Wenger calls on UEFA to play hard over FFP

Wenger calls on UEFA to play hard over FFP

Arsene Wenger has called on UEFA to impose tough sanctions on clubs in breach of their new Financial Fair Play regulations.

First mooted in 2009, the aim of FFP (on paper) is to ensure that all European clubs only spend what they earn while ensuring that they also pay any debts and taxes on time.

Last week it was revealed that approximately 20 clubs, including Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain, had not met break-even terms, where losses are limited to £37m (45m euros) over the previous two years. City announced combined losses of almost £149m during that period.

While it was assumed that bans would be handed out to clubs in the wrong, it now appears that after a week of haggling UEFA are likely to take a more lenient stance with fines and some kind of squad cap being imposed.

Speaking about the situation at his pre-West Bromwich Albion press conference Arsene Wenger said he expected UEFA to come down hard. 

“There are rules to apply for the financial fair play. If you don’t respect them, you have to apply the rules. One of the rules is that normally you should be banned for the excess of the financial amount that is not justified, that is if you are £100million overboard, you should be punished for £100million of your wages bill in the Champions League.

“I want to see that respected, if that is not respected, then the financial fair play will have problems to be respected in the future because everyone will just not consider it at all. If it is not respected, of course we will feel let down.”

Not overly optimistic that bans will be imposed, Wenger concluded by suggesting that television money may well have an influence.

“I have thought about that problem and the media might play a part in that, because when UEFA sells the rights of the Champions League to a French TV station, it is very difficult to explain to them once they have paid the money that the best club in their country will not play in the competition, so that might be one of the reasons behind that.”

Ever since  David Dein remarked in 2003 that, “Roman Abramovich has parked his Russian tanks on our lawn and is firing £50 notes at us,” Arsenal have had to fight on both the domestic and European fronts against sides with bottomless pits of cash. We’ve stubbornly stuck to our guns with regards the way we run the club in the hope that FFP eventually levels the playing field. That day is supposed to be upon us.

How UEFA react has huge ramifications for the future of football so it’ll be very interesting to see what they do. Let’s hope they don’t f*ck it up as always.

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74 COMMENTS

  1. I think the line should be “either ban clubs that flout the rules or other clubs will ignore it altogether and not even fill in the paperwork”

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    • I don’t possibly see how Arsene could of ever thought that UFEA of FIFA were going to stick to their guns with this one.

      They’re the most corrupt governing bodies in sport, take the Barca case that’s just happened.
      They’re banned for making any transfers ..’Oh wait.. but they aren’t, as its suspended for two years whilst they appeal it..’ .. just like I’m sure when they get to the outcome of the appeal they will either get off any punishment all together, or they will just find another excuse to write it off totally… or just give them some hilariously cheap fine.

      Not to mention the other Spanish giants Real Madrid literally just get bailed out by the Spanish government when ever they need a new player.

      Absolute joke.

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      • Not many footballing stories make me this angry…. even though I and everybody else knew full well that FFP would be completely flouted by Europe’s elite.

        Why do UEFA even pretend they’re going to try and make a difference?!

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  2. The fact teams like Man City and PSG had to pay a fine (where money isn’t an objective) for breaching FFP, tells you all you need to know about UEFA and Fifa!!

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    • 200% agree. The FIFA is so much corrupted. I think even banning those teams from Champions League is also not very effective. They can just form another cup or league to play for.

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      • I was with you until that last sentence, because that’s not going to happen, but the actual consequence of a temporary (probably season long) ban on European comp is that they will be stronger domestically with less matches to play and therefore impacting us either way.

        Still don’t understand why there isn’t just a strict wage & transfer cap to adhere to if you want to play in European leagues.

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    • it’s basically legalised bribery. “you’re artificially rich and you can afford to spend more than everyone else, so give us some of that cash, yeah? and we’ll shut up and let you keep at it..”

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  3. These clubs will find ways around any FFP rules that Uefa bring in. Citys £400m deal with Etihad should raise some eyebrows, but UEFA have done nothing. PSGs deal with the Qatar Transport Authority (i think) was even backdated! And yet they still fall foul of these ‘rules.’ Sounds more like guidelines to me than rules.

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    • Man $ity is already working with some of the people who helped set up FFP to find loopholes.

      “Yet, these controversial sale of assets won’t be a problem for City, for their accountants and lawyers are bound to be smarter that what the UEFA can come up with.

      City, already have among their ranks, FFP specialists – Alex Byars and Martyn Hawkins. The two joined the club from the Deloitte sports business, which helped UEFA set up the FFP legislation. The two must have found some loopholes in the system to exploit and I believe increasing revenue through sale of “intellectual property” and image rights of the players are two of those.”

      http://bitterandblue.sbnation.com/2014/2/11/5400686/manchester-city-finance-series-part-1-why-theyll-meet-ffp-guidelines

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  4. Corrupt clubs being governed by a corrupt organisation. Whilst I fully support Wenger’s stance, I’ll be bloody surprised if any meaningful sanctions are imposed. The cunts.

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    • Just like many problems in modern football, it’s going to take action from many more entities other than UEFA rules alone. Sadly, I don’t think were any closer to seeing a change in the status quo because this sort of thing has just become accepted.

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    • Levying fines on these clubs is stupid, of course, but don’t underestimate the effect of squad caps. Man City stand to lose most of their English players; it’s hard to imagine any of Richards, Lescott, Rodwell, Sinclair, or Barry sticking around. So how would they meet the homegrown player requirement when their ability to bring in replacements for these guys and add them to their Champions League squad is limited, at best?

      The longer they remain in breach of the break even rules–which become more stringent over time, mind–the harder it will be for them to field a decent team in the Champions League. Just because they haven’t been banned doesn’t mean the system failed to punish them. I’m not saying it’s been a success, but let’s wait and see what happens.

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      • I hope you’re correct. You’ve got more faith than me in UEFA, I’ll give you that. Thing is, it’s a bit like your bank giving you a 3,700 quid overdraft and going overdrawn to the tune of 14,900 quid despite warnings from them.

        Would you expect a slap on the wrist and the ability to carry on or bailiffs banging on your door?

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        • They’re not dodging debts, though. That’s why Malaga was banned.

          All UEFA is saying is that they can’t continue to overspend earnings to build a Champions League squad. Yeah, it’s a letdown after raising the prospect of kicking them out of the competition, but if they can’t use new signings in Europe, that’s hardly a slap on the wrist.

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  5. I like Arsene but I think expecting FFP to be strictly enforced and for anything to change is another naïve hope/decision by him. It was quite obvious from the beginning that UEFA would not carry it through since the they first started making noises about it. Just look at their transfer ‘ban’ on Barca…how long did that last? Or their punishments for racism? Wenger is a good, honest man and would like to think that other people are but unfortunately they aren’t.

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    • Granted, it would be foolish to expect UEFA to follow through and FFP to actually change anything but at the same time, what was Wenger supposed to do? Call Platini out for being a useless cunt? Take Usmanov’s dirty cash and have a mad one in the transfer market like all the other sugar-daddy clubs? No, the only realistic option he had was to play by the ‘rules’, hope other clubs would respect the ‘rules’, or if ‘rules’ were broken, sanctions were hard. I suspect Arsene knew that the latter two of those were unrealistic.

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    • If anything, Wenger challenging UEFA will only make them more determined to be lax over FFP, seeing as they dislike him so much. But enough of my conspiracies :D

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      • Right, my reaction wasn’t “I wonder if this will make UEFA reconsider punishment?” but “I wonder how long’s Wenger’s next CL touchline ban is going to be?”

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    • He’s just doing his bit. This is the point I expect Kenwright, Ashley and other owners with European aspirations to weigh in and carry the baton.

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  6. Nothing will happen to clubs flouting the rules.
    If every club that wasnt being run to its finacial restrictions was thrown out of Europe there would only be the German clubs Juve and Arsenal left in.

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  7. Who is surprised by this? I always felt like it was going to be “alright shitty and PSG, you have broken our new rules. We will check again in 10 years so please get your things in order until then, otherwise we will have to check on you in another 10 years. In the meantime we want a piece of that bottomless pit of cash of yours, so we’re going to fine you whatever you feel comfortable with paying”.

    These “fines” are nothing but a bribe and a way for FIFA to get some of that lovely sugar-daddy-lovin’

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  8. “Oh you’re spending £100m more that what your earn? Here, have this £1m fine and lets move on.” Fucking bullshit.

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  9. FFP was designed to stunt British sides with Oligarchs. Once the French and Spaniards got in on the act we all knew any hard line from UEFA would be watered down.

    I’m not sure why are hierarchy pinned so much of their hopes of this being enforced. It’s laughable really.

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  10. “it is very difficult to explain to them once they have paid the money that the best club in their country will not play in the competition”

    No it’s not. They’ve cheated, therefore will be punished by the rules and will not participate within the Champions League.

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    • Captain Subtext to the rescue!

      Wenger: “[…] it is very difficult to explain to them […]”,
      Captain Subtext: “…for any individual or organisation that is not totally corrupt, it would be very easy to explain to them…”

      Wenger: “[…] so that might be one of the reasons behind that.”
      Captain Subtext: “[…] this is definitely at least one of many reasons, most of which involve money, behind that. UEFA, FIFA, Platini, Blatter, whoever the fuck else has anything to do with FFP, are all a load of gobshite thundercunts and quite frankly I wish they would just do us a favour and euthanise each other along with John ‘Tinytears’ Terry.”

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  11. Platini is going with the fines after PSG got some money. Fines are a joke. I mean, how the hell are City and PSG supposed to pay a poxy fine?

    There is something soulless about winning with a Sugar Daddy. However, it’s not something we can ignore if Uefa are going to do nothing meaningful when it comes to FFP. At the moment, two of the top 3 positions in England are Sugar Daddy clubs. In France, the top two are the Sugar Daddy clubs. Money talks and once two or three of them start competing every year in the semi-finals and beyond in the Champions League, the best of the best will go to them. The likes of Man United and Bayern Munich will hang around for a while, but money will win in the end. It’s only a matter of time if Platini proves he’s as useful as an ejector seat in a helicopter..

    I would hate us to become another Sugar Daddy club, but if you can’t beat ‘em, call Usmanov.

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  12. I’ve just spent time with my crystal ball. Have a feeling the bans will be delayed for as long as it takes, like the Barça’s transfer ban until people don’t talk about it anymore.

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  13. I don’t know of any other clubs other than Arsenal & German clubs who actually profit. It sounds like this is something that needs to be enforced by each league’s FA rather than UEFA. We’ll only have Bayern to deal with in CL though, so I don’t mind.

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  14. Where does Platini’s son work again? Oh he was recruited as chief executive of Burdda, a Qatari-owned sports kit company. Right.

    So PSG and Man City banned from CL by September (along with an enforced transfer ban on Barcelona).

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  15. Platini will be 60 next year. Call me cynical, but the words ‘fund’ and ‘retirement’ spring to mind.

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  16. It`s interesting to read some of the comments here about corruption. Surely some agency/organization should investigate this. But before this happens though, other top European clubs should take a stance and refuse to play in the same competition as the teams (City & PSG) that break the rules.

    How can they do that? By boycott/ban the Champions league and European league and put pressue on UEFA. Off course, most of the clubs rely on the income these compettions provide, therefore unfortunately we will never see this happen. I just wish the clubs could cooperate in such a matter to see this happen!

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  17. I like many of you readers was totally cynicall when this was announced and the rich clubs would basically put 2 fingers up to Platini, who as not got the guts to follow it though.
    What Wenger said was quite right but being right and abiding by rules are 2 different things
    As we cannot have a defined ban let us take the top 5 players from these teams and ban them from the competion, The banned players would soon make them come into line or would request transfers.

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  18. I know well that this will be downvoted to oblivion but fuck it cause it needs to be said. I’m completely against FFP in it’s current proposed format. But I am in favour of actually fair finance in football. That would mean reducing the scope of traditional giants, whose income dwarves their competition, to dominate football. If the oligarchs hadn’t entered football in this unprecedented era of money in the game, all we’d have now is a smaller handful of teams dominating their leagues and CL every year. The difference in revenue earned between the Barca/Real duopoly and the rest of La Liga is a joke. But that’s fair, is it? It’s that use of the word fair that annoys me the most, we as fans of a traditional giant (kinda) aren’t actually interested in fairness in football, we just want a smaller pond at the top to compete in. Of course there has been damage done to the game since the oligarchs appeared on the scene inflating wages and fees, but perhaps people need to take account of why such massive investments were required to take a team to the top in the first place? Perhaps if the mind-boggling amounts of money that have infiltrated football, particularly since the CL began, had been distributed more evenly in the first place, the oligarchs might never have appeared or at the least would have been restricted in what they could spend/earn. Whatever way you look at it, money has ripped the soul out of football.

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    • I don’t really agree with the whole “FFP keeps big clubs big and small clubs small” point of view. You need only to look at Atletico’s incredible feats in La Liga, the “duopoly” as it were, to see how it can benefit the smaller clubs.

      Atletico is two wins away from winning La Liga and one from adding the Champions League. The team they fielded at Stamford Bridge included zero (!) new signings. In a world where teams had a spending cap–even if that cap is bigger for some clubs than others–it would be much harder for more prestigious teams to poach the best players from their squad, and thus far more likely that they could keep it intact.

      The suggestion that the only means to compete at the highest level should be to appeal to a benefactor with vast amounts of oil money and often a desire to cover up human rights abuses with an avalanche of positive PR (Man City, PSG) is absurd. This is basically the old system. There are very obvious reasons that Man City, PSG, Malaga, and Monaco are the clubs that were bought, and they are the same reasons why nobody with this ambition would ever be interested in buying Norwich. It is not an equal opportunity system, not even close.

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      • As romantic as Athletico’s rise has been, it’s an exception that will prove the rule. After the duopoly, there has always been a battle between a small group of teams striving for ascendancy. When Valencia were competing with Barcelona / Real a decade ago or so it would have been hard to foresee them finishing where they have this season. These teams rise and fall but the big two rarely fall and if they do it’s for a very short time, their comparatively ridiculous revenue streams guarantee that. Athletico have always seemed to be a well-run club, and have, excuse the pun, struck oil in finding a manager like Diego Simeone. But without a sea-change in how money is redistributed, their manager and best players will be poached. Even if oligarchs had never appeared on the scene, the traditional giants would inevitably swoop.

        I get your point about the spending cap, but all that does is essentially reduce the amount of teams capable of buying up elite players. Again I’d question whether introducing FFP is going to the root of the problem or just merely an influenced reaction to a symptom instead. It’s not FFP itself that keeps the big teams big and the small teams small, it’s the ever-growing wealth divide. Look at the difference in prize money between the Europa and Champion’s League. Look at the massive increase in money teams get just for being promoted from the Championship. I appreciate there needs to be some level of financial incentive involved but the massive growing disparities are bad for the game from for those just outside of the elite down to the very grass roots levels.

        So for me I think that conversation is a much more important one than whether or not sugar daddy intervention is “unfair”.

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      • athletico M has huge debit like most team in spain who try to compete with big two
        lot of their player are own % by third party , they arent a model club has anyone try to make them.
        they are nursery club and they havent got not even half of Falcao money last summer

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    • Spot on.. FFP will make it impossible for a Aston Villa for example to ever compete which i think is criminal… FFP was designed to stop the English clubs originally cause they wanted to maintain the traditional clubs safely such as Barc Madrid etc

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  19. Usmanov has said he wont be over spending just not letting the best players leave cause they want a bit more money the broad hit him cause he said he wound cut he called there big payments and put that money in to the team coast off tickets has he feels the fans pay to much and bring back David Dean we need to do something cause i see this team being sold off again we are so near to being back to have a team that can win things and would off if we spent in jan but at the end off the day how sweet would it be to get back to the top on are own don’t see it happening as to many teams can spend what the want with out worries sad how football is now anyway cant wait to see boys left the cup

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    • usmanov say everything you want to hear like “good” politician (and i ll bet you dont trust them) , dein seat on millions £ thanks to his sale to the fat whales,he got his pay day, and you never comeback to your former love rules apply

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  20. UEFA

    The “F” stands for “Flojo” look it up in translate.g00gl3 <–of course the real word.

    Sad. We need justice throughout the land. Who will bring it?

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  21. Moreover clubs like mancity and psg are signing sponsorship deals which are ridiculously high paying with the companies that own them. FFP ? What FFP ?

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  22. Wake the fuck up, Arsene!

    The only people who thought that FFP would make any difference were you and a handfull of nutcases in football. Did you ever think that Platini would go around banning clubs from his competitions, thus reducing their TV rights values? Of course not. And fining Man City and PSG is like trying to knock out Mike Tyson with a feather.

    The annoying thing is that we actually can compete with the petrodollar clubs BUT ONLY IF WE SPEND OUR MONEY EFFICIENTLY! That means that you don’t spend 42 million quid on a player you don’t need, but you do to address weaknesses in the squad. And you don’t hand out 52k a week in wages to shit, lazy players who don’t give a damn.

    Man United, Liverpool, Athletic Madrid, and Borussia Dortmound have all recently showed that money isn’t everything. But it does help to have a good manager.

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  23. UEFA/Fifa is corrupt as fuck and it’s obvious to us all.. They need to understand that what clubs like City, Chelsea, Monaco and PSG is doing is taking the short way to success..

    The topclubs in Europe has spent several several years in building up an organization and fanbase etc, it’s a mockery towards all the modern top clubs that clubs like those are allowed to take the short way to success.. Other clubs has been putted a lot of effort to be where they currently are, that’s why I say it is wrong to let Owners play monopoly in league’s like the arabs in Man City… I mean, shitclubs like this is one of the mainreason why the ticket prices is so high except from the obvious reason of arsenal boards greediness…

    There is inflated prices in modern day football and clubs like Man City, Chelsea, PSG and Monaco are the Engine in it. Also what Real Madrid and Barcelona is allowed to do with buying players with loaned money and money they don’t have is also pretty wrong.. Why even make an FFP rule if breaking the rules doesn’t result in any other punishment than “fines” xD Feels to me like their punishments is more to generate the UEFA more money.. UEFA is corrupt..

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  24. Off topic but; At first glance I thought the pic was Piers Morgan (not Platini) who claims to be a Gooner but surely is a closet Che*ski fan thru and thru.

    As for FFP, I suspect that it will extend to fines at its utmost and that those very fines will be trousered by those at the top of one of the most corrupt institutions in the world. As a previous poster said, pension and fund comes to mind.

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  25. I don’t understand the point of a fine on a club that is spending above its means. Surely that just defeats the object?

    Oh, and I love the way FatGooner manages to turn this into a, very thinly vailed, ‘Wenger’s shit and we need rid’ post.
    I don’t always agree with him (and I’m not doing so here either), but these comment sections would be a bit dull without him. Kinda like if spurs got relegated. You would kind of miss them ;)

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  26. I never even read what Fatgooner says anymore before I red arrow him. It’s more or less a reflex action at this point

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  27. I’d also just like to say that FFP rules should extend to players’ wages as well. Right now it is notable that Man U have decided to try and have their targets force transfers with the prospect of ridiculous wages (£250k a week for Kroos was the last I heard). They already have two strikers being paid about 5 times what they should be and no doubt hefty wages were part of Mata’s transfer as well. With any sanctions on transfers this will just become a much bigger issue and seriously needs to be dealt with.

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  28. I do 4./5,s. Of absolute fuck all
    Fuck platini and his buddies they were always going to be as USEFULL as a chocolate tea pot

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  29. Im dissapointed no one Else have stepped up and got behind Wenger. Plenty of Clubs out there who play fair, and now is the time to speak up and put the pressure on UEFA to enforce these rules properly. Surely with the majority of Clubs making due with they’re own generated income, one would expect if they all united in a common front against UEFA and put the pressure on them to properly punish clubs whom does not play by the rules, then UEFA might be more inclined to listen.

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  30. You mean UEFA might not be too tough on them, the UEFA that’s run by Platini, the guy who voted for the Qatar World Cup and who’s son also works for the Qataris, you mean he won’t get tough on them?

    Why ever not?……. :/

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  31. So basically UEFA have introduced FFP just so that they can generate more money from the tycoon clubs via the use of fines? And these fines would therefor increase a clubs losses over this period & make them even more in breach of the FFP regulations.

    Wow. Well done fifa and UEFA.

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  32. There’s too much money involved.

    Unlikely for FIFA or UEFA to do anything but issue slaps on the wrist.

    Best one can hope for is some sort of self restriction as Chelsea has done.

    Maybe not a ban from competitions (because that represents a big loss on revenue) but perhaps clubs like City should see a restriction on player spending in subsequent season if they are not in control.

    This is possible.

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