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Time to forget Financial Fair Play!

Reading today that Spurs are one of four top Premiership sides urging the Premier League to fully implement UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, I have to question whether it will ever work.

I have always believed that there are only three types of owner of a large football club, and they are the profiteer, the egotist or the naive. That might well be a little harsh, but if I am wrong, tell me who is solely in it for the right reasons or would happily reinvest any profits back into the club? The likes of the late Jack Walker are as rare as rocking horse manure, and though some owners run clubs very well, there are major benefits for doing that. Not so long ago, Villa fans were heralding Randy Lerner as the best owner in the Premier league and I don't think they share those feelings anymore.

Daniel Levy has done a great job in developing Tottenham, but for all of his no doubt honest endeavour, we all know that he stands to make a lot of money some day, but he seems to be getting the balance between building and not being rash with the cheque book just about right, but aside from the Chelsea's Man City's and similarly blessed clubs, we are one of the lucky ones to at least appear healthy, if not the most wealthy.

Financial fair play is a very lord-able principle and I am a fan of forcing clubs to only spend what they earn and that one way or another clubs that live beyond their means deserve to be punished. In the long term it is the fans that suffer, even if an owner ends up losing his shirt. Football is a business and like any other, if you play with fire, you have to expect to get burned. Fans live and breathe a football club and any self respecting supporter should feel for the suffering of the likes of Portsmouth fans, as one day you never know, it could be your club.

In reality there has never been a fair and level playing field in the game. How can there ever be when a club like Man United have a massive fan base and an average home attendance of over seventy-five thousand and last season eight of their fellow Prem clubs attracted around a third of that number or even less. Sure wages and other finances are off the scale when compared with the smaller fish, but when even United complain about the likes of Chelsea and City's spending, we know we have a problem.

Perhaps in forcing clubs to balance the books and only spend what they earn, is a recipe to encourage cheating of varying sorts. Allowing sponsorship of training wear or training grounds is a loop-hole around the rules, but we all know it is just one form of 'Bending' those rules to allow for continued spending or at least a way to get around the restrictions. re we better to simply to accept that there will always been clubs/owners that will do whatever it takes to spend what they want but look at things to purely safeguard the clubs short and long term futures.

Now I'm certainly not an accountant. I just have to look at my own spending to realise I am useless with money, but perhaps we should allow clubs to spend what they want to, but force then as owners to personally guarantee the transfer fee, but also the players wages over the life of his contract. Based on that it puts the onus squarely on the owner, who may or may not be happy to take that gamble. Of course half a billion may not be the end of the world for some, but for those who are in it purely for the quick profit, they may think more carefully about acting as a guarantor for a players contract that might cost him 30 million over five years.

Add to this a method that all clubs must break even and have all losses covered at the end of a financial period and in any questionable ownerships or even in the case of any new takeover, there much be a bond given as security to cover expenditure and this would be monitored regularly. Perhaps we could take things one step further for the good of the game as a whole. could there be a small percentage charged for all purchases, which could be put into grass roots development of the game? It isn't uncommon for every window to have around 300m spent. What could the game do with an addition 6m a year to develop the game. Perhaps initially we could be really bold and ask for 2 or 3%. How many 3/4G pitches would that add to communities?

Maybe much of what I am writing is unworkable or just plain dumb, but in an age where the governing bodies are trying to balance the books, but in the knowledge that clubs and owners are finding ingenious ways to get round the rules, we should perhaps attack things from a different angle and at least benefit the game as a whole, whilst looking at ways to secure the clubs at the same time. After all, we can never truly find a level playing field, so lets accept that, and look at other more proactive options, just for once...




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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 14 2013

Time: 3:56PM

Your Comments

cash rules everything around me 1st get the money dollar dollar bill yallll, gd article.
Nate LuvsSpurs
it is a sad fact of life Nate, and we need to get real and accpet that whatever rule are put in place, there will never be a level playing field and in all likelihood the rich will simply get ever richer and if we get too draconian with them, they will all get together and ***** off to a mega money super league and the rest can all go to hell...
oxfordspur
The window for creating a level playing field has long since closed. All the FFP rules will do is create a boom in creative accountants! Contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on!
Slurms McKenzie
Nate LuvsSpurs, Old school wu tang! Awesome. No FFP = Chelsea and City continued dominance. With FFP = continued Man Utd dominance! You can't win!
Tactically Challenge
Well, the best thing that has limited clubs' spending is the squad limit rules. Whilst Levy likes to balance within financial limits - e.g. we sell one, and buy one or two...etc.. Man City and Chelsea now also have a limit - whilst they can spend what they want, they still cannot play them all, and are also forced to sell one or two in order to buy one or two. That helps level the playing field. As Ox says, there will always be those luckier than others. Man U are so huge due to TIMING... If SkySports occured in the eighties, Liverpool would be the biggest thing around, and maybe Everton would not be in crippling debt, and Nottingham Forest would still be in the top flight. I digress... The ones who really need protecting from themselves financially are the lower league clubs.... Barry Hearn mentioned how few football league clubs live within their means, and it is shockingly low. People keep up with the Joneses... It you limit Mr and Mrs Jones, you may limit the others.... Yeah right...
TonyRich
perhaps we all should be socialist and only be able to play those brought up within the local community...I jest of course. And good luck trying to get a Director to sign a personal guarantee! Manu got lucky winning the prem just as the TV money became huge now there are some bigger kids on the block they don't like it! Citeh are trying to establish a brand and are prepared and able to spend a fortune to do it...that's business. Chelsea are different as they truly are a plaything but RA won't be around forever! All this we must balance the books is nonsense -you have to speculate to accumulate all businesses start with debt and then continue using it to grow...I just wish our owners would be a little more courageous when in dominant position - ie when we qualified for CL, last Jan transfer window and now....
shedboy2
Financial regulation is a must if the football club is to survive. Let the likes of cheatski and *****ty **** off to a mega money super league if they don't want to play ball. It will be the death of their clubs not ours
Merlin314
shedboy2 - whilst we said quite a few common things...don't you think that ENIC speculated to accumulate when they BOUGHT Spurs? They obviously put down a lot of money and debt to acquire us. There would be nothing in it for them if they weren't due to get some profit back. We are all glad that they did, because we are sitting much prettier than before they were around. People also seem to forget that they spent over 50m on players in the summer, and for the first few years, they spent bucket loads.
TonyRich
Tony, you are right. City and Chelsea can soi easily write of 100m, 200, etc, but it is the Bolton's Blackburn's and wigan's, who suffer simply by trying to stay in touching distance, knowing that without a mega rich benefactor, it is impossible and they are gambling their futures, simply to stay in the same division.
oxfordspur
I have wondered for some time if there will be a Premiership Mk II at some point? Obviously whilst things are going well we are fine, but can we see a point where clubs look to secure their selves and want a closed shop where they are safe from relegation unless they do something stupid. Sounds rather far-fetched, but I can seriously see the big boys wanting it and welcoming the likes of Leeds back in as they generate money and quietly wanting the likes of wigan to fall back into the lower divisions.
oxfordspur
Feck the FFP's if there was a champions league qualification spot for teams who were ran within budget and did not run up huge debts it would level the playing field. The team that finished highest up the league but still returned a profit would get the last qualification spot for that league. Let the mega bucks clubs slug it out for the other three spots.
Slurms McKenzie
The other rule change UEFA should bring in is that any player under 30 could only sign a four year contract, once they turn professional and then couldn't be sold for the first two and a half years of that contract!
Slurms McKenzie
The next step on that route Ox would be club owners moving lock stock and barrel to bigger venues in other parts of the country just so they could compete in the big leagues and earn the big bucks!
Slurms McKenzie
Look, FFPR were never about a level playing field. I said as much when they were announced. They are there to protect the status quo. To stop some rich guy from buying a small Italian Club and throwing his money all over the place to depose the establishment that is AC Milan, Inter, Juve, Roma. What it is supposed to be about is balancing the books, and I, for one laud such a campaign, so long as it is followed to the letter. It does not stop a team from over-spending in year X, but they have to balance that over the next few years. Teams should not be flirting with bankruptcy. Teams should not have a 125M net spend an then seriously consider 60M more on Falcao. How in heck do you ever balance that. Win Ligue 1, all the cups in France and the CL, and they'll be lucky to recoup a third, and that doesn't even take in to account wages. What PSG have done is absurd on the face of it. City, if they had to, could probably sell players although I submit theyd' have trouble balancing their transfrs as their alaries are way too high. Chelsea isthe same. Inter, AC Milan, Barca, and others are all in the same boats. RM and Manchester have an advantage that they built up over generations, but both are paying right along the line of affordability (I doubt RM are affordable).

FFPR can either come in to force with teeth, or we can just wait for the inevitable destruction of teams. Can QPR, who had a net spend of 20M really survive if they go down? There will be no living to fight for another day. They can't move most of what they have bought because the salaries are not affordable to most. It strikes me that even if they survive,they will be posting a huge loss. How is that in the club's or the fan's best interests.

I am not happy that we have not bought a striker to replace Berbatov or a proper stringpuller. My disappointment is however tempered by the fact that I know so long as ENIC are around, the finances will be looked after. It's not ideal, but it is responsible and that's what the FFPR are supposed to be guaranteeing. Responsibility is boring, but it guarantees continued existence in the fight. COYS
peterballb
You're right Ox, there never has been a level playing field and the biggest clubs will always have first pick of the available talent. What has changed however and is most wrong, is the money paid to players to sit on benches. There should be limits set on the distribution of the payroll so that only a percentage of the 25 man squad can be big earners relative to the whole. I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of man to come up with a sensible formula which will encourage player development. So what if foreign talent goes elsewhere - give them the problem.
Love totty
Look, teams haver to grow organically. To point to Birmingham, igan, Blackburn, Leeds, Pompey and others is informative but cannot be used as an "it's no fair" comparison. Fulham are growing little by little. Qualifying for Europe. Extending their ground. Build piece by piece. A setback is just that, a setback. It is not a decade in the wilderness. Spurs have built responsibly, as have Arsenal. All I see of Arsenal is that we are able to spend with them, without the new ground. Since 2007 both clubs have appreciated by about 300M (us, a little more than them). Again, not sexy, but it assures survival in the top of the table. COYS
peterballb
MOM - what a laugh. Dawson and Lloris because they both kicked the ball away once.
Love totty
The financial fair play rules will not work. The rich owners of Chelsea, City, PSG, and the way that Barca and Real Madrid can structure their finances, will circumvent the regulations, all rules but particularly financial rules are made to be broken and the real oligarths will already be lining up their loophole finders, they are used to finding ways around regulation. We can't even devise rules to force the rich to pay their taxes, yet alone try to regulate FC spending, We as Spurs fans should be well aware of that, we only have to look at Lewis and Michael Ashcroft. What is the definition of earnings, thereby lies the problem, it ain't all about ticket sales, but merchandising, naming rights, membership, corporate box tenancy all count, and can all be fiddled. I can fully understand why Spurs are urging for it to be fully implemented, it will give Levy his best excuse ever, for not spending in transfer windows, his avowed intent.
Frank
I support FFP but I think it should go much further. For me, Chelsea and Man City and their owners epitomise so much of what is wrong with football in this country, and even society as a whole. I love the game but I loathe the culture. Personally, I would be devastated if a billionaire bought Tottenham and started throwing money around in order to win the league while incurring huge losses, as Chelsea and City have done. I even like to think I would have the conviction to stop supporting the club. I don't want Tottenham Hotspur FC to be about to ego of some morally bankrupt billionaire. I want it to be about the supporters, its heritage and tradition. If the league could be scrapped and started from scratch, I would like to see all clubs runs as non-profit making trusts. Obviously that would not be practical from where we are now but I support all measures which will help to increase the competitiveness and fairness of the league, reduce the obscene amounts of money spent on vastly overpaid players, increase investment in infrastructure and grass roots football, and reduce prices for spectators. I hope FFP may help to achieve some of these things. Thanks for the article Ox.
OneCentRob
I could just see UEFA trying to run the CL without all the clubs that they deem to have broken the FFP rules, i.e. all the best teams in Europe. Of course it can't, and won't happen, not unless UEFA want to see a breakaway group of top clubs running their own competitions.
Frank
It used to be a game of 11 vs 11. In our 61 double season, I think we used only 12 or 13 players. (Somebody will have the stat I've no doubt). That gave everybody a chance irrespective of pulling power and forced managers to produce good "teams". A payroll control would still allow the biggest clubs first pick but limit their dominance. Cups would be interesting again and prices affordable.
Love totty
balancing the books should be the requisite, the rules are enforceable, it is just a question of whether the powers that be have the stomach to do it
Guernman
You have to wonder at the likes of Chelsea, United and City who have mortaged their future for instant gratification. FFP or not that level of debt generation is not sustainable and when boredom for the billianire sets in will the fallout be catastrophic?
Slurms McKenzie
Yeah, but what a once though love totty ;-)
oxfordspur
Guernman I think that the powers that be have shown they have the bottle and Balls to tackle any issue in football just look how they have stamped out racism in football. They are so strong on the matter they now even investigate the teams that are being abused! Now thats tough!
Slurms McKenzie
Love Totty, if the FFPR have teeth, then there is no need for a salary cap (% allocation is effectively that). In the late 80's early 90's, top Italian clubs used to buy players just to make sure others didn't get them. It wasn't to play them, it was to make certain they couldn't play against you. I was in France in 89-90 and went to several Marseille games (lived in Nice) to watch Chris Waddle. He and the striker, Jean Pierre Papin, made that team click at the highest level. CL, they were brilliant, ripped off by dodgy officiating against Porto (not that Marseille was not thick as thieves as well). Marseille remained a threat so, in order to elimate that threat, Milan bought Papin, offering funds that could not be refused and wages that would turn any head. Result, Marseille were not a threat and Papin sat on the bench. Now, I would have been ok with that but for the fact that the Italian clubs were running huge debts and were always involved in nefarious deals and getting handouts from the government (as both madrid and Barca have). If a club can balance their budget, losses one year covered by profits another, I have no issue how they do their business, who they play and what salaries they offer. It is when they can't that it affects the "competition". Liverpool and United have earned their buying power (although Liverpool are certainly running year over year debt).

Last 5 years, City have a net spend of 440M just on transfer fees alone. Add salaries and the numbers are absurd (if the fact that they have spent on players what our new facility will cost is not already absurd). I fail to see how any miracles of accounting can cover off those losses. You can get away wilth a lot but market value of naming rights etc are all determinable numbers. 10M per season would be a great business for naming rights (it's all out there). If Etihad want to give 100M per season in naming rights, only market value should be considered. Just like Chelsea and PSG, it's all Monopoly money. Just as a comparison, Spurs are about 47M in the hole on transfers in that same 5 year window. Difference is, most of our assets could be sold at market value or at a profit because they are, by and large, on reasonable salaries. We make a small profit or a small loss every year. 2010/2011, City lost 178m. We made 8M even though we had a transfer deficit of over 20M. FFPR have to take effect. If they don't, the house of cards will eventually all come crashing down. COYS
peterballb
Slurms, United makes a profit most years. Their revenues are huge. City spend more on wages than they bring in in terms of revenue. Therein lies the problem. PSG, to date, have a net spend of 125M not including salaries (mostly on players who are in their last contracts - ie unmovable). That is completely unviable. They should not be allowed to compete. If they win everything, they will still be hugely in debt. They should be excluded frm next year's CL. There has to be a cost consequence and it needs to be now. COYS
peterballb
Lets say a foreign billionaire buys a club and gives the kind of guarrantees proposed in the article, then he goes bust, what happens then ? Lets say he just walks away, not just from the club but the country, who enforces the guarrantees ?
jod
Peterb - whatever way you cut it, the problem comes down to payroll and agents fees. At least transfers stay within the pot. Unless there is an effective curb on money out the stockpiling of talent will continue to the detriment of the game at home.Control the payroll and you limit the Papin scenario you describe. You'll never stop the biggest clubs having first pick and neither should you. Getting big isn't the problem, I have no issue with MU and Liverpool being big - they earned it the right way.
Love totty
Yes Peter but United's profits go to servicing the Debts that the Glaziers lumped on the club. Agree on the cost consequence because unchecked it will have far wider ranging effects if these so called "Big Clubs" go belly up.
Slurms McKenzie
peter-I've not checked the figures but I would suggest we're about 6m 'in the hole' on transfers in the last 5 years....yep a great 1.2m investment per year for a prem team....and showing an 8m profit is NOT a good thing....
TR- yes we spent heavily in the summer but we still made a profit on player sales though... ENIC did speculate when they bought the club but that investment has grown massively....I'm not knocking a company for making a profit but there is always a confilct between profit and on pitch success for our owners, when the really succesful clubs realise that on pitch success generates huge profit....in many ways. Also only history will judge if ENIC were good owners...as with the learner comment above you never when things will change.
shedboy2
I'm sure that all these arguments have been well rehearsed by the authorities but vested interest will ensure that nothing meaningfull will happen, Just like the markets, heads will be buried in sand until the crash comes and everyone will say that they saw it coming. The PL needs the foreign players to retain the global tv audience aginst the growing competition from China and Russia so they welcome billionaires money. Beggar tomorrow - Carpe Diem!
Love totty
I think Citeh can look at a 20 year+ Biz plan....it's an investment for a country to diversify from oil. If RA goes belly up for whatever reason Chelski could be in trouble but as the main creditor is RA they'd still have their assests the only real problem would be footballs own regulations.....Rangers in Scotland only went to the 3rd teir because SPL wanted them to go down....they still have a viable business model they were just poorly managed...and didn't pay their taxes!
shedboy2
City may have money but their fans don't. Even their home games don't sell out judging by the TV pictures. Perhaps the sheikhs need to invest their cash piles in some new fans. LOL.
ParkLaneBB
as TonyRich pointed out the best thing to level the field has been the squad cap....football authorities should look for football ways to even things out as they will get outfoxed at everyturn by wealthy owners in the financial accounting/legal arena's....the men in blazers are too far behind the curve.
shedboy2
ParkLaneBB-they are already starting to re-coup their cash...the market just has to stand it, there's always a tipping point...for example we could just increase our ticket prices by X% and still sell out, re-name WHL and not bother having to build a new stadium...but would the market stand it???
shedboy2
I wrote extensively a couple of days ago on another thread on issues related to the topic raised in this thread by Ox. I'll restrain my urge (I hope) to use this thread to go on the same assault at any length. But let me point out that the problem is not restricted to football. The same predatory behaviors that lead to some vulture capitalist buying a club and stripping its assets (in the case of a football club, that starts with selling off players in many cases), paying ones self for questionable services, running up huge debts, and then walking away, leaving the institution in a shambles and the supports in anger and despair and the clubs in ruin.

One sees these same sorts of vulture capitalists in the guise of financial companies, investment banks, venture capitalists and hedge funds buying out thriving companies frequently using huge leverage, that is, borrowed monies, and then stripping the companies of their assets, usually including pension funds for the workers, and then walking away far richer themselves, but having ruined the lives and livelihoods of the workers, their families, and those in the communities who businesses and livelihoods depended on the survival of those companies. The debts left behind usually come from the monies borrowed for these vulture capitalists to buy the clubs in the first place. Look it up and you'll see that's been the case with several English football clubs. These robber barons belong in jail, not on yachts and in penthouses. They are committing economic crimes against our societies, and they should never be welcomed when they buy out our clubs. Shame on us if and when we do cheer their arrival. We do so against out own self interest even though we think despite the odds that they will invest in our clubs and bring in the striker or the midfielder that we need to win a cup or a championship or to get into the CL. WE BE FOOLS when we think this way.

Total knobhead
shedboy-merely being flippant, But on a serious note, I have begun to wonder this season whether we are, as a club, at that tipping point. Our less glamorous games are not selling out and Levy is offering cheap deals on europa and fa cup games. Sensible but perhaps an indication that the market is tough. Maybe why he signed the letter?
ParkLaneBB
TK- I dislike the heavy leveraged buy-out....I mean if I walked up to buy liverpool for millions based on the fact I could repay the loan to buy them from the profits the club could generate I'd be laughed at BUT because some guys with a couple of million do they get away with it...depsite their millions not actually having any real bearing on the deal...yes we have to find a way to curb excess but heavy regulation is just as bad as no regulation....the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
shedboy2
shedboy, you might want to look at those stats. According to transfermarkt (which I use as their contract information seems to be the most up to date and accurate) we are -4M this year (so far), +30 last season, -20 the season before, -7 the year before that and -46M in 08/09. The two years prior to that were also sizeable losses. When balanced with revenues and other expenses, we either make a nominal profit or a nominal loss. That's how it should be for every household, company, nation. Debt is fine so long as it can be serviced. Yes, United have huge debt, but the payments are made and they still turn a profit year in and year out. United are worth 2B. We are worth a quarter of that. Only United have increased their value more than Spurs since 2007 (Forbes). It aint perfect, but it's working. United took a plane crash and generations of winning to get where they are. We need to be in Finals every year and be in the hunt for the title. We have been doing that. We are getting there. It takes time. At least we now have a coach who wants to win whatever we are in. That's a step in the right direction. Hold on to Bale or get 55M, it's a further step. Every player has a price. Every Franchise has a price. If someone offered Lewis 1B for Spurs, we'd have a new owner. COYS
peterballb
ParkLaneBB- I'm no stranger to being flippant myself...and yes I think we could be, which is why I question the building of new stadium to house the extra 20k supporters who may or may not come to help repay the 250-450m cost that building will incurred.
shedboy2
shedboy-yep, I agree with you there, have thought the same. I'm a case in point. Logged on to buy Arsenal tickets, the website being as slow as ever meant that when I came to buy no Park Lane tickets were left. I baulked at paying 61 for the Shelf Side and have ended up in the sanctuary of silence that is the Paxton.
ParkLaneBB
Shedboy, you can't get all clubs to commit to the same framework. Ajax, operates similar to barca, but on a way smaller scale. We operate like Arsenal, just on a smaller scale. When we build our stadium, we will be in the same boat as Arsenal. Since 2007, with last year's numbers not yet out, we have gone from a value of 243M to 546M. Not a bad ROI for the past 5 years. In the next 5 yerars, assuming the new stadium is still on track, we will be worth over 1B. That's with a big fat B. From 60M back in 2000 to IB by 2020 would not be bad by anyone's standards. COYS
peterballb
peter- just checked -we're almost 3m in profit this year, we made 27m Profit last year spent 17.5m the year before made a million pound profit year 4 and spent 19.45m year five....31m profit c37m spent....over-all spend on transfers c6million....source http://www.transferleague.co.uk/premiership-transfers/tottenham-hotspur-transfers.html transfermkt is not always up to date but is good for checking player contracts...
shedboy2
It might be one step back this year before we move forward again. There are a lot of games to play but after Saturday I'm predicting a maximum of 68 points which may not be good enough. It will probably hinge on the result of our home game against Le Arse. COYS
Love totty
peterballb- I fear we are copying the Arse model...we won't automatically be in the same boat as them....they have made huge profits on player sales, whilst maintaining CL footy the whole time they have been repaying their stadium...I doubt that can be copied which if we get badly wrong could be a disaster for our club...after all we'll be taking a 250-450m gamble with our future.
shedboy2
And why is it OK to spend 450m that you don't have on a bowl of concrete but not on building a brand??? After all McDonalds just sell burgers, don't they? any of us could do that couldn't we?
shedboy2
transfermarkt, which looks at registered players and development players would read otherwise. They suggest, for example that in 2010/2011 we spent 20M more than we brought in, in transfers. This is largely confirmed by the Telegraph who reported that same year as being a net spend of 26M. I disagree with you about Transfermarkt as their numbers are generally accepted as being accurate - their info, as I understand it is provided by agents and others in the know on the deals. The numbers from the Telegraph article come from Forbes. It was widely reported that the year we got CL, Lewis had to go in to his pocket for 7M and the year of CL we made 8M. This, to me, suggests a team that is living within their means, plus or minus. COYS
peterballb
OK peter- we'll have to agree to dis-agree on the transfer figures....
shedboy2
Shedboy, we won't be in the same boat as Arsenal, but then their hold on CL is getting more and more teuous which will greatly affect what their bottom line looks like. Liverpool are in the spot of bother already. Every year out of the CL is killing them. They are spending as if they are not only in the CL, but advancing beyond the group stages. Again shedboy, since 2007, only United have increased their value more than Spurs. I believe Levy when he says the stadium and the team are two different entities. I believe we will continue to break even, more or less, on the transfer/revenue/salary front and the stadium and all of it's financing etc, will be a whole other business entity. I don't think, short term, the stadium will add anything to our player funds, but then I don't expect as it will diminish them either. Win titles, get CL and there will be more for players. Don't and there won't. It'll be a small profit or a small loss every year. COYS
peterballb
The time to worry about our finances will be when we're in the CL with a realistic chance of winning it or the PL. That's when big money might be gambled for glory. The hysteria on here to buy every foreigner who ever donned a pair of boots will be deafening, metaphorically speaking. Can't wait :)
Love totty
Someone said that the squad cap was the best leveller. Oh yeah? How's that when the big spenders can each field two teams of top class internationals. If the rule was say to require at least 80% of the payroll to be paid to 15 players and 20% to the other 10, stockpiling would become unviable.
Love totty
THFC - if you believe that the local fan base is irrelevant and only the global market matters, then you are correct in your remarks about the rights of ownership. That means it's also OK to relocate the club if you choose. Surely the local fanbase has rights too.
Love totty
shedboy, the financing of the stadium is an entirely seperate issue. The funds are not linked. Only the end result (1B club) will see linkage. There will be funding, sales of units, rents paid, concessions and other things that will all be used to pay out the debt, just as Arsenal did. The financing needs to be 100% in place before you even start. It likely won't be paid out until 2030 or 2040 but it should not change the dynamic on the pitch. They aren't going to sell Bale for 55M and then just say we have Townsend so let's put that 55M on the stadium. If he's sold, it will be reinvested. What many don't seem to see is how much salaries have crept up. In 2011/2012 our average salary was 2.3M GBP. Manchester City, by contrast was 4.5M, Chelsea 4.1M, Unitd 3.3, Arsenal 3.2, Liverpool 3.1, Villa 2.4M, Fulham 1.5, Everton 1.4, Sunderland 1.4, Bolton 1.4, West Ham 1.4, Newcastle 1.3, Blackburn 1.3, Stoke 1.2, Wigan 1.1, Birmingham 1M, WBA 1M, Blackpool 435k (who were the lowest paid PL team that year). It's not hard, looking at the numbers to explain the issues clubs like Birmingham, West Ham, Blackburn, Bolton and Villa had. All too big for their britches. I think most would agree that Everton pay what they can afford. I think also that no one can have issue with the salaries of United, Arsenal, Spurs, Fulham, Wigan, WBA because these sides all operate on a budget. We were only the 51st on this list of average professional sports wages. What should be of note is that the year prior, we were 110th. I would imagine we are now in the top 40. It is not cheap getting players. It is incredibly costly to keep them under signature. Just 5 years ago everyone ws complaing about the 65k "salary cap". We now pay guys over 100k/week. Who else's wages have gone up that much in the past 5 years? COYS
peterballb
TBH, the problem within the professional football is exactly the same that happened with sub-prime mortgages and the credit boom. The credit/debt levels spiralled out of control. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. What did the government do to contain it?....austerity measures, hitting the financial system and the consumer hard in the goolies! In the absence of the FFP, the bigger clubs have become gargantuous and the poorer ones are wrestling with the day to day trivial debts. The whole system in the football industry/business is very complex. On the back of the oligarchs and the wealthiest sheiks, the WHOLE system is milking the money. THE WORST HIT ARE THE FANS.

No gradual change in the system will ever work. It could take decades to arrive at some compromise to ensure a level playing field. Hit everyone hard with an overnight change and the system will collapse and it will immediately lead to some sort of SUPER league. Again, the loser will be the FANS. As us fans come to terms with the govt austerity measures, the football ticket prices continue to rise, the TV and advertising revenues continue to rise. Where does all that money go?...The FA, UEFA, The Club Directors/manager, Players, etc. NOTHING for the fans. So as long as the recipients of that money are happy (incidently, that includes the decision makers!), they will do what suits THEM best. Whilst it is often said that it is scandalous what some players earn, I am afraid it is just as criminal what the football authorities earn, yes, the spineless authorities.

Finally, even if you introduce the FFP, you got to remember, the BIGGER clubs have already established themselves on a worldwide stage. The smaller clubs will ALWAYS be playing catch up.
Critical_Spur
thfc1882whl, it's interesting, but I just don't buy in to a cap system. If UEFA go by balanced budgets (Football related revenues, transfers in and out and salaries) and have the sanction be relegation with a one year non-promotion penalty, it would achieve what you suggest. Reality is by the list (http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2012/05/01/revealed-the-worlds-best-paid-teams-man-city-close-in-on-barca-and-real-madrid-010501/) one can easily see that Even at the lower end there is a huge disparity (lowest Bundesliga 836k, EPL lowest 435k, Serie A 253k and La Liga 230k - all in GBP). Now what would this do to leagues in Belgium, Croatia, Holland, France etc who can't spend anyhere near these amounts? Do they get left out or can clubs like Ajax still try to compete through development? CL monies are a huge boon to all of these other leagues, but their economies will not support those wages. I'd submit, the only way a cap works is if you go to a SuperLeague, and I really don't like that idea at all. COYS
peterballb
but thfc1882whl, if clubs had to balance the books with a reasonable net spend allowed so long as provisions are in place for net profits to balance them out (say 10% max of revenues in any year), would that not effectively place a cap and provide protection for the fans from unscrupulos owners. We don't need a cap. What we need is for an owner like Chelsea, PSG or City to have to live by the same rules as any reasonable person in society. I am not suggesting they can't use their abundant wealth to buy land, build a better stadium all to generate more revenues so that they can spend more. That growth is sustainable and benefits everyone. If City's owners bail and leave them with all these salaries, whoever comes in is going to have a mess on their hands. alf their players can't be sold for anything and most of those would have to be subsidized. It's irresponsible, and, IMO, is not in the long term best interests of the PL. COYS
peterballb
thfc1882whl, the problem with that is it puts all f the money in to the accounts of the owners of the rich cubs. ManU would love to see their salaries capped at 60M rather than pay the 152M that they currently pay. But then that would force teams at the bottom to pay money they don't have. Same crap just played out in the NHL where the strike which has just ended has done nothing to resolve the issue of what to do for the money-losing clubs who will continue to lose money and be unable to compete.

I think that the only way a cap system works in Europe, where there are such discrepencies between Young Boys and Manchester United, is to tie that cap in with Revenues. Make them all balance budgets. It would allow clubs like Fulham to continue to grow organically while penalizing teams like Villa who manage their money poorly and would stop the unfair advantage that exists with Man City and Chelsea, which is the real complaint here. Such a system would also make certain that teams like Villa can only be irresponsible for so long. Automatic relegation with a one year ban on promotion is a huge penalty, but, in a sense, gives the team back to the fans. COYS
peterballb
Unless a fan happens to be a shareholder why should he be happier if the club is worth a billion, than he was when it was worth 500M, what difference does it make to him. The answer is if it has been achieved by skimping on the acquisition of top players, and lessened the opportunity for success on the pitch, he should be upset. The only people advantaged by the increase in the value of the club will be the shareholders when Lewis sells it.
Frank
thfc1882whl, I could be wrong, but I don't see Spurs being hugely successful on the hospitality front. I see Spurs more as a team of the middle class. People will pay to watch, in comfort, but I really don't see hundreds of corporations willing to shell out insane amounts for suites etc. I may be wrong, but my feel from the stands when there with my wife and then with ItalianYiddo, his cousin and all those around him (great seats by the way and Italian Yiddo is a fabulous man with a wonderful family) is that the fans are very knowledgeable, passionate and run with their hearts on their sleeves, which is why we all so passionately discuss our points of view. I expect the Bricklayers pub and all of the other pubs around White Heart Lane to remain integral to the heartbeat of the team. There are far worse neighbourhoods than where WHL is located, but it is a neighbourhood of immigrant families and working class people. The NDP will not change that. It may slowly regenerate, but it is not going to change night and day. If it does, it will be a huge loss to the culture and history of Spurs. My 2 cents. COYS
peterballb
thfc1882whl. my issue with that is it takes away the possibility of the owner doing what they want. (I also misunderstood and thought you were suggesting the same cap amount for every team) If I want to own a club and use it to bankroll something else, that should be my choice. It's my money. If what I do harms the team, the fans will stop coming and I will be shooting myself in the foot. Owners care most about the appreciation of the asset, which is why, Lewis, and Levy are happy with where Tottenham sit. From 60M to almost 600M. Not bad in 13 years. Now, they both know, that if we had had CL and had won many trophies and titles, that number would be a couple of hundred k more. We still would not be in a position to compete with City for signatures or Transfer fees.

If QPR are to sign M'Vila (who is not much different from M'Bia - perhaps more offensive but both are cards waiting to happen) and Remy, they will be pre-drilling their own holes in their caskets. They go down, they are done like dinner. This is exactly why FFPR must be given effect and teeth. COYS
peterballb
Qpr the new superpower? I want whatever you're smoking mate lol
HuddersfieldYiddo
Frank, you are right, in part. Relative value of the franchise matters little. Ability to compete matters little for the fan that goes to the stadium rain or shine. Ability to compete is all about wages because with that value comes more money, thus better players, thus more titles, thus more top players, thus higher salaries and higher ticket prices. Well, perhaps it's not better or the fans, but at the end of it all, we all want Spurs to be competing on the highest level and we all know that the money, one way or another, all comes from us. It's why we need more of us to share the load and it's why signing Son would be a great idea. levy, for all his warts, has done a great job increasing marketing dollars. Couldbe better, bu it's pretty good. COYS
peterballb
At least QPR are signing somebody, good luck to them. Remy having medical tomorrow.
Frank
Football is like infrastructure, it needs to be owned by it's users, not private individuals or corporations. Users want sustainability not returns. Not so long ago Everton were considered the richest club in Britain backed by Pools money. Leeds gambled and lost as did Portsmouth. Blackburn had their day in the sun. How long before the Chavs and Citeh crash and burn? If that ever happened to my beloved Spurs I would be devastated. I can forgive ENIC for caution so long as they leave us stronger than they found us.
Love totty
Frank, thfc1882whl, I hear what you are saying. If they got Remy and M'Vila, they did so on salary. I reckon they need at least 8 more wins, perhaps 9 of their remaining 16 games. Good luck to them. If they go down they will have alot of contracts that will be very hard to move. Hoilett, Granero, Remy (if true), M'Vila (if true) and others were all paid more so they would come. Remy and M'Vila were thought to both be worth between 12-15M. I'd suggest they'd be better off buying Zaha, who they could pay less and who would remain an asset regardless (English so he must be better). When you are a bottom club, you inevitably have to overpay. There is no one running to QPR to take players off of their hands. Didn't they release Dyer?

If we miss CL, we'll have done the same as what we did the past two years and about as well as most on here expected. Since my expectation has always been, Europe by table position and good cup runs, I'm already thinking my minimal expectations will be met. If AVB, without Modric and VDV gets CL, he'll have done wonders. If we finish ahead of Chelsea (brutal fixture list) and Arsenal, he is brilliant. COYS
peterballb
remy is only signing for the nothing more nothing less, it aint rocket science
123spurs
i cannot believe that QPR are digging such a hole for themselves, this is the sort of madness that the fair play rules must stamp out, the fans of QPR don't deserve to see their club sunk into financial oblivion. typical harry move saddling a team with insane wages, just makes me grateful that we had levy to counter his modus operandi
Guernman
Exactly Guernman. We've seen how it can all go to pot at Pompey, Birmingham, Leeds etc. villa are on the brink. West Ham are living beyond their means and QPR are throwing a lot at a hope and a prayer. If we win 9 or 10 more, we get CL. A tall task, they need to win 8 or 9 to stay up. It's a tall order, IMO. COYS
peterballb
LT- no guarantee of that, most people don't care who buys as long as they have the money! Aston Villa stopped buying proven players, relying on 'potential' could be their downfall, it doesn't work as a model. Why all the sudden interest in our salaries? I thought we still had a structure? If so we could afford to pay a player 250k pw - it means that some others won't be getting that much....and we can hardly be struggling if we can afford to give Brad another contract whilst Gomes is still here and Gylfi's on big money as will be Holtby for unproven players....
shedboy2
In 10 years time we'll have a premier league and a 2nd tier. Al the rest will be amateur football. Then there will be a Euro Super League which will resemble the usual suspects from the last 16 of the CL. We need to become a regular in the CL for the next 10 years or we'll miss the boat and be a club that can win the league every year albeit without the likes of Utd, Citeh, Chelsea in it.
yiddyboy
I think that at the moment we are in a situation where the clubs will look and feel all is going well in the Premier league. The big teams are safe and even in recent times, those that have struggled such as Newcastle a couple of years ago and Villa at the moment, where theyr because of their own stupidity. Im sure clubs would welcome the likes of Leeds and a few more with the potential to attract 40,000 fans every week, and in effect make it a close shop. I bet if the Prem had their chance to structure again there would be plenty that would simply take the biggest clubs and to hell with the rest
oxfordspur
Frank writes, "Unless a fan happens to be a shareholder why should he be happier if the club is worth a billion, than he was when it was worth 500M, what difference does it make to him. The answer is if it has been achieved by skimping on the acquisition of top players, and lessened the opportunity for success on the pitch, he should be upset. The only people advantaged by the increase in the value of the club will be the shareholders when Lewis sells it." Brilliant post Frank! You have have totally exposed this new breed of peterballb style, Enic Hotspur fan who take great pride and pleasure in informing us all how the value of OUR club has dramatically increased, whilst the richest owners (by far) in the clubs history (ENIC) have the worst trophy per season percentage of any THFC owners in over half century... Whilst the empty plots of land around the stadium that Danny boy has created in preparation for the big sale, (which have decimated the local community atmosphere and spirit) remain empty... Financial fair play??? ENIC OUT!!!
pelebro
It would be quite simple for the PL to create a closed shop. All they have to do is set a minimum stadium capacity and average gate to disbar the unattractive clubs. If they can't achieve that in the Championship, tough. If no club hits the target, no relegation from the PL. Still allows plenty of scope for growing towns to one day make the grade.
Love totty
thfc1882whl, this is not about a best shot, even if QPR stay up they cannot afford to pay the wages Remy and the like will cost them. besides which they are very unlikely to stay up. they need more luck than remy's and there is nothing bold or admirable about taking such an irresponsible position. harry could not care less about the long term well being or even existence of QPR, for him this represents a opportunity to further the redknapp legend, ready for the next step up. he will be sure to hedge HIS position though, telling everyone this is an impossible job, unlikely to be achieved but if he did it it would certainly be his greatest feat yet. he knows it could go either way and will be sure to keep his reputation intact either way, not so QPRs financial future though.
Guernman
Pelebro - is it not true that ENIC showed real ambition with the appointments of Arnesen, Comolli and Ramos, only to see results implode? Harry steadied the ship but clearly didn't inspire sufficient confidence to justify another gamble. The CL run was great fun but what was needed was continued PL success to retain and attract the right sort of player. AVB still has to demonstrate that sustainability imo.
Love totty
Love totty, Enic have the worst trophy per season percentage of any owners of THFC in over half a century, which spans the entire period of professional football, have failed to build us that new new stadium that they themselves informed their customers, was the number 1 priority of ENIC when the arrived 13 long seasons back, and our chairman Daniel Levy has undermined, interfered, butted in, signed and sold countless players without the permission or approval of his 8 coaches and 3 DOF'S. THFC is Daniel Levy's personal little fantasy football play thing, funded by his Sugar Daddy Joe Lewis. Levy will be allowed to continue to play fantasy football with our club until big Joe says enough is enough and cashes in... Please god, sooner rather than later!
pelebro
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