“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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kun>messi 07/13/2012 - 14:06

City haven’t spent a single penny yet in 2012 over two transfer windows and are in the process of shifting some high earning players.

Why not focus this article on Chelsea and PSG who are spending so lavishly without a single thought for FFP?

Pure unadulterated bitterness.

paulbienkowski 07/13/2012 - 13:30

CHAMP16NS – is that because you are still 16 behind us?

Come back when you have won 19!!

It's Grim Oop North 07/13/2012 - 14:34

So we have to wait at least 16 season’s before we can communicate with United fans?

Isn’t that just silly?

Mind you, any more 1-6 results like last season, you’d be hard pressed to find a United fan to even bother 🙂

ron lowe 07/13/2012 - 16:34

Too true my fellow blue.

34Years 07/13/2012 - 12:27

I thought this was one of those “spot the brain cell sites” and then realised it was a rag-site so all was explained.! Since when have the rags ever been concerned with “equality across the board” ( HYPOCRITES ! ) . FFP is simply a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to preserve the G14/18 cabal of self-appointed “giants” of European football who ( understandably ) don’t want any competition. The rags’ dominance coincided with the establishment of the Champions League and Premiership ( Sky ) which were dedicated to ensuring that the rich ( i.e. Arsenal, the rags + Liverpool ) would get richer ( and richer ) . If you want to moralise about football lets
discuss The Bebe Affair / that Dispatches Programme / Glasers AIG, PIKs, Cayman islands / Ryan “family man” Giggs / oh dear we’re going where no-one really wants to go.


Fifthcolumnblue 07/13/2012 - 12:01

Ooh, changed the title of the article now that a “Moronic City fan” has kindly pointed out your glaring error? Notice the comment regarding said mistake has also gone missing.

Typical un***d fan – excise anything that doesn’t toe the party line.

Sam Peoples 07/13/2012 - 11:42

@Boris They were the most up-to-date wages I found. If you have last season’s figures, please feel free to post for comparison.United’s terrible state of current finances is a separate issue and relates to the debt of the club induced by the purchase of the club rather than the debt of the club brought on by overspending at the club.

@Rolee An obsessed moron for posting a single article about City? You should look up the definition of obsessed. What comment?

Rolee 07/13/2012 - 11:49

Ok mate, I’ll do that if you promise to read the rules you’re babbling on about, do we have a deal?

Rolee 07/13/2012 - 11:24

Sam your slogan says “United we stand, United we write”, with that in mind pray tell why are you writing about City?

Sam Peoples 07/13/2012 - 11:29

Because the growth of City over the last few years has dramatically changed the shape of the league, so it is with that in mind that I like to look at these financial figures. The same went for Chelsea a few years ago and will in the future if any other club changes the face of the Premier League.

Boris 07/13/2012 - 11:31

Because he’s dragged up a set of figures that are well out of date but because they show United in a good light and City in a bad light he’s built an article around them.

Here’s a more up to date article on United’s finances.


Rolee 07/13/2012 - 11:36

I personally think it’s because he’s an obsessed moron but it’s all opinions I suppose. 😉

Sam, where’s my comment gone about FFP not being called FIFA Fair Play? The comment in which I told you that football clubs have run like a business since they became professional in the 19th century?

clevblue 07/13/2012 - 11:21

Where’s PSG in that list?

Platini will make allowances for a French club if they don’t meet FFP because Football is corrupt and everybody knows it

Dor Hulse 07/13/2012 - 11:21

You really do have to laugh …one minute Citeh are nowhere ,then they are mixing with the big boys …and with not having to do a single thing associated with “Football ” ….no!.TO GET WHERE THEY ARE !……A kind Sheik looking for a mediocre club buys them for a mere bagatelle and Bobs your manc, the jobs a good un …

Evolved ?….never.

Campeones 07/13/2012 - 11:17

The thing that you have omitted to mention is perhaps the most interesting.

Net transfer activity.

Juventus (Michel Platini’s ‘club de coeur’) are currently running at 1.8 times their turnover, whilst Manchester City (who I guess you are looking to focus on) are running at 1.6 times their turnover.

Juve will never get banned, so therefore neither will City.

Basically, FFP came in a little too late to stop the Manchester City juggernaut and – like it or not – they are here to stay.

Boris 07/13/2012 - 11:23

That’s exactly why City have had to fast-track their spending. If FFP wasn’t being introduced then City’s owners would have probably grown the club more organically and United would have won the league by 19 points last season.

Boris 07/13/2012 - 11:17

“Sam, you have certainly brought some morons out of the woodwork with this article”

You have to laugh – A group of people rip an ill-informed article to shreads because they know what’s happening at their club and the best you can come up with is “bored suger daddies” and Chelsea.
Leave us to rebuild East Manchester as we plan for the future, you concentrate on tax havens and debt.

steve wood 07/13/2012 - 11:07

If the authorities really want FFP they need to redistribute the TV money from Champions League fairly across all member leagues and clubs. The existing proposals will do nothing other than condemn every club outside the current top echelon to permanent mediocrity. who’s going to bankroll EFC or AVFC or anyone else if they can’t do so without breaching the rules.

ron lowe 07/13/2012 - 15:51

Correct mate. The only people who want FFP are the G14 clubs, all they want is to keep the status quo, the rich are rich and the poor are poor. I’m a City fan and would love other, not so fortunate clubs to be in our position to challenge for top honours. Unfortunately in todays game, to challenge you need financial clout.

paulbienkowski 07/13/2012 - 11:06

Sam, you have certainly brought some morons out of the woodwork with this article. I don’t really expect anything else from City fans to be honest. These ‘new to money’ lot think they are invincible. I cannot wait until their ‘Arab sugar daddies’ get bored spending the cash and the bubble eventually bursts! It will happen and they will all be off to support Chelsea, again! I feel sorry for the ‘proper’ City fans who have been supporting the club all their lives and carried on supporting whe they were winning nothing. That is the sign of a true fan. You boys might want to look into that as you just made yourselves look like idiots, which is obviously no hardship!!

Rolee 07/13/2012 - 11:12

LMFAO. Cheers mate, that post is priceless in it’s idiocy.

paulbienkowski 07/13/2012 - 12:09

What is actually priceless is that you are ‘trolling’ on a United site, very sad!!!

Fifthcolumnblue 07/13/2012 - 12:27

If you take your rather ill-informed blog off Newsnow then you won’t get City fans “trolling” it to point out the absurdity of your arguments, Capiche?

Rolee 07/13/2012 - 12:48

No mate, you referring to people as morons when they are simply pointing out the factual inaccuracies on a blog is priceless. Can you not see the irony in it? As for this being a United site, I’ll ask once again, why is it discussing City.

It's Grim Oop North 07/13/2012 - 13:20

You have managed to cover every inacuracy and media slur about City and their fans in one ill-thought out paragraph.
Do you even know any City fans, or are you yet another United fan from anywhere else than Manchester?
If you were a Manc, you’d know about the owner’s long term commitment to the club, the area and the fans, not trot out that garbage about bubbles bursting – what are you going to do when you’re bored of United not winning anything, huh? Back to supporting Chelsea for you too?
None of my United supporting friends and relatives come out with that nonsense because it’s not true, and it’s not good banter – come to Manchester to mingle with us natives and find out what the real fans think.

ron lowe 07/13/2012 - 15:43

That’s the thing you clown, who say our owners are going anywhere, you are just hoping and praying that they get bored, but you don’t pump in £1billion of your own money into the team, infrastructure and surrounding area to bugger off after 5 years or so. Get use to it rags, our owners are in it for the long haul. CTID.

Boris 07/13/2012 - 11:03

Luckily we’ve only got another 6 weeks of these misinormed rants. The next set of financial figures will include the sponsorship deals with Jaguar and Mansion House (to name but 2), income from the FA Cup win and participation in Europe, the fact that several high earners like RSC and Adebayour weren’t on the payroll and of course our shirt and stadium money.

Spending down, wages down and a meteoric rise in income – Read it and weep.

Sam Peoples 07/13/2012 - 11:13

I look forward to reading the next set of financial figures. Exactly how much are your training facilities going to cost?

Sure, you may be straightening out with letting players go and income from Europe but you are starting with such a deficit, you will be far from the straight and narrow.

Rolee 07/13/2012 - 11:18

Training facilities? Investment in them are not counted towards financial fair play mate. You obviously haven’t bothered informing yourself on the rules.

Why would you write about something that you know nothing about.

Sam Peoples 07/13/2012 - 11:32

My apologies, I wasn’t aware that those costs were not involved.

kev sharx 07/13/2012 - 11:39

the training facility is in conjuction with the acadamy therefore not classed as expenditure withinthe FFP guidelines.

Boris 07/13/2012 - 22:51

The new academy will cost £220m and it’s coming out of the owners pocket. The anti-City media have tagged that onto the £180m, 10 year deal we’ve done with Etihad and claimed that one of the Sheikh’s mates has slipped £400m into City’s bank account to get round FFP.

Jack 07/13/2012 - 10:54

There there dear lady. Why don’t you go and lie down in a darkened room until the vapours go. But not with Rio ‘cos he would disturb you. Or if you are really desperate perhaps you could go for a drink with that nice Mr Alec.

russ mcfc 07/13/2012 - 10:53

bitter red

Rolee 07/13/2012 - 10:52

FFP = Financial Fair Play not FIFA Fair Play, moron. The figures of City’s sponsorship deal with Etihad haven’t be made public knowledge, so where are you getting £400 million from? The tabloids I suspect. “Ultimately, the rules are designed to ensure that football clubs are run like a business ” Football clubs have ran like a business since the 19th century when the league became professional.

Fifthcolumnblue 07/13/2012 - 10:47

FFP was designed solely with the intention of protecting the big, established European clubs that make up the G14 – United, Arsenal, Bayern, Real, Inter, etc. FFP was NOT designed with the best interests of the smaller clubs in mind, it is a corrupt attempt to prevent anyone from breaking the monopoly of the largest clubs with the largest incomes from the Champions League.

I really have to laugh at how many people actually swallow the propaganda about how FFP will provide a “Level playing field” across Europe when it will do nothing of the sort. Ask the fans of clubs like Everton or Aston Villa about what it means to spend only what they earn – without repeated qualification for the Champions League and the huge influx of income that brings in, they will now be subjected to an artificial glass ceiling in which they will no longer have the aspiration to win anything, but will instead be condemned to making up the numbers.

I am a Manchester City fan, and until our owners came along, nothing was said about club’s spending or wages. The3 likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and United were allowed to rack up huge debts in their pursuit of glory, and nothing was said. But as soon as Arab owners got involved and gave a previously moribund club like ours a chance of actually mixing with the big boys (and shock, horror knocking one of the established big-4 off the gravy train), the moaners went running straight to Platini to have us stopped.

In no other realm of business would so transparently corrupt regulations be allowed or tolerated, and I expect that if any clubs are actually banned from Europe or suffer any other sanctions, that the FFP rules will very quickly melt under the eye of the European Courts.

FFP is a complete and utter joke that has no altruistic intent, no matter how benign it might sound; FFP is merely a crass attempt at keeping everyone but the established clubs in their “rightful place”, and as such, is a complete disgrace. But then again, UEFA isn’t exactly known for being a morally upstanding institution, is it?

Further reading: http://eltriumvirate.co.uk/?p=2251&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=financial-unfair-play

Edward Cornforth 07/13/2012 - 10:44

I just lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrve de monies #CTID @MCFC

Blueknight 07/13/2012 - 10:42

Now Jason dont be cruel(ON YOUR OWN.)..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

Happy To Be Blue 07/13/2012 - 10:38

Man United have spent £500M in the last 7 years……just on interest payents. At least we got decent players with our money.

There is also a growing feeling that the ‘Fair Play’ (yeah, right!) rules are unenforceable by law. They keep the big clubs big and the small clubs small. That doesn’t sound very fair to me!

Boris 07/13/2012 - 10:37

FFP has nothing to do with FIFA you clown. City’s £18m a year deal with Etihad is fair market value.

Jason Halfpenny 07/13/2012 - 10:35

Hahahahahahahahahahahah urrrrrm Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, wait a minute?, oh ye Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


harrison 07/13/2012 - 10:35

City are playing by the fifa fair play rules. have you not seen this season we are getting rid off all the players who dont play much so we can bring new players in. Also its not just city who have spent alot what about PSG and other clubs. In my opinion this article is just pure hatred to Man City.

SandyB 07/13/2012 - 11:55

FFP is a (flawed) UEFA initiative designed to protect the status quo: to make sure that the bigger clubs stay big and the smaller clubs are kept in their place. It was NEVER designed to ensure equality and it fails to tackle the single most challenging aspect of modern football: debt!

City have very little debt. Manchester United pay more (nearly £50M per annum, City’s total debt is around £46M) each year in interest payments to ‘service’ their massive and growing debt. In fact they have paid half a billion in interest since the Glazer’s took over. The half-cocked attempt by United to raise ‘cash’ as an ‘Cayman Islands Emerging Company’ is the sort of thing that UEFA should be more concerned about.

Sam Peoples would do well to investigate these matters in a little more detail but committing his half-baked comments to print.


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