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October 2020
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And so, mega-expenditure is not deemed to be a problem

By Tony Attwood

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, the prosecution, the defence, and the threats of bringing down Uefa, the net result is that Manchester City’s actions in relation to the money they have spent, is deemed worthy of a fine (which given the context of the case is not likely to worry the club very much) but not a ban.

So seemingly in football one can threaten the courts as much as one like.  A club can’t question a referee’s decision in public, but Manchester City can threaten to bring about the collapse of Uefa, and that’s ok.  PGMO must be dancing in the streets.

Which in turn means that other clubs that want to do what Manchester City have done, can do so, while expecting to be punished by fines, not by being kicked out of the competition.  Newcastle must be getting quite excited.

As we have seen, three English clubs have tried to get around the rules of football of late.  Liverpool, who were eventually banned for a year from taking on youth players, Chelsea who were banned for a year from all transfers, and Manchester City who have been fined because of the way they handled their finances.

Since Manchester City clearly have vast amounts of money, they won’t particularly worry too much about their fine, and since their reputation among most supporters is so low that it can’t go any lower, that really won’t matter much to them either.  They can become the most reviled club in football, but then, so what?

Sheik Mansour won’t worry about his reputation in the United Arab Emirates, because nothing seems to touch  the countries in the middle east.   The revelations concerning Qatar and the building of stadia using slave labour has not been covered much by the British media, and indeed even the campaigns such as “Black Lives Matter” have not incorporated an awareness of the way slavery has been used in Qatar to build the stadia – an extraordinary irony.

With the FA, and seemingly all the players who qualify for countries likely to be in the 2022 world cup, noticeably not recognising that the use of slave labour is a problem for them, it hardly seems likely that anyone is going to worry about the United Arab Emirates owned Manchester City threatening Uefa and getting away with it.

Indeed the fact that the Saudi Arabian takeover of Newcastle United has been brought into focus because of copyright issues, and not because Saudi Arabia is a notorious abuser of human rights on a scale at the very least equal to Qatar, shows just how far football has sunk.  Human rights?  Who needs them!

Protests are made about copyright infringements by the Saudi based BeOutq broadcasting system, but no one cares about slave labour.  That really says it all.

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On that basis the reputation of football in England has now sunk so low that the fact that Manchester City can threaten to bring Uefa down and the member of their legal team can openly make a sick joke about the death of a Uefa executive, with impunity.

People often used to speak about football having reached a low point when Liverpool supporters attacked Juventus fans 29 May 1985, and to their credit Liverpool did have a prominent article on their website concerning this for many years.  That seems to have gone now.  All a long time ago.  Forget it and move on.

And of course no one got physically hurt by Manchester City not being banned from playing in Europe.   But it does not bode well for the future.

Arsenal clearly don’t have access to the funding that Manchester City has and can now, as a result of this CAS ruling, Man C can use it with impunity.  Yes Manchester C were fined but then, so what?  The money can be paid back using the same mechanism as the funding that was questioned by Uefa.   They can buy anyone, do anything they want.

The only possible holding back of them would be if football in England introduced either strict regulations on how much each club could spend on salaries, or on transfer fees.  But neither of these look likely to happen.

Indeed it seems a bit of a sad day all round in football, as it appears also that when the 2020/1 season is played, with the number of people in the stadia being restricted, the games are no longer all going to be on TV, as they are now.  We will be back to the standard approach.

So, there we are.  The window of hope that the expenditure by clubs backed by states might be limited, has now gone.  Even my season ticket won’t guarantee me being able to watch the game next season.  It’s all rather awful.

The slavery files & the FA

25 comments to And so, mega-expenditure is not deemed to be a problem

  • Gary Kelly

    Manchester City were found not guilty and completely exonerated by Europe’s top court for sport. The only slap on the hand they received was for not cooperating with Eufa, an organisation who had previously used media to leak information and pre judged verdicts. Manchester City is the most professionally run football club in the world. Get over it.

  • Blewmoon48

    “Yes Manchester C were fined but then, so what? The money can be paid back using the same mechanism as the funding that was questioned by Uefa. They can buy anyone, do anything they want.”
    This is absolute garbage. For the last 5 years Man City have made a profit in their trading. So the money they spend comes from TV money, Champions league money, Match day income and sponsorship. They do not have a limitless fund from the Abu Dhabi royal family. There income comes from sources available to Arsenal or any other Premier league club.

  • Colin

    What a load of bitter bile. The fine is for City not cooperating with UEFA’s Kangaroo Court after absurd charges were levelled. The actual charge of City concealing income etc has been thrown out by a Court of Law, after hearing evidence from both sides, not a hand picked bunch from the protection racket known as UEFA who tried to act as prosecutor, jury and executioner. If push comes to shove Financial Foul Play could be challenged just as successfully as it is an illegal restraint of trade. The Arsenal’s of this world simply don’t like it when another club outspend them like they outspend say West Ham or Burnely. Get over it!

  • Richard Griffith

    Couldn’t agree more a very sad day for football. Strange how many Citeh fans are haunting this site it’s almost like they are worried about the truth getting out!

  • PrinceU

    You really make me sick. CAS is supposed to be a place where justice us sought and upheld but you obviously feel your sentiments are superior. I guess Arsenal are a poor club and cannot compete with the likes of Real Madrid, Bacelona, Juventus, Liverpool and all the other top teams in Europe. The fine imposed by CAS was not for breaching FFP but for not fully cooperating with the investigations. Are you upset that City were able to afford good lawyers or because those fabricated lies were not upheld by CAS? Stop moaning and get a life.

  • Sam

    When you board the oil wells and names your stadium as EmiRATS ,Then everything is silky and smooth and ohh Nice World !!.Now that City won lottery and spending money ,you are hurt.
    Its not the Manchester City ‘s Success that you are envy of .Its your own club ‘s demise that you are gloating in this article.
    Arsenal are well known for poaching kids all around europe ,So you are no divine .Too much judging .Get a life .
    Plus it is a propaganda if you are start claiming CAS judgement as foul play.For you everything is fair and square unless it affects u as a club supporter.And please dont start on Human rights and Black lives matter .You know how political movements are and for what they are done .
    So cheer up and fight for your place in Europe .You are no more guarnteed a place in Europe you EX-ELITE.

  • It is always lovely to see people who have utterly failed to read our articles from the past, make wild, ludicrous and crazy assumptions about what we have written in the past and what we believe.
    Do keep doing it, it really gives us a huge laugh.

  • Prince U, if you are ever offered a job as a mind reader, I would urge you (if I may be so bold) not to take it, at least on the basis of your ability to read my feelings as expressed here. Of course what you could do is read more than just one article. But hey, why bother when you can attempt to insult the writer, just from a quick flip through.
    But it always gives us a laugh, so you’re always welcome along.

  • Mikey

    It’s most amusing to see people coming on hear and proudly announcing that the fine was for “not fully cooperating with the investigations”. And they are saying it as though that is something to be proud of!

    The fact that the CAS ruled on a significant fine because of Manchester City’s “disregard of such principle and its obstruction of the investigations” is appalling in its own right. Man City fans clearly think that obstructing UEFA is absolutely fine. I know they’re obviously pleased about not being banned but actually thinking it’s ok to cover stuff up………….just in case you are guilty of the bigger offence, is pretty shabby in my view.

  • Chris

    @Gary,

    please read what was decided. The one main reason was that the events were older then 5 years which for CAS or UEFA or both is prescription time. SO they escaped a guilty verdict which is not the same as being found not guilty. So if you rob your neighbour, rape his wie, kill his kids and not get caught does this mean you are innocent ?!?!

    As for the statement about the best run club in the world, well, I’ll leave you to your credulity.

    What sickens me is that we fans are to have such discussions instead of talking of what once was a beautiful game. It is now an expensive show.

  • Ante

    Tony this article stinks of sour grapes. Manchester city was found not guilty of the allegations by UEFA. You cannot claim to be all for democracy but when a competent court of law passes judgement, you attack it because it doesn’t favour you. Please I expect more maturity from you and arsenal fans generally. Untold know refereeing better than referees, know law better than the judges, know journalism more than the journalists, know governance better those in government and administration better than the administrators. Yet just a blogetta with 10 or so comments

  • Nitram

    Mikey

    “As for the statement about the best run club in the world, well, I’ll leave you to your credulity.”

    When I read that I nearly bust a gut laughing.

    Having some nation state dropping ONE BILLION quid (NETT) in your lap to spend on transfers alone as well as buying you the best managers in the World, as well as being gifted a Stadium, does not constitute being ‘the best run club in the World’. In fact all that and you STILL cant win the Champions League, the one you really want. But hey never mind, as we have found out today you can just keep spending and spending and spending until you do, and when you finally do, which of course you will eventually, will you honestly think that that is an achievement? Really ?

    And as for calling everyone else bitter it’s actually quite the opposite. I wouldn’t want to win an egg cup on the back of a BILLION pound ‘gift’, it means nothing, especially when it comes from one of the most distasteful regimes in the World.

    Back in May I wrote the following in an article entitled ‘There are two organisations buying multiple clubs of Will there be more?’ broaching the subjects of how city are run, their benefactors, a supposed top 4 ‘cartel’ and their accusations of bitterness.

    Nitram

    19 May 2020 at 19:56

    City fans and their very strange and twisted take on reality.

    After the war, up until the early 70’s Man City were a top Club winning 6 major trophies:

    55/56 FA Cup
    67/68 Champions
    68/69 FA Cup + Super Cup
    69/70 Cup Winners Cup + League Cup

    During that period Arsenal on the other hand only won 4 Trophies, 3 of which were prior to the 60’s. Our first major trophy for 17 years was the Fairs City’s Cup in 1970.

    Man Utd were perennial champions winning it 5 times between season 51/52 and 66/67.

    They also won an FA Cup and most famously a European Cup.

    So yes at the start of the 70’s, as Recent European Champions, Manchester United were bigger than City, but they earned that status on the pitch. Even so, they had no God given rights, as they found out when they got relegated in the early 70’s.

    As for Arsenal, with just the 1 trophy after 17 years, they were hardly pulling up trees.

    As such Man City sat comfortably at the top table and were arguably a bigger club than both Arsenal and Man Utd in the early 70’s.

    So why and were did it all go so wrong for City, and so right for Arsenal and Man Utd?

    Well lets say from the outset it had nothing to do with a financial gift from any benefactor, a la Man City.

    Anything Arsenal and United achieved was achieved on the football pitch. Arsenal got where they did, and won what they did, through decent/good/brilliant owners and board members, hiring decent/good/brilliant managers, and more importantly knowing when they had a good’n and sticking with him.

    Man utd similarly, famously sticking with Fergie just long enough to see him deliver, and boy did he deliver.

    Compare that to Man City’s shambolic take on running a football club. Well run club you say?

    This is City’s list of managers since the early 70’s:

    Sven G Eriksson 06 Jul, 2007 02 Jun, 2008
    Stuart Pearce 11 Mar, 2005 14 May, 2007
    Kevin Keegan 24 May, 2001 11 Mar, 2005
    Joe Royle 18 Feb, 1998 21 May, 2001
    Frank Clark 29 Dec, 1996 17 Feb, 1998
    Phil Neal 08 Nov, 1996 29 Dec, 1996
    Steve Coppell 06 Oct, 1996 08 Nov, 1996
    Alan Ball 02 Jul, 1995 27 Aug, 1996
    Brian Horton 28 Aug, 1993 16 May, 1995
    Tony Book 26 Aug, 1993 28 Aug, 1993
    Peter Reid 15 Nov, 1990 26 Aug, 1993
    Howard Kendall 06 Dec, 1989 05 Nov, 1990
    Mel Machin 01 May, 1987 30 Nov, 1989
    Jimmy Frizzell 01 Oct, 1986 01 May, 1987
    Billy McNeill 30 Jun, 1983 22 Sep, 1986
    John Benson 03 Feb, 1983 07 Jun, 1983
    John Bond 01 Oct, 1980 03 Feb, 1983
    Malcolm Allison 16 Jul, 1979 01 Oct, 1980
    Tony Book 12 Apr, 1974 01 Jan, 1979
    Ron Saunders 22 Nov, 1973 12 Apr, 1974
    Johnny Hart 01 May, 1973 16 Nov, 1973
    Malcolm Allison 12 Jun, 1972 30 Mar, 1973
    Joe Mercer 01 Jul, 1965 12 Jun, 1971

    That’s a ridiculous 23 managers in 17 years.

    It’s hardly Arsenal or Man Utds fault that since the early 70’s Man City have been run like a back street market stall. Given that pathetic way of running a football club is it any surprise that over that period, up until the Sheikh’s oil money turned up, Man City won one single solitary League Cup, getting relegated in to the bargain. Given where they were, that is some fall from grace.

    So given such ineptitude, I mean, honestly, what on earth gives you this sense of entitlement ?

    City have been a terribly ran Club for years and no amount of name calling will change that.

    I know Arsenal earned their place at the top table and I’m sure United fans feel the same. City simply bought their place.

    Not only did they buy it, they bought it with filthy rotten money, and trying to justify it by banging on about the fact they’ve built a new block of flats and a couple of supermarkets or whatever they’ve done, simply doesn’t cut it.

    (Just one of dozens of articles)

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/manchester-city-owners-amnesty-international-der-spiegel-accused-uefa-ffp-sponsors-a8627741.html

    Still, if you’re happy with all that that’s up to you, but you know as well as I do that ANY club and I mean ANY club would of won what City have won, given the astronomical amount of money spent on transfers alone. £1,000,000,000 Nett and counting. I mean where is the achievement in that? In fact, having failed dismally in the pursuit of the one trophy you really want I think you’ve actually fallen short, given that spend.

    Still, no worries just spend another Billion, after all it’s no more than you deserve is it.

    ——————-

    “best run club in the World” Of course you are.

  • Ante

    @Nitram, But the courts just exonerated Man city of the allegations that they have been spending gifted monies at least not beyond the allowed limit. Why do you insist your allegations are correct and CAS has given Man city license to spend? UEFA said city were spending beyond their revenue, Man city said they weren’t, case went to court, Man city won, the proper thing to do is congratulate them and move on

  • Nitram

    Ante

    What deluded planet do you live on when you expect people to congratulate you and move on ?

    If you honestly believe that twaddle you’ve just written then heaven help you.

  • Ante

    @Nitram, good luck to you too bro. I’ll just congratulate you then and move on

  • Deb

    Hahahaha, nice response Ante. Congratulations Nitram.

  • I can’t see that this is right Ante. Part of the Uefa rulings were now ruled out because they were out of time, not because they were factually incorrect.

  • There are many different types of humour, but what you find funny Deb is quite beyond me.

  • Mandy Dodd

    A ten million fine might not be much to city’s owners, or represent much in the scheme of things , but it doesn’t imply complete exoneration to me , nor does a case being effectively thrown out on a technicality.

  • Chris

    @All,

    why don’t you all read what was decided and the reasons. Part of the fact that the court decided that Cit$ could not be punished was that the documents and facts were older then 5 years which is the prescription as it happens.

    So in NO WAY was Cit$ found not guilty. It means they escaped punishement because time had passed NOT because they were found not guilty. Worse, it means that had prescription not set in, they would have been found GUILTY.

    As an Arsenal fan, I remember the sh*tstorm that erupted when it was suddenly discovered that our owner owned a TV channel featuring hunting. My God was there a chorus of scandalised people of all ages, sexes, colours, religions joining in to express their disgust at him and Arsenal as a club.

    Intrestingly no one is joining any chorus to talk about slave labour and the human right situations in Quatar, UAE, Dubai…not hearing anything.

    Just shows how selective our understanding of how the world goes can be.

    So, be happy, after all you are City fans and you are entitled to it. Good for you, another billion will flow in the next 5 years.
    Maybe one day clubs will decide to play their reserve banks against Cit$, as it makes no sense to risk players health and yellow or red cards playing against a team that is so out of this league that it needs not abide by its rules.

    But don’t treat us like idiots by wanting to pretend it was a ‘not guilty’ verdict when it was ‘loo late to be caught’ reversal.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wonder what would happen should the woke masses wake up to modern day slavery in the same way they have to injustices 150years plus ago……would be interesting to see how that plays out

  • Mikey

    @ Chris

    Yeh but no but yeh but……………

    Sadly, I suspect the $ity fans didn’t bother actually reading the judgement. Just saw they were back in Europe and it reawoke their dreams of (buying) the Champions League.

    It’s funny really given the amount of stick they give the red side of Manchester for having no scruples and just clamouring for glory Irrespective of how they get it. It turns out the blue side are no different 🙂

  • Mikey

    OT fouls at Old Trafford 12-13. Cards 0-3. Riley’s plan working again.

  • Why would Man City “not co-operate” with the investigation if they were innocent? If it looks like a duck….

  • Menace

    PIGMOB dishing cards for all Saints! True display of Christian behaviour.

    Delay everything and it won’t be illegal.