FFP thrown out by the courts. (Oh no it wasn’t). (Oh yes it was). (Oh).

By Tony Attwood

In February 2015 Daniel Striani the man who helped run the Bosman challenge to football regulations in Europe, got together with Man City and PSG to promote his latest legal escapade heard in court.

The case was run in Belgium and was centred on the notion that the requirement of FFP that clubs head towards breaking even, was in breach of article 101.2 of the EU Treaty. This article prohibits cartels and other agreements that could disrupt free competition and, therefore, have an impact on consumer protection.

The European Commission (which really decides such matters) had already rejected examining the complaint, on the grounds that it had approved FFP on the grounds that competitive professional sport is different from your everyday capitalism.

A joint statement was made by the Uefa President and the EU commissioner for competition, emphasising the consistency between the rules and objectives of financial fair play and the policy aims of the EU commission in the field of state aid.

But some people never give up, and so the matter was heard by a court Brussels on 26 and 27 February 2015, Belgium  being Striani’s homeland.

That court referred the case to the European Court of Justice and imposed an interim measure aimed at stopping Uefa from introducing phase two of the rules to cut the deficit clubs are permitted from €45m to €30m this season.   So no attempt by the Belgium court to overthrow FFP, but simply an interim move to stop the reduction in the level of losses.

However, Uefa immediately appealed, and pointed out that under judicial rules its appeal “automatically suspends the ruling of the lower court” and that this “means that Uefa can proceed with the next phase of implementation of FFP.”  And that’s where we are at the moment.   With the EC having said it is not interested it is hard to see quite where the ECJ goes with this.

As Uefa said, “Uefa remains fully confident that FFP is entirely in line with EU law, and that the European Court will in due course simply confirm this to be the case.”  As indeed it has done before.

But there is a continuing onslaught, particularly by Man City and its fans, to try and get FFP overthrown so that Man City and other clubs sponsored by unimaginable wealth can do pretty much what they like.

It is a story that has been pretty much ignored by the papers as a sequence of events, with them instead giving a little space to each individual part of the process with little or no context.   This is a growing tendency in reporting – akin perhaps to the issue of focussing on one player in a team or one result in a season, rather than the overall effect.  “I don’t think our readers will be interested,” is the view.

So of late the media has moved and has been running another story, to the effect that Manchester City have had their FFP restrictions on transfer spending lifted.  A sub text usually says that the restriction on player numbers in Champions League games has also been lifted.  But this, like the belief that FFP has been defeated in the courts, is only true “up to a point”.

Matters FFP were made even more confusing when Uefa itself announced earlier this year that it was changing FFP rules and many of us feared that, as their propaganda says, Man City had won the fight against FFP and Uefa were giving up under the legal pressure.

But in fact what Uefa has done is modified the rules slightly for new owners taking on clubs – there is no benefit for the likes of PSG and Man City where the ownership deal has long since been done.

Man City have always been the most contentious of the clubs caught up in FFP, because when Uefa found them guilty of breaking the rules, as they so flagrantly and obviously were, the club broke ranks with all the other guilty parties and for about a week refused even to communicate with Uefa.

Eventually of course they were forced into line, had to use only 21 players in the Champs League and had their spending on new signings capped, with their wage bill restricted to the same as the previous season. And they had a fine to pay.

Now they have been removed from the restrictions, along with PSG, but judging by the way that some papers have written about it, one might once again imagine that they have single handedly overturned the whole of FFP.  But no, they just have to obey the rules this time – with the added knowledge that if they break them again, next time the punishment will be a lot harsher.

So, with no time scale established for Uefa’s appeal against the Belgian court ruling, and no move by the EC to look again at the issues it has already given its approval to, the updated FFP rules are in place and are running.  If Man City do read the papers rather than the legal judgements, and think they can spend what they like, they will be hauled up before Uefa just as they were last year.

In fact under the new rules clubs can spend up to €5 million more than they earn this season as a general rule.  Certain issues (most famously the building of a new ground – which don’t apply to Man C since the state gave them the ground at a peppercorn rent) are excluded and owners can put in a donation to keep the club going.

The limits on investment are now reduced to €30m for assessment periods 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

In order to promote investment in training facilities, youth development and women’s football (from 2015), all such costs are also excluded from the break-even calculation.

If a club is not in line with the regulations, it will be Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (not the courts and not the EC) that decides on measures and sanctions.

Non-compliance with the regulations does not mean that a club will be excluded automatically, but depending on the circumstances of the case they could be warned, reprimanded, fined, have points removed, have money from Uefa competitions withheld, be prohibited from signing new players, have player number restrictions or financial restrictions imposed, be disqualified or have a previously won title withdrawn.

In effect Uefa tends more towards discussing with clubs a way route forward rather than a heavy handed approach.

So the issue is still – how much money can the owner pump into the club?  The rules on sponsorship deals with a company to which the owner is related have been tightened and sponsorship will be considered against Uefa’s “fair value” estimate.

In short if a related company pays over the odds, then the sum above the “fair value” is taken out of the calculations of allowable investment.

What’s more, future investors looking to conclude a voluntary agreement with the Club Financial Control Body that handles such matters. will be expected to commit funds in advance.

And there are some teeth in all these regulations: six clubs have been denied access to the UEFA competitions because they have not paid wages to players or fees to other clubs for transfers and one club has been excluded from UEFA competitions due to a failure to comply with break-even requirements.

Of course in objection some people will always argue that it is not fair that the bigger clubs like Arsenal and Man U, who earn their profits legitimately, can stay big and are trying to make little clubs stay small.

But as Uefa says in its explanations of the regulations, “The aim of financial fair play is not to make all clubs equal in size and wealth, but to encourage clubs to build for success rather than continually seeking a ‘quick fix’. Football clubs need an improved environment where investing in the future is better rewarded so that more clubs can be credible long-term investment prospects.

“By favouring investments in youth and stadium infrastructure and by setting the acceptable deficits in absolute million € terms and not relative percentage terms, the break-even assessment has been structured to be less restrictive to smaller and medium-sized clubs. In time, more smaller and medium-sized clubs will have potential to grow.”

As always, comments are welcome, but please do see our guidelines about false email addresses, abuse, and evidence.

Anniversary of the Day

7 July 2010: Laurent Koscielny completed his move to Arsenal from Lorient for whom he had played 35 games for £8.45 million.  Arsene Wenger stated in 2015 that he felt this was his best value transfer of the past ten years.

Follow us on Twitter @UntoldArsenal


114 Replies to “FFP thrown out by the courts. (Oh no it wasn’t). (Oh yes it was). (Oh).”

  1. “Of course in objection some people will always argue that it is not fair that the bigger clubs like Arsenal and Man U, who earn their profits legitimately, can stay big and are trying to make little clubs stay small.”

    Legitimately? And City don’t? Dear me. That’s desperate. And by the way, the Bosman lawyer had his case lodged in Belgium before anyone City fans petitioned him, nor has the club had any contact with him.

    Pathetic. Of course, the what was then a huge cash investement in the early Wenger days is fine – because it was Arsenal? Dear me. I used to respect you as a club. Now it’s whinge whinge whinge.

  2. Mr Poynton, I think you are somewhat confused. This is just a blog presented by a few fans who put forward their own comments. Are you always like this?

  3. Oh dear oh dear oh me. As I live and breath it’s Violet Elizabeth Bot from Just William (“I’ll scream and scream and scream until and sick”).
    No point stamping your feet, FFP isn’t legal by European law as you simply can’t differentiate between investment and other forms of income. Limiting investment to a third of the income earned from participation is unfair too.
    The case was originally ruled that it should be heard in a lower court (though the commissioner that did so did so illegally (as it subsequently transpires) now the lower court has found against it.
    It is simply a way of maintaining a cartel. You know it, I know it and know a Belgian Judge has said so. It will now be put before the ECJ and eventually found illegal.

  4. It’s a curious thing that Arsenal fans object to City’s wealth yet the club and Mr Wenger have been delighted to take many millions of that money to use as they see fit. As beneficiaries of that “financial doping” just as much as City that makes you terrible hypocrites doesn’t it? As for the ground being on a “peppercorn rent” – that currently stands at £3m a year. Hardly a peppercorn but don’t let the truth get in the way of a good moan up will you?
    “Legitimate” profits from Arsenal? How so? Because you were in a reasonable financial state when you bullied others in to starting the Premier League – in no way due to the financial doping of George Grahams illegal transfer activity? Take your gooner goggles off and try to see the reality of FFP – maintaining the G14 cartel – except now AC Milan have fallen from grace it’s amazing that Platini is willing to look at it again isn’t it?

  5. Thanks for the detailed run down on what is happening on FFP, Tony. I don’t notice any whingeing.

    The quotation at the end is particularly interesting. Maybe one of the ideas was to try to get wealthy clubs to put more money into development at a time when states all over Europe are cutting back on public service provision, which includes sports facilities and youth sports activities.

    Unfortunately I doubt very much if they will be filling the gap.

  6. I can understand from an Arsenal fan’s point of view that the investment into Manchester City may appear to be vulgar however I think you should be aware of a few things.

    Firstly, the Chairman of MCFC, Kaldoon Al-Mubarak made it public that when Sheikh Mansour acquired the club he had a 7-10 year business plan which involved front-loaded investment before a break even point at around year 7. The club has achieved this and now boast the 4th most valuable brand in the world and has the 6th highest revenue in the world.

    Secondly, Sheikh Mansour has invested millions of pounds into the communities around Manchester, not just into the football club. This is not a billionaire’s play-thing (not that Chelsea’s situation particularly offends me). This is a very real, very sound business investment with a long term sustainable future, you can see that simply by looking at the huge amount of time, effort and money invested into the CFA (City Football Academy).

    Finally, some Arsenal fans adopt a “holier-than-thou” attitude when it comes to the finances of other football clubs, stating that their club is run “properly”. Did it ever occur to you that Wenger’s tight fisted approach to the transfer market was due to the fact your owners simply don’t give a toss about you? Could it be that they would rather see dividends paid out than spend their profits on talent? From the outside it certainly looks like 4th place is just fine for Kroenke. As long as you keep getting that Champs League money there’s no problem.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Arsenal. I just think that you as fans need to come to terms with reality. Your club is not the benchmark for all things decent.

  7. hehehe.. i bet yor tears are red and White to go with the shite you write lol

    1) EUFA ARE AS BENT AS FIFA. just look who is in charge (is he still on holiday?? in jail ) at Bayern MUNICH.

    2) 300.400-500 MILLION QUIDS ORTH OF DEBT IS OK ?? but debt free is not ?

    3) Name ANY buisness .. that DOES NOT ALLOW FREE INVESTMENT ( I FOOTBALL IS NOT A BUISNESS THEN EUFA not needed. The ECJ will clip its wings…..now under the so called FFP2 invesment is allowed lol who he phuck tells anyone what they can and cannot invest in their own company

    4) Do you know how long the lease is on citys ground ??nope you dont its 250 yearsx say 3 million =Before the rent was based on the gates over 34000..
    city Went in and fixed a set rent Think is 3 0r 4 milion a year.. by the way we gave the old maine road stadium plus paid about 20/30 million to fit out the etihad

    5) how much Money do you Think the glazers.. kronke, the lot who own Liverpool betweenthem have taken over to the USA.. Money that will NEVER come back to football 2 billion ?—- now how much Money have city PUT into football….

    6)if you are going to write about something please do a bit of investigation… instead of guessing.. you end up with egg on your chin.
    Your club should have some sort of recognition for finishing 4th… for so many years.

  8. I also, like many City fans, used to have a great admiration for Arsenal, but now that has disappeared completely, dut to constantly reading & hearing stuff like this coming from their supporters & management.

    City’s owner has committed the great sin of investing in his football club. That’s it. In the eyes of many of the ‘big 5’ supporters, that is ‘cheating’. But of course it never used to be ‘cheating’ it used to be ‘good owenership’ compared to those who take money out.

    Now taking money out is ‘good ownership’ & putting money in, is ‘bad ownership’ & Arsenal & their fans are accountants, takling about it all the time.

    Sheikh Mansour hasn’t bribed referees, or fixed matches or paid for the World Cup to go to Russia, he has invested in his football club, like owners & interested parties have been doing for over 100 years, including at Arsenal, rescuing them when needed. It was never seen as a problem in football, until clubs like yours, scared of missing out on the gravy train of the Champions League, petitioned UEFA to turn it into one, & it became ‘cheating’.

    But in every other type business, it is perfectly ok to invest money & the European courts would not allow any restictions, in fact what UEFA & the cartel of clubs, including Ardenal are doing, would be ‘cheating’& it would be stopped.

    Now UEFA have found City guilty of investing too much money & punished them, they have changed the rules to allow other clubs to do what they have punished City for doing, but City will not be allowed to do it, as they are being punished for doing it.

    And this of course is not ‘cheating’. So now Berlusconi, that virtuous Italian politician, & one of the main people behind this along with Aresenal etc, can sell AC Milan to someone with money, who can do what Sheikh Mansour did, except not be punished for it.

    And you know what the funny thing is ? Apart from the blatant, flesh crawling, backslapping corruption of the cartel, involving Arsenal, Utd, etc in engineering this ridiculous set of rules, City fans don’t actually give a stuff. Why ? Because the club is making so much money that it doesn’t matter& it is only justbeginning.

    They will have to find something else to stitch us up with, because ffp has failed, so when it is eventually found to be illegal, we won’t need the judgement anyway.

  9. Striani had nothing to with the Bosman ruling for starters. The legal challenge in the Belgian court has no involvement from City or PSG.

    That’s just your first paragraph and already your “facts” are way off the mark. Why anyone would bother reading the rest after that is beyond me.

  10. Invaluable stuff.

    Bit confused about one part,though – ‘But in fact what Uefa has done is modified the rules slightly for new owners taking on clubs – there is no benefit for the likes of PSG and Man City where the ownership deal has long since been done.’

    My understanding was that all clubs, with new or establish owners, can now put forward proposals to spend more over a set period. I read that within the last week and the criteria was that these proposals have to prove they can break even, or something similar, within a set period (think it was four years)

    In effect, City, PSG or anyone else could then go to uefa and say ‘we’re going to exceed the stated limits in this period, but we’ll be back on track by this date, and here’s how’

    In that scenario, there’d first be the matter of UEFA approving the proposal, and then the issue of whether the club conforms to the proposal. 4 years is a very long time in football and there’s no way of knowing what the FFP framework will look like by that point.

    Whatever anyone says, the exclusions for youth and stadium investment provide enormous scope for improving the fortunes and increasing the size and earning capacity of a club- they just don’t do it instantly or in a way that diminishes risk down towards a vanishing point : you can build the best environment for young players in the world, but you still have to play them; and you can build a fantastic and very large stadium, but you still have to fill it.

    These allowances expose the utter lie that owners are prevented by FFP from using their money to transform and better their clubs. They have that scope, an abundance of opportunity. What they don’t have is the chance to maximise their chances of instant success and the near removal of risk. And that’s what they can’t stand. Nor many of their fans.

    The guy moaning about the huge cash investment in the early Wenger days must surely see that even if that’s true, it can’t have compared to the amounts pumped into City.

    So, effectively, you had your huge cash investment, as you claim we did; you substantially altered your club and won the title twice… now try operating with something like the normal risks in football- where, as a wealthy club, you have a good amount of money to spend on players, but not an unlimited amount; the opportunity to make good signings, but also the inherent risks of not making good enough signings.

    FFP allows you ample room to batter that cartel if you can operate as well in the transfer market, and in bringing through young players from your unmatchable facilities, as Wenger has in his time at Arsenal. Top management is required and maybe a bit of patience. Or FFP will crumble and you can do it quickly with nothing but money.

  11. A well written but very one sided article.

    “The aim of financial fair play is not to make all clubs equal in size and wealth, but to encourage clubs to build for success rather than continually seeking a ‘quick fix’. Football clubs need an improved environment where investing in the future is better rewarded so that more clubs can be credible long-term investment prospects.

    “By favouring investments in youth and stadium infrastructure and by setting the acceptable deficits in absolute million € terms and not relative percentage terms, the break-even assessment has been structured to be less restrictive to smaller and medium-sized clubs.
    Quote ends:

    The owner/s of Manchester City (City) has built for success by investing heavily in all areas of the club; investing not borrowing to spend. This included a big investment in players to build beyond the ‘yoyo’ status to established contenders, a big investment (£150m) in a state of the arts, 100 acre Academy and Training Ground which opened earlier this year as the Etihad Campus, and is a long term project to cater for up to 400 young players of which around 80% will be British and Irish. Prior to this, during current ownership, investment in Academy has resulted in a highly competitive group of 16-19 year olds, only Chelsea currently have a more successful group of young players. There is now a highly competitive womans team (women not ladies), a modern 7,000 seat stadium for the Women and Academy sides and a major development to lift capacity of the Etihad Stadium to 62,000 in two stages (and before you start – yes, all PL games sell out the 47,000 capacity at present, always provided the travelling support sell theirs)!

    Add to this that the commercial development of the club has seen the club turnover climb from around £80 to nearly £400m in the 6 years of the new ownership. Only Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barca have higher revenues and City have achieved this with a breakeven position in tems of income and expenditure and the strongest balance sheet in world football. The Owner doesn’t loan the business money he invests in the business – get the difference?
    …….and yet you still maintain that City have somehow broken rules aimed at helping the little fellow and not what everyone with half an ounce of balance in their judgement knows is a set of rules aimed at keeping the Established European Giants and UEFA Income Streams soaking in the gravy train.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the fans of a club with great support, which has used a different sustainable model which includes the highest ticket costs in the country along with parsimonious investment in the team, will look enviously at owners who invest generously, treat their fans as their VIP’s in every way; and feel a high degree of angst. You just have to suck it up and accept that there is more than one model and we City fans prefer ours thank you very much.

    As for FFP, there has to be a National Court decision before a reference can be made to the ECJ. That is where we are now and it is the EJC and not the Commission of a UEFA committee that will make the eventual judgement, just as it was with Bosman . You seem to think that the City and PSG Owners are a bit thick and you rather insultingly suggest they should read the rules not the court judgement. You also suggest that they sulked for a week and were dragged back into line. Far from it; there was genuine debate and difference of legal opinion and in the end, City accepted a settlement significantly below what was first proposed by UEFA; and until acceptable terms were offered by UEFA, were prepared to go to court.

    UEFA may not be as bent as FIFA nor Splatini as bent as Splatter, but they are all tarred with the same brush and I wouldn’t advise you to put cash on FFP surviving; that’s if you have any left after you have mortgaged to buy your season ticket!

  12. What ‘huge cash investment’ did Wenger make in his early days? In 1996-7 he spent £20m in 8 players. In real terms that was never a ‘huge’ investment – and that is just the gross expenditure figure; once you account for the income from sales, the net spend is much lower and not remotely comparable with the later expenditures of Chelsea or City. Of course, he signed some very significant players back then – but who in England had heard of Vieira or Petit or Anelka before they arrived? He got them for a pittance, relatively speaking, because he was shrewd, not because he was lavish.

  13. What is disturbing about this unsavoury business, is that UEFA’s apparent shortage of prosecuting lawyers is still allowing wealthy clubs to run riot in the FFP Rules. 😉

  14. @ Ted Hughes

    I like the way you mention the World Cup in Russia, but not in Qatar, where it is far more likely to have been “bought”, given it has to be played in the Winter (though given the disruption to the many national leagues, we’ll see about that), and considering the Qatar national team is a handful of natives plus some purchased imports.

    The accusations of desperation coming from the City fans so far just show how nervous FFP has got them. All I’ll say to them is it’s an ongoing issue, that’s why it’s in the courts. That means there’s at least two sides to the case, and due to the nature of reality, many subplots/issues, each with multiple sides to them. What you are reading here isn’t the “gravy train” Sheik’s point of view, so guess what, you may not like it. When the results come out we’ll all know. You may even feel that the fines etc. imposed last year were unfair, but guess what? Everyone was playing by the same rules and City chose to break them, and that is bad ownership. The only people they hurt was you, the City fans. But hey, that’s what you get from a prince class.

  15. It’s perfectly clear to any simpleton that although professional football is (supposed to be) run like a business, it cannot be compared to a genuine ‘open market’ business.
    BASF, Pepsi & Sanyo (and all the others) don’t have a ‘captive’ income or support system.
    Unless they bought at a ridiculously cheap price, Bill Gates, Carlos slim, The Mittals etc would never buy a company then invest double or treble the original investment without certain guarantees that the company can make a competitive product and increase the asset value to a level where they can get a better returns that leaving the money in the bank. They all invest to grow their business but not to the level that we’ve seen in football.
    The other thing with football is that although every team wants to be the best, they don’t want their competition to go bust (no competition = no game), whereas that’s 100% the target in general business. Without R.Mad, Barca wouldn’t be able to play ‘el classico’ and would earn a tiny income from their domestic TV rights and the same is true in pretty much every league . Whereas GSKs aim is to have the rights for a unique product and not to have any competition in that market.
    Although there’s also a certain example from the Pharma business in the way they have patents to allow a company to earn well from their original research outlay, the patents then lapse and others can copy but it does encourage companies to invest in the research for their future. Too much money in football seems to result in the exact opposite in many cases, where they’re only interested in being successful here and now and the future of the club will look after itself (fingers crossed).

  16. M Glynn,

    3M a year for the rent of a new stadium is peanuts. The building of the Emirates cost 400-500M. Now let us take it halfway and go for 450M.
    So that means that City can pay the cost for their new stadium over a period of 150 years compared to Arsenal their new stadium.
    Arsenal had to pay and still has to for some 15 years something like 20M-25M every season for their ground.

    So compared that to 3M and yes, it is peanuts.

  17. It seems neither Mr. Poynton nor Mr. Ed has bothered to distinguish between what is the current UEFA’s position on FFP – which Tony’s piece was trying to contrast with the impression one would get from disinterested and disjointed press snippets on the matter – from a partisan Arsenal’s fan’s view, which Tony is entitled to but was not really focused upon in the piece.

    For example, since Man City is yet to earn profits under its new owner by every legitimate economic and business definition of the term, it is premature of Mr. Poynton to take the statement as impugning on the legitimacy of Man City’s profits and to take it as a slur on Man City!

    As to Mr. Ed’s opinion. FFP may be illegal as per EU’s law and giving unfair weight to profits over investment, until the courts say otherwise, FFP remains de-facto position in EUFA position and the press had tended to report its demise prematurely.

    Tony has done a great work for all concerned by giving a clearer picture of the current status.

  18. I must add that despite the Siteh doping of the 1st team, they have made amazingly positive investments in the training, coaching & youth football. They’ve improved a crappy area beyond recognition and that had to be applauded.
    However their desperate need to buy immediate success seems to be hindering the real benefit of the youth/coaching/training as they seem more interested in buying talent than actually giving their own young talent a try, which is very depressing for a team with a history of producing their own talent.

  19. Liverpoo and the Spuddies would kill for a stadium like Sitehs for only 3M per year…….

  20. Jeremy Poynton.

    As pat said, I don’t see any whinging in Tonys article.
    On the other hand from you we get:

    “Dear me. That’s desperate.”


    “Dear me……Now it’s whinge whinge whinge.

    And worse, we get this piece of utter fiction:

    “Of course, the what was then a huge cash investement in the early Wenger days is fine – because it was Arsenal?”


    Wenger’s 1st 5 seasons at Arsenal:

    1996 1997 = £10 Million

    1997 1998 = £50 Thousand (that’s thousand)

    1998 1999 = £9 Million

    1999 2000 = + £6 Million (that’s £6 Million PROFIT)

    2000 2001 = £3 Million

    That’s a total NET spend of £16 Million or just £3 Million per season.

    Abu Dhabi United Group’s 1st 5 seasons at City:

    2008 2009 = £113 Million

    2009 2010 = £100 Million

    2010 2011 = £116 Million

    2011 2012 = £48 Million

    2012 2013 = £14 Million

    That’s a total NET spend of nearly £500 Million which is £100 Million a season.

    In the lowest of those seasons, 2012 2013, City still spent almost as much as Wenger did in his entire first 5 seasons.

    Even taking into account the 12 year time span, inflation, changing face of football, or whatever else you want to use, to suggest Wenger’s spending was even in the same stratosphere as The ADUG’s is simply ridiculous.

    So before typing you really should check some stats because to come on here calling people ‘pathetic’ when you make such inaccurate wild statements of your own, just strips you of any credibility what so ever.

  21. Alphie Izzet,

    ” Etihad Campus, and is a long term project to cater for up to 400 young players of which around 80% will be British and Irish.”

    So are they going to be sorted on race or nationality? 😉 That sounds a bit racist to me.

    But what is the good of building such an academy if not one of those youth players will ever play in the first team?
    Look at Chelsea. They have been building on the academy for ages (something that the Chelsea propaganda told from the start they would do – just as the City propaganda does now) and yes their academy is now good. But what happened to all those promising future world beaters that won youth cups? Where is McEachran just to name one of them. They don’t get a chance of coming in to the team because despite the building of a youth academy clubs like Chelsea and City are not interested in building. They are interested in the now.

    So you can dream about having your own kids in the team but I think just as with Chelsea it will stay a dream….

    Whereas we, we will look at the likes of Szczesny, Hector, Jack, Kieran, Aaron, Francis, Theo, Serge, Chuba who do play in the first team (when fit) and who played for and/or come from our own youth academy. Not a dream, but the reality.

  22. In 2019 it’ll be the 100th anniversary of Arsenal being in the top flight. What celebrations are you planning to commemorate bribing your way into the 1st division after coming 5th in the 2nd.

    Arsenal FC – fraudulently in the top flight for nearly 100 years!

  23. Jeremy Poynton

    Just in case you didn’t get the picture.

    Arsenals NET spend the next 10 years:

    01/02 = £11 Mil

    02/03 = £1 Mil

    03/04 = £16 Mil

    04/05 = £1 Mil

    05/06 = £7 Mil

    07/08 = + £17 Mil (that’s profit)

    08/09 = £13 Mil

    09/10 = + £3 Mil (that’s profit)

    10/11 = + £31 Mil (that’s profit)

    10/11 = £7 Mil

    That’s a TEN YEAR NET spend of just £5 Million.

    That’s a mere £500 THOUSAND PER SEASON.

    In the mean time in the next 2 seasons at City, 13/14 and 14/15 City had a net spend of £150 Million.

    In case you’re having trouble keeping up, that’s £75 Million per season.

    So as I say, before you even start to make comparisons between City’s and Arsenals transfer spending you really should do some research.

  24. Good old Jambug.

    I suggested it is nonsense, you showed that it is.

    I’m guessing the only response is something along the lines of ‘yes, but we had to come from way back’.

    However, if you allow this, it leaves the situation where they came from way back, bought a better playing squad than us, have continued to spend more than us, and are still decrying us holding some unfair and restrictive advantage over them.

    And this after some incredibly unusual and not very market-driven or business-like – ‘hey, you know the amount we’re sponsoring you for?’, ‘yes’, ‘well, we like you so much that ,despite the contract being perfectly good and having a long while to run and there being no competition looking to pay what we already do, we want to double what we pay you’, ‘oh, how nice. Cheers cuz’- sponsorship deals.

    What is that advantage? If it isn’t a better starting position, and it isn’t more money, what does that leave?

    FFP seems designed to allow a ‘parent’ to support their ‘child’ in the manner a good parent would with homework, even as much a rich parent could by bringing in the finest tutors money can buy; unlimited spending is more like doing the homework for the child.

  25. Walter, McEachran appears to be in the process of signing with Brentford for 750k.

  26. The fundamental reason for FFP is to stop the clubs that are not ‘financially doped’ from going bust. Disasterous events at Portsmouth, Leeds and quite a few others seem to have been curtailed under FFP in recent years – without completely eliminating the rampant wage and transfer inflation which was undermining the whole sport.
    If you ‘invest’ more on players than they can ever win you back in prize money you can only have one aim in mind and that is to put others, who do not have the same resources, out of business. And the sense in that is what?
    The Press don’t care because they don’t their readers will understand it and because they get more clicks from transfer gossip anyway.

  27. Rich

    I try. Although you may of noticed I did get my Abu Dhabi’s mixed up the other day 🙂

    Anyway, I do find the intricacies of all this a little baffling.

    All I know is, Man City have a Net loss on transfers since the take over by the ADUG of around £650 Million. That’s not a spend figure, but a LOSS figure.

    Yet somehow they keep claiming they are now in profit.

    Whether they are or aren’t. Whether they’ve done it by ingenious business acumen, creative accounting, exploiting loop holes or moving the goalpost, I don’t know.

    What I do know, and will argue to the grave, is that there is NO credit what so ever in anything the team may achieve.

    On nearly a £100 Million net loss per season transfer budget my Mum could win the Premier League.

  28. WalterBroeckx

    Not sure why you’re comparing the cost of the Emirates to the rent paid for the Etihad. The City of Manchester Stadium cost £134M of which the council paid around £57M. When City moved in, they spent over £20M in fitting out the stadium for football. The Maine Road site was given to the council and nearly 500 properties have been built there providing a good profit for the council. Manchester City are currently spending another £100M+ on expanding the stadium.

    The £3M per year rent is a reasonable return for a £57M investment by the council. In fact, the council already have had around half their money back over the last 10 years and if profits from the Maine Road redevelopment are included they have probably nearly recouped their outlay. On top of that City will be paying rent for another 240 years. Seems like a good deal for everyone.

  29. Walter I didn’t say peanuts, I said peppercorn which I’m sure a learned chap such as yourself will know is significant. The commercial deal City did for the stadium was about the only good bit of business in 30 years but the cost compared to that of the Emirates isn’t really relevant… if you’d built it in East Manchester it wouldn’t have cost that. If the redevelopment site left at Maine Road was in Islington that would have created a different deal for the City of Manchester. Perhaps we should be punished for geography too…

    As for Theo coming from your youth team?! Brilliant.

  30. It seems that Manchester City fans are a bit obsessed by Arsenal blogs these days 🙂

    As I said before deep inside they know that what they do is against how it should be done. You can bet that most of them were saying the same things against Chelsea in their pre-sheikh days and said what a disgrace it was that someone could spend unlimited. So there is not even the word City in the headline and yet they come in flowing like a tsunami on an Arsenal blog that has been talking about FFP for many years.

  31. M Glynn,

    as English is not my mother language I didn’t know the word peppercorn or the meaning of it.

    Ah, lets pick on that one name in a list of 9 players. Yeah.

    And yes if you take a kid like Theo at 16 and give him a chance to shine at the highest level he is one of ours. Tell me what is the name of the last City product in your team now?

  32. So taking into account the inflation between the centuries how much money did Henry Norris and William Hall spend on a new stadium, name changes, bribes or at least backhanders, poaching managers and players from other clubs around 100 years ago? Also it’s pertinent to remember that none of it came from Woolwich/Arsenal FC profits did it?

    Do you think that post-FFPR should come into play if we’re doing it now, so we can look at Norris and Hall’s dubious goings on at your club back then, why not look at the books for all-time? That would only be fair wouldn’t it?

  33. WalterBroeckx
    July 7, 2015 at 10:43 am
    QUOTING Alphie Izzet,

    ” Etihad Campus, and is a long term project to cater for up to 400 young players of which around 80% will be British and Irish.”

    So are they going to be sorted on race or nationality? That sounds a bit racist to me.







  34. @Alphie_Izzett

    Actually, I don’t think anyone accused you of racism….

    Also, I think your keyboard’s broken.

  35. WalterBroeckx
    July 7, 2015 at 10:24 am

    “3M a year for the rent of a new stadium is peanuts. The building of the Emirates cost 400-500M. Now let us take it halfway and go for 450M.
    So that means that City can pay the cost for their new stadium over a period of 150 years compared to Arsenal their new stadium.”

    Unlucky, old chap. £400-500m; guess that’s a combination of the 2006 property market down south (and your initial inability to raise the finance….)

    If I remember correctly the City of Manchester Stadium (2002) cost the council about £135m, including their share of the conversion costs from athletics to football.

    Not forgetting that they acquired the land that Maine Road was built on, plus the benefit from additional investment within the City; £3m a year on a 250 year lease sounds more than “peanuts” in relation to the total net spend, however you work it.

  36. City fans – stop moaning because you know the article is the truth.
    You bought your titles, just like Chelsea, without rich Billionaire sugar daddies your club would be nowhere, that’s a fact.
    A Billionaire could buy Hull, pump a few billion into it and get the same results as Chelsea and City!
    Does that make them a good club? No!!!!
    Owning a club is not just about working hard to achieve your status, clever transfers, valuable wins to finish in profitable places in the League/CL/Europa/FA Cup etc…. building up the youngsters of your club for the future.
    Any club in the world can win the lottery by getting a rich investor and be successful.
    I detest Utd but I respect them as a club, they built up their reputation, they earned their trophies, a lot of them by developing the youths to win them their trophies.
    That’s why I love Arsenal, we also earned our status, we didn’t need to be bailed out by some Arab/Russian because our management team was too stupid to progress the club.

    I respect League 2 sides more than I respect Chelsea and City!

  37. KippaxCitizen, In answer to your question about Norris and Hall, and given the fact that I am the co-author of what I think is the only book that is about the life of Woolwich Arsenal FC, I would say none. None of the money for the building of Highbury Stadium came from Woolwich Arsenal FC because Woolwich Arsenal was loss making, and was bankrupt when Norris and Hall took it over in 1910. The same situations would apply today, and I think that is right: Norris was free to invest money in the stadium because stadium building is excluding from FFP. He then used the profits generated by Highbury’s capacity and rapidly rising income to buy new players. But this happened slowly. Although Knighton exaggerates the situation in his autobiography, as the articles on the Arsenal History Society site show (www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk) there nevertheless were constant attempts by Norris to keep transfer costs down. Indeed he twice proposed to the League that there should be a limit of £1000 on transfer levels, but the other clubs voted against. I am not sure what dubious goings on your refer to, but if you would like to put forward some new evidence we’ll be pleased to read it – but you might want to do some research first – the AHS is just about the only place where proper research into (for example) Arsenal’s promotion of 1915, has been carried out. Indeed if you are a Man C supporter I would have thought you would have looked into this, given that the demons of the day were Liverpool and Man U who were involved in flagrant match fixing.

  38. Oh and City fans – I didn’t see you all so vocal when your side was sitting in League 1.
    Rich investor, buys some trophies and now you come out from under your rocks.
    Fake fans!

  39. Andy N – you really ought to do some research before you make these wild unsubstantiated allegations. Especially about 1919.

    The article “10 March 1919, Arsenal elected. Find the bribery and get the reward” which has the most detailed research on the story might interest you http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/5592

    As might the fact that the people who were involved in the fraud were Man U and Liverpool.

  40. Zack, I think your response might carry a little more weight if you gave any evidence that your statement

    Did it ever occur to you that Wenger’s tight fisted approach to the transfer market was due to the fact your owners simply don’t give a toss about you? Could it be that they would rather see dividends paid out than spend their profits on talent?

    has some basis in terms of evidence.

  41. Rolee – the issue of the legal challenge having the support of Man City and PSG is indeed not one that I independently researched, but it was referred to in what seemed to me to be serious articles in several newspapers which (although I admit it) do get things wrong, do by and large make an attempt to get legal things right – the Telegraph, Guardian and Independent as I recall.

    So perhaps you would tell us where the facts come from to support your assertion?

  42. Blueknight, I think your comments would carry a little weight if you gave some evidence for the claims you make. As to the recognition for finishing fourth, I don’t think that’s really necessary. What we recognise are things like having the manager who has won the FA Cup more than any other in this or the last century, like having the only team in this or the last century that has gone all season undefeated, having a club that has won the FA Cup more times than any other. Or a club that has won the league 13 times in its history. These things, recent and ancient, those of us who study Arsenal’s history and support them today, tend to remember.

  43. The Citeh fans have gone a bit Orwellian……..excellent article Tony and I’m looking forward to reading your books on holiday

  44. Alphie

    As most of the regulars on here will know I disagree very strongly with most of the views re matters Chelsea that are published on here .i understand, but don’t agree where many come from in regard to how owners put cash into clubs and for every set of figures Iproduced there is a counter narrative which in turn will produce a polar opposite view

    Walter is passionate re matters Arsenal and whilst I dont think for one moment he was calling you a racist when any organisation puts in place quotas based on nationality then at some stage when working toward those quotas some sort of positive discrimination has to come into play and whilst that isn’t as a matter of course racist it is place for a reason that has no real action to footballing ability .

    This isn’t my blog, Arsenal aren’t my club but responding by way of a post in capital letters shows to me that you have lost the argument

  45. M glynn,
    In my time scale he was 19 when City bought him.

    So got any names ? No? Keep on hoping then….

  46. I could have placed the smiley a bit better I do admit…

    “So are they going to be sorted on race or nationality? That sounds a bit racist to me. “

  47. Reminds me of the days when last year Tony wrote about the FFP punishment City would get and lots of them came on here abusing Tony and the rest and saying that they would face nothing at all. Well that sure didn’t went very well for them….

  48. I used to like City. I still like watching there team. But the more there fans come on here with there unsubstantiated ranting and raving in ever more desperate attempts to justify the purchasing of trophies, the more I’m beginning to dislike them.

    They where so nice when they where shit, going through managers like confetti and ringing there little bell.

    Now they’ve won the lottery they’ve become an obnoxious lot.

  49. Isn’t it strange that, the only clubs complaining about our good fortune, lottery win or, whatever you wish to call it, are the old elite of the EPL, and main passengers on the CL gravy train, Arsenal, Liverpool and manu?

    Of course, now they’ve done their big spend, Jose and Roman have jumped on the bandwaggon, to try and protect their now leading position on that gravy train.

    I have yet to see a supporter of any other club than those above, complain about it, in fact the usual comment when discussing our good fortune is “wish it was us”.

    Who was it penned a letter to UEFA, on their club letterheaded paper, begging them to bring FunFP in immediately and, who were the other signatories, you got it, Liverpool, manu and Chelsea.

    Always, always had respect for Wenger and the way his teams play the game but, his constant whingeing about what other clubs are doing is rapidly wearing that respect thin.

  50. Isn’t it also a bit funny that City (and Chelsea fans) are boasting about the plans for their academy that they have, or are being about to build for the future with all the money from their owner when…
    1. Not one of their own players have made it to the first team since the money came flowing in
    2. Arsenal having to pay for their stadium actually built the youth academy from the little money that was left and …
    3. actually Arsenal has given around 8 or 9 youngsters the chance to grow in to the first team

    And we did this all by ourselves. Building our own stadium (without any state funding or tax payers money), integrating our own youth players at the highest level (I could add in Cashley Cole and Cesc Fabregas 😉 ),

    And now the hardest work is done and we finally have earned some new wealth from that hard work they suddenly seem very irritate about what FFP is about.
    In fact we applied FFP on ourselves all these years ago and we are now starting to show that it can work.

    So I can imagine that some of them are a bit jealous about how Arsenal has done their business over the last decade or so. It could have been their club that should have done it like that.

    Fact is : we haven’t bought one title in our history. We have earned each of them. And they know we will earn a few more before we enter the celebration of 100 years in the top division of English football.

  51. Walter, We have a lot of catching up to do, it was in the standard of our first team squad but, that’s now been rectified so, now it’s the turn of our youth academy.

    It’s going very well at the moment thanks, with players like George Evans, Adam Drury, Jason Denayer, Karim Rekik, who are defs, Bruno Zuculini, Seko Fofana, Albert Rusnak, who are mids and attackers Jose Pozo, Davante Cole (Andy’s son)and Jordy Hiwula all showing signs of being able to make the grade. Of course, as you’ll know, it’s a big step from the YA to the first team so no guarantees but Denayer is already a full international for Belgium with 4 or 5 caps to his name.

    You may know of our YA head coach, Patrick Vieira of who great things are expected, he’s tipped to eventually become our first team manager. The YA’s reputation is such that the sons of van Persie and Garry/Phil Neville are there, interesting that they should send their sons to our academy and not utd’s, don’t you think?

  52. Walter, no bosting about anything, it was you who brought up YA’s and I’ve sinmply replied.

    Strange you don’t respond to my comments about who’s doing the complaining about our wealth.

  53. Glowey

    Wenger’s constant whinging?

    First, I believe he was justified in talking about it to the extent he used to (and it wasn’t that much then, he was simply emphatic in what he said); Second, he has been talking about those issues a lot less in recent times.

    The main point, however, is that whatever he has said at any stage will almost certainly have been presented articulately and with well-reasoned arguments and logic.

    Even if that reasoning doesn’t hold up, though I believe it invariably does with him, it’s hard to see why that should be classed as whinging. Unless you consider him to be a dishonest man, all he can be guilty of then is being wrong in his convictions.

    By all means attack the reasoning and try find any errors or inaccuracies in it, though. That’s good healthy debate and useful for correcting errors.

    I genuinely don’t see how having a title-winning squad, an unbelievably promising youth set up, a growing stadium, which will not take one penny away from your finances, and the ability to spend as much as anyone in the league bar Man Utd doesn’t constitute a spectacularly good platform to move forward from.

    To feel hard done by in ‘only’ having that, particularly as a club who were nowhere near such a good positive position not long ago, seems an admission that the desire isn’t really for a good fair fight, but for a rigged game, which is what effectively unlimited resources inexorably must lead to.

    If FFP remains in effect, only United have a distinct financial advantage over you. One that can be shortened in a relatively short period of time if you make better decisions and have more success than them. But they don’t even currently have a playing advantage. Beat them with your spending ,within the FFP framework, in the next few years and you can stay ahead of them.

  54. @Glowey

    These are UEFA FFP rules.

    It relates to qualification for the Champions League.

    So who would you expect to complain if City were gaming the system on those rules? Palace? Stoke?

    Or would it be more likely that it would be City’s competitor’s for the Champions League places?

  55. Glowey, a few years ago Chelsea fans threw names around like confetti about their youth teams that would become world beaters in a very short time. As pointed out one of the biggest talents will leave Chelsea to go to Brentford on a permanent base.
    At Arsenal we almost never have a year with no one making the step to the first team. Last season we had two of them in Bellering and Coquelin ( a late blossomed player I do admit ).

    No matter how good the youth players are if you have bosses who only want immediate success, they will hardly get a chance. So forgive me but most of the names you said if not all of them (my prediction) will move away from City in the next years.

    And I do know Denayer. How many matches has he played FOR City up to now? You do know you bought him when he was 18? So not really a youth product from City wasn’t he? The reason I didn’t include Oxlade-Chamberlain in my initial list as he also only came at 18. The Ox was 17 in fact 😉

  56. There are two sets of FFP rules that Premier League clubs have to comply with: UEFA FFP and EPL FFP. No doubt both will be modified over time to close loopholes, but it’s wishful thinking to assume that they’re going away.

    Media hacks dumb-down those rules, but if you want a better understanding of them, I’d suggest you look here: http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/financial-fair-play-explained.php

    Regardless of the legal changes to UEFA FFP, all clubs will have to comply with existing rules for the 2015/6 season, and previously sanctioned clubs such as Man City and PSG have already been informed that they will be closely monitored.

    Premier League FFP rules have not been challenged legally, and two of those rules will constrain Man City this summer: the homegrown rule and the salary cap rule.

    Clubs must have at least 8 homegrown players in their official PL squad of 25. At Arsenal, we have 9. Man City have 3: Hart, Wright and Clichy. So they will have to buy 5 or promote from their academy. And that perhaps explains why Liverpool are holding out for silly money for Sterling. Other PL clubs will know this and could force Man City to pay over the odds. For Sterling at least they’ll take a major hit on their wage bill.

    Clubs are allowed a max of 17 non-homegrown 21+ players in their PL squad. Man City have 18 as per Transfer Market, including one returning loanee. So they’ll have to get shot of/loan one and, if they land any of the mega signings they’ve been linked with, they’ll have to sell existing players, and their wage bill will rise, probably significantly.

    All those potential signings will hit their wage bill, and they’ll have to ensure that the salary cap rule isn’t broken.

    Bottom line: FFP in both guises will continue to constrain Man City’s attempts to overhaul its ageing squad.

  57. Walter, you can predict all you like, the proof of the pudding etc.

    As with most clubs these days, youth players get sent out on loan to game first team experience. Denayer was at Celtic last season, was their young player of the year and Scotlands young player of the year.

    He’s come back to us reportedly to join the first team squad. Of course, he’ll get games in the early rounds of the cups and maybe a few against lower prem teams but, no guarantees are there?

    It has to start with someone and, he may just be the one. Our owners have stated that the £200 mill YA has been built to make us self sufficient in playing staff, there will inevitably still be at leat one major purchase each season but, it will be another couple of seasons before we have a production line up and running.

    As for how old a pleyer is when brought in 16, 17 or 19, it doesn’t matter, he’s never your product, as he was spotted elsewhere and the PL team has simply cherry picked him from his original club. Walcott was an exceptional talent when you bought him so, no credit there as with AOC etc.

    Up to now, we’ve needed players who could hit the ground running, now we’re established, that need has diminished and there will be opportunities for players to be promoted, as I’ve said, it takes time but we can now see the fruits of our YA ripening.

  58. MJC, you make my point for me, so scared of missing out on CL money that those clubs will resort to anything to prevent others muscling in.

  59. Mike T

    Not for one moment did I suggest or say or even hint that City had quota’s for their Academy based on race or nationality. What is more, I came back at the poster who chose to extrapolate from my comment to make the racist accusation, and refuted that very point.

    The recruitment criteria are entirely footballing criteria end of story and the costs and logistics of bring in talent from overseas is an undoubted factor which results in an approximate 80% of players having logistical proximity to Manchester (he writes with no small degree of exasperation).

  60. On the subject of FFP being about long term sustainability

    Manchester City Academy News

    A group born in the year 2000 lifted the Elite Neon Cup this weekend with a brilliant tournament showing over four days out in Greece ending with City deservedly crowned Champions.

    This talented side was composed of the same boys that defeated Barcelona to win the MeCup last month, and once again showed their ability, commitment and team spirit to overcome a series of strong challengers from around Europe to add another trophy to their fledgling CVs.

    There were also individual gongs for Phil Foden, who was named Player of the Tournament, and Bobby Duncan, who took home the Top Scorer award.

    It was a hugely successful weekend for the Academy, with the club’s u10 side also being named National Champions after seeing off Liverpool 2-0 in the semi finals and beating Valencia by a single goal in the final.

    It marks the culmination of a sensational season throughout the Academy, with multiple trophy successes across the age groups as the club’s youth programme begins to bear fruit.

    City are now national champions at u10, u13 and u14 level following this latest triumph, in addition to the MeCup and Elite Neon Cup success for the mix of u16 and u15 age groups. Meanwhile, the u18s reached the FA Youth Cup final and the EDS lifted the International Premier League Cup to complete a magnificent year.

  61. Rich, Whingeing, whining, or simply complaining, Wenger was at it almost everyday for a couple of months. He has always spoken openly and honestly but, all his talk of financial doping was nonsense. There were no rules preventing it so it wasn’t dishinest or cheating.

    You don’t have to be dishonest to whinge or complain do you? What he was doing was trying to influence UEFA to his clubs advantage, dishonest no but not entirely fair either.

    Since then, UEFA have introduced arbitrary rules to try to prevent it again, thereby cementing the positions of the G14 or whatever you wish to call them. How can they be fair when a club that owes not a penny to anyone, pays up front for transfers and invests so heavily in the club and the area around their stadium be held up as doing wrong when a club not too far away from us is hundreds of millions in debt (at one point approaching £1 billion) is seen as acceptable?

    Anyone with any intelligence knows that FFP is illegal under fundamental EU law, anti trust laws I believe but I’m no legal eagle. Which basically say you can’t prevent investment in a company by it’s owners (or whoever) if it prevents competition.

    As for complaining, not anymore, we’ree out of the FFP woods now and things will only get better. It’s the injustice of what UEFA are doing have done that bugs me. we’re punished for breaking “rules”. Those rules are completely changed, allowing other clubs to do exactly what we did without punishment but, the revised rules STILL don’t apply to us!

    If that is prejudiced against us (and PSG) well I don’t know what is.

  62. I am very interested in Man City’s youth academy. Personally, I think it is too early to say whether this project will bear fruit or not but I wish them well. The Man City owners are definitely putting their money where their mouth is. I am still waiting for ANY club, including Arsenal, to take the next two steps: 1) Include a school in their development model…a full education for their school boys would be positive; I believe Manchester City has some school boys enrolled in a local private school; and 2) Including females in their developmental models equally.

  63. GoingGoingGooner, That’s us GGG, there is a school in our academy but, bearing in mind the age range, ethnicity and language barrier, I’m not sure how far it goes, have to look a bit deeper into that one.

    We’re also building 4,000 social housing houses (EH?) close to the stadium and academy. These will be provided with a general infrastructure of shops, doctors surgery, schools etc and it may be that we use that facility for our apprentices.

    As for the womens side of things, early days for us (again I know) we’ve bought established players to kick the team off, last season was our first in the WPL but, I’m sure when girls are enrolled in the academy, they’ll get the same treatment and facilities as the boys.

    I know I would say it but, our owners really do seem to be doing everything the correct way, and the supporter involvement is clearly important to them as they bend over backwards to keep us informed and involved.

  64. apo Armani


    Notice the way Jeremy Poynton came on. Talked rubbish. Got told as much. Then disappeared.

    Then we have the following change of tac from KippaxCitizen trying to justify the spending with misinformed references to Henry Norris Et El:


    July 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    “So taking into account the inflation between the centuries how much money did Henry Norris and William Hall spend on a new stadium, name changes, bribes or at least backhanders, poaching managers and players from other clubs around 100 years ago?”

    Totally debunked by:

    Tony Attwood

    July 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    You really should know your ground before you take on Tony 🙂

    Oh, and KippaxCitizen has strangely melted away as well.

  65. Have to say: if you need to boost your hits, reference Man C in an article, preferably about FFP.

    However, I am missing M18CTD (or whatever his moniker is) whose views, while not always aligned with mine, at least takes the trouble to substantiate them. A rather more energised version of Mike T…

    Have to say, I chortled at some of the accusations as to Arsenal’s distant history. Tony is not really the man to try to take on on that one!

  66. Unfortunately I am an Arsenal fan living in Manchester. I say unfortunately as I have lived here long enough to see a complete change in attitude of most Man City fans. Who turned into sad chav vulgar doosh bags.

    The sense of entitlement by fans of a team who were playing in the 3 rd tier of english football is sickening and hilarious at the same time!

    As is their complete lack of humour.

    Sad times

  67. Glowey, You must appreciate that during pre-game press conferences the hacks love asking AW contentious questions as he usually gives them a straight answer.
    He was asked about FFP by each and every one of them which then appeared to be him repeating it every day but was really just the press repeating it every day after he’d made the statement and repeated at the next one for the ‘hard of thinking’ journos.
    I’m sure they’ll recycle the question soon and he’ll either answer them or say that everyone knows his opinion and there’s no point repeating it again (as he usually says).

  68. Dex

    “The sense of entitlement by fans of a team who were playing in the 3rd tier of english football is sickening and hilarious at the same time!”

    Spot on.

    Man Utd where NOT gifted there current status (unless we want to count the numerous gifts from referees over the years 😉 )

    Arsenal where not gifted there status

    Nor Liverpool.

    Man Cities only handicap was themselves. There inability to build on the successes of 40 odd years ago was nobodies fault but there own.

    Arsenal where just one team amongst half a dozen or so wondering around mid table, winning the odd title, wandering around mid table winning the odd FA CUP wandering around…….you get the picture.

    Then Wenger arrived. Not money. Not a cash cow. Not an Oligarch. Not an Oil rich state. A MANAGER. No more no less. Just a manager.

    When history looks back on the last 10/20 years, in Arsenals case it will be known as the ‘Wenger years’.

    When history looks back on the last 5 or 6 years, in Cities case, will they be known as the ‘Pelligrini years’? The ‘Mancini’ years? Will they f**k.

    These times will be known as the ‘Mansour years’ ‘The ‘money years’.

    Similar Chelsea. As much as Jose likes to call himself the special one, these years of success at Chelsea will NOT be remembered as the Mourinho years but will be the ‘Abramovich’ years.

    Because in both cases, City and Chelsea, as much as they protest, it is ALL about the MONEY. Nothing else, just the money.

    And as for there belief in there entitlement to that money, it is as you say, sickening.

  69. “So are they going to be sorted on race or nationality?”

    Sounds suspect as Walter says.

    Can’t believe that no one else sees the consequences of this. Reminds me of the quota that many companies have against hiring (too many) black men in higher positions. So the young players will have to fill out a form clearly stating their nationality and possible ethnicity too.

    The world(people) appears to be wanting to go forward, but the rulers and law makers seem not to.

  70. Dex, I suspect you are one of the culprets in believing that English football beagn in 1992.

    Man U were owned by one Louis Edwards who owned a Butchery business, during the late 50’s and early 60’s, he “gave” the club what, in those days was a fortune to buy players like Denis Law for a then world record transfer fee and built them into a team who went on to win the European Cup in 68. Without his largesse, utd would have been just another team but, read some football history and you’ll see many instances of financial doping, corruption and treachery.

    As for Liverpool, try the Moores family who owned Littlewoods Pools, Stores and Catalogue and who also had a stake in Everton, they “invested” in both clubs. I could go on but, try reading some football history.

    So Arsenal were just also rans before Wenger? I think Bertie Mee and George Graham at the very least would have something to say about that! You show your conplete ignorance of football history including hat of the club you supposedly “support”

    And surely the last ten years will be known as the barren years if “winning the odd FA CUP” is such an underachievement as you make out.

    If you believe all the top clubs got there purely on merit, good management and sound tactics, you’re in for a big shock. As a starter, try David Conn’s – THE BEAUTIFUL GAME.

  71. Glowey,
    they will be remembered as “the building years”. In all senses and means. That is how we at Untold look at those years.

  72. @Glowey 3:54 pm My point about women is that nowhere, including Arsenal nor ManCity, do they treat women equally. I have not read that Manchester City intend to do this…you imply that they do…could you send a link?

    As for the schooling…I would like to see all scholar athletes be given access to top notch educations along with their involvement with the Premier League teams. Perhaps this is wishful thinking. If I understand correctly the ManCity schoolboys are enrolled in a local public school.

  73. Jambug

    I liked that one about Manchester United and the gifts from referees!

    Another thing we must never forget.

  74. No link GGG, as I said, it’s very early days for our womens teams. They only came on board about 3 seasons ago and into the women’s PL last season. I’m just making a judgement based on how they’ve gone about absolutely everything else at the club. Women’s football is growing almost exponentially, and will the more so in view of our world cup showing. Our owners will want to be at the forefront of anything that grows the clubs image and fan base.

    Yes City’s schoolboys are “farmed out” at the moment but, when they return from this summers holiday, the Academy’s college will open for business.

  75. Walter, you can remember them as what you like but, history can only view them as barren years because that’s what they are, you won cock all!

    According to you and a few other fanatics on here, Wenger did his building long ago, not over the last 10 years, you can’t have it both ways.

    How about answering some of my earlier points, rather than ignoring them because they don’t suit you?

  76. Just a thought GGG, our Women’s teams have use of the Academy stadium and all the training facilities within the new training campus.

  77. hello Gooners,

    so this is the bi-annual Untold article fishing for City fans, then when you’ve hooked a few, slag them off for daring to have an opinion on their own club!

    fantastic, you’ve ticked all the boxes once again, and managed to wind up your hard of thinking readership to levels which surely are no good for their young hearts 🙂

    All the best for the new season, and I hope you win that fourth place trophy you’ve been so successful in competing for each season.

    Shame your billionaire owners don’t want to spend the cash mountain they’re sitting on, and in fact promised they would for the last two seasons, but hey, that’s what happens when unfit foreign owners get control of once proud English football teams – my heart feels for you true supporters.

  78. Holy crap, so many butthurt Citeh fans in one place – and on an Arsenal blog, of all places! I might have to go get some popcorn to read all the comedy!

  79. Beware ! Soon the big , mean and mucho aggressive Arsenal bull will be upon you !

    Three bulls heard the rancher was bringing another bull onto the ranch.

    First Bull: “I’ve been here five years. I’m not giving this new bull any of my 100 cows.”

    Second Bull: “I’ve been here three years and have earned my right to 50 cows. I’m keeping all my cows.”

    Third Bull: “I’ve only been here a year, and so far, you guys have only let me have 10 cows. I may not be as big as you fellows, but I’m keeping all 10 of my cows.”

    Just then an 18-wheeler pulls up in the pasture carrying the biggest bull they’ve ever seen. At 4,700 pounds, each step he takes strains the steel ramp.

    First Bull: “I think I can spare a few cows for our new friend.”

    Second Bull: “I actually have too many cows to take care of. I can spare a few. I’m certainly not looking for an argument.”

    They look over at the third bull and find him pawing the dirt, shaking his horns and snorting.

    First Bull: “Son, don’t be foolish – let him have some of your cows and live to tell about it.”

    Third Bull: “Hell, he can have all my cows. I’m just making sure he knows I’m a BULL.”

  80. As usual a lot of City fans have the impression that it is Arsenal that invented and implemented FFP rules on football all by themselves. LOL. 🙂 🙂

    Arsenal is in favour yes but thinking that we are capable of letting the whole football world dance to our tune is a bit far fetched. 🙂

  81. Nobody is saying FFP has been thrown into the bin. As the legal tussle continues, City have been eased from the restrictions of last season and that’s reason to cheer for the City faithful. Also nobody is saying that City spend unlimited sums. the plan from the start was to invest heavily within a 7-10 year period that would put the club in a good footing to challenge the likes of Barca and Bayern who have been at the forefront of football for a long time and good news is that but for the fine we paid to UEFA we could have achieved break even last year.

    I think it is a myth that Arsenal are where they are today without the help of a big-bang so to say as Fiszman’s 50 million quid which gave Arsenal financial advantage over rivals back then(that was a awful lot back then). Take a look at this quote from one of your legends: ‘I think that a significant factor, 90%, in why we achieved so much is that Danny Fiszman invested 50 million pounds in the club and we were able to go to the next level. I got my first decent contract at the club, so did David Seaman, we were able to bring in Dennis Bergkamp – and that was before Arsene arrived – David Platt, patick Viera, Nicolas Anelka, and we were able to pay them – top players from around the world’

    A lot of figures that have been bandied in this forum fail to recognize that comparism of sums spent in different periods will never give the true picture with rising inflation rates.
    As with everything in life, change is inevitable and I honestly think the Arsenal fans are scared about that reality. City have had a huge spend over the years but thankfully the revenues are growing in leaps and bounds so if FFP says don’t spend a lot more than you earn, its not really a big deal if you can earn so much more. Granted, we were gifted with oil riches, but was that our fault? your guess on that is as good as mine i think. the fact that we were gifted with such investment does not also say you cannot be so blessed with huge windfall tomorrow neither does it imply that you cannot raise your finaces to compete better by whatsoever means legally acceptable, does it? Put in another way, we have ‘easy money’ but did we tie your hands from getting yours or must investment in football always caome from ‘football sources’ i.e. sale of tickets, shirts, etc? By the way, we are not the only ones that have had the opportunity to be bankrolled by some rich fellow/entity but it didn’t always work out for others. So we never stopped competition as we never tied the hands of other clubs only that some clubs are content with mediocrity and would rather smile to bank and instead of fans to address that issue they prefer to whinge at others.

    In summary, even if FFP stays (and I pray it does stay) no amount of slagging us off or wishing doom for us will stop us from achieving our dream.

  82. Glowey

    I think you are getting a little confused or perhaps your memory is failing you

    First off the letter you talk about wasn’t sent to UEFA it was sent toRichard Scudamore in late 2012

    Chelsea had nothing to do with it and it was signed by Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool & Totenham Hotspur

    Here’s was JM actually said about FFP

    “I think Financial Fair Play is a contradiction because, when football decided to go for Financial Fair Play it was exactly to put teams in equal conditions to compete.

    “But what happened really with the Financial Fair Play is a big protection to the historical, old, big clubs, which have a financial structure, a commercial structure, everything in place based on historical success for years and years and years.

    “And the ‘new’ clubs – I call them ‘new’ clubs, those with new investment – they cannot put themselves quickly at the same level. Clubs with new owners cannot immediately attack the control and the domination of these big clubs.

    There was a further interview with The Portugese Press which partially appeared in the DM in which he did indeed talk about points deductions being more appropraite for clubs who failed to meet FFP and he is right . The irony was he was talking about points deduction in CL group stages yet that was missed in translation

  83. Mike T, At my age, probably the latter but, thinking about it, probably both!

    The names on the letter were somewhat irrelevant as you and everyone else will have got the message.

    If you truly believe FFP rules are equitable, fair enough we’ll have to agree to differ.

    One thing that puzzles me and, that no one has been able to answer satisfactorily is, what is wrong with “new money”? If a club like City were before the Sheik arrived, isn’t allowed to spend as City have since, how do they join the elite or, should we have just accepted our position and stayed there?

  84. Glowey

    As a Chelsea supporter believe me it really does matter when it is suggested that we took part in that very underhand approach.

    Not sure why you think that my take on FFP rules are equitable indeed on many occasions on here I have cautioned those that had high hopes following the introduction of such rules

    Again as a long term football and indeed a long term Chelsea supporter I have no issue about new money being introduced . Many clubs have seen benefactors plough quite large sums into clubs and yes I recognise that the sums put in by our respective owners dwarfs sums previously put in but the rapid growth in the value of our two respective clubs income and indeed worth is something that far too many fail to recognise.

  85. Mike T,

    Good research as always mate. I was intrigued to see that Mourinho’s comments were misinterpreted somewhat by the English press (should we be surprised though?). That said, I think Jose has come across as a bit of a wind-up merchant when talking about FFP. Example: when City signed Bony and he acknowledged it was a good signing but then added something to the effect that the rules are different for City. He was right of course but not in the way he implied it – City were under sanction from UEFA at the time and were limited to a net spend of £49 million for the season so yes, the rules were different for us but not in our favour 😉 But like I said, I think Mourinho just says these things to wind up opposition teams and sits back to see the reaction.

    You’re right that Chelsea’s name was not on that letter – as you say, it was the 4 clubs you mentioned. 4 out of 5 of the old so-called “Big Five” in fact. I’m still amused as to why Tottenham in particular put their name to it – they’re a big club no doubt but they’re a fair bit behind the curve of the other 3 clubs, and it’s increasingly amusing that Liverpool appear to be falling by the wayside a little as well. What I will add with regards to UEFA’s FFP rules is that Platini cited Abramovich by name (along with Berlusconi and Moratti) as being in favour of the regs. I’d be interested to know what Chelsea’s current stance as a club is regarding FFP, given Mourinho’s somewhat conflicting comments appearing to suggest that it was brought in to maintain the status quo. What is more amusing than anything though is seeing the Milan clubs, previously in favour of FFP V1.0, now lobbying Platini and getting him and UEFA to relax the regs to enable them to benefit from new owner investment – the very thing they wanted curbing in the first place! The cynic in me almost wants the FFP rules to be made more stringent now that City are pretty much over the hurdle to teach the Milan clubs a lesson and effectively lock them out of the elite indefinitely;)

  86. M18CTID

    It has often been stated that RA was an instigator of FFP and many have relied on comments from Platini whereas the story I hearing that actually wasn’t the case it was more about a whole tranche of changes that came about following Chelsea’s rejected invitation to join the G18

    Arsenal became a member of G18 by invitation when the group increased its membership from 14. Most of the group which already included Liverpool and Man Utd wanted Chelsea to be invited onto the group but for some reason the English teams blocked Chelsea’s invite much to the dismay of the other members but as all 18 had to agree no invitation was issued.
    Fast forward a couple of years and by then Chelsea had won back to back CL titles and we’re featuring in the later stages of the CL and the G18 were in dispute with both UEFA and FIFA so issued invites to another 27 clubs to join Chelsea however declined the invite and by so doing the brought the G18 existence to an end
    Several things happened quite quickly following the demise of the G18 including the setting up of the Eureopean Club assoc and it was in part the discussions Platini had at this point in time that has often been quoted as being RA being an architect of FFP which I am reliably informed wasn’t the case more that Chelsea acknowledged the process and agreed to adhere to it on the basis that the rules would be fully enforced
    RA may be many things and he isn’t a fool so he will either know the rules inside out or know a man who does meaning he will see opportunities when others will quotes do expect an almost Queesbury rules version . I am not comfortable with things like the numbers of players on loan but the clubs have the opportunity to change the rules but won’t
    Without doubt JM knows exactly the sort of response he will get when he makes certain comments . Following his press conferences I suspect he smiles to himself whereas the recipient of his comments will be smarting for a while and even if it distracts them for a second I suspect he feels it was worthwhile. Not cricket I agree but it was SAF who invented this approach and in a way most managers make comments about other managers

  87. Back to back PL titles. I can only dream, along with every supporter of course for back to back CL titles!

  88. Mike T,

    Thanks for the explanation. It always intrigued me as to why Platini only named 3 people in that quote re FFP when clearly others were behind it as well. It’s certainly got the fingerprints of our neighbours plastered all over it and the blatant conflict of interest of David Gill taking up a prominent position at UEFA speaks volumes in itself.
    You may or may not know that City felt hard done to by UEFA when we were punished last year, mainly because the club felt that UEFA had moved the goalposts with regards to the pre-June 2010 contracts despite being in constant dialogue with UEFA throughout the monitoring period.This moving of the goalposts between the club passing or failing the break even test. Now we have UEFA implementing a new set of regs that permit accelerated investment from new owners – exactly the thing that City were punished for!

  89. Dex,

    You either don’t know very many City fans, are blatantly lying, or you were such an unbearably smug tarquin when you were lauding it over those ones you do know that they chose to give it back with interest when the time was appropriate. I bet you haven’t got the guts to tell these fans to their face what you think of them – assuming they exist of course.

    As for our sense of humour, it”s alive and kicking thanks very much. Our gallows humour is what set us apart from jumped-up sanctimonious clowns like you during our many years of being a laughing stock on the pitch. It’s what true fans of all clubs do. You might get it one day though I somehow doubt it.

    Now if you want to prove me wrong, feel free to meet me for a pint of you’re out and about in Manchester for the City v Arsenal game next season instead of indulging in pathetic trolling from behind the safety of your keyboard.

    All the best,
    Love MCFC xx

  90. City weren’t hard done to by UEFA, and they know it all too well. They chose to breach the regs. This article explains how and why: http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/latest-news/man-city-failure-of-ffp-test-a-matter-of-choice

    One excerpt:
    “We shouldn’t be under any illusions – City exceeded the FFP threshold by choice.The rules were agreed in 2009 and the club has had plenty of time to adjust to the new rules. City are a sophisticated multi-million pound business and will have had their accountancy team working on interactive finance models to understand exactly where they would be by the time the shutters came down. The club will have weighed up the merits of complying with rules against the likely punishments and the benefits of spending heavily to compete in the Premier League and in Europe. Reining in the spending to meet the FFP limits would have reduced their ability to compete.”

    And the UEFA settlement agreement is interesting because it shows how City may yet be constrained in this transfer season, not withstanding the lifting of sanctions: http://www.uefa.org/MultimediaFiles/Download/OfficialDocument/uefaorg/ClubFinancialControl/02/10/69/00/2106900_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    One more thing. City also have to abide by the EPL’s own FFP rules. Expect them to be a constraint in this transfer window.

    Lastly, just for laughs, the brand new UEFA FFP regs include this little gem: “There is also a … new determination of related parties.” What that could well mean is that City’s commercial deals with Etihad and the 3 other UAE companies will be assessed at a fair market rate – in other words much lower. So forget about using that dosh to buy your next team.

    It could be much worse the next time City breach the rules. Dinamo Moscow have just been banned from the next 4 UEFA competitions they qualify for.

  91. Robert, if you’re going to post a source you’d be better off not using that one because it’s been proven many times that the author’s anti-City bias shows through with statements that can’t be backed up in fact and will spin anything to show us in a negative light. His comments that City failed FFP by choice are his opinion and his opinion only. Ed Thompson is NOT an expert on Financial Fair Play – he’s a junior project manager at HSBC in Southampton and I’m lead to believe, an Arsenal fan. Not that club loyalties should have anything to do with it because far better sources on this topic are Liverpool fan Daniel Geey, and United fan Andersred. Not to mention the quite excellent Swiss Ramble.

    I’ll also point out that UEFA ruled the Etihad deal not to be a related-party transaction. That’s because their related-party test mirrors that of International Accounting Standard 24 (IAS24). City do have a couple of related-party 2nd tier sponsors though but the revenue they generate in terms of the club’s overall income represents a single digit percentage. Certainly not enough to buy a new team and probably not enough to even buy Raheem Sterling’s right foot.

  92. I tried to post this yesterday but for some reason it didn’t publish – perhaps it’s too big a piece so I’ve split it into 2 parts:

    I’ve kept out of this one so far, mainly because I’ve given my views on this several times previously and it gets rather tedious going through the same points over and over. Something I think needs reiterating is that a sense of self-awareness would help when discussing topics like this, otherwise the comments can smack of sanctimony. By that, I mean that while City have benefitted hugely from benefactor investment of late to suggest Arsenal have never had a leg-up the ladder via benefactor investment themselves is stretching the truth to the limit.

    One example that I haven’t mentioned is the investment in the club by the late Danny Fiszman in the mid-1990’s, which was rumoured to be in the region of £50 million. Now £50 million in today’s mad world of spiralling costs in football doesn’t get you much more than a Sanchez, Sterling, or even a Harry Kane, but back in 1995 it went a lot further. An early example of Fiszman’s investment having an effect was that in the summer of 1995 Arsenal broke the British record transfer fee top sign Denis Bergkamp for £7.5 million despite only finishing 12th in the Premier League the previous season. From a net spend of £3,040,000 in 1994-95 against a turnover of just under £24 million, the net spend in 1995-96 more than trebled to £10,500,000 yet the turnover not only didn’t increase in line with this, it actually reduced to just shy of £21 million. Incidentally, while this is a side issue I’d be interested to know why Arsenal’s turnover reduced by £3 million that season – from what I can remember, the redevelopment of both the North Bank and the Clock End in terms of converting them to all-seater stands had long been completed (1993 I think). Anyway, this pattern of increased net spending was repeated the following season (Wenger’s first in charge) when the net spend was £10,130,000 against an increased turnover of £27 million. Now I appreciate there was a very modest net spend of only £50,000 the following season but by then Arsenal, over the previous 2 seasons, had acquired a team capable of winning the league title with Bergkamp, Platt, Vieira, Anelka, Petit, and Overmars now on board and only minor tweaks were now necessary. The effect of this increased spend is that Arsenal leapt from 12th position to 5th position (in Rioch’s only season in charge), to 3rd position, to champions. So to suggest that Wenger has always worked with tight constraints on his budget and has never had the luxury of buying players with the aid of a cash injection is a red herring and that’s putting it politely. Not only that, Arsenal were not a mid-table team when he took over as manager. They’d finished 5th the previous season. That’s not mid-table in anybody’s book, unless it was a 10 team league which of course it wasn’t. That doesn’t mean to say he’s not a good manager – of course he is, but even if Fiszman had invested £500 million rather than £50 million at mid-1990’s prices it would’ve taken someone a lot more clued up than my mum to win the league title, so while I’m keen to point out that Arsenal benefitted greatly from this investment at the time which gave them an advantage over many other clubs that had finished higher up the league, I’m not in any way diminishing their achievement of winning the league title in Wenger’s first full season in charge.

  93. And it’s not just the investment in players where Arsenal reaped the rewards of Fiszman’s cash injection. It also enabled them to keep some of their better existing players by virtue of offering them far better contracts. Here’s Tony Adams with his take on the situation:

    “While Adams’ attention is fixed on building a club in the former Soviet republic, Arsenal remain close to his heart. He notes that among the most significant changes since his previous visit has been the death in April of Danny Fiszman, the diamond merchant who joined the board in 1992 and helped finance Wenger’s Double-winning teams of 1998 and 2002.

    Those calling for more spending on the current team will be interested to learn how highly Adams rated Fiszman’s contribution. “I think that a significant factor, 90 per cent, in why we achieved so much is that Danny Fiszman invested £50m in the club and we were able to go to the next level,” he said. “I got my first decent contract at the club, so did David Seaman, we were able to bring in Dennis Bergkamp – and that was before Arsène arrived – David Platt, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, and were able to pay them – top players from around the world.”

  94. M18CTID, You’re wasting your time I’m afraid, I long ago gave up quoting accurate, detailed and factual details that can be verified, there are those who just don’t want them to be so and therefore ignore them to carry on with their anti City agenda’s.

    I’d just repeat what I said in one of my earlier posts- “If you believe all the top clubs got there purely on merit, good management and sound tactics, you’re in for a big shock. As a starter, try reading David Conn’s – THE BEAUTIFUL GAME.”

  95. Glowey,

    Oh, I agree totally mate. To their credit, a few Gooners on here have taken on board what some of the City fans have been articulately explaining about our club’s business model but they’re very much in a minority. It’s astonishing quite how many on here are in total denial about the investment Arsenal has received in the face of irrefutable evidence and it’s highly amusing seeing them avoid some of the more unpalatable facts about their own club’s behaviour at various points in their history. I’ve explained on here that no club is perfect and every club has baggage, and most fans of all clubs will understandably show a certain amount of bias towards their club but one thing I would never do is go into complete denial about some of the less savoury aspects of City’s history. I’m happy to discuss anything about our club, warts and all, whether it’s the 1905 bribes scandal or our somewhat shameful behaviour in joining forces with United and effectively driving the third Manchester club, Manchester Central FC, out of business. But to not even acknowledge your own club’s various misdemeanours and to also display blatant hypocrisy and a lack of self-awareness regarding benefactor investment? Well that’s unforgiveable in my eyes and quite how some posters on here sleep comfortably at night is completely and utterly beyond comprehension. Sickening in fact. Never mind, they can always bask in the self-reflected glory of Arsenal turning another profit on their balance sheet and get the open top bus out to celebrate again.

  96. I usually find there are one or two fans on any clubs blogs who are prepared to discuss and debate intelligently, without the name calling etc but, they’re few and far between.

    As a matter of interest and, apropos “display blatant hypocrisy and a lack of self-awareness regarding anything” where’s Wally? (Walter) seems to have disappeared – strange.

  97. That’s Walter for you mate – he’s always doing that. Drops a comment and when he gets challenged on it and isn’t capable of answering disappears into the ether. He’s so far out of his depth it’s untrue 😉

  98. M18, I beg to differ re Ed Thompson. He may be an Arsenal supporter, but that hasn’t prevented him from being highly critical about the club in the past. I think you’re viewing his City posts through blue-tinted specs. *g*

    Opinions on fairness aside, these facts remain: City were sanctioned. They accepted the sanctions. They will remain under close observation.

    Moving on from facts to opinions, my view is that FFP is here to stay, and City will be constrained by EPL and UEFA FFP regs, especially in this transfer window. You need to buy 5 homegrown players, and you’ll have to sell non-homegrowns to buy new ones – all the while having to keep to the wage cap rules.

    You said, “City do have a couple of related-party 2nd tier sponsors though but the revenue they generate in terms of the club’s overall income represents a single digit percentage.” Do you have proof to verify that claim?

    City’s 2014 accounts show commercial income of 166m. The old Etihad agreement was worth 40m pa. Take away the kit deal and you’d still be left with around 100m from secondary sponsors. And that would buy you 2 over-priced, petulant English “prodigies”. Every year.

    As Andersred put it, “City have the benefit of a suspicious number of Abu Dhabi companies queuing to give them money.”

    IAS24 wasn’t designed to cope with companies owned by family members of an absolutist, hereditary monarchy. Small wonder that the new UEFA FFP regs contain a new determination of related parties.

    Sh Mansour is the brother of the crown prince, and the half brother of the ruler. He holds a number of political offices. Etihad and Abu Dhabi Tourism are government owned. Etisalat is 60% UAE governement owned. Aabar is majority owned by IPIC – whose chairman is Sh Mansour.

    If you still think that those 4 entities are not related parties of City, I suggest you talk to someone who’s worked in the region and understands how business is done there. And ask him what “wasta” means.

  99. M18, exactly what is your point re Arsenal’s owner investment of 50m in 1995? A wall of text doesn’t make for good reading comprehension.

    50m then is about 88m now. Are you equating that to City’s 1.1 billion investment? Or are you saying because we had investment then we shouldn’t comment on your investment now?

    City have a business model? Do tell, because I can’t detect one that’s sustainable.

    On another matter entirely, the Daily Star has this quote from Yaya Toure: “The club has been built to top this league and when we finish in second it is quite disappointing.

    “We want to bounce back. This club don’t have to be second or third. We always have to finish first.”

    If he did really say that, he’s an arrogant prat. No team – not one – is owed first place. Just like no man is owed a birthday cake.

  100. Robert,

    Firstly, I never said that Aabar and Etisalat aren’t related parties. They are – even by IAS24 definition and that’s why the settlement agreement with UEFA included a clause that we’re not to increase the value of 2 second tier sponsorship deals over the period where the sanctions remained in place. If you think those 2 deals alone amount to 2.5 times what we get from our main flagship sponsor then I think you need to check your maths mate. My guess is that they’re both worth something in the region of £6-£7 million per year. You’re falling into the trap of thinking City don’t have sponsorship deals with any other companies but if you did some research then you’d find that we’ve signed numerous deals all over the world. From memory, I can think of upwards of 15 deals that have been announced on the official club website over the past couple of years including well known companies such as Nissan and not so well known companies such as 2Stic and Est Cola. In the past few weeks we’ve also signed new deals with CitiBank and SAP. The impressive bridge linking our state of the art training ground to the stadium is sponsored by Suisse Gas. From what I can recall, only 1 of these deals is with a UAE company to add to the ones already mentioned. Our commercial department is clearly working flat out to get as many sponsors on board and it’s a tactic that our neighbours have been employing to great effect over the past few years.

    Now I’m not daft enough to think that if we didn’t have an owner from Abu Dhabi, we’d be doing deals with Abu-Dhabi based companies but the notion that most of our commercial income comes from there is hugely outdated and as time goes on we’ll become even less reliant on money from there as our revenues from other sources continue to grow exponentially. Which means our business model is capable of keeping comfortably within FFP limits going forward while being able to remain competitive on the pitch.

    Just out of interest, but seeing as though you mention how companies do business in that region you do know that Mansours father in law is the head of Emirates who just happen to be your main sponsor? And that Emirates was part-funded with Abu Dhabi cash?

  101. Sorry @Roberts, what’s your proof that ’50m then is about 88m now’? just curious

  102. Robert,

    If you bothered to read the “wall of text” (a well researched one if I say so myself), then you’d see exactly what my point was. A bit disappointing that you can’t be bothered reading it to be honest. Anyway, my argument was twofold:

    Firstly, I was debunking the myth that Arsenal have never been the beneficiary of benefactor investment – to your credit, I think you’re the first Gooner I’ve seen on here actually admit to this. And by extension, yes, I’m saying that it’s downright hypocritical to slag City off for having someone invest in the club when your own club has also had a leg up the ladder too. The figures are irrelevant to that particular argument because if one can’t even acknowledge a simple fact about their own club benefitting from a cash injection then they’ve lost the argument there and then. Feel free to comment on City’s investment but you’ve no room to criticise it – glass houses and all that.

    Secondly, I was also debunking another myth that Wenger was working within a tight budget during his early days as Arsenal manager, and also debunking another myth that Arsenal were a mid-table club when he took over as manager. If you read my “wall of text” you’ll see that Arsenal’s net spend in 1995-96 (Rioch’s season) was more than triple what it was in 1994-95 and this was repeated again in 1996-97 (Wenger’s first season). And while the figures are dwarfed by today’s figures your assumption that £50 million in 1995 is equal to £88 million today is as far removed from reality as you can get. That may be the case in terms of overall inflation but you’re disingenuosly ignoring the fact that inflation in football has risen by many more times the rate of inflation during that time. Every facet of the game has seen an exponential increase – transfer fees, wages, ticket prices, TV money, prize money, sponsorship deals, and corporate hospitality to name but seven.

    I’ll also remind you that Fiszman’s investment was purely in the playing squad in terms of transfer fees and wages whereas Mansour’s investment has been in every facet of the club. That £1.2 billion has included buying the club in the first place, investment in a new training ground (you should take a look at that sometime), and expanding the stadium (both of which are exempt from FFP calculations by the way). The way some people go on, you’d think that it had all been invested in the playing side and City hadn’t generated a single penny in terms of contributing towards that in the past 7 years. Last time I looked we had an annual turnover of £347 million and even if you took out money coming from UAE companies that figure won’t be too shy of £300 million. So yes, there is a business model – one that is a lot less short-sighted than ploughing the full amount of Fiszman’s gift into the playing side and nothing into the infrastructure side.

    As for Toure’s comments, of course no-one has a divine right to win things but what did you expect him to say? “I’ll be happy with 6th place”? He’s a professional footballer, and a very good one at that, playing in a team that is good enough on paper to be challenging for honours. Far from being arrogant, I’d say it was indicative of a winning mentality which is something I’d expect all players of that calibre to have. You’ve also taken that comment in isolation and somewhat out of context because he actually name-checked 4 other teams (including yours of course) that he believed were capable of winning the title. I’m not sure why he mentioned Liverpool but I guess he was just being kind, and his brother plays there of course. Tell you something though – he can be a right miserable bugger at times and the birthday cake business was bizarre to say the least. Then again, his agent is a total fruitcake and has been know to come out with weird statements in the past. Hey, you’re not still miffed that Wenger didn’t sign him when he had the chance to in 2003 are you? That said, he did miss that absolute sitter against Barnet in a pre-season friendly so I’m not surprised Wenger passed up the chance 😉

  103. ojeme,

    His “proof” comes from the fact that he’s using the general inflation figure rather than factoring in football-specific inflation. It’s as silly as saying that a house bought for £50,000 in 1995 is worth £88,000 today!

  104. M18, I think we’ve just about done to death the topic of related party commercial income.

    You maintain that only 2 deals (Aabar and Etisalat) are related party transactions – and minor ones at that. However, you don’t have any proof.

    I maintain that all 4 are related parties. I have no proof either, just a knowledge of how business works in Abu Dhabi.

    Time will tell.

    On another matter, you said, “You do know that Mansours father in law is the head of Emirates who just happen to be your main sponsor? And that Emirates was part-funded with Abu Dhabi cash?”

    You’re definitely wrong on the first, and I think you’re wrong on the second.

  105. Breaking news from the BBC that Delph is joining City. Congratulations. That just leaves you needing to buy 4 more homegrown players, not to mention having to sell non-homegrown players before you can buy new ones.

  106. Robert,

    I’m not being facetious mate but you can’t overrule IAS24 and neither can UEFA. The Etihad deal was ruled not to be a related-party deal. However, even if it was a related-party deal, UEFA would almost certainly not have down-valuing it because they’ve already set a precedent by down-valuing PSG’s related-party deal with the Qatari Tourism Authority to a figure that’s still around double the Etihad deal.

    This is Mansour’s father in law by the way:
    He’s the Emir of Dubai and set up Emirates Airline in the first place

    I can’t prove that Abu Dhabi part funded the setting up of Emirates but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – I’m happy to hold my hands up if wrong.

    By the way, did you know that Ivan Gazidis is a City fan?

    As for the homegrown quota conundrum, I’m pretty relaxed about it. There’s still 55 days before the window shuts and it’ll be a while before everyone’s respective squads take shape. I will say that a team doesn’t necessarily have to have 8 homegrown players – that only applies if you want to announce a full squad of 25 but yes 17 non-homegrown is the maximum, and I’m sure City will want as close to a full squad of 25 as possible. But you can have an unlimited number of under-21’s in the squad as well. Like I say, I’m relaxed about it at the moment and for me summertime isn’t for worrying about football. The Ashes series is of far more importance for now.

  107. M18, yes Sh Mohd is Sh Mansour’s father in law. But the head of Emirates is Sh Saeed, the uncle of Sh Mohd. Emirates was formed well before Sh Mohd became ruler, and it is wholly owned by the government of Dubai.

    Sorry, there’s nothing to prevent UEFA from requiring more stringent rules than IAS24. City do like accounting wheezes, so don’t be surprised if UEFA soon tighten up on transfer pricing between related concerns. *g*

    I think you’re wrong about the homegrown rule. I believe that 8 homegrown players is a must. You were allowed less last season because of the squad size reduction penalty.

  108. Robert,

    Ok, he’s not head of Emirates now but he was responsible for setting it up in the first place. Let’s call that one a draw. Either way, the links between City’s owner and your main sponsor are very close which is the point I was trying to make in the first place.

    I don’t know where UEFA stand legally if they try to veer away from IAS24 – I can’t help thinking they could get into all kinds of trouble for that but if they did do it, you need to remember that this could upset a lot more clubs than City. The original FFP rules have already led to both Milan clubs complaining despite them wanting them brought in in the first place. Whatever “tweaks” UEFA make will lead to unintended consequences IMO.

    If you want a full squad of 25 players you need 8 homegrown minimum but if you don’t have a full squad of 25 you don’t have to have 8. I do think City want a full complement of 8 though. Anyway, Delph has decided not to come so we’re back at square one on that. I’m stil not overly concerned though.

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