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A Platini ‘need to know’ on financial fair play or just ‘a MUST read’?


Dorset

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Worried about your football finances? In need of an £80 million player to sell each year in order to keep yourself in the black? Why not try our quick ‘n easy way to avoid those new EUFA financial doping regulations and wend your way to the top of the table in comfort with our Always In Profit Business Model - the new, improved, sure-fire debt-leverage scheme from the good old US of A…..

Never going to work as an advert on SSNews in the Manchester or Liverpool areas, is it? As with Tiddles, Paddy Power can’t get their teams back into the title race [nothing they can do about them now] but, according to Sky’s recent coverage of Michel Platini’s pet project, it is the likes of Chelsea and Citeh who need to be worried the most, because they are guilty of that deadliest of sins - living beyond your means in a footballing sense. Naturally, the addendum [in a footballing sense] has to be inserted into any argument on the rights and wrongs of ’living’ in this type of situation, as the majority of us don’t abide by such a rigid ruling, having loans, mortgages, credit cards aplenty, and therefore a distinction between them [the footballing senseless] and us [people in the real world of commonsense borrowing] has to be made early in the piece to avoid confusion and to identify a need for remedial action.

Indeed, to be fair to Michel Platini, since the natural outcome of living beyond your means (LBYM) at the highest level [in the footballing sense] was recognised, with Portsmouth nose-diving out of the Premiership, there has been no lack of action on his part, nor shortage of people pointing the finger at the tragic cause-and-effect nature of the event, leading to mass rallying to his cause, more often than not, for effect. No surprise, then, to see Sky jump on his bandwagon too, but surely a certain amount of bewilderment at their report’s implication that either Chelsea or the Abu Dhabi boys would be first to fall foul of EUFA proposals, bearing in mind that both clubs are a million miles away from suffering the Pompey-like consequences that LBYM inevitably brings.

Michel will understand if I politely point out that the raison d’etre of his reform is surely to provide a road to salvation for clubs that have, for whatever reason, wandered down the wrong path [into LBYM] in a footballing sense. Self-evidentially, Chelsea and Manchester City are not two of these clubs, nor will they ever find themselves in such a state, and the reason why this can be said with such certainty centres on the business model for both, as compared to others who have sought to inveigle themselves in the murky world of leverage of debts and the repayment on them of nasty things like interest. In short, EUFA’s measures should be designed to penalise the dodgy dealers who don’t pay their way in football rather than those who are content to put money into the game at every turn and I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST)when they recently responded thus to David Gill’s support of Glazer-type LBYM….

“The only way to judge the Glazers’ ownership is to strip away all the PR spin and look at the facts: What has been their net effect? How much money have they put into the club? The fact is they have put no money in - not a single penny. The money used to purchase the club went to shareholders, not the club, and of course they borrowed the vast majority of that money and transferred the debt to the club.â€

Therefore, presented by Gill (and Ferguson) as one of Platini’s ’sustainable business plans’, this Glazer model should, we have to assume, be ’encouraged’ for as long as a concoction of gate receipts, sponsorship deals, shirt sales and skedaddling £80 million pound players keeps providing the net profit figure the Frenchman likes to see at the end of any balance sheet. Again we must assume that, according to EUFA, this approach by ‘a high-ranked club‘ is acceptable, whereas ‘middle-ranked clubs spending millions which they don't have, as they try to compete with the big clubs’, are just plain wrong with their similar, but lesser-scaled, business model assumptions, despite adopting them for years and managing to survive in the process.

What is even more disconcerting is EUFA’s apparent/implied assertion that any list entitled ‘Principles of Financial Fair Play’ cannot include benevolence as a welcome and pure luck addition, yet it can accept massive debt, as long as it is disguised by a little creative accountancy. Anyone would think that EUFA doesn’t want new money coming into the game, preferring to see ‘exceptional’ levels of debt incurred for the building of a new stadium or an Academy rather than have run any sort of risk of destabilisation when a wealthy benefactor turns up at a club’s door with a shed-load of cash for immediate use - ‘Shove off and go spend it elsewhere on another sport, you’re a ****ing disturbing influence’ - would be a pitiful response to behold in EUFA’S little world of financial rights and wrongs…. if only it weren’t so frighteningly close to the truth!

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Its a funny issue. I suppose you can look at our situation 2 ways.

1) Under Roman, Chelsea has been living outside her means (though while Roman is our owner, I would have to argue we are well within our means!)

or

2) Under Roman, Chelsea has spent 100s of millions not only to her benifet, but also to the advantage of numerous clubs, both big and small.

I mean, especially considering how much money is needed to build a competitive team(something UEFA is guilty of contributing too) you would think they would love sugar daddies who just pour cash into the game without taking anything out except trophies.

I mean lets look at the list of clubs who have profited around 15million or more from our purchases.....Lyon, Porto ( I think weve given them enough to build a new stadium!), West Ham , Bolton, CSKA Moscow, PSV, Marsielle, AC Milan, Lyn Oslo, Man City (before Shiek Billions)....could be forgeting one or 2.

I know a few of those clubs are in finiancial problems, so you'd think us buying their players to give them some fresh cash and smaller wage bills would actually be helping the situation...well for the smaller clubs, perhaps not for the "traditional buying clubs" who now have to compete with the likes of us/Man City.

I mean when we spend (aside from agent fees) atleast we are keeping the money in the sport, not in the hands of banks via large annual interest payments....which when you think of it, is really damaging the sport.....increase player fee/wage inflation, yet hemmorage money out of the sport....

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