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The Business Of Football: Why Platini Is Clueless

The Business Of Football: Why Platini Is Clueless

The negativity surrounding Manchester City in the media has been lead by outspoken and controversial football figure Michel Platini, who has questioned the financial implications of Manchester City`s spending over the last year with increased vitriol.

The words 'ruining football` have resounded around Eastlands like a flock of parrots in a cave, a never-ending chorus of bitterness for a football club showing the slightest signs of ambition.

It is not to say that Manchester City have not helped their cause with the 'Manchester City All-Stars` dream-team being bandied about after the ADUG takeover, led by the quickly disposed Al-Fahim- who to be comparable to a spoilt child in a sweet shop is being extremely generous.

However, the monopoly of the 'big 4` must be broken somehow and although excessive spending is thoroughly condemned, is their any other way?

Why Platini`s model simply doesn`t work.

Platini thinks there is another way, famously stating: 'City can have a young player from Manchester who comes to their training centre and becomes Kaká. They don't have to buy someone for €150 million because they have their academy.`

It is that easy, what fools we have all been- local Manchester lad goes in, Kaká comes out…

Someone seems to be forgetting that we already have a successful youth set-up and while it has seen the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland and Micah Richards graduate- No-one can claim that we have created a Kaká or that every player in the academy will be a huge success.

Moreover, if we really want to dismantle Platini`s plans, what happened with our biggest prospect Shaun Wright-Phillips? That`s right, he was snapped up by one of the 'big 4`. How can this possibly be a sustainable business model when successful clubs buy all the best players from the lesser clubs who in turn, have to sell because they need the money?

Business models in football.

To realise the extent of Platini`s failure to grasp the realities of football, here is an example of the two main business models in football; one based on earning money through success, and the other based on earning money through transfer fees.

Manchester United is the epitome of the first business model, earning their crust through their success on the pitch. Success builds a huge fan base and revenue through ticket sales dwarf lesser clubs (no doubt made easier by the ability to own a huge stadium).

Other sources of income flow in through television revenue, huge sponsorship deals and selling millions of shirts to South-East Asia and all over the world.

To maintain their success, they have to purchase players from less successful clubs to keep them at the top.

A club like Wigan for example fits into the second business model. They have little success so they rely on making money by purchasing or nurturing young talent such as Wilson Palacios and Antonio Valencia, and then selling them on for a good profit to a bigger club like United.

By doing this, the club hopes to raise enough money to purchase a number of other hot-prospects in the hope that they will propel them up the league, before selling those players on to fund a new batch of hot-prospects to propel them even further.

Ultimately the club is trying to achieve success, and by doing so, transitioning to the first business model.

While this business model works on some levels, it is tantamount to treading water as the clubs using the first business model swim further and further away.

It should also be noted that Platini has also failed to realise that the smaller clubs like Wigan are in fact doing exactly what United are doing, but to teams in foreign and lesser leagues.

Where does City fit into all of this?

With the money of a successful club and the hot-prospects of a lesser club, City should be able to keep hold of these players rather than selling them. This however, is not enough to transition into a successful club.

In order to be successful, we need to do what successful clubs do- we need to buy good players from other teams, because sadly, our academy simply will not produce the team full of Shaun Wright-Phillips`, Stephen Ireland`s or as Platini thinks - Kaká`s that we need.

We are already years behind the successful monopoly of the 'big 4` and cannot offer players the same opportunities at this time, therefore, we have to offer something else- and what we have to offer is: money.

While the media and Platini may criticize us for spending big money, Manchester City has the very real ambition of being successful and if we want to transition from a selling club into a successful club, we have to be a buying club.

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday July 5 2009
Time: 4:50PM


I'm still waiting on Platter & Blatter coming up with a viable alternative to buying success. Until they do, they should STFU
05/07/2009 17:13:00
Good article and I am obviously going to refer everyone to my Platini article of a couple of days ago:
05/07/2009 17:43:00
Good article and totally agree, btw not seen Platini slating Real Madrids 'vision' of a Europe Super League, now that would ruin football
05/07/2009 17:45:00
perhaps Platini should ask himself where Real Madrid's sudden cash pot has come from!
05/07/2009 18:55:00
There's no doubt that City have been unfairly singled-out, and you're correct that the only way to break the 'big four' is by spending money. That being said, the money of some clubs (not yours, yet) is ruining the sport and has to be addressed. We're getting dangerously close to a time when the domestic leagues don't matter - just a few big clubs from each of those leagues. If a super league ever happens, I'll stop watching.
05/07/2009 19:08:00
100 per cent agree - even if I don't like Man City...but, we have been through very similar circumstances! Who saw Platini's reaction when Iniesta scored in the 93rd minute?!
05/07/2009 19:39:00
planktini hate the english and would love nothing more than us to fail all the time,i felt he was under preasure last week when he said on the lines of " its outragious how much people are being paid2 ****in frog
Mike Hunt
05/07/2009 20:37:00
The thing with us too which I think is important is that we're not buying these players with debt either like Real Madrid. It's just a little bit of the owner's daily interest on his current account.
05/07/2009 22:38:00
Platini is a halfwit, good article.
06/07/2009 03:35:00
Only successful clubs can benefit from Platini's plans. teams can only spend what they earn... Top 4 win again and lesser clubs will have to sell even more of their best players to earn money! That man needs to be reined in and taught how football clubs run.
06/07/2009 10:02:00
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