Financial Fair Play rules?

Discussion in 'General Football' started by kursaal, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Lilbaz

    Lilbaz Just call me Baz

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    The owners can gift money to the club under ffp up to £50m but that has to be converted into equity. Joe lewis did so the other year to clear our debt so that we could secure funding for the new stadium. As you say that is no real risk to the club. What is a risk is if the club relies on the owner gifting them money to keep them afloat.
     
  2. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines Twisting a Melon with the Rev. Black Grape

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    No, i think that all clubs should be forced to be self sustaining. There's no way to legislate for historical presidence and locale, and as long as growth is organic and self then that is good with me.
    It doesn't seem to occur to some clubs that no one wants a cakewalk, especially when it's artificial, and at the end of the day they need to play against someone.
     
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  3. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    You still seem to be arguing that because there are and always have been inequities in football, it is illogical to argue against the latest and most brazen forms of financial doping.

    And yes, if I were designing professional football from scratch, I may well want rules that attempt to remove all financial inequalities because of course that would make it fairer.

    But we can't turn the clock back 100 years. We have big rich clubs and small poor clubs and silly transfers and enormous salaries and clubs fighting for their existence for the want of an amount of money equal to one top player's salary for a week or two. Of course it's not fair. Of course it's not fair that any sort of doping, from the chairman's sausage company paying for the centre-forwards new Cortina (do butchers still like to own football clubs?) to Qatar buying their way to hosting the World Cup with Neymar part of the PR package.

    So yes, it's illogical to rail against mega-rich crooks using football clubs as ego-inflators and/or money laundering schemes that incidentally undo whatever good work other more responsible clubs may have striven for over the years, as long as there are other inequities that are allowed to exist. I get your point. But I don't agree with the conclusion you draw from it.

    Logic that departs from reality to the extent that it cannot be applied is not worth very much.

    You liken football clubs to other commercial operations. But most companies that are sold are bought by people who believe they can improve the performance of their cash, the money they used to buy the company. That is commerce. When a company is bought with no regard to the performance of the cash involved, it is not commerce, it is something else masquerading as commerce. It is not necessarily illegal (though in some instances, depending on the product and market involved, it is illegal) or even immoral, but it shouldn't be conflated with commerce.

    I believe football will suffer from this bout of reckless ownership, that supporters will become disillusioned because their idea of fairness, even if an imperfect interpretation of what's fair, has been blown out the widow with a fanfare from Sky TV and a few other craven hangers-on (or funders or others who stand to benefit from the splash of cash), and ultimately, though there are other perhaps equally damaging things going on that ought to be stopped, you haven't gone anywhere near persuading me that picking clubs like Chelsea or PSG at random to buy trophies and serve non-footballing purposes is good for the game.
     
  4. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    You'd prefer an old guard of half a dozen teams across Europe were left unthreatened to financially bully their domestic leagues and fight out the semi finals of the CL each year?

    I don't see anything wreckless in what the owners of Chelsea, ManC, PSG have done. None of those clubs have enormous debt leveraged they way ManU have. The value of all those clubs has risen enormously.

    Football is an entertainment industry, and Chelsea, PSG and ManC owners have all increased the quality of entertainment for their clubs fans first and foremost and their leagues (and European football).

    Very few owners make money out of football clubs, far more dangerous than over generous owners are owners that try to strip clubs or run them wrecklessly and put them in danger.
     
  5. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    Well, I disagree with you for the reasons I've given more than once now so I shan't repeat them. But no , you're reading consequences into my preferences that are really quite speculative.

    I consider external funds that have nothing whatsoever to do with football to be quite a different category of investment from funding that is based on normal commercial grounds, which take into account the club's ability to fund the finance, and which do not compromise the value of clubs that have worked for years to create sustainable businesses that can grow by virtue of their ability to develop their football activities. If Bill Gates buys West Ham this evening, buys Messi, Ronaldo and a few others before the week is out and proceeds to win the title I would consider it to be a meaningless trophy that has nothing to do with West Ham or sport and everything to do with the size of Bill Gate's ego and wallet.


    (And It's reckless, not wreckless, by the way.)
     
  6. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    Where's fucking autocarrot when you need it.

    What's the difference between a fans money and an oligarch owners? Isn't a generous owner just doing what fans do, giving his money to his club and hoping they do well on the pitch ?
     
  7. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    I had a slight issue with Jack Walker when he ploughed money into Blackburn but I did feel that there might be some dispensation due to a lifelong fan. But I did see it as an artificial distortion.

    The thing is, despite the huge influence of cash on the game, I do feel there's an important distinction to be made between the benefits (rewards?) of having built up a large supporter base over the years, and the randomness of collecting trophies on the back of the ego-trip of one person who has no previous connection with or allegiance to the club in question and who might as well have shut their eyes and picked a club with a pin from a list of 92 to give a few unearned trophies to.

    I know this could be argued ad infinitum, and there's very little logical ground for preferring traditional supporters to random oligarchs except for the fact that this is sport, and supporters are it's lifeblood even now, and disregarding them in this way is not really anything to do with sport. Nor is it business. It is using sport as an ego/ bank balance competition for people with no connection with the sport that so many less wealthy people have invested so much of their lives in. It feels unfair in a more prions way than the unfairnesses you have talked about.

    So it's an emotional thing. Fuck the oligarchs and their random interferences. That doesn't mean being complacent about football's other problems that you identify , but neither does it mean using those problems to justify something that I really think further harms the game.
     
  8. Spurs' Pipe Dreams

    Spurs' Pipe Dreams Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit meh about all the money in the game now, it is what it is, Some people/companies/countries have lots of it (money) & football is the most popular sport in the world. Capitalism won the cold war and the vast excesses of the rich will inevitably inflate the game as some use it as a personal Football Manager.

    Micheal Jordon in the 80's90's with all his sponsorship/branding was earning $40m a year at his peak and football with Neymar is reaching that level. Basketball continues on without Jordan and LeBron James is earning around that now +.

    Money elevates sport, mostly but it also kinda sucks the soul out of it. Fortunately, we all support a club that seems to have kept its soul and are imho progressing in the right way (although some may despair at the lack of signings this summer). The reality is that as long as we the fans love our team and pay the money some will see it as an investment and others as a play thing. There's nothing we can really do about it, apart from start going to smaller clubs or watching grass root level football on a Saturday at 3pm. Like I said it is what it is and it will continue to grow and get more extravagant imo
     
  9. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    Were the Glazers life long ManU fans ? Was Joe Lewis a lifelong Spurs fan? These people invested in football teams purely for the purpose of making money. Is that any more admirable, or more distasteful as an owner who buys a club, becomes it's fan and ploughs money into them winning trophies for his (and their regular fans) immense enjoyment?

    I have issues with many of the owners in football, and some we are talking about, but that's a different issue. And obviously I have views on how the super rich should be treated politically and economically etc, but those issues aside, I don't really see why new money introduced into football should be seen as dirtier than old money.

    Lots of FFP I think is very sensible and valid and performs a valuable function.
     
  10. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    No, many investors are not fans at all.

    And that's precisely why I'm drawing the distinction between commercial investment like Joe Lewis's, which is neutral as between clubs (it gives Spurs no undue advantage, as we're acutely aware!) and is designed to allow the club to operate in the same self-sustaining fan-and-performance dependent fashion as any other business which depends on the volume of its custom (or the number of supporters) on the one hand, and the ego-boosting (or whatever other motivation you want to ascribe to people like Abramovich) non sporting non-commercial gifting of money which has no such commercial ethos or relationship with the fan base.

    This is the point I think you either overlook or disregard because you believe that it's wrong for Manchester United to be able to buy success just because they generate more income. I can see that point of view but the very worst way of all to redress the balance is to allow disconnected non-commercial money to add further distortions to the game.
     
  11. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    You don't think Abramovic is more of a fan of Chelsea than Glazer is of ManU or Lewis is of Spurs, The porn brothers are of West Ham (one of them is a known Spurs fan)?

    I just don't agree with moralising about who's money or motives are more viable than whose. As long as these people are benefitting their clubs not running them badly why should we moralise about who and how they raise revenue.
     
  12. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    It's not about morals. Let's set them aside for now. It's a separate issue which we could discuss in a different thread.

    The point here is what is good for the game. And ultimately that is a matter of opinion and consensus.

    To my mind it's a matter of what the sport is. Is it about footballing ability or money? It's getting harder to tell.

    All sports are based on a bundle of invented restrictions designed to make it more difficult to achieve a specified objective (in our case getting the ball in the net more often than your opponent) than it otherwise would be. They then incorporate further restrictions to eliminate advantages that interfere with the original sporting idea. People with big money sometimes try to find ways of making their accustomed advantage count for more than the rules that define the game. In a professional team game where players can be transferred there are usually rules to prevent it being too easy simply to buy victory, since that changes the nature of the competition. But not football which has resisted wage caps, squad-cost limits and other restrictions because the power of the money it attracts is too great to resist. It has tried to restrict the influence of external funding for the same reason but with very limited success, despite the principle being almost universally supported within the game, again because the seductive power of cash is too great to be controlled.

    So a small cabal of mega-rich owners who operate on a non-commercial basis (a more important way of distinguishing Abramovich from Lewis, for example, than guessing how much they have come to love their investment) have distorted the sport in a way that the majority of its participants don't like, hence their support of the idea of FFP, but are unable to prevent such is the power of cash to interfere with sporting principles. Sporting principles shouldn't be confused with morals, by the way. They are just the things that define the sport. A good example is not permitting doping because, though it may bring great pleasure to the supporters of the doped victor, it can't be permitted or justified because it changes the nature of the competition.

    Money and drugs have the same type of distorting effect on sport and both need to be tightly controlled and I believe the financial controls are inadequate.

    Arguing about our personal preferences for exactly how football finances should be controlled and how it influences the nature of the competition is ultimately no different from arguing about whether the game would be improved by having bigger goals. It depends on what sort of game we like to see.
     
  13. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    I think the comparison of doping and financial input is an entirely bogus one. All money can do (amongst other things) is influence the movement of players (via transfer fees and wages) and money does that at every football club in the world. Performances enhancing drugs are banned from every aspect of the sport everywhere in the world.

    Money exists in football, it is a business, it is used by every club to gain advantage over every other club it can. We are financially doped, our owners have put money into this club that smaller clubs haven't had. It's actually unsporting and hypocritical to then turn round and complain just because another team's owner puts much more in.

    It's a complex issue that isn't black and white but I fundamentally don't believe that it's fair to judge some "money" as some how more acceptable than other money (as long as there aren't legal issues of course - but that's a whole different issue). If some idiot wants to plough a billion quid into turning an ordinary football club into a great one, in principle, I have no sporting or moral issue with it at all, because that's what happened since football became a business decades ago. And for some clubs who have already done this to now try and pull up the drawbridge is actually unsporting IMO.

    I don't think we are going to convince one other otherwise, so we might as well agree to differ of this I guess.
     
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  14. Lilbaz

    Lilbaz Just call me Baz

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    The reason it is less acceptable is because if a club runs at a loss and relies on the generosity of their owner to conduct day to day business it is a massive risk. As some clubs have found out to their cost. It also has a ripple effect as it inflates wages and transfer fees and other teams have to put themselves at risk to compete.
     
  15. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    At last, something on this subject we can agree about: we'll never convince one other!

    Who'd have thunk it, football generating different opinions - whatever next?
     
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  16. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    Surely we (Spurs) are proof that you don't have to put yourself at risk. Which of the big new money uber clubs have put themselves at any more risk than the 90% of clubs that already run at a loss ?

    Again, it's a spurious argument. I'm not saying there aren't bad owners running their football clubs badly, fiscally, but an owner gifting their club money is never going to be at the riskier end of the spectrum of what causes financial problems at football clubs.
     
  17. Lilbaz

    Lilbaz Just call me Baz

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    Malaga is a great example of what can happen. Chelsea almost went into administration after harding died. Where are blackburn now after the death of jack walker?

    You are not going to get many recent examples because ffp was brought in to stop clubs spending beyond their means. The vast majority of clubs in this country voted in ffp. It is not just uefa. The pl have their own version as do the fa, spain italy etc... Not just big clubs but those in lower divisions. Why would they do that?
     
  18. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    Blackburn are probably not far off where they were before he came along ?

    As I have said all through this, I think much of FFP is a good bit of legislation and has it's place and I understand why the majority voted for it - I can even understand why most would vote against owners being able to put vast sums into clubs - because it gives them an advantage most can't afford. But in terms of financial damage to clubs, owners gifting clubs huge amounts of money is not the problem and never has been. Owners leveraging their clubs etc or running them badly is.
     
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  19. GeneralBurk

    GeneralBurk Active Member

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    It might be immoral in footballing terms, however its honest income.
     
  20. Led's Zeppelin

    Led's Zeppelin Flaccid Member

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    There are clearly two schools of thought about how wealth is used in football.

    I think it's often (as in this case) an abuse of the principle of sport. I know football is a business, that is too obvious to keep repeating, but if it wasn't for the underlying principle it wouldn't even be a business because it couldn't exist, and the more the sporting ethos is undermined and neglected, the less it matters to many of us.

    I believe even when the business objectives and practices are perfectly legal, the sporting foundations need to be respected and when they are not, the important question shouldn't be "is it legal" but "is it in keeping with the spirit of the game?"

    And then we could argue about what constitutes the spirit of the game. But at least we'd be arguing about the right thing, instead of how to interpret some legal statute designed for other purposes entirely.
     
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