“Financial Fair Play” – Try telling that to Manchester City

by Sam Peoples

Graph produced and owned by Swiss Ramble.

Financial fair play rules are now in place from the 2011/12 season – to have a look at how they work in full, visit here. Ultimately, the rules are designed to ensure that football clubs are run like a business – publishing their accounts and ensuring that they are not simply spending without balancing the books. The intention is that it will create a more sustainable environment in football ownership, quashing the threat of super-rich owners turning football into a trophy hobby.

However, some clubs are far from adhering to these new rules with none more so than our neighbours. Manchester City’s wage bill of £174 million makes up 114% of their overall turnover in comparison to Manchester United’s £153 million, a 46% share of turnover.

The problem is with City getting sponsorship deals of £400 million from companies linked closely to their owners, they are simply going to balance the books that way and although the Financial Fair Play rules are necessary in this money driven climate, it isn’t going to stop anything.

To me, Financial Fair Play rules are going to become another goal line technology-esque debacle. On paper, the purpose is to bring an equality across the board but in reality, it is going to be extremely difficult to implement. If teams can afford to spend £40 million on a single player, they can sure afford a legal team that will find loopholes to avoid these rules.

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