Michel Platini Is Playing Favorites With UEFA’s Heavy Financial Fair Play Fines

UEFA President Michel Platini’s pet Financial Fair Play (FFP) project has this week reportedly been responsible for a £50 million fine directed towards Manchester City. Platini and his cohorts are determined to make FFP the cornerstone of the former France international and Juventus great’s administrative legacy to European club football.

The problem though is that FFP does little to actually solve the financial issues plaguing the game and has coincided with UEFA taking its eye off the ball on several other, perhaps more serious, matters impacting the sport. Instead of FFP, here are some of the things that UEFA could be working on.

• Racism/homophobia and match fixing,
• Stopping speculators from buying soccer clubs, and
• Working to eliminate the heavy debt burden several clubs throughout the continent carry.

FFP was ostensibly erected in the wake of the collapse of Fiorentina and Leeds United’s slide into oblivion as a way of helping clubs help themselves. However the measures have done little to alleviate the near financial collapse of several soccer clubs in top European countries while morphing into a measure designed to protect the existing hegemony of the continent’s top clubs. I could explain how this works but will leave it to the one only Martin Samuel who wrote this in the Daily Mail three years ago

“Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, is believed to be among those protesting against the Manchester City (sponsorship) deal behind the scenes, but he has vested interests on several fronts.

“Right now, there is a significant rift between the clubs over Germany defender Boateng: Munich have offered £12m, City want nearer £20m. ‘City demand a price which is not realistic,’ Rummenigge says.

“So now you see how it works. The big clubs want City’s sponsorship by Etihad suppressed, but also wish to steal their players on the cheap. So City get gypped two ways – it is almost as if the clubs are scared of their capacity to generate money.

“As chairman of the European Club Association, Rummenigge rarely misses a chance to raise an issue happily to Bayern Munich’s advantage, and this is no exception. Not satisfied with Munich’s immense wealth and standing in the domestic and European game – which will only be further cemented by the financial fair play rule – Rummenigge wishes to take out all interlopers, too.”

Manchester City has bankrolled new money in football that has helped countless other clubs in terms of transfer fees trickling down the leagues. This is a net gain for the sport. The building of a new training facility and campus in a rundown part of East Manchester is the type of community investment few of the bigger clubs partake in this day and age. Instead of pilling debt on to the books, Manchester City is investing in the local area and in soccer while not making some bankers a commission in the process. Perhaps this is an issue?

In the case of PSG, UEFA has to feel that having a strong anchor club in one of the most desirable and visible global cities are a positive for the sport. A strong Paris presence in club soccer enhances UEFA’s ability to market the sport and its competitions. Yet for some reason this logic has been completely lost on the authorities.

FFP also strongly discriminates against clubs from working class areas. I hear time and again about how Newcastle United gets 60,000 fans a match and they should be able to compete with Arsenal. But under FFP, Arsenal who derives much of their fan base from a much more affluent area than Newcastle, has the ability to spend much more than Newcastle based simply on ticket and commercial revenues. Newcastle, or Sunderland or Aston Villa or Wolves can never charge as much for tickets as most of the London clubs.

This leads me back to Manchester City who has the lowest season ticket price in the Premier League this season. Were the club serious about complying with Platini’s doctrine, the owners could double ticket prices, show more revenue and abandon the people who supported the club for years while in the wilderness. Perhaps that is what Platini and his charges at UEFA want? People’s clubs ultimately becoming corporate clubs on the Bayern Munich model.

As for me, soccer should always be about the people.

18 thoughts on “Michel Platini Is Playing Favorites With UEFA’s Heavy Financial Fair Play Fines”

  1. “[T]he owners could double ticket prices”! The empty seats yesterday are a clear indicator that City’s financial situation is not organic. It’s a plaything for flashy oil money.

    1. The attendance for yesterday’s game was 47,023 in a stadium with a capacity of 48,000. I didn’t see any empty seats.

      1. To be fair, Man City were playing their penultimate match to likely lifting their 2nd league title in decades, of course it was going to be packed.

    2. Aston Villa not selling full allocation = Empty seats.

      Go and lie down in a dark room numpty until you recover from whatever it is you are suffering.

  2. FFP is about ensuring that no new versions of Man City can come to the party. It’s to protect the selfish self interests of the big boys of European football.

    Platini is another version of Blatter.

  3. I’d say Bayern is more of a people’s club than City Kartik.
    They are owned by the fans which is something City cannot say.
    They’ve organically gained all of their wealth through the youth system and other means of actual revenue generation.
    We are not scared of City in the least based on the beat down we put on the club in October and the fact that we are one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
    In Germany it’s frowned upon because is it fair that the likes of Schalke, BVB, and Leverkusen have to work hard to get a good sponsor ship deal and keep the club afloat while staying competitive but City/PSG can get “artificial” revenue from their owner’s and spend like there’s no tomorrow everyday of the week? It is unfair that a club that has to work for what they have should have to compete with a team like Man City.
    If Bayern spend 100 million this summer they can’t do that the next summer because they have to be wary of keeping the books balanced but City do it almost every summer and will continue to do it.
    How did Dortmund get to 2 consecutive Bundesliga titles and a Champions league final without massive expenditure?
    If you know that you can’t keep up with Real Or Bayern
    invest in the youth system which is what they did all without a man’s billions.
    They beat City last year in the UCL and all of Germany was behind them. City for all the money they spent have made it out of the group stage once in 3 tries with proven superstars and a treble winner in Yaya Toure.
    Is football a sport where teams no longer have to work for their success and put in the effort to get where they are?
    Since its so unfair Kartik tell that to the Everton fans and Tottenham fans. If City wasn’t around they’d have been fighting for that 3rd or 4th place and who knows what either club would have done with the extra 30 million from the group stage. Spurs have shown a willingness to spend when they get money so who knows what they could have done with that money.
    At least everything Bayern has won was from Hard work.
    When your owner has a net worth of 31.5 billion it’s pretty easy to invest in the youth system and fix up some downtrodden part of Manchester.
    Other clubs would love to make that investment but it costs to much money to expend such an amount.
    If City put in the effort like say (Dortmund, Spurs, or even Schalke ) to work hard on their youth system make astute buys there would be no problem at all. It has nothing to do with lessening competition but more to do with making a club actually have to work for its trophies and sponsorships.
    It’s not fair that they spend like it doesn’t matter every summer but never suffer any financial penalties for such recklessness.
    If City have a problem with UEFA rules they can forego the competition then. Europe hasn’t missed or even known City even since the old European Cup days.
    Bayern have a wage cap and are a the perfect model on how to run a football club.
    Your assertion that Bayern fears City in any way is amusing Kartik. We will gladly play City again next season and batter them. The fact is no player will choose City over Bayern unless it comes down to money and I think we all know who’ll win there.

    1. “If City would put in effort to their youth system” . . .

      Shows how COMPLETELY uninformed about the club you really are.

      1. Before your Sheik were the club investing heavily in the youth system like Borrussia Dortmund did after their near financial collapse in 2006 which almost put the club out of business?
        How many youth players are even in the squad?
        @Blueboy What do you mean poach?
        We’ve bought players legally and with our OWN money.
        How about the entire City squad which was poached. Clichy, Nasri anyone.
        Offering all those players exorbitant wages with the Sheik Mansour’s money. At least players come here for the history of the club and not for a paycheck.
        I believe it was Nasri who chose City over United because “He wanted to make history and at United he’d just be another player”. I can’t stand United either but why didn’t Nasri just come out and say City were willing to pay me more than they were and I just chose s bigger paycheck.

      1. There’s a wage structure at Bayern and no one makes more than 150K a week.
        Goetze rejected City for Bayern. He could have made 200k but chose to come to Bayern instead.
        Schweinstieger can go to any club in Europe and get paid big money but he chooses to stay at Bayern.
        Lahm is Mr. Bayern himself and the best RB in the World he can start for any side so you only further my point.

    2. In the English Premier League TV money is shared. In Germany, like in Spain regarding Barca and Real, Bayern pocket ALL the TV money. The others get nowt. FACT.

  4. I hope Manchester City take this to the courts to fight it. At this point the penalties amount to extortion by offering a huge cash “settlement” in order to avoid even stiffer future penalties.

    Also, why doesn’t UEFA simply announce all the sanctions and penalties and the like? Why is everything “reportedly” or “sources believe”? How can this organization operate with so little above board? My guess is that they don’t want a public examination they just want a few milli more for their pockets.

    Once they collect their 60 million from Manchester City they’ll be able to spend 500K on their new anti-racism campaign and then spend the rest on new private jets. How do I get a job with UEFA?

  5. @JohnB, well of course you would say all that wouldnt you. How many points did you win the German league by?? How many players do Bayern poach and with FFP it will ALWAYS be that way.
    If need be the courts will decide FFP is not fit for purpose and you ex G-14 clubs know it.

  6. FIFA, UEFA and Platini has always been anti-English because they resent the fact England claims to be the home of football and the EPL is by far the most popular league in the world.

    Platini only introduced FFP to curb the dominance of the English Clubs in Europe during the mid-noughties. At the time only English clubs could attract international investment.

    Now non-English teams are getting international investment he has soften his FFP stance from banning teams from competitions to giving them hefty fines.

    People forget that it was Platini himself who advised the Qatar Royal family to buy PSG after he voted for them to win the world cup for 2022. The Qatar Royal family also now employ his son. So Platini the Frenchman advised the Qatar Royal Family to buy a French team and break his own rules. Fishy isn’t the word.

    He also wants to fine Man City the same amount as PSG despite PSG spending 300% more over budget.

    Platini wants to investigate Man City and their sponsorship deals, but what about Bayern’s Adidas sponsorship? Bayern have deal with Adidas that is at the same levels as Real Madrid and Chelsea, but sell nowhere near the units these clubs sell, is this not an inflated sponsorship deal based on nationalism as Adidas is a German company?

    UEFA also don’t want look at Real Madrid and Barcelona who FFP protects. Platini is of South European decent and see the Spanish giants as the only threat to English teams global popularity and dominance so FFP strangely allows them to pass. So Real and Barcelona actually generate lower income than the top English teams, but with State aid, Spanish Banks giving them free money, even though the Spanish banks were bailed out by the EU and the unfair TV contract, that gives these teams 70% of the money; these teams can spend 200 million each season and pass the criteria.

    If you don’t think UEFA is anti-English or that petty, need I remind you of the UEFA distinction badge. This was a special badge successful UEFA created in the mid 1990s that the most successful teams in Europe would wear. It had a strange criteria that meant Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern would get the badge, but Liverpool the 3rd most successful team in the European cup wouldn’t get the badge.

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