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FFP – protect the rich – ignore the poor !

FFP – protect the rich and ignore the poor

 

 

UEFA describes the purpose of its financial fair play rules as “… improving the overall financial health of European club football.”

The only problem is that it does not.

It is in fact a set of anti-competitive , self serving, borderline illegal rules that reinforces the existing inequalities between clubs. The UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (“FFP”) began life in 2010 and had its first assessment in 2011.

Since then clubs wishing to participate in UEFA competitions were required to demonstrate that they are not carrying overdue football creditor debts and social/tax liabilities, which on the face of it is perfectly fair.

Since FFP came into force in 2011, six clubs have been barred ( Astana (Kazakhstan), CFR Cluj (Romania), CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria), Mons Calpe (Gibraltar), Real Betis (Spain) and Clube Desportivo Santa Clara (Portugal) to UEFA competitions because they have either failed to pay players wages or transfer fees to other clubs

In the 2016/17 season nine clubs and in the 2019/20 season 14 clubs entered into Settlement Agreements with UEFA due to FFP breaches.

But one major and justifiable criticism of FFP is that it is a rule designed to protect the rich whilst disenfranchising the poor.

It appears to ensure the status quo of existing financial inequalities in European football where the rich will continue to become richer  (sound familiar?) and the poorer clubs are denied the opportunity to attract the investment that could enable them to challenge the richer clubs.

There is a very valid argument that the outcomes of most leagues in Europe including UEFA’s Champions’ league are predetermined from the outset and are usually dominated by the same rich clubs almost every season.

Closer to home, in the Premier league ; it is no surprise to anybody that no other club (Leicester excepted) outside of the usual top 4 of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have won the Premier league in the last 20 years. The same pattern is repeated in Spain, Germany and Italy and it is clubs from these football rich nations that dominate the UEFA champions’ league.

It now appears that the Hammers are on the naughty boy UEFA FFP watchlist along with FC Union Berlin, Fenerbahçe SK, Feyenoord, Leicester City FC, Manchester City FC, Olympique Lyonnais, Rangers, Real Betis Balompié, Royal Antwerp FC, Sevilla FC, SS Lazio, SSC Napoli, Trabzonspor AS and VFL Wolfsburg.

That is why it is vital that we get the Declan Rice funds as much as possible in a  lump sum, as opposed to being spread out over 5 years or so, in order to get our own books in order.

 

2 comments on “FFP – protect the rich – ignore the poor !

  1. “Closer to home, in the Premier league ; it is no surprise to anybody that no other club (Leicester excepted) outside of the usual top 4 of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have won the Premier league in the last 20 years.”

    With respect, Simon, what about Liverpool in 2019-20? And they have had a few near misses too.

    • Quite right Hammeroo, it slipped my mind. But nevertheless I am sure you get the gist of what I was trying to say

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