort of general aim of reduced debt with exemptions and money x amount in bank by owner to cover y losses x would increase and decrease in line with y It would in a sense be dead capital waste inefficient but would not punsh City for running as a business just one that people find hard to understand and would protect us from our owner leaving which everyone seem to think will happen which is just the biggest piece of rubbish. I would better prevent Portsmouth than FFP

  111. I do not think Billionairs are the answer on there own But I would allow them to do as they wish as long as they did what I suggest above. It is my view that these owners increase competition. You say there are not enough of them to fix the problems in a sense your right and even if there where we would still have differences in wealth between owners and clubs. But the global rich are increasing football is growing in popularity money and so in theory profit is growing and you can go all the way down the leagues and find very rich owners. a friend said to me yesterday that Doncasters board is very wealthy like 2 billion quid. There is not poor owner in the prem there is just rich and really rich

  112. Would your view on City change say If the franchises for want of a better word improved there league improved the standing of football in those countries and developed players good enough for Manchester Cities first team Given our current quality and the quality of Australian and American national team a big achievement especially given the strength of rival sports in those countries and the competition they offer when trying to get kids to pick a favorite sport and take it to the next level

  113. Will

    It makes no difference what City intends to do. It simply matters what they can do. That potential (demonstrated to some extent) is enough to suggest that something needs to be done. And no, it is not all about stopping others clubs from growing, THat might be a part of it for some clubs, but there is a larger issue at stake here too.

    Yes, you are confused. An owner and a club are two separate entities.

    City’s owner did not buy City to make money off of that ‘investment’. ie. The way City has been run is not a business.

    City probably will run like a business eventually as in live within its own means. But if unchecked, can always start spending again outside of that with no rationale for the amount of money coming in based on the size of the club. ie. revert back to not being run as a business

    And that my friend is as clear as it gets. Either you have the capability to understand it or you don’t. I think we’re through discussing this.

    And seriously. LEARN TO USE PARAGRAPHS!

  114. @Pete

    Probably no merit in going deeper as little to gain going over the sequence of events

    I don’t doubt for one second what you were told my knowledge of the situation came about due to my employment at the time.To be fair what we were told in these type of situations was not always, well the truth, and it was not unknown for claims re liquidation or the like to be made solely to gain time. That said with Bates anything was possible and in business he was both ruthless and an absolute bully but far more often than not he achieved what he said out to do

  115. ” Depending on who you believe this is somewhere between 40 and 140 million currently.”
    Thanks for your lower end scenario.
    As a thought experiment, what would an upper end scenario look like? What advantages would that bring to the pitch?

  116. Shard,

    I think Will’s “confused” comment only centred around the issue of him seemingly mocking him in a previous post for suggesting that City should become profitable in the future, yet when I went into it in a bit more detail you acknowledged that profitability for City isn’t such a daft suggestion after all. I’m pretty sure that Will isn’t confused by anything else you’ve posted!

    That aside, I agree that this discussion is pretty much done suffice to say that I agree with a lot of what you covered in your previous post – I guess what you’re saying is that City are a symptom rather than the cause and I accept that we’ve contributed in part to inflation in football. I also appreciate that you’re not laying the blame for all football’s ills at City’s door, far from it going off your comments about dodgy officiating, etc. Can I also make it clear that while I may disagree with certain aspects of FFP, now that the regs are in place I want to see City complying with them. I absolutely do not have any desire to see the club ride roughshod over the rules as PSG appear to be doing, and I certainly don’t want to see us going to war with UEFA.

    On a related note, but not concerning City or Arsenal, I find it rather amusing that one of the main supporters of FFP and whose owner has gone on record as slating City in the past would’ve failed the regs if they had played in Europe in this season just gone and may find it a tad difficult to comply next season. I’m sure you know which club I’m referring to 😉

  117. Sorry Shard, just proof read that and meant to say “you seemingly mocking him” lol

  118. Shard your making your self sound like a right ass and your rather infuriating. If Our owner did not buy us to run as a business then we would not run as a business. It would be win at whatever cost if we are where bought as a business then that is how we would be run your making no sense

  119. In any event if we can run as a business in terms of making a profit or breaking even despite not being run as a business or bought to make money then who needs FFP

  120. I do not doubt that there are non business reasons for City being bought UAE PR but part of that PR means being run as a business in a industry where its hard to run like a business making money and also making things better for the local community and developing talent and the sport in general. Good PR is not just about winning everything. A reason why the club where so angry at being sanctioned by FFP and a reason why they decided not to take UEFA to court A reason why they have not taken stronger action against papers but courted there approval.PR may be a reason for other owners owning football clubs. PR not for the person but for business can be valued. We are the personal property of the Sheik not the UAE We have no sponsorship deals with him so you cannot value it for him personally but he is effectively the same as the UAE we have UAE state sponsors and they have paid us market value so we have actually valued this PR unlike Chelsea and Abramovich or Lerner of Kronki etc

  121. What I am trying to say is we have always operated as a business but there are other reasons for owning a football club but this applies to Arsenal as well as City so do not dare talk about my club in such away unless your going to accept me talking about your club in the same way

  122. What do you mean when you talked about what City do and intend to do ?

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