FFP is still out there but just dozing in the corner while football deals with anyone with money.

by Tony Attwood

A totally corrupt organisation holds a big event in a country that has been cited repeatedly for interfering in elections elsewhere, killing people on foreign soil, and other dubious stuff.   Meanwhile a taxpayer funded body in England prepares to throw money at the whole thing by pitching to run the event itself under the auspices of the same corrupt organisation in a few years time.

And the response of the channel that is running the first match on TV is apparently able to miss the kick off and opening minute of the game.  At least that was suitably ironic.  Or a cockup.  Probably the latter.

As a way of undermining the event it was a bit underwhelming, but I suspect it wasn’t a way of undermining anything other than the credibility of ITV.  Football and broadcasting seems to be used to this.

Meanwhile Uefa has been looking into the affairs of Paris Saint Germain and has concluded that by and large they can find nothing too much wrong with their transfer dealings, including the extraordinary loan deal for Kylian Mbappé  – a transfer in anything but name for a player reckoned to be worth €180m, but called a loan to avoid FFP regulations.  And that’s ok, so everyone can do that now.

Ultimately all Uefa has done is told PSG to raise €60m in income by the end of June (the end of the financial year) or face punishment for overspending.   And that punishment will be… well, given that Marseille were fined €100,000 by Uefa for similar offences, not very much.

After all €100,000 is less than a week’s salary to an averagely decent player in a top division at the moment, so it is hardly going to be noticed.   In the end it seems clubs can do what they like and Uefa goes along with it as long as the clubs don’t raise any issues about morality and such like.   Galatasaray and Maccabi Tel Aviv who are each under investigation for the same sort of thing will hardly be quaking in their beds.

Anyway, now PSG have a couple of weeks to raise 60 million euros in legitimate income or get a fine probably equal to one day’s pay for one of its top stars.  I bet the directors of PSG are quaking in their boots.    Or as the Guardian coyly put it, “Uefa said the Qatari-owned club’s finances would remain under close scrutiny.”

And so Uefa announces that is has closed those lines investigation as the club’s transfers “were in line with the Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations”.

There was one fine recently however.   Marseille were fined €100,000 by Uefa for going over budget.

There is a bit of coverage of the above in the media, although not much, but there is a nothing much at all about the fact that the next world cup will be played in Qatar where today is 374th day of the blockade imposed against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.  I expect Fifa has a plan to solve the matter.

On June 11, according to Al Jazeera, the government of Qatar took the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the UN International Court of Justice, over what it described as human rights violations, according to the official Qatar News Agency.   Saudi Arabia and the rest claim Qatar supports terrorism, a fairly mild accusation compared with the way these countries treat their lesser valued citizens.

Of course such matters involving countries where basic human rights are not on the agenda involve Arsenal as much as Fifa and its chums, as Arsenal has Emirates Airlines as a sponsor.   Plus we now have the situation of sleeve sponsorship.

When sleeve sponsorship was made legal under League rules last season it was said that it “could be worth up to £10million for Manchester United.”  That is the amount of money being talked about for the Arsenal deal with Rwanda.

I saw some negative publicity about this deal given the nature of the Rwandian government and its poverty.  It was defended as a way of encouraging tourism in Rwanda.

But quite how one reaches conclusions on any of these matters I really don’t know.  I find myself utterly appalled by the UAE, and although I did travel with Emirates Airlines soon after Arsenal teamed up with them, I regretted my compromise, and now won’t use them, even though it means I have to travel much further to an airport for one of my regular journeys.  Not that affects the airline a jot.

I’m never a beacon of consistency in such matters however, and wouldn’t in any way suggest my not using Emirates or my tendency to call Arsenal’s Stadium, Arsenal Stadium, or the Ems, makes any odds to anyone or anything.  But I guess in the end it comes back to one’s own credibility with oneself.  The only positive thing I can say is that quite probably the UAE and Fifa are made for each other.  I just don’t want to help fund another of their jamborees.




2 Replies to “FFP is still out there but just dozing in the corner while football deals with anyone with money.”

  1. Hi Tony,

    Still fighting the fight, I see.
    We’re in no position to criticise other clubs spending, because we have been that club.
    We vehemently defend our self-sustaining model, even though we know it has severly handicapped our chances of winning the PL.
    But as such staunch defenders of austerity, should the aggressive capitalism that funded Arsenal’s dominance be struck from the record, leaving us with only eight titles and ten FA Cups?
    As you are aware, Tony, there isn’t another club in England with as many Royal connections as The Arsenal, we are embedded within the Establishment.
    It was the Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s who ditched Norris’s philosophy and put money before sporting success. They’re the sole reason Arsenal had such long droughts between titles.
    If as Arsenal fans we are proud of our history, including the halcyon days of the 1930’s, it is wrong to naval-gaze at clubs doing what we once did.

  2. Herb I think you are wrong on a number of levels, and the work I have done writing the history of of Sir Henry Norris at Arsenal at least means I can point to the evidence on http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk

    In simple terms Norris invested his own wealth in Arsenal to rescue Arsenal in 1910 and fund the move to Highbury, and the building of the stadium, and as the “Norris at the Arsenal” series shows, he gradually had that money paid back to him, until those who succeeded him at Arsenal had no need to do that at all. By the time they got the club it was making money and when Norris’ last major investment gamble in bringing in Chapman in 1925 paid off, the money rolled in.

    Thus we have a club that was indeed financed by an investor, but as an investment on which he could get his money back, and by a man who had a long term love of football – he was after all the first ever chair of Fulham where he was mayor. That is quite different from people from other continents throwing money at clubs with no possibility that they would ever get it back.

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