UEFA is taking steps to try to curb the outrageous spending in football.
UEFA’s Executive Committee has approved a set of key regulations as part of the financial fair play concept designed to bring greater stability to European football in the coming years.
Under the concept, clubs will have to balance their books, not spend more than they earn and operate within their financial means, thereby curtailing the excesses that have endangered football’s health in recent times.
As admirable as this is, all it will really do is serve to ensure the continued hegemony of the top clubs in Europe. A lot of clubs have been upset by the way big spending Manchester City have used their new-found financial clout to muscle in on the elite. These rules are designed to stop such instances happening in the future. It is akin to someone taking their soccer ball home when some big kid tries to play with them. As such, established European clubs are welcoming the moves:
Indeed, for very different reasons, they have been positively welcomed by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea (having already ploughed £700m into the club), by the Glazers at Manchester United (who hope to use their natural revenue-generating strengths to increase their competitiveness without spending more) and by Arsenal’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis (who believes it will reward his club’s careful financial husbandry)
As you would expect. A club like Manchester United, with such a large turnover, will be able to spend much more under the new rules than a club like say, Blackburn Rovers. As they will have a higher spending capacity, they have a better chance of reaching the Champions League, where they will gain more revenue, which will allow them to spend, and so on. It will become increasingly harder for new clubs to break into this revenue stream. Which is exactly what UEFA and the big clubs want, of course. UEFA created the situation, by forming the current Champions League, where clubs like Manchester City have to spend large amounts of money to compete. And now they want it to stop. It’s like a man lighting his house on fire, then changing his mind and trying to put it out. As far as I’m concerned, they should let it burn.