Premier League and its 20 members regarding the proposed Financial Fair Play rulings has, as expected, been met with mixed feelings among top flight owners.

The Premier League has proposed a ‘break-even rule,’ which does exactly what it says on the tin, in order to sustain financial stability while also preventing wage inflation and promoting a more ‘even playing field.’

It’s a model that we have all longed for in an age where football clubs are either going out of business or slipping down the leagues due to the loss of important revenue and the inability to keep up with the more wealthy clubs who can pay the best players the best wages.

UEFA has introduced a similar ruling in their competitions that demands clubs can only spend what they earn commercially and that they must break even, although they have gifted clubs a three year period in which they are allowed to make a loss of £36.3 million.

It is this kind of ruling that the Premier League hopes to adopt, but they have been met with some club owners’ disapproval, which if we’re honest, was always expected.

Fulham, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City have all voted against the introduction of the break-even rule, which means there is still some creases to iron out before all Premier League clubs are happy to proceed.

The ruling does prevent owners pumping money into the club whenever they like, which has been met with uncertainty  among clubs Chelsea and Manchester City, whose billionaire owners have given them the opportunity to perform on Europe’s biggest stage and win Premier League trophies. Chelsea do support the break-even rule, however, but still want the luxury of Roman Ambramovich’s bottomless pockets whenever they need to dip their hands in.

Chelsea have a point, but that would contradict the whole Financial Fair Play model and leave clubs without multi-billionaire owners still struggling to compete. Chelsea might be able to break even and comply to the FFP rules, but if Abramovich pumps in £100 million in equity into the club so Roberto Di Matteo can sign Lionel Messi, for example, that completely defeats the object.

The whole point behind FFP is to create a more level playing field in the Premier League and, more importantly, to prevent situations that Portsmouth have found themselves in.

We all know that it won’t be long before another top-flight side is bought by a multi-billionaire who is prepared to pump unlimited funds in to the club in exchange for silverware, European dominance and domestic glory.

But under these new rules, that wouldn’t necessarily mean we will have another Chelsea and Manchester City on our hands where the side buys and wins everyone and everything. Thankfully, those days are numbered.

What we should expect from this ruling is the smaller clubs being able to make a profit and slowly grow into sustainable businesses and successful teams. Of course, clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool will always be able to pay more wages because they generate more income commercially than the likes of, say, Wigan or Southampton.

But the Uniteds and Arsenals of the division will no longer be able to break the bank to sign a player who wants £180,000-a-week and will have to think twice about putting them on their wage bill. As a result, the transfer market may develop into a more open source for players. Other clubs could have a shot at bringing in a marquee signing, which is something we rarely see in the current climate.

Overall, the FFP ruling will benefit the majority of the Premier League, while the minority may have to take a hit in order to adapt. It could spell the end of the mighty top four and the tight grip the likes of United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have over the title race, much to the delight of those who have previously challenged in vain to break the mould.

It won’t be instantaneous but, if implemented correctly, FFP could be a case of ‘one small step for football, one giant leap for the Premier League.’

What do you think? Is the break-even rule what the Premier League really needs to clean up its act? Leave your thoughts below.


  • Kevin Lynch
    3 years ago

    Such a ruling would ensure the Premier League would fall behind La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga in the golbal pecking order. It is a restraint of trade and highly damaging to the development of football clubs as profitable businesses. It could also lead to the end of the Premier League’s position in the UK as clubs leave to form a European Super League sooner rather than later.

    • Matthew
      3 years ago

      No it does not. Sustainability in the Premier League will attract more potential club buyers who wont feel the pressure to spend millions to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Man City.
      This ables the club to spend more money developing clubs further, making them bigger and able to attract a wider range of footballers. With televison money booming and sky ready to pay I think close or over 3billion for the Premier League, clubs and fans want to see that money invested into their football club…not lining the pockets of greedy players and agents. Skyrocket prices will gradually be able to fall or stick as the money can be invested rather than just thrown at a player so he will join their club.La Liga is in serious financial trouble, Seria A is corrupt and the level of Itialian club football has deteriorated over the past ten years. The French League does’nt receive enough exposure and the German League is financially thee most successful league in the world and they operate on their own version of ffp. They have the lowest ticket prices in Europe, the highest attendances, the highest number of top quality stadiums and quite frankly they produce alot of top quality players from within their own academies rather than having to constantly spend and bring players in. Not to mention anything they do spend is from their own revenue and not from a “sugar daddy”. The Premier League is the most recongnisable football league in world football, to think that sustainabilty will decrease its value is ludacris. It will be footballers overall who will loose the lavish lifestyles and over inflated wages.Footballers would then be choosing which clubs they play for based on history, abmition, coaching and managerial staff and location and success. Giving all clubs as fair as possible a chance at signing them. The way the system is now is beyond control and these meetings between clubs shows they see it as a problem aswell.

      p.s. giving clubs equal footing by having a billionaire owner as it gives them a chance of muscling in on an already dominant top 4/5/6/ in england is disgusting. those clubs at the top earned that success, liverpool in the 70’s/80s, united 90’s/00’s, arsenal throughout their history…why should their hardwork throughout their history be swept aside and labelled as unfiar dominance while clubs buy success just to catch up with them.That attitude shows exactly why they arent as historicaly successful as the clubs at the top. only in the English media is such an idea of cheating to win and taking shortcuts encouraged and clubs trying to work within their means are looked down upon.

      • Melon Man
        3 years ago

        You were doing ever so well until the last paragraph when you started to defend United,Arsenal and Liverpool as paragons of financial prudence and Big History – which one of them do you support?
        See my post below as to why the TV revenues paid out to the Sky 4 skewed any chance of a fair playing field in favour of those clubs, who of course never speculated to accumulate in their history – and if you know anything about football history, you’ll know I’m being sarcastic.
        Like Man U haven’t got a Billionaire owner in the Glazers, Liverpool’s John Henry, Arsenals Kroenke and Usmanov – all foreigners taking money out of English football, that’s not even going into the array of multi millionaire owners who’ve bankrolled these clubs in the past such as the Moore’s family, the Edwards, Henry Norris – financial doping apparently, or as others would have it – investing in your club.
        How hypocritical that these clubs now want to stop others doing what they have done, but unsurprising as these three teams were the first to whore themselves all over the globe trying to sell their replica shirts and duvet sets, and classify it as football related income!
        Fancy attracting rich football fans as well as the regular ones – who would have saw that one coming? Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich were probably turned on by one of these teams on their several tours of the East, and decided they’d like to do their bit for the love of footy – delicious irony.
        AAgain, if you want real fairness, and most fans of the three clubs mentioned apparently don’t, then the monies from the Champions League needs distributing equally among the clubs throughout Europe, not to the participants only.

    • Sam
      3 years ago

      Kevin , present system does not leave room for development of football club as a profitable business and win trophies. Something needs to be done and it has to evolve to survive, otherwise, football will become a monster that eat itself.

      • Melon Man
        3 years ago

        Where will this Monster that Eats itself live?
        Under your bed?
        Currently Man U, Chelsea and the arsenal are profitable businesses, therefore the present ststem does leave room for profitable business and winning trophies.
        Please name me a British football club that has gone out of business forever in the last, say 20 years? ( Bankruptcy doesn’t count, clubs bounce back with better owners).
        Finally, there’s an extra £3 billion coming into the Prem from TV revenues, so the only way football will implode in the Prem is if we fail to attract the World’s top stars, and therefore become boring to the foreign viewer – a great argument for preventing our crap homegrown talent from hogging the limelight.
        Are you a worrier by nature Sam? Lighten up, it’ll probably never happen.

    • Podge
      3 years ago

      The Bundesliga has been operating under a similar ruling for years. Dortmund, for example, have been operating within there own means and look what they did against Man City and Real. Can you honestly say its hurt the Bundesliga? Schalke, Munich, Stuttgart etc. These teams look stronger than they have in years. They’re national side hasn’t half benefited either.

  • GFH
    3 years ago

    Kevins concern would be valid if only the English Premier had to shape up to FFP .I assume ( a big assumption ) that the other European leagues will comply as fairly with the system as I hope we will do. If all leagues do so then the heat will be driven out of the situation , so long as there are no round the corner payments from ( hypothetically speaking ) the likes of Etihad or Roman Abramovich which purport to be shirt sponsorship but are attempts to get around the restrictions. The test of the ruling will be in its policing.

  • Melon Man
    3 years ago

    “Of course, clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool will always be able to pay more wages because they generate more income commercially than the likes of, say, Wigan or Southampton.”

    And that’s how it might pan out – totally unfair on the little clubs, back to the bad old days of the Sky Four, Grand Slam Sunday etc..BORING except of course for fans of the “big” teams,
    Whilst TV revenues are paid out to teams in the Champions League so unfairly, then the Premiership, and of course throughout Europe, will be dominated by the same old clubs, whilst the rich get richer, and the poor stay where they are if they’re lucky.
    £20 million extra a year just for finishing fourth, means you can buy better players and pay them more money than the team who finish fifth – we’ve seen what a chasm started to grow over the 20 years of Premiership and Champions League, which led to a scenario whereby any club hoping to actually win anything had to spend nearly half a billion to do so – City.
    If FFP regs are implemented, no more will clubs like Villa, Forest and Everton be able to even get in the CL places, never mind win it like they did in the past – how can this be fair?
    Perversely, the new regs are coming in too late to stop City and Chelsea, the two teams these regs were rushed through to try and stop!
    Chelsea posted a profit this year, City won’t be far behind breaking even thanks to the CL and new commercial partnerships (not just the Etihad deal – do some research before spouting off about unfair sponsorships).
    If you want true fairness, then you’d be campaigning for TV revenues for the CL to be shared out equally to all clubs in Europe – eg Grimsby get the same money as Chelsea – then we might see some real investment in facilities and youth, and a chance for other clubs to have a real go.

  • LTC
    3 years ago

    Why would people want to watch the Premier League when all FFP will do is hand the league title to Manchester United every season?

    You can’t restrict expenditure, without first regulating income.