In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore discusses some of football’s biggest talking points, including Everton’s harsh Financial Fair Play punishment, why it’s time Sir Alex Ferguson let Manchester United go, and a look ahead to England vs. Malta, plus much more.
Everton’s punishment harsh but necessary…
My take on it is painfully simple. The Premier League are looking to shore up their defence against Manchester City. They know that City are going to be lawyered up to the hilt following 115 charges brought against them, so the Premier League need to make sure they come armed with an example and unfortunately for Everton, they’re it.
The fact the Premier League have gone straight in with a 10-point deduction probably tells you that they feel they have a very strong case against Manchester City. What they’ve basically done today with Everton is set the punishment’s baseline at a 10-point deduction.
In my opinion, to be deducted 10 points for a £20 million deficit is fairly harsh to one of English football’s founding fathers and I’m sure other clubs will sympathise with them.
From my perspective, it’s really simple though. I have absolutely no problem with Everton being docked points. I think 10 is a bit harsh, as I said above, but I wouldn’t have a problem with any team being docked points if they’d broken financial rules – and that includes Aston Villa, by the way. But if the Premier League are going in hard, then they need to go in hard on any club that breaks the rules. Points deduction is one thing, but at what point do we start considering voiding silverware? There has to be an incentive there for clubs not to break the rules.
What is the point in a club’s ownership group investing all that money if the end goal, which is to win silverware, gets taken away? – It’d have all been for nothing.
Manchester United can’t move forward…
It’s time for Sir Alex Ferguson to let Manchester United move into a new era. We all know what he is and what he did for, not only the Red Devils but the whole of football. The man is a living legend, but there comes a point when such powerful figures need to take a step back if something is to move forward.
I am intrigued to see the changes Sir Jim Ratcliffe makes at Old Trafford but for him to reportedly be ‘guided’ by Sir Alex is a strange one. What does Sir Alex know about how to rebuild a modern-day football club? – With the greatest of respect, I would argue none.
To be able to have Sir Alex at the end of a phone when you need advice and support is one thing, but to have him lead a total rebuild is another. I think if Sir Alex knew the answers to United’s problems, he’d have shared them by now — he’s been out of his management role for 10 years and the club have done nothing but go backwards ever since.
So for me, I think it’s really just about Sir Alex enjoying his ambassador duties now he’s retired and letting the club go so it can move in a new direction altogether.
England’s two outsiders with a chance of starting in next summer’s Euros…
The priority is to top the group and qualify for next summer’s European Championship, and I am expecting the boys to get it done.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Marc Guehi started at centre-back and I am also expecting Jarrod Bowen to start on the right wing with Trent Alexander-Arnold playing in a midfield role.
I think if Bowen and Alexander-Arnold can play well from now until April time next year, they’re the two who could sneak into Gareth Southgate’s starting team for the Euros.
Watch this space.