UEFA will fine both Arsenal and Manchester United £5,000 respectively for fan incidents during last years Champions League semifinals. An Arsenal fan hit Nemanja Vidic with a plastic bottle. A Manchester United supporter hurled a smoke bomb onto the pitch. The actions were potentially serious. The fines are not.
UEFA functions like all bureaucracies. It continues actions without a hint of rational analysis, solely because it was policy beforehand. Has no one questioned the purpose of these penalties?
The sums under discussion are trivial. Both Manchester United and Arsenal measure turnover in the hundreds of millions. Five thousand pounds neither attracts attention nor deters future behavior. It is doubtful Arsenal will now institute a plastic bottle task force.
It does not stop supporters. If you throw a projectile into the pitch, it is assumed you will be banned. The thought of the club paying a paltry fine in addition does not factor into the decision.
The fines are also not cost effective. There must be a meeting to determine whether a meeting to discuss these incidents is required. Someone has to schedule, to organize and to provide amenities for that meeting, which, with UEFA, is probably a lavish lunch. They may even fly people in for it. Someone has to contact the clubs to make statements. Once the issue is deemed punishment-worthy, another meeting must take place. The process takes months. The sum cost exceeds the amount returned in fines.
UEFA penalizing Arsenal and Manchester United accomplishes only one thing. It re-publicizes unsavory events long-forgotten and ultimately insignificant.
Rationales are non-existent. The fines are useless. UEFA should give meaningful punishments, or none at all.