Wenger: FFP is gone

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Arsene says that Financial Fair Play (FFP) is now ‘gone’, and has laid the blame at the feet of clubs who never had any intention of adhering to the rules.

While the implementation of it was abysmal, conceptually it’s a good idea: that clubs should survive as actual businesses, using the money they generate themselves, or earn through lucrative television deals/sponsorships and, of course, prize money.

However, with so many clubs in Europe built on a model where the owner-investment is tantamount to their success and power in the transfer market, it was always going to be a difficult thing to enforce. And when you have a body as insipid as UEFA trying to do that, it was only going to go one way.

“It has gone,” said the Arsenal manager. “I have seen the signs coming from Uefa for a while now. I thought for a while FFP would happen but now it is not possible.

|The clubs threatened to go to civil court – not only through sports courts. That brought a lot of insecurity in the decision making of Uefa so they started to soften the rules a little bit.

“The last decision in July was about Paris St-Germain and then Manchester City and that opened completely the door.”

As for what it means for Arsenal, he said, “Exactly the same. We continue to run our business with the resources we create. We can always recreate the resources and they can put a hundred or two hundred on top. It is always like that.

“Maybe it will change here one day. It is not a shortage of money. At the moment it is a handicap to us because we have the resources, just shortage of players.”

The question is, if this is the way it’s going to go, what do Arsenal do? Do we simply accept a position as a second-level club, or keep up with the Jonses using funds from our two billionaire owners? If we do that, what happens if their funding dries up?

Minefield stuff really, but it’s a real shame that a system that at least tried to address some of the financial issues in the game has failed so quickly and so completely.

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Barry wickings
Barry wickings

I always thought FFP was for Flawed Financial Program in an ideal world yes but the d’etre mental effect in the long run clubs like pubs will cease being of existence

Rectum_Spectrum
Rectum_Spectrum

Exactly. Capitalism is the embodiment of human greed, they can’t control it in the real world, what made them think they were ever going to control it in football? Especially considering football is the playground of the billionaires.

Brian
Brian

Implement a salary cap, adding some much needed parity.

Goonersmurf
Goonersmurf

Salary cap is anti competitive and prohibits an individual’s right to bargain.just as business seeks to procure talent at Mimimum cost it is inherently unfair to place a cap on the potential earnings of players seen as employees.

I understand this my unpopular, but the sentiment is unfair considering people daily change jobs mostly for earnings, seeks bargain when purchasing, why then wish to subject football players to limited choices?

Oor Wullie
Oor Wullie

“subject football players to limited choices”

So say the cap was £100,000 a week what choice is being limited? A player can then go to the club they want to go to. I’m not going to shed a tear for someone on that much money!

John C
John C

Why don’t we put a limit on what you do to say £5 a week, then you can go and choose which ever employer you want to work for?

SizC
SizC

You moron!!!

BIG difference between us earning your £5/week and footballers on £100,000 – £200,000 per WEEK.

Yes, they have a short career but after 52 weeks in their shoes, you could live off £100,000 per year for 52 years. And the average career is 5-10 years. (And I’m not taking into account sponsorship deals or bonuses.)

Oor Wullie
Oor Wullie

Hahahahaha

John C
John C

There’s no difference, who are you to tell someone what a lot of money is?

SizC
SizC

Are you Bill Gate’s love child???

£5.2m – £10.4m per year is a lot of money……for anybody, with exception to the 1% of society.

And “who am I” …..well that depends on your date of birth. ?

John C
John C

Maybe £5 a week is a lot of money for some people, it’s not for me or you to say what is or isn’t, that’s the point.

It’s not for you or me to make up some arbitrary figure as to what constitutes a reasonable amount to earn.

Oor Wullie
Oor Wullie

I refer you back to my previous comment.

Goonersmurf
Goonersmurf

If you have ask that then you have missed my point. The fact that you place a number on a choice tells me that you have chosen to misunderstand me. If you place a cap players will move somewhere else. It’s simple economics. Denying it won’t change reality

Oor Wullie
Oor Wullie

I agree. If FFP was carried out properly all it would do would keep the top teams at the top and smaller teams would never be able to do any more than Europa League. But a salary cap would mean teams like Stoke could make the Champions League with the right investment and that would only piss off the bods at UEFA who want the most widely renowned teams in there as part of their product. A salary cap would be awesome and could drive down season ticket prices and also subscription prices. Therefore it will never happen.

assistantref
assistantref

The problem with a salary cap is it would have to be enforced by FIFA. If it isn’t universal it wouldn’t work. You can’t have a salary cap in just one country or even just one region.

John C
John C

“The question is, if this is the way it’s going to go, what do Arsenal do? Do we simply accept a position as a second-level club, or keep up with the Jonses using funds from our two billionaire owners? If we do that, what happens if their funding dries up?”

This comment is a load of bollocks, Arsenal have £200m in the bank, we’re amongst the most profitable and solvent clubs in the World.

The problem, as the manager has said, is not that we don’t have money we have lots of it, but apparently (again according to the manager) there has been no player transferred this summer that could improve our team! Which is another complete load of bollocks.

Santi Claws
Santi Claws

Fuck chelsea. What a bunch of classless money grubbing cunts

assistantref
assistantref

As much as I want to blame Chelsea for this…it’s more PSG and Man City. Chelsea have more or less played within the FFP rules for the brief time they were implemented.

ManeEth
ManeEth

Even if UEFA were determined to make the FFP happen, the rich clubs would have found ways to circumvent the rules

SizC
SizC

I doubt it. I felt like Man City were struggling to balance their books.

I think FFP was the reason they signed Bony.

They did find a temporary loophole which was their Etihad sponsorship deal but I felt like that cash had dried up.

If memory serves me right, I think in the last two windows Man city and PSG were bystanders as barca and Real dominated the transfer eindow

Paul my Dickov
Paul my Dickov

There was always too much money for FFP to work. Great idea. No chance.

Ferngunner
Ferngunner

Football has gone mad absolutely bonkers. De Bruyne for £54million? and wages of £200k a week. What the fuck has he done? Fucking fuck!

John C
John C

He’s done nothing, but player recruitment cost only go up in line with the television and sponsorship rates.

Arsenal, and more specifically Arsene Wenger has to come to terms that if television rights income goes up by 60-70% that the cost of players will go up at the same rate, he’s been around long enough to know thats what happens.

There’s no point fighting it as thats a losing battle, if you’re uncomfortable with the cost your only option is to find a level of football at which the cost suits you.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

£200k, I thought they were saying £300k per week. And if the papers are correct, Pogba will get the same in the unlikely event he comes to the PL instead of La Liga.

Lloyd Townsend
Lloyd Townsend

He did lead Europe for assists last year, I believe – plus he’s still young, athletic and has the hunger to succeed. For City, it’s a wonderful signing IMO.

AnthonyG
AnthonyG

No kidding. I can’t quite believe the mythic aura surrounding this guy now.

Me So Hornsey
Me So Hornsey

So basically 10 years of pain only for UEFA to fuck us over.

Dan
Dan

We should have known this was coming, it was obvious FFP was flawed and only someone naive or stupid would believe it would ride to our rescue, as such I blame the previous board for selling out to the wrong man (Kroenke), either get Usmanov on the board or sell up to someone with more ambition, I will not accept being a 2nd tier club, what is the point of watching if you’re only ever playing for 3rd (at best)?, it’s been going that way for too long now and I can feel a lot of the fan base feel the same, bored basically.

If you can’t beat them, join them, either that or try to form a breakaway league of teams that do not use ‘doping’, now that would put the cat amongst the pigeons!.

Ox in the box
Ox in the box

And this is the exact mindset that sums up everything that is wrong about the perception of football that a lot of ‘fans’ have. Not worth watching football if there is no probability of winning everything? Why don’t you fuck off to support Man City then?

Dan
Dan

And this is exactly the mindset of the brainwashed Wenger can do no wrong, Arsenal are god’s own club type.

If you have no chance of winning what is the point of starting a race?, especially if you have to spend £100 to watch the bloody race!!.

As usual though the predictable ‘f*** off and support city/chelsea’ reply, if you want to be a mug and spend your money lining Kroenke’s pockets while watching us finish 4th, more fool you I say.. some of us have had enough.

Dobbi
Dobbi

oh you’ve had enough? shame

Mark
Mark

It’s a sad state of affairs. I hate to admit but I’m falling out of love with football more and more every year. Money had ruined the working man’s game.

Even though Arsenal are among the last clubs that try to do things right, the cost of going to a match is ridiculous.

I doubt anything will change any time soon. But for the sake of the game it must.

Dodgem
Dodgem

Amen Mark, for the cost of doing things right AW gets lambasted for no trophys in years despite brilliant, (if not winning) football by the likes of Mourinio, the press,
Vtop 4 trophy winners (when AW’s remit was 3 out of 5 years in top 4)”, and developing youth, for which he gets chanted a pedo by Man U supporters and a specialist in failure by Chealsea and its all lapped up by the 24 hour bullshit phones and apps and pundits and back pages.
I just like the football, shame I cant see it live anymore, dont care about heat maps and Gary fucking Nevilles opinion

Dodgem
Dodgem

That reads as the drunken rant that it actually is.

Amos
Amos

The flaw in any unsustainable policy is just that – it can’t be sustained. Sooner or later those pumping money into club’s without reward other than silverware will get tired of doing so. Eventually the trophies become devalued and along with it interest in the sport. That may not be for a while yet but without a more level playing field in time it will happen.

Craig
Craig

It’s great that we have run the club in the right way and have got into a position to compete with the bank rolled clubs financially to degree, yet we aren’t spending the money to compete with them on the pitch.

We all love to watch the Arsenal and will pay a lot of money to do so but if that money is being stuck in a bank account doing nothing when it could be used to see our club challenge for the title that’s inevitably going to make a lot of fans unhappy.

I don’t like all this bemoaning from Wenger that there’s no players available when other clubs are making signings around us. It’s not always about availability, sometimes you just need to make an offer clubs and players cannot refuse. I know signing players isn’t as easy as we all assume but surely it can’t be as difficult as Wenger makes it out to be.

Will
Will

When you have oil sheik billionaires and ex KGB agents (allegedly) running clubs and spending billions on them, do you think:

1) They would ever listen to rules?
2) Not pay back handers to get round any difficulties?

These guys are used to getting their own way and never hearing the word NO.

Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding
Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

The upside of oil sheik billionaires and alleged former KGB agents pumping billions into sport is that at least is isn’t funding terrorism.

Martin Finley
Martin Finley

The downside of ffp though is that the smaller clubs would for allways remain small, while the CL regulars would for allways remain at the top. If Chelsea and city did not get billionaire owners then premier leafue would be a 2 club league like La Liga.

The whole reason our league is as competitive as it is is down to the money being injected into other clubs.

Manchester United also want ffp because they would reign supreme under those rules. Barca and Madrid dont want to share the TV money with the other clubs cause it is not in their interest to get a more competitive league.

But I dont know

inside tip
inside tip

Chelsea owes nearly 1 billion to Roman (which he will not collect), Man Utd owes nearly 350 million, Arsenal around 240 million. The difference is that we have a new stadium, and are well into repaying that debt, while the rest of the clubs are piling up those numbers without ever having to settle those debts, and without new infrastructure… That is the real tragedy, players are being bought for astronomical sums but that is all lent money, it’s not generated in a healthy fashion. I wonder if Arsenal will get a pat on the back and a “good job” for its financial policy, while the other clubs are sliding by with enormous debts and fresh players who can really make a difference. What is the benefit of that pat on the back to Arsenal? To me, there is none…

La Défense
La Défense

This! Exactly!

The self-righteous, preachy attitude of some Arsenal fans regarding our so-called “morally superior” position never fails to irritate me. Wake up! Nobody gives a fuck. Spend money, win trophies; don’t spend, don’t win trophies. Let’s please leave it at that, and spare everyone the silly sanctimonious, “holier than thou”, attitude.

Miranda
Miranda

Yes!

Trouble is, though, you can’t really blame Arsenal fans for the vomit-making, deluded moral superiority thing that they’ve been preaching for years because what else was there to clutch at? This ‘we are doing things the right way and we’ll be rewarded in heaven when the immoral Chelsea and City are burning in hell’ has been drip-fed to us daily by the club since Kroenke took over. For obvious reasons.

I don’t believe for a moment that Gazidis and Wenger were ever fool enough to actually think that FFP would have serious bite. But once we’d shot ourselves in both feet by opting for Kroenke and his morally superior ‘self-sustaining model’ (euphemism for taking money out but not putting it in) they had to pretend that they did. Wenger and Gazidis have their highly paid jobs to consider; Kroenke is their employer. Would you, in their shoes, denounce your boss as a profiteering parasite and express disgust that the old board sold their shares to him rather than a rich Uzbek or sheik? Probably not.

Too late now, what’s done is done. The majority of Arsenal fans (with this site leading the cheering) actually supported Kroenke – nice clean all-American old-style money apparently being morally preferable to the new-style Uzbek variety – this, despite the evidence of what had just happened to United at the hands of Kroenke’s heroes the Glazers: 700m plus interest removed from the coffers.

Imaginary moral purity is what we embraced so we’re going to have to live with it. Could be worse. I mean, we’re not poor and pure like the majority of clubs in the world. Try being a fan of Southampton and Swansea, Atletico and Athletic Bilbao – that’s what seriously doing-things-the-right-way looks like. The difference between them and us is they’re not constantly whining and ramming their moral superiority down other fans’ throats. We should follow their moral example and stop making excuses and blaming everyone from Uefa to Abramovic to the refs for our failings.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

It’s not ‘Gone’ but it is failing at the top level. The main reason it’s failing at the top is the enormous income derived from TV now, together with UEFA being rather wimpy about enforcing it.
The vast increase of TV money couldn’t have been foreseen but UEFA being a limp wristed eunuch was always a strong possibility.
There is the possibility that it can be rescued before it fails completely if UEFA start popping testosterone steroids. Will it happen?????

On a national level (championship and below) it does still have a place as it potentially will stop some clubs going bust (not all!) whilst still allowing for them to invest long term where a much smaller amount of investment can (usually) make a big difference up as far as the play-off places in the Championship, but the PL numbers are now so amazing that it’s a real big jump from the championship business-wise.

SharinganIxU
SharinganIxU

I advise everyone who appreciated their sanity to stay away from this article on the Facebook page. The amount of stupid in the comments is bound to drive you mental.

Analysts
Analysts

And Arsenal sell Afobe for only £2million who will eventually come to a top premier league side and score many goals and keep sanogoal instead but are now in need of a goalscorer.
Forget FFP this kind of thing happens all the time and it is Arsenal wasting large amounts of money on useless players whilst letting their better players go cheaply.
Sack Kroenke and bring back Dein

Me So Hornsey
Me So Hornsey

Sack Kroenke? Maybe you need to analyse that statement.

jiminycrickets
jiminycrickets

okay sack wenger

Analysts
Analysts

Yes sack Kroenke (and his son), the fans have the power to get rid of anyone by not going to games, not buying merchandise, not going on an Emirates Tour. All this will amount to £loss and that is what Kroenke / KSE is ONLY interested in as the cash from Arsenal is a feeder to his US sports clubs and other projects like his outdoor channel.

Will
Will

How much does he take out of the club and how much of that goes to his US teams?

Please can you provide the balance sheets?

Dan
Dan

This is what I am now doing, not going to games unless either he goes or we spend enough money to genuinely compete for the title, which at present we are not. I just worry there are too many fans who will just blidly go along though and keep Kroenke at Arsenal, if it stays this way for many more years I think I’ll have to stop taking an interest in football, as it is already boring and frustrating in equal measure.

Rod
Rod

It was protectionism at its worse. They never had any interest in making clubs live by their means it was all about stopping new clubs coming along and eating their lunch. Glad its dead

Will
Will

Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool. All challenge at the top end of the table without relying on handouts.
Man Utd a different beast.
Chelsea and Man City, taking huge handouts and winning/buying trophies.

I would say that smaller team would prosper if FFP was fully implemented as it would stop the super rich buying entire squads for instant gratification.

Bamford10
Bamford10

Wenger should spend less time thinking about FFP & more time thinking about how to make Arsenal something other than also-rans, which we’ve been for ten years now.

Other clubs, e.g., Atletico and Dortmund, have beaten the biggest clubs/spenders without outspending them. This requires the right manager and approach, though, and Wenger has shown over the past ten years that he is not that manager.

Not to mention that Arsenal have more than £140m in cash reserves and Wenger has had three years to improve us at CF and CDM.

Wenger out.

Robstar
Robstar

The reason we have four points from a possible nine is not FFP but poor decisions made by players and manger on game day. I am not saying we can win the league or champions league but I do feel we hold ourselves back by being too predictable in build up play, making subs at the same time every match and dithering in the transfer market for players we can afford.
FFP will hinder us but sometimes I feel it is used as an excuse.

assistantref
assistantref

7 out of 12, not 4 out of 9.

ros
ros

the only people that are getting rich in all this are the players and agents money talks fans pay and demand more trophies there’s no fun banter unconditional love for your club in the PL when I was a kid it was beat spuds win a cup great times

BigL
BigL

FFP is illrelevant and always has been. Other clubs use their financial advantage to make top players available. Arsenal on the other hand either wait for them to become available or submit ridiculous bids.

Despite our cash reserves we still behave like amateurs in the transfer market.

peterparker78
peterparker78

last year it was world cup, this year lack of player, previous years lack of funds to compete with other elite clubs. List goes on and on
one way to compete was to generate commercial revenues however while like of ManU and LFC have countless secondary sponsors, our commercial income is well below. Unless AFC is bought by a billionaire owner, no sustainable cash injection is going to happen anytime soon with this current set up and the whole promise of jam tomorrow is gone out of the window. Better get used to it

Springbank 1962
Springbank 1962

And Platini wants to be in charge of FIFA?

If he can’t fight for a principle now then what would be the point?

Al Gilmore
Al Gilmore

In capitalism throughout history there are many instances of booms and busts. Football has yet to really experience this and that is why so many clubs spend money on the basis that the money will always be there.

But will it? I count myself as a fairly average bloke. Average job/salary. I have Sky but not BT and as I don’t have BT broadband I would have to pay to watch it. But I have chosen not to. Is it outlandish to suggest I am not the only one to do so?

Being from N.Ireland I don’t get to many matches – it used to be 2/3 a season but I’ve been lucky to get once a season due to flights not being as cheap and the overall cost of going to the game. And when I DO go to a game I don’t buy anything in the stadium or shop – cos it’s overpriced. Am I alone in this? I think not.

So it its not unreasonable to think that the bubble could burst. People could stop paying subscriptions or changing broadband suppliers for the sake of football. Or at the end of BTs massive outlay to secure football rights they could find they have overpaid and made a loss that they won’t repeat.

And we have seen even with Abramovic at CFC who is the pioneer really of sugar daddy owners, that FFP or no,after over 10 yrs of losing money on CFC he is now reigning in the spending and expecting profit to be made every year. Jose has openly admired he has to sell one of he wants to buy one. This is new to CFC under RA. And it will eventually be the same at Citeh etc. Because in the end these men are businessmen who are not used to losing money – it goes against the grain for them.

So they are happy to spend money to get to he top but they expect that once they are established there they expect the hung to start paying for itself.

In the end will Citeh wasting all that money on De Bruyne really make them better than us?

Hunter
Hunter

The NFL have got it spot on with their salary cap and other measures. The problem is, the clubs are franchises that work purely under the NFL’s license. The likes of UEFA can’t call the shots in that way. Plus, NFL teams are all US based, you couldn’t have one across Europe because of different tax levels etc.

For me, the only way you could introduce any parity is to make clubs name a squad, say 23 players and that’s your lot for the season. The only other players you can bring in are from your youth/under 21s, for injuries or Mickey mouse cups etc.

That way you get a fairer distribution of players and the Arabs can waste as much as they want on their squad.

Welsh Gooner in Malaysia

It is not surprising for FFP to fail. Pisspoor enforcement of anything ends up screwed. This article has only ensured I now watch Baseketball again, which of course, foresaw the whole ordeal we are due to face in time.

Man Manny
Man Manny

Strenghten our scouting network – get more Kolo Toures, Anelkas, Henrys etc. We continue to make our stars. The difference now is that with our solid financial base, we can keep them in the long term.

Alexstratz
Alexstratz

Without any control I’m afraid this sport will only be a giant casino for billionaires.

Ben
Ben

A complete failure of the officiators to get it to work.

Back handers.

SDB
SDB

wenger must be so relieved. with ffp the focus would’ve been on his management skills. now he’s back to blaming an unfair financial playing field for not being able to challenge for titles. phew.

Chilean Gooner

I’m not into economic conspiracies and shit, but someday this heavenly-like cash-filled bubble will crack and all these teams that work on virtual money, speculation, will fall to the ground and end up bankrupt and relegated to amateur crap like Pompey (come on Pompey <3) and we will stay upright saying thank you (maybe).

Anyway, we've proved we can cope with this excesive money spending bastards and still battle it through, the problem, like a lad said, is in the pitch, stupid errors costing us 2 and 3 points week in and week out. Let's focus on that first, the important part.

Dodgem
Dodgem

Has FFP ever existed in any context in the history of human kind?
It was never ever going to work from the start! But the ridiculous money and power in football will probably collapse at some point, I would say more than probably

San Elan
San Elan

It was so naive for Wenger and Gazidis, with their knowledge of football and economics to think it would ever work or even implemented.