It would appear that Monsieur Platini’s pet project is starting to have an effect. Financial Fair Play, as it is known, seems to be causing some of our bigger clubs to start moving towards a more sustainable business model.
We are all too well aware of the financial constraints under which Arsene Wenger has had to operate for the last several seasons, in order to balance the books and to reduce the club’s level of debt.
Now it seems that even the Manchester Oilers are having to act in a more responsible way and are taking steps to reduce their unsustainable wage bill by offloading players deemed to be surplus to requirements before signing new ones. The other Manchester club have been almost parsimonious in comparison to previous seasons as the reality of their debt levels and poor results of the stock issue in New York rear their ugly heads.
Elsewhere in the North West, John W Henry has written an open letter to his club’s supporters explaining to them the reasons behind the Carroll/Dempsey fiasco. Apparently the club came close to going into administration due to debt levels a couple of years ago and he is not prepared to see those debts increased by the kind of ludicrous transfer fees and wages paid out under the Dalglish/Comolli regime.
In West London, Mr. Abramovic has abandoned the idea that his club can sustain the spending levels of the past and is gradually reducing not only the age of his squad, but also the size and value of it.
In North London, our near neighbours, have moved away from the profligate wheeling and dealing of the Redknapp years to a more sustainable approach, more Primark than Harrods, in the case of Clint Dempsey.
The need for a complete re-think on football finance is further highlighted by reports that Cristiano Ronaldo is unhappy with his Real Madrid contract and wants to negotiate a new “lifetime” one at a staggering quarter of a million euros a week. Football clubs, players and their agents all really need to get into the real world before the geese that lay the golden eggs, the fans, are starved to death.