Financial fair play was brought in by UEFA in an attempt to improve the financial health of European football clubs. It goes on what clubs make and what they spend; in an effort to stop any club gaining an unfair advantage over others, and to ensure mismanagement of its finances is minimized. If they spend way beyond their means they should expect to face punishments which are designed to send out a message to other clubs that it is important to manage their finances correctly. These sorts of punishments could be in the form of a warning, a fine, transfer bans, points deductions etc.
Now, some clubs are seen to show scant regard to the FFP rules and regulations and seem to spend mass amounts of money on players. This has recently been highlighted by the transfer activity conducted by Qatar backed Paris Saint-Germain this summer. Not only did they smash the world transfer record by some considerable distance when they signed Barcelona’s Neymar, they have also set up a deal to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco next summer too. Neymar cost a reported €222 million and Mbappe is going to sign for in excess of €160 million.
The French club have made around £60 million in player sales this summer but they still find themselves with a loss of around £155 million and they will definitely be facing another loss when Mbappe’s loan deal becomes permanent next summer. UEFA have not let this all go unnoticed though and they are investigating PSG and their financial approach as to most people they are showing that they don’t care for the rules and that they will spend the money that their wealthy owner allows, disregarding the consequences.
Another club who have been mentioned in all this is Manchester City. They themselves have spent big over the last few years and it does raise the question as to whether the whole FFP system works. UEFA only seem to step in when the media spotlight is on clubs for spending huge amounts of money. It seems to be the case that clubs can do as they please spending wise and if UEFA do challenge them, they will happily take warnings, fines and even transfer embargoes as a consequente.
The pressure of success, means that clubs with wealthy owners, see spending huge amounts of cash as a quick way of bringing trophies to the club. An example of this is plain to see as bookmakers like Unibet odds on 1/14 favourites clubs like PSG to win the league.
The whole FFP system needs a complete revamp with stricter rules and consistent penalties for those who fail to fall into line. The transfer fees being paid will only continue to increase over time and clubs will soon fall foul of not being able to compete. Some teams may even feel forced to spend beyond their means just to survive in the upper echelons of football and this could have severe consequences with clubs more at risk of administration and then liquidation.
Spending in football has to be regulated and it has to be a level playing field for all involved. Otherwise, the rich clubs get richer and more successful and the others are left falling away. UEFA need to be tougher but also more transparent so everybody knows where they stand, otherwise chaos really could ensue.