Man C discover that Uefa’s FFP if not dead at all but is still alive – and kicking

By Tony Attwood

I’m not always willing to admit when I get it wrong.  Sometimes I prefer to hide under the sofa for a few months and hope no one notices.  But today, well, today is different.  If I have got this one wrong I shall be shocked, amazed, amused, annoyed and extremely happy, all at the same time.

This will of course require my having treatment from Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw but before he comes to take me away, consider this…

Dynamo Moscow have been totally banned from next season’s Europa League for “breaking Articles 58 to 63 of the Uefa club licensing and financial fair play regulations”, according a Uefa statement.    They had qualified for coming fourth in the Russian League.

They have been banned from European competition for one season.

There have been no financial sanctions, there is no transfer embargo and no restriction on playing in the forthcoming season’s Uefa Youth League.

It seems that Dynamo knew this was coming, and so in the last transfer window didn’t sign anyone.  On the other hand the owner said he might appeal.  But they all say that.

Although I am sure the Premier League will not even pause in their jog towards world domination, somewhere inside the League there are people who have a certain sense of morality, and who will be reminded that the PL once promised to bring in its own FFP a year ago.  It has been dropped, and of course the media who bend the knee to the rich and powerful have said nothing more of it.

Thus the punishment that so outraged Man City and their supporters, who endlessly called Untold every name under the sun when we suggested they were going to be brought to book, and told us we didn’t understand a single word of the regulations, and how they were going to be overthrown by the CAS and the EC and some guy’s granny who was going to Nyon to some Uefa out, might find  they’ve got it wrong once again.

When the whatnot hit the fan, Man C and PSG had their squad numbers reduced.   Meanwhile Internazionale, Monaco and Roma agreed to pay fines and reduce the size of their squads without making the fuss Man C and its fans made.

But then Michel Platini said in May this year that FFP could be “eased”.  Now we still don’t know 100% what that means – although there is now a clear suggestion that the rules will be eased for clubs with new owners only.  Hopefully they will include legislation to ensure that if  Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan sells Man C to his children Zayed, Fatma, Mohammed, Hamdan and Lateefa that won’t count as “new owners”.  But with Man C and Uefa you never know.

The decision on how FFP will be modified will be made in about nine days time at Uefa’s Executive Committee meeting in Prague.

If this is the way forwards then it suggests that Milan has been successful in its lobbying by their vice-president Adriano Galliani in the European Club Association.  He has been saying to everyone who wants to listen and quite a few who don’t that the club is suffering because it can’t find a new owner… because all the potential new owners want to go on a mega spending spree.

Uefa’s idea, it seems, is to have something akin to the period of inflation that followed the Big Bang at the start of the universe, in which everything goes haywire for a while and then things calm down a bit and the grass grows.

Thus there is talk of a “short period of accelerated spending, allowing new owners to capitalise on their investment”, but even this will have to be done in relation to a very quick move to break-even.  (I am not sure what the Uefa equivalent to dark matter – the stuff that pulls universe apart – actually is, but I suspect it resides somewhere in Spain).

This change might help Aston Villa find a new owner, if the new owner thought he, she or it (for purchase by aliens is not outlawed in Uefa rules) could pump enough in to get Villa into the top four.  It will also ease the sale of Tottenham Hotspur once their new stadium is built, if that is the plan.

There are arguments against this fudge however, as there could be counter-views that it is discriminatory, although from my non-expert viewpoint I think this is a load of old tosh (to use the correct legal phrase).

While the Man City loving media in England are keeping fairly quiet about all this, with just minor mentions in the Guardian and Independent, L’Equipe has been having quite a look at the issue saying that Paris Saint-Germain and oil rich Man City will not get anything out of any changes being proposed next week, and indeed saying that PSG won’t get the reigns relaxed until 2019 and Monaco until 2020.

According to L’Equipe PSG, think that next week would spell the end of FFP, has been preparing for another spending bonanza next year. But now it seems they recognise that this is a false hope since the changes actually coming in won’t affect PSG or Monaco at all.  By implication the same is true for Man C.

Some analysts think that Man C were more cautious this year and can do some clever financial manipulations to be able to up their spend this summer.  Chelsea were not penalised having found their own route through using the loan system to avoid FFP regulations.

We’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal on Facebook too, and at home at

Anniversary of the day

20 June 1966: Bertie Mee became Arsenal manager.  After the experience of taking a very high profile ex-footballer as manager Arsenal sought to repeat the success of Tom Whittaker by promoting their physiotherapist.

The full anniversaries index can be found here.

11 Replies to “Man C discover that Uefa’s FFP if not dead at all but is still alive – and kicking”

  1. I don’t think that monsieur Michel Platini est propre clean as he would like the world to believe.

    I believe any changes made to the FFP will be to the betterment of the Michel Platini Republic.

  2. Pardon my ignorance but why does ManUre go on as if the FFP rules do not concern them?

  3. Must admit, I took it as guaranteed FFP was all but done after what Platini said. (right at that point I discovered his son is a lawyer for PSG’s owners, so that made it feel even more of a sure thing)

    Less justifiably, in my mind all the media talk of gargantuan spending this year by City seemed the final confirmation.

    We’ll see. I had a feeling City would just go for it anyway, relaxed rules or not. The threat feels very real that they will slowly (then quickly) slide back from here if forced to live within their (football generated) means, and I don’t think their owners can tolerate that prospect.

    My happiness would indeed be extreme if FFP is alive and works nearly as well as it did for a year or so there.

    I doubt City or PSG were truly all that compliant- i.e they surely tried every trick they could think of (like that new set of money-saving contracts for their stars, and those sponsors who were some of the first in history to ring up and say ‘hey, you know that long-term contract we have with you, can we double or triple it please?’)- but it did seriously curb their spending.

  4. Lanz
    Man U do not have any FFP issues because they are a hugely wealthy club with self generated income, although they appear to spend their wealth unwisely at times.

  5. Another important anniversary today;

    Arsenal signed Dennis Bergkamp 20 years ago today!

  6. Just watched the medal distribution of world cup game between brazil and serbia.

    Serbia, won it 2-1. Brazil had a man share of possession. 67% (may be 63%). And had 24 shots to Serbias 14. BUT on target, Brazil had 10 to serbias 8.

  7. Last night, at the annual supporters gathering with Ivan Gazidis he confirmed that a ‘fully anticipated’ change in FFP rules was happening but that, whilst none of it effects the way that Arsenal operates, it was still working for the benefit of football generally. By which I think he means the restriction of excessive spending which merely serves to fuel unreasonable expectation and widespread inflation.
    With particular reference to ownership he talked about the need to attract the ‘right type’ of owners who acted responsibly and respectfully on behalf of their own club and football in general.
    He didn’t name names when it came to the bad owners (we can think of who he means quite easily) but, perhaps unsurprisingly, Stan Kroenke got nothing but praise for the way he he is operating as majority shareholder.
    Another very interesting meeting at which (again unsurprisingly) Ian Wright stole the show.

  8. Another shocker of an article only made compelling reading because of its shockingness

  9. Ivan suggested the changes would only benifit the smaller clubs and then for a ltd period.
    Manure can obviously operate without regard to FFP because commercially they are the biggest in the world and so are allowed to spend more although this is stikll the same % as other clubs.
    Ian wright has seemingly totally changed his opinion on everything and now totally supports Ivan, Stan , Arsene and everything the current board are doing.

  10. At the risk of going over old ground, the main reason why you took stick off City fans re our FFP punishment is because you hilariously claimed that City were ignoring UEFA. It was an utterly ludicrous suggestion that you have never backed up when anyone with even a modicum of knowledge about the subject matter would know that City have been, and continue to be, in regular contact with UEFA with regards FFP.

    As for whatever changes to the regs are in the pipeline and whether they benefit City or not, they will simply make no difference to City’s plans going forward even if the current rules stayed in place. Our revenues are going through the roof regardless as a result of the stadium expansion, new sponsorship deals, and the huge increase in TV revenue due this coming season with the BT CL deal, and the season after with the new PL TV deal.

    AC Milan might be desperate for a re-writing of the rules but MCFC isn’t – we’re through the worst of FFP and the only thing that restricts us going forward is what restricts every other club in Europe including the likes of United and Real Madrid – how much we can spend is dictated by our revenues and costs.

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