Opinion: Football Finance

by Robert Otira
Hypocrisy lingers strong throughout any walk of life you walk through. They lie in all institutions you find from governments to dictatorships. Uefa on a scale of hypocrisy are disciples of the practice. Uefa are about as fair as Kim-Jong-un is captilalist.
The Uefa financial-fair play rule is a product of Platini’s drive to strive for financial parity across Europe. Teams not signed up to the licence will be unable to compete for the prize of the Europa League or the financial promised land that is the Champions League. This in Platini’s mindset will stop the oligarchs and Arab takeovers across Europe and ensure sides do not become financially bust.
Now in theorem on that point if you look at it at no other angle that may very well be a noble way to follow. But dig beneath the surface of the Platini and you can see the preservation of an elite community of clubs being formed that will forever be resistant to an up and coming club from the middle classes of any league across Europe.
Take one look at the Deloitte rich league rankings of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Once the impact of these reforms by Platini are fully implemented you can guarantee that these clubs will be the European powerhouses that dominate for the next decade or so to come. Between them they have 19 European cups, you can expect that number to increase in the incoming years. The reason is that the income these clubs organically make between them is vast compared.
Bayern Munich’s new sponsorship deal will push them above the £300 million mark and mixed with the reality that Barcelona and Real Madrid will no longer be able to offer the same level of wages due to meeting Financial Fair Play and Spanish legislation raising the rate of top rate of tax. This means top stars will receive less money than they did before or will have to increase the wages of current players in order to reach the same amount of money they received before.
But that only accounts for how these clubs will continue to earn more. The reason this is so threatening to the competitiveness of the European game is the fact that it means stories like Manchester City a modest club pre-arab which now has the capacity to become one of the best in Europe will not be able to spend the vast money it has to be able to spend enough on wages and the star quality players if it exceeds their income.
As a matter of entrenched fact, it is in the present climate impossible for Manchester City to have as much income as Manchester United or Real Madrid. By saying they can only spend a certain amount they are placing a rigid limit on the potential of the club to rise. Now it could be argued that supreme management can bypass such restrictions on financial limits and that these limits will ensure clubs such as Porstmouth will not cease due to administrative problems. However, if a club can pay its way through a wealthy benefactor and meet its financial commitments why should it not be able to spend the money available. Herein lies the problem with the Platini reforms, as the Deloitte league shows
DELOITTE MONEY LEAGUE
CLUB1. Real Madrid
2. Barcelona
3. Manchester United
4. Bayern Munich
5. Arsenal
6. Chelsea
7. Milan
8. Inter
9. Liverpool
10. Schalke
11. Tottenham
12. Manchester City
13. Juventus
14. Marseille
15. Roma
16. Borussia Dortmund
17. Lyon
18. Hamburg
19. Valencia
20. Napoli
REVENUE FOR
2010-11
 

£433m
£407m

£331.4m
£290.3m
£226.8m
£225.6m
£212.3m
£190.9m
£183.6m
£182.8m
£163.5m
£153.2m
£139m
£135.8m
£129.6m
£125.1m
£119.9m
£116.3m
£105.5m
£103.8m
 

If as the league table shows the gap between clubs continues to increase eventually the big four in regards to the top four clubs in the Deloitte league will run away with the money in Europe.
I tend to use an analogy to advance the point. If two farmers are competing against each other, one produces two sheep a week and another produces five sheep a week, then the farmer whose producing 5 sheep a week will always have three more sheep than the one whose producing two. Now some may say that’s common sense but that accumulates over a period of time. After 10 weeks the farmer producing five sheep a week will have thirty sheep more than the farmer producing two. Now change sheep to money, farmer to Barcelona and Levante and weeks to years and that is a situation that as a metaphor reflects the state that will be left in football by financial fair play. They are bad for football, bad for competitiveness, bad for Europe and bad for the idealists. The days of shocks in Europe will soon be over, the entrenched powers have just had their power enforced.
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