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Roman Abramovich puts the squeeze on Manchester City


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http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/au...movich-spending

Manchester City's bid to dominate English football with overwhelming financial power is under threat from Chelsea. The Stamford Bridge club, despite their own previous extravagance, are backing a proposal that would limit the amount clubs can spend. The Uefa president, Michel Platini, is intent on ensuring that, by 2012, Champions League entrants will be obliged to balance their books. It was telling that Platini named Chelsea's owner as a supporter of the scheme.

Roman Abramovich will be accused of trying to sabotage a competitor who simply wishes to follow his example. City's outlay in this transfer window alone has amounted to £120m. Such splurges used to typify Chelsea when they were aiming for the prominence they have now secured.

"It's mainly the owners that asked us to do something: Roman Abramovich, [Milan's] Silvio Berlusconi, [internazionale's] Massimo Moratti," Platini said. "They do not want to fork out any more.

"Manchester City can spend £300m if they want to but if they are not breaking even in three years then they cannot play in European competition. I haven't spoken to Manchester City about this and I don't remember meeting their owner [sheikh Mansour], but I'm sure I will. Roman Abramovich is a football person and passionate about the game. He loves football. He has come to me and said that we must do something about this."

The oligarch embarked on a long spree after his takeover of Chelsea in 2003. It has been sustained and a loss of £67.5m in the most recent accounts took the overall outlay to almost £700m. But they have circumspection in mind for themselves in future, as well as trust that restrictions can be imposed on City and others.

The Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon, broadly welcomed Platini's stance but added: "The real work is in the detail and those discussions will continue in earnest over the next 12 months. I don't think anyone could disagree with the broad principle." The club is experimenting with relative austerity and has confined itself so far in this transfer window to buying Yuri Zhirkov for £17m.

Uefa has to consider complex factors. It would not, for instance, oppose clubs which laid out great sums to construct a new stadium, as Arsenal have done in going in the region of £400m in debt while building the Emirates and embarking on property development projects.

Uefa's stance towards Manchester United would be intriguing to hear. The accounts for 2007-08 showed debts of £699m, which related to the Glazers' purchase of the club. There are similarities with Tom Hicks's and George Gillett's takeover of Liverpool. This is not, of course, an exclusively Premier League topic. Some analysts estimate that Real Madrid's current transfer spree will take their borrowings to well over £800m.

The Uefa initiative is under the control of its deputy general secretary, Gianni Infantino. He, however, seems to have in mind the increasingly rare sugar daddies who simply pay the bills out of their own pockets. "If you have a sugar daddy it is unhealthy," he said. "The club has to stay on its own legs and generate its own revenue."

While Chelsea officials and many others now share that viewpoint, they also feel that there will be great difficulty in enforcing such a policy. Uefa, too, is aware that, unless there is some flexibility, it could freeze small clubs at their existing levels. In essence, Uefa would be in danger of ensuring that the hierarchy with which we are so acquainted could never come under threat.

There might be no hope in future of the kind of invigorating episode in which Jack Walker could buy Blackburn Rovers, underwrite the acquisition of players such as Alan Shearer, who helped bring the Premier League title to Ewood Park in 1995, and ultimately make good profits on them when they were sold. Infantino hints at a flexible approach that would leave scope for such a story to occur again, but it is hard to tell how such regulations could be drafted.

Platini's stance is simple and indisputable. He is sure that Uefa must act when the financial crisis is felt in all 53 of its member countries. "We are not trying to put down Chelsea, Real Madrid or Manchester United," he said. "It's for all clubs."

The Uefa president also stated that unless Fifa agrees that the 2018 World Cup must be staged in Europe, it would be important for the continent to put forward only one candidate, so as not to split the votes for European option. England, who hope to host that World Cup, may find an additional hurdle in their path.

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Haha, Platini just loves us. I can smell the fear!

Im sure this wont pass european competition laws as lets face it, its designed to keep the top european clubs protected.

However, there is nothing to stop us announcing Etihad as a 200 million pound per season spososrship. Platini is an absolute mong of the highest standard.

Its such a bent prospective ruling. Its ok for Manure, liverpool and Real to operate on huge debt which in my opinion is far worse than what we are doing. Apparently a bank loan is ok but real cash especially in times of a recession is wrong??? How dare a club not supplied with money by the champions league compete! Its that wad of cash that makes it impossible for most clubs to get to the table. Bent little c**t. His little darling Juventus never cheated either did they?

I've also read that it will stop us competing in the champions league should we make it. If thats his attitude to us I would rather we keep on spending to win the league as the premiership wont impose a thing on us. I would rather we dont play in the champions league and clean up the domestics. it would make a complete mockery of the CHAMPIONS league if the current champions werent featuring. I know alot of you dont like what we are doing but there are a fair few who can see we are only attempting what you achieved. Its fear and fear only.

Oh and one more thing. We are increasing clubs like Evertons turn over by paying over the odds for players. Our owners are ploughing millions into the game and individual clubs which can only strengthen them as well.

Edited by bluemoon
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I agree with you bluemoon. What Man City are doing is no different to what Chelsea have done in the past- and the only difference between that and what United/Arsenal/Liverpool/Real are doing is that we have done it in a shorter time-frame and with real cash, as opposed to increasing debt. The trickle on effect in also very noticeable, especially in clubs like Atletico Madrid and Everton, who have sold big players for big cash and re-invested relatively well.

The reality is that the big clubs of Europe are such a league away in terms of financial and player power than anyone outside the top 3 or 4 in a league can't sustain a competition for the title without serious investment. The true problem lies not with the Citys and Chelseas, but with teams like Lazio, Parma, Valencia and of course Leeds who tried to imitate the United/Real model and spent large amounts of debt but never had the expected commercial success to pay it off.

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Has Roman become a hypocrite now he's schmmozing with UEFA's big-wigs.

This is to protect the big clubs from another new kid on the block.....talk about move the goal posts.

I wonder if he knows the secret handshake yet?

It it stops Platini and his cronies from handicapping our chances in the competition as they did last year, I am all for it.

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Haha, Platini just loves us. I can smell the fear!

Im sure this wont pass european competition laws as lets face it, its designed to keep the top european clubs protected.

However, there is nothing to stop us announcing Etihad as a 200 million pound per season spososrship. Platini is an absolute mong of the highest standard.

Its such a bent prospective ruling. Its ok for Manure, liverpool and Real to operate on huge debt which in my opinion is far worse than what we are doing. Apparently a bank loan is ok but real cash especially in times of a recession is wrong??? How dare a club not supplied with money by the champions league compete! Its that wad of cash that makes it impossible for most clubs to get to the table. Bent little c**t. His little darling Juventus never cheated either did they?

I've also read that it will stop us competing in the champions league should we make it. If thats his attitude to us I would rather we keep on spending to win the league as the premiership wont impose a thing on us. I would rather we dont play in the champions league and clean up the domestics. it would make a complete mockery of the CHAMPIONS league if the current champions werent featuring. I know alot of you dont like what we are doing but there are a fair few who can see we are only attempting what you achieved. Its fear and fear only.

Oh and one more thing. We are increasing clubs like Evertons turn over by paying over the odds for players. Our owners are ploughing millions into the game and individual clubs which can only strengthen them as well.

This is all such deja-vu. We had all this 4-5 years ago didnt we ? You soon get used to it Bluemoon.

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All down to Roman then…and Platini is merely being taken along for the ride! Incredible the lengths the British press will go to disparage the man even when he purports to follow what is increasingly becoming the Media party line on massive spending in football. Never mind Man City and Real Madrid, it is Abramovich who is now cast as the saboteur-in-chief amongst the maligned money monoliths and this in itself is a heinous crime typical of the oligarch the hacks love to hammer. Bluemoon has it about right as far as I’m concerned and a few selected paragraphs are enough to highlight the sheer inanity of Uefa’s anticipated proposals and the Media’s faltering reaction…

“Uefa's stance towards Manchester United would be intriguing to hear. The accounts for 2007-08 showed debts of £699m, which related to the Glazers' purchase of the club. There are similarities with Tom Hicks's and George Gillett's takeover of Liverpool. This is not, of course, an exclusively Premier League topic. Some analysts estimate that Real Madrid's current transfer spree will take their borrowings to well over £800m.â€

Intriguing yes, but we’re never going to hear Uefa’s real thoughts on ManU because they simply do not want to rock the Old Trafford boat under any circumstances. Real will be treated with the same pair of kid gloves with some inexplicable reason being found to exempt both clubs from any substantial fines or, heaven forbid, ban of any sort. Liverpool are different in that they haven’t been able to obtain enough of anything construed as ’bad’, whether it be mind boggling debt or massive cash injection, and I’m guessing that they will be the nearest thing to a fall guy at the end of all this gobblygook from Platini and his cronies.

“The Uefa initiative is under the control of its deputy general secretary, Gianni Infantino. He, however, seems to have in mind the increasingly rare sugar daddies who simply pay the bills out of their own pockets. "If you have a sugar daddy it is unhealthy," he said. "The club has to stay on its own legs and generate its own revenue."

Run it past me again - what, exactly, is wrong with having a sugar daddy? Loads of money coming into the game in this country, rather than going elsewhere, and filtering down to other levels for the benefit of all, what is there not to like - unless, of course, you’re not getting any yourself. Staying on legs and generating revenue has to be a long term aim, as it was with us and surely is with Citeh, but Uefa confusion over debt and sugar daddyiness is not only palpable, but bizarre.

“While Chelsea officials and many others now share that viewpoint, they also feel that there will be great difficulty in enforcing such a policy. Uefa, too, is aware that, unless there is some flexibility, it could freeze small clubs at their existing levels. In essence, Uefa would be in danger of ensuring that the hierarchy with which we are so acquainted could never come under threat.â€

Got to smile at the way Roman is being portrayed as the high and mighty arch villain of this little piece of fallout from the blue sky thinking that’s been going on. Of course small clubs would suffer, not having any chance, like the Notts County’s of this world, of raising their heads above the parapet of a Division 2 League, always assuming Uefa spread their parsimonious tentacles that far. It’s obvious that the biggest clubs in the biggest stadiums with the biggest sponsorships and TV deals would win the European competitions for evermore. No surprises, no breaking of the rapidly moulding old mould and, best of all in Platiniland, the sight of the champions of Hungary, Belguim and Turkey being given their annual CL handouts to keep them way out at the top of their respective leagues ad infinitum, lambs to the slaughter in the group stage of the competition every year, yet freed by repeated cash handouts from competition at home.

“There might be no hope in future of the kind of invigorating episode in which Jack Walker could buy Blackburn Rovers, underwrite the acquisition of players such as Alan Shearer, who helped bring the Premier League title to Ewood Park in 1995, and ultimately make good profits on them when they were sold. Infantino hints at a flexible approach that would leave scope for such a story to occur again, but it is hard to tell how such regulations could be drafted.â€

Hints at a flexible approach are no good at all when you have a readymade example on your hands at Middle Eastlands that you are hell bent on strangling at berth.

“Platini's stance is simple and indisputable. He is sure that Uefa must act when the financial crisis is felt in all 53 of its member countries. "We are not trying to put down Chelsea, Real Madrid or Manchester United," he said. "It's for all clubs."

Rubbish. Platini’s stance is simplistic and disputable from almost every angle you care to mention. Uefa may not agree with the business models at ManU or Liverpool [neither do I, although that’s irrelevant in this debate], but nobody can deny that they are legitimate tools used within the business world and not, as Platini would have us believe, the Devil’s work. If somewhere down the line either of these clubs, or an out of control cash machine like Real Madrid, comes horribly unstuck and goes to the wall it’s their fault and there will be many in football who will give a little cheer. However, suggesting that Arsenal’s stadium debt [born of a promise to the Council to promote young English talent that has yet to see the light of day and currently housing a team without a home grown player in its first eleven] is any more laudable than those from the North defies modern day business thinking [in a falling property market] and merely provides succour for Wenger and his ever increasing number of excuses for being pot less, whilst at the same time being ever so humble and justified in his beliefs.

Sad to say, it is storylines like Wenger’s that will be embellished in print while those who want to spend money in and directly on the game are pilloried because it is currently perceived [by those in overall authority] to be the root of all evil. Uefa’s pursuit of great wads of the stuff means that they, more than most, should know better and the Platini platitudes should stop before they get totally out of hand.

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Don't think this will ever happen

Quite right, not a cat in hell chance of it becoming law, it goes against all commercial, business laws, and that is what football is today, say RM get nowhere in this seasons Champions League, so invest heavily again next year, but this time buy bucket loads of defenders, finance by the banks again, is there a chance Uefa will suspend the most successful team in the Champion League from next seasons competition, well there is one chance! a snowball in hell chance, Platini just likes to speak and act tough, he has no idea of bringing legislation like this into the game and becoming law, sorry you French twat why not sort out your in house incompetence first, like incompetent match officials, your have every body welcoming that initiative

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  • 1 month later...
Guest d-vder

On a completely different note.....

Question: Why will Man City be sponsored by 118-118 next year?

Answer: 'cos it's the only formation they can play.

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