Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations are sweeping the Football landscape which in UEFA’s words are “to reach financial stability, not to reach financial equality or competitive equality between clubs”.
This is supposed to prevent the working man’s game being gobbled up entirely by the elite, where a handful of clubs with rich owners spend ridiculous amounts of money on players and hike up season ticket prices to astronomical levels.
We have seen the emergence of clubs like PSG and Manchester City after the first trailblazer Chelsea popped onto the scene buying every one they wanted with no inclination of making a profit.
Of course, Scotland had a similar issue with Sir David Murray who spent millions on Oldco Rangers and also neglected to pay HMRC tax, this of course lead to the death of the Oldco and should have ushered in FFP as a break wall to further corporate maleficence.
But that for whatever reason it wasn’t adopted and still hasn’t been.
Now with a host of EBT recipients using the phrase ‘Sporting integrity,’ it is time to give them their wish and make sure that all clubs are well within their budgets for the coming season and beyond.
COVID 19 is a disaster for our game and the financial stability of FFP is an absolute must, if we are to allow going concerns to go and spend money hand over fist whilst chasing glory we are going to see it come back to bite the game hard.
We will have clubs not just going to the wall due to a lack of match day income but also by overspending their budgets in a time when budgets need to be reigned in.
Now this wouldn’t just apply to one club but to all, very real sanctions such as those about to be meted out to Manchester City including transfer bans, huge fines and title stripping must be written into our own regulations.
If we do not take heed of the global trend towards FFP and a club goes to the wall this year their can be no relaxation of the Force Majeure regulations which would see teams escape a points deduction for entering administration.
Should we have FFP and clubs who are otherwise well run enter administration due to this unforeseen circumstance, then, by all means, enact the safety clause.
There has been enough grandstanding in Scotland over the last month talking about fairness and transparency and hidden agendas, if these people want these things as the core of the games governance then fully and independently audited accounts showing that the club is within FFP are necessary.
You can’t mark your own homework after all.