Financial Fair Play – What About Chelsea, Manchester City & PSG

In the list of clubs published by UEFA, we didn’t see the names of any of the continent’s big spenders, specifically not PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, who stand out among the rest of Europe’s big clubs because of their inability (at the moment) to generate sufficient funds without the help of their owners dipping into their own pockets.

While there have been names like Atletico Madrid, Malaga (everyone knew the problems there), Sporting Clube de Portugal, Partizan Belgrade and Rubin Kazan, there were no giants, as expected. The general feeling is that despite UEFA saying they will come down hard on anyone who steers away from their rules and limitations as the Financial Fair Play come into full affect in the next three seasons, gradually increasing their hold and punishment level, the big clubs, the big spenders, are safe.

Some clubs that pushed hard for the Financial Fair Play to be implemented, Bayern Munich for example, aren’t happy with UEFA’s leniency towards big names, who seem to be still spending big money despite everyone cutting back. Sure, in England the new TV deal brings in an extra £14 million to each team over the next few years while City are finally a team in the UCL club and are improving their revenue generating abilities, but they’re not Arsenal or Manchester United.

City spent £52 million this summer on Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and Matija Nastasic. Not exactly cutting back on their huge wage bill or spending, while selling players bringing in nearly £20 million. A step in the right direction, but it’s pretty obvious most of the money and funding is coming from the owner, and not from the club’s generated cash.

PSG? Playing in a league like France makes it pretty much impossible for them to be self-sustaining, especially with the amount of money they’re paying and spending on new players. This summer they’ve spent €146 million on new players, without even mentioning what it does to their wage bill. They’ve released players, but generated only €2.5 million from selling them. Something doesn’t add up.

How about Chelsea? They’ve spent £82 million on bringing in new players while selling £8 million worth of ’em. A club with a stadium holding a bit more than 40,000 doesn’t seem like the kind of team that can sustain such spending without the owner having to cut losses. It’s OK to cover losses, even under the new rules, but by how much?

What he really cares about

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, also the chief executive of Bayern Munich, spends some of his free time as the president of the European Club Association, and feels that PSG are being let off the hook. Maybe there’s something a bit un-gentleman like about his conduct and complaining about another club, but everyone has to be playing by the same rules here.

What bothers me is Paris. hen I hear the salary of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, I have a stomach ache. One year’s salary is equivalent to that of Javi Martinez over five years. When I look at their spending, Manchester City or Chelsea, I think that these clubs have huge losses. 

All have an obligation to respect that the rules of fair play require that financial losses should not go beyond €15 million per season. It is for UEFA to ensure that these clubs face sanctions. Paris can’t spend €100 million each year for five years, because we can’t spend more than we won.