It seems that comments leaked out today by David Gold, who is joint chairman of West Ham United, confirm that David Gill, Chief Executive of Manchester United, has won his battle to introduce some stricter financial controls over spending in the Premier League. Needless to say, this has been fiercely opposed by Chelsea and Manchester City, two clubs, who have only won honours by way of hundreds of millions of pounds spent by irresponsible owners. Both of these clubs are financially insolvent if it were not for the intervention of their wealthy owners. Now that gravy train has been cut off and there will be stiff penalties for those clubs who do not comply. The figures have been set higher than Gill would have liked, at £105m over a three year rolling period, however, that will include wages as well as transfer spending. There will be a further meeting to finalise the details for the restriction in wages. It has been suggested that they will agree to a total wage bill not exceeding £52m for the year, with a further increase of £4m a tear allowable. This can only be exceeded if the club`s income from marketing, i.e. commercial income and match day income.
Three clubs will currently exceed these regulations and will have to make drastic adjustments if they are to comply. Not surprisingly, those clubs are Manchester City, Chelsea and a little surprisingly, Liverpool. It will be interesting to see how the two main culprits of financial doping react to this imposition. Chelsea has typically said that they will challenge this in the courts, but they will find that the decision is valid because it was made by the required quorum of 14 clubs to ratify such a decision.
It is likely that this decision, with maybe a further tightening down the line, will see the end of clubs achieving undeserved success at the expense of clubs who run their affairs properly. All clubs have had the same opportunities to make the necessary changes over the years to ground capacities, marketing and player commercialisation. Those that have achieved this, mainly Manchester United and Arsenal will deservedly now be able to reap the benefits of their financial foresight without having to contend with rogue billionaires simply laundering money through UK football clubs.
One interesting point about this is the spotlight this will put on clubs like PSG in France who are currently blatantly flouting financial fair play rules. It will be interesting to see M. Platini`s reaction as he is also French. Any suggestion of bias will result in a dim view being taken by the UK authorities.
Hopefully, fans will also benefit with the levelling of ticket prices, which have rocketed in recent years due to the expenditure of these rogue clubs.
Keep an eye on Chelsea and Manchester City in the next transfer window!