The new financial fair play rules approved by UEFA ensure clubs start to live within their own means and only spend money that they have made in income. Clubs that fail to conform will not be allowed to compete in European competition. Now I do agree that the spending in world football is out of control and something needs to be done – but is this really the answer and will it increase the gulf within the Premier League?
It’s fair to assume that all of the clubs competing in the Premier League hold aspirations of qualifying for Europe – so they will all want to conform to the rules. But the reality is teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will always have significant resources and under the new rules would have far greater spending power when compared with other Premier League teams.
Therefore, a side such as Bolton or Stoke may make good progress up the Premier League table but they would be halted in their development if they wanted to have a go at Champions League qualification or challenging for the title. Yes, you would like to think that shrewd managers could do something special – but with the huge gulf of resources, it’s difficult to see how they could be successful. Especially considering the best managers will go to the bigger clubs with the bigger resources and so will the players. So how could a so called “smaller” Premier League club ever win the title?
It is strange to consider that something that is called financial fair play only seems to increase the gap and makes the league uncompetitive. What would be financial fair play is where all the teams had equal amount of money for transfer fees and wages – but I know we would never see this in the modern football world. I hope to be proved wrong and see teams being successful despite having far fewer resources – but it’s hard to see and it appears you can only compete for the top four if you have huge resources. The money is football is ruining the game and these new rules will do little to change that – even if we do see some slightly reduced transfer fees at the top end.
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