FFP and how it is stifling the likes of Bournemouth and Leicester
Fair play rules are making competition dead by AtTheMatch
Buried under transfer news in the back pages of the newspapers the Football League announced their financial fair play punishments. Guess who was fined? Bournemouth. The same Bournemouth who spent the small (for the Premier League) amount of £22 million in the summer window. That is not even half a Raheem Sterling.
When they beat Chelsea their starting eleven cost £2.7 million and their star player was a young Irish man called Harry Arter. He was signed for £4000 from Woking. As a result of their so called ‘wild’ spending they face a fine of £10 million. This when the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool embark on £100 million plus spending sprees each summer with little or no word from the league put in.
Another team facing pressure from the Football League are this season’s success story; Leicester City. They are yet to settle their accounts from the 2013-2014 season, when they lost £20.8 million, admittedly far more than the £8 million permitted. However, if a team cannot invest how they be expected to grow? It is almost as if the powers that be don’t want the big, money-earning titans such as Arsenal and Chelsea to lose their place at the top of the league…
Don’t the likes of Bournemouth and Leicester know their place? Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth manager, had a lot to say on the subject. “The rich get richer and the smaller clubs struggle to compete. What the structure will do is stop the underdog, the smaller team, from having the chance to succeed. We have an ambitious owner, we have an ambitious club that want to move forward. I’m sorry, but at Premier League level, even in the Championship, our income is nowhere near enough to achieve success.”
It is a necessity for Bournemouth to invest in order to grow. However when they do this the league sees it as cheating and the club are penalised. In the league’s eyes the Cherries should stay where they belong, in mediocrity and unable to improve their standing.
Until 2011 the club’s record transfer fee was £210,000, spent on Gavin Peacock way back in 1989. Since then they have been in administration and escaped relegation from the football league on the final day of the season after a seventeen point deduction. They are now a top flight team with an owner who wants to put the club on the map and a top English coach.
Everything in the modern game has been set up to benefit the larger clubs. From the Champions League, to the Premier League and even to the expansion of the Europa League, it only benefits the bigger teams and the television companies.
Manchester City have splashed out millions to get where they are today – over a billion pounds in fact. They were lucky that they got in before the fair play rules really kicked in as today what they have accomplished looks almost impossible.
Yes, clubs need to be protected from ruthless owners and spiralling debt but this is not the way to do it. At current the league are imposing a tax on ambition. That isn’t fair on anyone.Click here to stay up to date with AtTheMatch