Premier League eases financial rules in light of pandemic

Friday, 4 September, 2020 19comments  |  Jump to last
The financial fair play restrictions on Premier League clubs will be relaxed to reflect the economic uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a move that Paul Joyce argues will benefit Everton as they try to get £70m worth of transfer deals over the line this week, The Times report that the League has secretly relaxed its profit and sustainability rules.

The finances of England's top-flight clubs will now be assessed over an average of last season and next season together rather than just 2019-20 given that the shutdown earlier this year and continuation of matches played behind closed doors are likely to cost tens of millions of pounds in lost revenue.

Clubs will also be permitted to write off losses or extra spending caused by the pandemic, such as reduced gate receipts or lower television income.

A similar decision by Uefa would prevent English clubs from being penalised in terms of entering European competition but it remains to be seen if they will follow suit with a similar stance.  


Reader Comments (19)

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Si Pulford
1 Posted 04/09/2020 at 17:52:42
The beginning of the end for the almost criminally biased FFP was Man City. This is just admitting defeat.
John Mckay
2 Posted 04/09/2020 at 17:55:51
It's a stupid rule that annoys the hell out of everyone, the only thing it benefits is the massive clubs because they can literally spend 10 times more than the average club.

It was an attempt to keep the high profile teams at the top, they didn't want their beloved top 4 to ever be broken.

Man City took the piss out of them, though.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 04/09/2020 at 17:56:12
Imagine in any other industry, saying "Hey new restaurant owner, you cannot spend more than you bring in so you're Shit out of Luck if you thought you could buy inventory for the place you just bought out."

If there is to be oversight with regard to money, it should be on the basis of salary caps to maintain an equitable field. Not on the basis of preventing new investors trying to compete with the status quo.

John Brooks
4 Posted 04/09/2020 at 18:04:43
I agree, Kieran. The problem with keeping the status quo is that some teams had had a huge influx of funds that came in just before the FFPso it set their bench mark way up high.

However, as has been pointed out it is also a huge ball and chain for any of the teams out of this little gang as they have a limit as to how much can be invested in the 'new up-and-comers' set.

Bin it completely. It causes more problems than it solves.

John Mckay
5 Posted 04/09/2020 at 18:10:22
Maybe they should put a salary cap on wages, not just this country but right across the board. I guess that probably wouldn't work either but it is getting silly. And has been for some time.
Jay Harris
6 Posted 04/09/2020 at 18:19:05
John,

I agree but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Youve got agents, referees, PFA hierarchy, FA and FIFA hierarchy all earning at least 10 times what they used to – and that's only the legal payments.

Will Mabon
7 Posted 04/09/2020 at 18:27:22
If the intention was real fairness, the rules would have been framed to operate in some form of inverse manner. Smaller clubs able to invest a larger factor related to, for example, their total wage bill, other assets or cost elements.

Then there's the reality...

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
8 Posted 04/09/2020 at 18:47:28
Maybe - shock horror, we could learn something from the US way.

Okay, they are all Oligopolies without promotion or relegation but the worst performing teams get first choice of the new players and all teams have a salary cap so that the idea being that the better teams get worse and the worst teams get better so there is some chance of supporters being able to celebrate. However, some organisations are just so dysfunctional (yes, New York Jets I am talking about you) they never improve.

FFP should be salary cap for 25 1st XI squad and also max amount of transfer spend per year. Should make it a very level playing field.

Si Cooper
9 Posted 04/09/2020 at 18:56:33
Phil, the NFL, NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball leagues don't have global competition for their players.

You would be potentially handicapping Premier League teams' ability to attract talented players.

Peter Roberts
10 Posted 04/09/2020 at 20:04:02
Si,

So make it across the board (although that would require a modicum of sense from FIFA) Also, aside from China, where else other than Europe would be able to match the silly money being offered to players by clubs such as Man City, Real Madrid or even Chelsea (Havertz is rumoured to be signing a contract for £310k per week? At 21?).

Si Pulford
11 Posted 04/09/2020 at 21:45:11
Agreed Peter. Lord knows what the solution is but the current shambles clearly doesn't work. I don't think you can have an international salary cap, FFP is unfair so I think We'll go back to the oligarchs spending like there's no manaña. Football must be the only business in the world where an owner can't invest in their own company.
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 04/09/2020 at 22:12:25
Funny thing is, many including Ancelotti were saying we'd have to tighten our belts, no more huge contracts etc just a few months ago due to Covid-19. And yet here we are, still with Covid-19 and it looks to be wage-wise business as normal.
Steve Ferns
13 Posted 04/09/2020 at 22:29:39
Kieran, I think that’s due to clubs line Everton doubling down. If the rules are relaxed then we’re clearly taking advantage. Brands will have a headache next summer though, trying to make those books balance.
Will Mabon
14 Posted 04/09/2020 at 22:35:54
Kieran, you're right, he did say something like that. Maybe he has a different idea of what is considered "Huge". Leaving wages aside, we haven't spent 30 mil on any one player yet so far in this window, so nothing wild as yet.
Tony Everan
15 Posted 04/09/2020 at 22:37:23
FFP stinks, and what replaces it will too. The top 6 will be going after more of a share of the TV money next. It will lead to further strengthening the cartel and even more snuffing out competition. Fans are so brainwashed into supporting they are cast aside as meaningless bovine.

They know that whatever they do will not affect fans behaviour or the revenues. They won't stop until they replace the glass ceiling with a reinforced concrete one.

Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 04/09/2020 at 22:50:44
With all this talk of greed and money, it always brings a smile to my face to see Northern Ireland get another good result. Small population, no-name coach, they've lost a lot of talent to the Republic yet they always turn out 11 good old-fashioned passionate players who do their best in every game.
Si Cooper
17 Posted 04/09/2020 at 23:54:05
Peter (10), I wasn't sure if you required a response or would have seen the unlikeliness of your ‘solution'. Across the board is never going to be voted for anyway but if it was how exactly would that help clubs like Everton?

Suddenly we would have our expenditure scaled down to match the poorest leagues in the world (after all that is the only way it could be fair to all). If you were a player and could earn the same money anywhere in the world, would you opt for the North West of England?

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 06/09/2020 at 07:04:19
I've always thought that part of the initial thinking behind the Financial Fair Play rules was to avoid clubs going into administration, liquidation or bankruptcy in the middle of a season and creating all sorts of problems – not only with fixtures but broadcasting and TV deals which should have brought enough money into the game.

However, it seems to have had an opposite effect as clubs speculate, hoping that success will raise revenue to continue the spiral which in itself appeals to players who wish to play at the highest levels, with the high incomes that come with it. It does seem to have created an industry within itself with Directors of Football, Agents etc.

How do you end the cycle? I'm not sure it is possible without sending some clubs into the administration that you are trying to avoid.

Patrick McFarlane
19 Posted 07/09/2020 at 09:04:23
I'm unsure how the players union will respond to this Premier League edict, but I suppose it's the only way for the games to be played out in time for the start of Euro 2021.

I also wasn't aware that FIFA/UEFA had imposed a rule that, if a team competing in the recent European competitions couldn't find 13 fit players, they would forfeit the tie 0-3.

Carry on Playing

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