By Walter Broeckx
Whenever Untold publishes an article about FFP rules we get a few supporters of the big money teams telling us what we should write about. And FFP is a thing we are not really allowed to talk about according to those supporters of the benefactor clubs.
But we don’t care as we write what we want. So if again you want to comment and tell us that we shouldn’t write about it: just leave it, it will not matter. Just wasting your time – although if you do like wasting your time that’s fine.
Another thing is that because of Arsenal supporting the FFP rules these writers make it look as if Arsenal is the force behind all this, and that it is only Arsenal that will benefit from this.
Now let us (just for the hell of it) try to look at the consequences of this way of thinking: Arsenal is imposing FFP rules upon the sugar daddy clubs.
Of course Arsenal is in favour of Financial Fair Play. We have been running our club like that for a while now. I think some 15-16 years. Maybe even longer. It is the way to run a club in the long run and to make sure that club stays there in the long run.
It is also a bit of a frustrating run at times but as long as our clubs continues this policy I can be sure that my children (they already support Arsenal) and their children (yet to be born) and even their children will be able to support Arsenal. And this is a great thing. To know that the future of our club is in good hands and that it is safe.
But now we have two sets of FFP rules coming in. The Uefa rules and the PL rules.
Let us just look at the ones that have been around the longest: the Uefa FFP rules. So if we would believe the supporters of the “sugar daddy” (“benefactor”) clubs it is Arsenal that is behind these rules.
Arsenal supports these rules that is the truth. But was it Arsenal that wrote those rules? No. It was Uefa that have written those rules.
Did Platini do this to make Arsenal benefit from it? Do you really think that Platini and Wenger are two best friends? Forget that please. This is a ridiculous thought. Everybody who follows those two people know that on more than one occasion they have clattered into each other and have different opinions on most things.
Because you maybe don’t realise it but FFP rules don’t come out of the head of Arsenal or Wenger, nor even Untold. No they come out of the heads of hundreds of club directors from all countries in Europe. Because those clubs from smaller countries are now almost in position of not being to compete in Europe.
There were times when Dutch, Romanian, Yugoslavian, Scottish and hell even clubs from Belgium could compete and get in to European finals. Now these days we have finals with teams from England, Germany, Italy and Spain. And that’s it.
The days that a club like Feyenoord, Red Star Belgrade, Anderlecht, Club Brugge, just to name a few could get in to a European final are over.
It is clubs from those smaller countries outside the big 4 (and I refer to the European countries big 4) that have asked Uefa to do something about it. Why are they not allowed to compete with the best as the could in the days when football was not completely about money? Are they some kind of lesser species that have lesser rights? If so, just say that you think like that.
But for me a club from the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Austria etc has as much right to win the CL as any other club from the European big 4.
But they can’t compete. And part of the reason they can’t compete, apart from the restrictions because of their geography, is that they can’t compete because they have to live within their means.
In many (if not most) countries the local football associations have implemented a form of financial fair play. It is not always called that, but in those countries clubs have to behave in a specific way to keep their finances in order. And if they don’t do it they could face punishment.
It is for those clubs that Uefa has started these FFP rules for all clubs in Europe. Not for Arsenal. That we could benefit is just a side effect. And even then it also means that Arsenal will never be able to do a City or a Chelsea in the future. Even if Usmanov would get his claws on Arsenal completely he still will not be able to do the same trick as those two clubs did. So even City and Chelsea fans should be grateful for those FFP rules.
The same goes for the fact that the European Community has been working on this matter for a few years and asks for change. Again do you really think that it is Arsenal who is telling all those politicians to do this? As if Mr Wenger, Mr Gazidis, or hell even the Hill-Wood family would have that much influence. The thought alone makes me laugh.
The reason why all those governing bodies are working on FFP rules is not Arsenal. That is because not only Arsenal would benefit from FFP rules. No in fact only a few clubs will not benefit. Only a handful will have to change their working ways from today. Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG, obviously. Plus a few others in the UK that rely on a benefactor such as Fulham. Plus a few whose owners are looking to sell to a new benefactor. Plus a few of the billionaire clubs in Russia. Plus Malaga, although their finances seem to be a mess so it is hard to tell what they are up to. (Maybe I have missed a few, but you get the idea).
I think 99 % of the clubs in Europe will benefit from the introduction of FFP rules it in the long run.
Uefa, and the EC are doing all this for those 99% clubs. If you don’t like it as a Chelsea, City or PSG fan, that is understandable. You are entitled to dislike it. You are entitled to think that the one with the biggest wallet has the right to buy titles. Or to follow the argument of (I think) one of the PSG board, “these other clubs have been investing for 30 years. It is unfair that we can’t catch up in just a few years” (not an exact quote but it was something like that).
But remember that 99 % of the other clubs in Europe think otherwise. It’s not just Arsenal. Or a blog that supports Arsenal that is telling Uefa and the EC what to do.
It is the ruling of those bodies (like them or not and that is an entirely different matter) that will bring change in football. Not Arsenal.
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