Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Financial Fair Play Model Spells Long Term End of Promotion and Relegation

At the beginning of this season the football league clubs slit their left wrists with the absurd limitation on the number of substitutes allowed on the bench. It was a crass decision that simply limited the chances of kids getting game time, forcing clubs like West Ham to send promising youngsters into the lower divisions and to select outfield players as the reserve keeper. There was no logic to it, other than to stop the bigger squads from having any form of advantage.

And now the razor has been drawn over the right wrist with the adoption of the Financial Fair Play model. Tell me, how do clubs expect to make the jump from the Championship to the Premiership in future, and how do they hope to retain any quality players when in the lower division? Newcastle, West Brom and maybe ourselves have managed to bounce back because a core of Premiership players were retained. Once back up, Newcastle and West Brom were able to survive by adding to the squad rather than restructuring it completely.

Now any team that gets up will be hopelessly out of their depth, unless they go out and buy a completely new squad. The divide between the Prem and the rest will widen enormously as players like Noble and Tomkins opt to be squad players at Prem clubs rather than take massive wage cuts to remain loyal to the club that developed them.

Only three clubs voted against the proposals and you can bet that we were one of them. This is Football Socialism with the have not minority ganging up on the bigger boys who enjoy a degree of financial clout. In time, the clubs in the Prem will simply say that relegation poses too many financial problems because of these rules and relegation will be abolished as a defensive measure. Like Cuba, the Football League will have some form of equality, but an equality that nobody in his right mind would want, with three tiers climbing to a summit that means absolutely nothing because there will be no more promotion. The guys arriving at this decision are perfect arses!

The stakes have suddenly become huge. We have to get out of this division before it is too late!


C said...

Because Norwich and Swansea are massive wage payers and spent millions re structuring their squads? Ummm no

I agree there will be a bigger gap and players will be more inclined to sit in reserves at Prem clubs.

But it's the first step to making the game more equal, as long as other leagues follow suit

Anonymous said...


I largely agree with you HF.

There does need to be more financial sense and stability in football. The way a club like Citeh can spend literally hundreds of millions is ridiculous and utterly skews competition.

However these measures today go too far and seem to be designed to clip the wings of clubs like us, thus allowing other teams a greater chance of joining the PL gravy train. I understand the argument that that's a good thing, but it's only achieved by tieing other teams' hands behind their back. To some degree if a club gambles and goes to the wall that's their look out. It's still a big worry for me that we have done exactly that this year albeit for understandable reasons. By the same token if a team is happy to not gamble and is content to hang around the middle of the league that too is their choice.

There should be some limitations but they should be set higher than they were today- otherwise it affects a team like us dis-proportionately, if we are in the Championship. For example Nolan's wages alone which we will still be paying when these rules come into effect, would account for half of the allowed deficit in a season.

Deane said...

Cuba only suffers because of American sanctions They may be poor but everyone gets an education and everyone has food on the table and a roof over their heads without American sanctions and blockades Cuba would have been a shining example of a successful communist country and there was noway the Yanks where going to allow that to happen Oh and financial fair play works very well in Germany but to be fair every team is governed by the same rules

USA Dave said...

I dont see how such a basic premise of football around the world, relegation and promotion, is at risk here. Thats a stretch in my opinion.

As for Fair Play, the one's that will survive will be the one's that find the inevitable chinks in the system. And the first model to look at how to find those chinks is over here in America. The NFL and NBA both have salary caps, and teams are constantly re-structuring players contracts to create more "cap room". So perhaps a player would be allowed to agree to things like deferred payments that dont count against that years accounting.

I also believe certain promotional revenue will not count, such as naming rights to a ground. So SuGo could buy naming rights to The Boelyn through one of their other holdings, thus funneling the funds they think they need into the club without it counting against them vis a vie Fair Play.

Money usually has a way of getting where it wants to go.

Hammersfan said...

Have you been there Deane? Paradise turned into a shit hole!

Anonymous said...

Anony-mouse says,

Like you HF I guessed that we were one of the three clubs that voted against the measures but apparently not. Gold has tweetesd to congratulate the League on voting to 'protect the clubs from themselves'. It didn't look like a sarcastic tweet so it looks like we were a turkey voting for Xmas.

Anonymous said...

Within 5 years i can see a prem2 created because of these rules.

Anonymous said...

Kevin in Manchester writes..

When you drill down into it you can take one of two courses; leave things as they are and let the example of clubs spiralling out of the league or existance act as a reminder of the bad things that happen if you don't control budgets-crucial to this operating efficiently you really do need to let failing clubs fail.

Or you do away with relegation in the Prem and allow the rest of the league to go semi pro. or even set up their own sealed competitions. If there is no danger of dropping out of a league there's less motivation to spend silly money trying to preserve your status.

The Championship choice is maddness because far from creating a more level playing field; it'll entrench those teams with the largest capacity and commercial operation at the top- so actually quite good for the likes of us, Leeds, Boro, Leicester and any team that drops down from the PL.

Anonymous said...

This can only be good for the game in England in the long run, but will be a scrap over the next couple of years as every club is starting from a different point, but needs to reach the same destination.

There are some facts/opinions that you're missing...

1. The Prem teams will also be subject to financial regulation in order to be allowed to compete in Europe - not sure when this comes into effect.

2. This system (or similar) already operates in Germany and Holland - they have well established competitive leagues

3. The bigger clubs are still advantaged in this scheme.

4. Champ clubs have a choice to make over the next 2 years - chase the dream of promotion, but failure will lead to dire consequences - remember only 6 teams can be promoted to the prem before these sanctions come into force and that will include those relegated into the Champ from the Prem this season and next.

5. About the Kevin Nolan's wage accounts for half that deficit comment - worried that you won't be able to sign any more Kevin Nolans? The effect will be that no club will be able to afford Kevin Nolan either, the result will be that players wage demands will come down, as they'll make themselves unemployable.

6. There's half a chance that over time we'll all be concerned with the 3 points at stake every week, not how much revenue is at stake if the ref doesn't give us a corner - maybe diving and cheating will reduce?

7. You don't need 7 subs in a team. It's nothing to do with giving youngsters playing time or not being able to have a keeper on the bench, it's big club mentality trying to gain competitive advantage by 'needing' to buy up the quality players. Youngsters came through just fine when there were 1,then 2,then 3 before 5 named subs - you're believing your own managers propaganda

8. In case you're wondering, I follow Derby County

Anonymous said...

How does this put, as one of you said "clubs like us" at a disadvantage?

What gives you the right to spend beyond your means?

If you're as big a club as you think then your revenue will be higher than other clubs in the championship, which gives you an advantage over everyone else as they're limited to what they earn as well. You won't be able to get by by relying on your owners who continue to pour money into your club.

Won't be able to sign anymore Kevin Nolans? Boo Hoo. Plenty of clubs cant sign Kevin Nolans because they're run sensibily.

Just becasue you've been in the prem before doesnt give you a right to be there again, you have to earn it, you dont have anymore right to get promoted at the start of the season than a club like Doncaster does. Too many relagated clubs have the mindset that they're "a premiership club" and as such are somehow "bigger" than everyone else in the division.
That's not true, everyone is in the divison for a reason.

Anyone who thinks this is bad for football is seriosuly misinformed I think. I'll ask everyone this... What is bad about limiting clubs to spend what they earn through revenue? Any other business wouldnt allow it, why do football clubs?

However, I think most peoples opinions here are not that its bad for football. The general feeling is that it's bad for your club. Which to be honest is quite sad. And that's the problem, everyone is blinkered to there own club, that no one seems to think of the benefits for football as a whole.

The argument that its a clubs right to risk it all and go to the wall is an argument that's flawed also. Its not just your club that suffers, the league suffers as a result, other clubs suffer that have money owed to them, the community suffer, the fans suffer.