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October 2020

FFP is alive and kicking (a bit); Kolo is a good guy; and Happy Christmas

By Tony Attwood

After the Premier League’s own version of Financial Fair Play was left in its box, never to have the wrapping paper undone, Uefa crumbled from its ideals of bringing football finance under control, and the Football League let QPR off the hook with a fine that didn’t even make the owner blink, I pretty much gave up on FFP.

But now this Christmas morning it turns out there is what journalists might call “yer actual news!” (as opposed to the stuff they make up in the pub, and the claim that they can divine what we will be thinking next year.)

Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Bolton have been given transfer embargos for the rest 2015/16 season for breaking FFP rules during 2014/15.

Fulham and Nottingham Forest each had a loss of over £6m – the maximum allowed.  Poor Bolton, teetering on the edge of extinction, failed to complete the necessary paperwork since they either couldn’t access it, had lost it under a mountain of writs, or simply cannot give wholesome reply because they are being taken to court by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – the UK’s tax collector.

Interestingly it is generally accepted that by January 2013 Fulham were effectively debt free as Mohammed Al-Fayed converted his loans into equity in the club.

None of the clubs will be able to sign players in the January transfer window.  This might explain why Fulham can’t recruit a new manager.   It doesn’t explain to me why they sacked Felix Magath without fully grasping the issue – but I am sure there was a good reason.

Bournemouth however have just got a fine.  The Football League has no control over them of course, now they are beating Chelsea etc in the Premier League.  However their spending has always puzzled me (mind you a lot puzzles me – including how Father Christmas manages to get down the chimney when he’s so obese).

As yet we don’t know what Bournemouth’s fine will be – and I suspect it will not be revealed or called in until Bournemouth are relegated.

Here’s the statement:

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“All three exceeded the maximum permitted deviation of £6m – consisting of a maximum adjusted loss of £3m plus a further maximum of £3m of shareholder investment.

“Champions AFC Bournemouth will face a financial sanction to be finalised in due course, while Fulham and Nottingham Forest will be subject to an ‘FFP Embargo’ for the remainder of the current campaign. Both clubs will have the opportunity to have their FFP embargo lifted at the end of the season by demonstrating that they have stayed within the maximum permitted deviation of £13m (£5m loss plus £8m shareholder investment) for the 2015/16 season.

“A further club, Millwall, also exceeded the maximum permitted deviation but will not face any further sanction, in line with Championship FFP regulations, following the club’s relegation to League One as it was not deemed to have gained any significant advantage.

“The Football League is currently in discussions with a number of other clubs over their FFP submissions and will confirm any further FFP embargoes, if any, in due course.”

Bournemouth said they were engaged in discussions with the League. Their problem will come to the fore as and when they go back down.   Fulham said, “The embargo arises as the club made an adjusted loss greater than the £6m limit allowed by the Football League in the year following relegation. The Football League has since recognised this limit is low, especially for clubs recently relegated with Premier League overheads in place, and the limit has now increased to £13m per annum. Unfortunately Fulham’s embargo falls in the final year of the previous limit, but the club does not anticipate being in breach in future years.’’

Meanwhile, here’s the Untold Christmas story:

Kolo Toure has been a regular financial contributor of an orphanage in Yopougon, Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast and reported, “I’ve been looking after them by providing food and a small house, which is not great to be honest but is something which can help them because Crystal (the woman running the project) has about 100 kids.

“I am lucky that I am able to help them. Every month I send money to ensure they can have a good life and I will try to do that as long as I can provide.

“We are not perfect but if you can still help people you help them, and I will always help people who are honest and those kids have done nothing.   I think of them as my kids and to provide for them every month is nothing. I love to see them happy, that is most important.

“Everything I do on my own and I’ve never really talked about it, but with Christmas coming it is a good time to do something.  With Christmas coming I’ve tried to organise a Christmas party for them.

“I’d like to organise one or two big events, like a dinner, to raise money for a nice place for them to live and invest money to generate more for them.    There are different children from different ethic and religious backgrounds.   The Muslim religion teaches us to be nice people and to try to help people, Christian or Muslim it doesn’t matter.

“The most important thing is to be nice with everyone you can and then everyone will respect you.   It is a good thing for me to just try to help all those kids.”

Good on you Kolo.   Thank you for giving us a good Christmas story.



It’s taken us over five year of campaigning but at last Premier League look ready to accept that refereeing accuracy is not all it might be, as they seek to adopt video refereeing.

Arsenal’s Christmas reviews from the olden days: 1904 and 1905;  1890, 1891 1892.

And four Christmas anniversaries

25 December 1886: It is suggested in some non-contemporary sources that a meeting was held at the Royal Oak to change the name of the club to Royal Arsenal.  There are however doubts about the veracity of the story.

25 December 1889: First recorded Arsenal game on Christmas Day – in a friendly match Royal Arsenal beat Preston Hornets 5-0.

25 December 1893: Arsenal played the first Christmas Day league game.  It ended Woolwich Arsenal 4 Burslem Port Vale 0, in front of 10,000 fans equalling the previous highest crowd achieved at the club’s very first league game.

25 December 1956: Christmas day league games ended in 1956 with Arsenal away to Chelsea, the result being a 1-1 draw.  Boxing Day games continued however, meaning players still had to train on Christmas Day.


15 comments to FFP is alive and kicking (a bit); Kolo is a good guy; and Happy Christmas

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Merry Christmas to all Untolders! Take care yourselves and have a good time.
    And extra thanks to Tony and Walter for all their dedication to UA.

  • nicky

    Morning Tony and a Happy Christmas to you.
    Amid news of the apparent shambles that is FFP, there appears a warm glow. Kolo’s story and the help he provides is a small but important part of the Christmas Story we celebrate. Good on him.

  • Andy Mack

    Until the FIFA/Platini thing is sorted, we won’t know if FFP is ‘still growing’ or a ‘dead duck’.

    Quite a few football players do similar things to Kolo. Some just by sending money and some are more involved. A lot of them set up charitable trusts or ‘foundations such as .

    Oddly I was thinking about Kolo earlier today, as I think his contracting Malaria whilst at the ACN a few years back was when AW decided he didn’t want to gamble on buying players from the ACN regions unless he thought they were outstanding prospects. The thought of buying a player for 10+m, watching him leave the team when we need our players most, and then they return with a life changing issue, is a major risk that isn’t worth taking with the prices quoted in recent years….
    Although I think he’d soften the view if the ACN changes to a 4 yearly event like the other main tournaments, rather than the present 2 yearly fund raiser for the bosses of the ACN federations as it is now…

    Anyway, Seasons Greetings to you all.

  • colario

    I agree Andy the ‘African experiment’ is over solely for the reasons you give.

    As we know Arsene doesn’t think about a player’s nationality when considering his football ability for the team.

    For commercial reasons it would be good to have players from the far east. A player from China would provide the club with millions of new fans and sell a lot of shirts in China.

    Arsene doesn’t do ‘commercial advantages when considering a player’s football ability.

    We have a manager who is ‘stubborn’ and wont ‘splash the cash’ yet spends £42 million on a ‘lazy player.’

    Doesn’t do defense yet buys the best goal keeper in England when he already has two class one goal keepers in the squad.

    Doesn’t give English players a chance yet when he arrived he bought English players who then – let him down.

    Rebuilt the youth scheme at Arsenal from which has come English internationals. One of whom is constantly injured because he can dribble the ball too much for the unskilled who can only kick him instead of the ball.

    If the FA continue to take stabs at cleaning its corrupt sand castle it wont be long before the media and Uncle Tom Cobberly and all will be claiming that for ‘years they have led the campaign against corruption in English football’.

    There is a long way to go. As can be see here. The rich (in this case QPR) get away with their crimes, everyone else is punished until they can take no more and are left for dead.

    Then the sweet FA claim ‘we are clean, we are clean!

    No corruption here!’

    Believe that then you are capable of believing anything with out question.

  • Gideone

    Merry Christmas to all Untolders! Peace on earth and goodwill to all men 🙂

  • Hisham

    A jolly and Happy Christmas to all, particularly to Tony, Walter and the rest of the UA team for the great news, reports and reviews. Love the lot.

    Arsenal will always do things the Arsenal Way. We believe in ourselves, and the growing number of supporters all over the world is testimony to this. We also have to “comply” with today’s “living standards”, hence the trips to Asia, Africa and the US over recent years. Not forgetting the many community activities carried out in the UK itself.

    A great story from Kolo Toure. A good gentleman and a true Muslim. Long may he proper in his endeavours. Good to know that several footballers live beyond their footballing world. Kudos to all.

    Lastly, a word on Don Howe. RIP Sir, thank you for making football the number one game in the world!!

  • dats

    I remember my Dad taking me to see Arsenal play Chelsea on Christmas Day. On checking this would be 1954. Arsenal won 1-0 with a goal by Tommy Lawton. The crowd that day was 47000, incredible when you think there was no public transport and hardly anyone owned a car in those days.
    We walked to the ground from our home in Dalston and it seemed everyone came on foot or bicycle.
    Such different times

    Finally RIP Don Howe.

  • Mick

    Happy Christmas to Tony, Walter and everyone connected to Untold and of course all who post comments on this unique site.
    My wish for 2016 is for ALL Arsenal supporters, whether AKB or the AAA, WOB or whatever, to unite and get behind the team and support them wholeheartedly all the way to the Premier League title.

  • Magneto

    Merry xmas to all Untolders’.

    @ Andy Mack – my memory might be playing tricks
    now as time passes by, but I thought that Kolo contracted malaria at an ACN tournament whilst playing for Man City. Maybe I’m confusing him with someone else.

    Arsene had an issue with the international football calender, and wanted FIFA to address that in order to minimise potential disruptions to european squads that contain
    players eligible for ACN duty.

    However, I suspect that the so called “african experiment” has been put on hold simply because – in recent years – Arsene and his scouts have not come across what they consider to be players with outstanding potential from that continent.

    This needs to be weighed up against the fact that Arsene likes to identify countries that have, at any given moment, an outstanding generation of players, and then focus on cherry picking those ones who are best suited to playing for the Arsenal.

    In recent years that has meant primarily focusing on the current generation of outstanding belgium, german and spanish players, alongside those domestic (UK) ones who
    are good enough to make the cut.

  • bjtgooner

    A Happy and Peaceful Christmas to all Arsenal supports, especially to those from the world’s many troubled areas.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    A Blessed Christmas to all. Let us all be thankful for what we have and extend a helping hand to those less fortunate.

  • goonersince72

    Merry Christmas to Tony, Walter and the Untold ‘family’! Thank you all for your dedication to the club we love and the integrity of the game.

  • omgarsenal

    A Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and a joyous festive season to every one else.

  • Andy Mack

    Magneto, Kolo was with us then contracted the virus which effected him quite badly for a few months and then only played occasionally for us after that as his ‘level’ had dropped notably. $iteh then made a very high offer for him which was too good to turn down in view of his form. He did get better at $iteh but never up to the standard he had been for us before the Malaria.

  • William rickson

    FFP has not gone. Second how was the QPR fine not big enough for you lot it was what 50 million or something? Fines seem a bad way of dealing with financial issues it just makes things worse not that it was ever actually designed to deal with finances but rather fix competition at least at the European level and give clubs chairmen a reason not to spend and improve the product but hay you seem to want to bankrupt clubs and will never be happy as evidenced by your responses to MCFC you also cannot accept a gradual racheting up of fines and punishments and want to go straight to death penalty type option. Also forgetting your money history and that of most clubs bar MCFC