Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Harsh on Man City perhaps…but surely this is good for the game

Football FanCast columnist Rob Facey wonders why fans are so quick to have a go at Michel Platini when his ideas are clearly for the good of the game.

Michel Platini, the President of UEFA has threatened Premier League clubs with expulsion from the Champions League unless they balance their books over the next three seasons.

"We are giving clubs three years to abide by the simple sentence that you cannot spend more than you own or generate," Platini said last night, as reported in The Times.

Now most people will see this as a swipe at the nouveau riche clubs, such as Man City, which it may or may not be, but fans need to understand why this is a serious issue that needs addressing.

Most people will see this as another example of UEFA worrying at the power of the English game. All of this anger is misplaced.

In fact, this idea is yet another Premier League myth that, for some reason, fans always swallow.

‘UEFA are scared of English football,' was the cry after Chelsea lost in the Champions League final. Why, because we are so powerful?

The English game is not powerful. The Premier League, which is a self contained bubble away from the Football League, in which the rich get richer and the rest finish 12th, is what is powerful and this is what, quite rightly, irks Platini and co.

If the English game is powerful then why are clubs going out of business? Why are clubs getting relegated because of financial irregularities? Why did Chester start on -25 points this season? Is it because they are powerful, or because they are powerless?

People oppose the idea of City winning things because it is morally questionable; because it is so far removed from what football was when it first started. Is it fair on City? Perhaps not, bearing in mind the fact that United have been doing it for years and Chelsea more recently, but they cannot argue that it is not in the best interests of the game.

So what, they won't be able to win the Champions League until they are running their club properly? Why is this a bad thing? It is most definitely a good thing. The fans at Eastlands will have to be content watching the likes of Tevez, Robinho, Adebayor et al. It must be tough.

Yes, Platini will rub some up the wrong way, but inclusion and equality are his things. Look at some of the clubs involved in the Champions League group stages. They are only there because Platini wants more Champions as opposed to runners-up (a scheme, I would say, that is supported by most football fans) yet people are complaining about there is a lack of quality control.

Yet these are the same people that complain about the modern game being boring, about the same clubs winning everything every season. Well, you can't have it both ways.

This is exactly what Platini is trying to stop. He doesn't want clubs to be able to just buy success; to just buy their way into the Champions League, like City undoubtedly will. He wants clubs to earn their places wherever they play. Again, how on Earth is this a bad thing?

That is why he often focuses on the Premier League, because that is where the rich businessmen are going to buy clubs. Not because he is worried about it because it is powerful, but because he is worried about the way in which it operates.

He wants equality, like everybody else in theory, but then as soon as it happens everybody complains.

Surely any City success in Europe would always be suffixed by the fact that they ‘bought it'. Wouldn't they rather have won it by earning their place there?

Each week 888Sport are offering more ways to win, look-out for free bet specials, bet-back bonanzas and Champions League promotions as well as fantastic team-related prizes, memorabilia and BIG prize draws! Also get a FREE football shirt.

Article title: Harsh on Man City perhaps…but surely this is good for the game

Please leave feedback to help us improve the site: