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Platini's Noose Tightens On The Premier League

Platini's Noose Tightens On The Premier League

Michel Platini can't be doing with English football and The Premier League's worldwide attraction of being the most exciting league in Europe...

You just wish he'd say that once and for all instead of all the veiled diplomatic soundbites he keeps on dishing out.

Today, the UEFA President has delivered statements bordering on the victorious that will have many top English club bosses shifting nervously in their boardroom's.

Many of those English clubs, with desperation dependent upon their levels of debt, are searching for new owners and at least a couple more takeovers should go through by the end of the year.

Liverpool and Manchester united, who once ruled the transfer market unchallenged are swamped in debt, engulfed in loans and interest that defy gravity. Yet both continue to operate at the highest footballing levels and when other wealthy clubs with rich owners are thrown into the mix, it's clear that there is something of a ticking financial timebomb facing The Premier League, who for their part have been content to sit back and let it all happen whilst holding hands with The Murdoch family for years, er, save for this week's 25 Man squad conundrum of course.

Next season will see a new 'Break-Even Rule' imposed whereby club owners will be allowed to put €15 million euros per year into their clubs until 2015. Thereafter, €10 million euros per year until 2018 when the rule will be reviewed with a UEFA intention to further lower the limit.

Most importantly, that money cannot be declared as a loan, it must be a capital injection or donation.

So where that will leave The Reds and the rags should they continue to be 'bought in the USA' is going to be fascinating to see.

Then there's the riches of Chelski and Middle Eastlands. The likes of Roman Abramovich or His Highness Sheikh Mansour could have the option of airlifting in a decade's worth of loot in an effort to sidestep the new restrictions in advance.

One wonders if that might lead to an upsurge in takeovers this season as club's seek wealthier backers to boost their coffers before the golden drawbridge is pulled up.

But getting back to my earlier point. You'll never see Michel Platini dissing the Spanish or Italian giants. He will always have digs at the English clubs and if anything the whole break-even rule is strategised directly at The Premier League.

It's alledged that many big continental clubs have lobbied UEFA repeatedly to see the power of the English clubs reduced.

I won't deny that a lot needs fixing in England but how can we be sure that Platini will not favour the established giant clubs of the game as he has done in the past with the kind of protectionism that maintained a set order in European football whereby the smaller clubs haven't got a hope in hell of ever winning anything. Unless they come into money.

Will interest payments be definitely taken into account? UEFA say so, but to what extent?

This is of course a massive subject for debate and will only intensify in the coming months as the interest and debts mount. I'll let the great man pick up the story...

'For years and years we were in total anarchy but the clubs asked for the rules because they knew they could not continue.
We can see already that the clubs are spending less as they look to balance their books.'

The likes of Alex Ferguson might beg to differ as he tries to bravely pretend through misplaced pride that there's nobody out there worth buying, but that's another story. Platini continues...

'This is because the first time the break-even rule will kick in is in the coming year, the 2011/2012 season...this means that the strategy to say 'I can now go and spend hundreds of millions' doesn't work because we will see it in two years at the latest. Transfers have not been as crazy as in the last few years, they are pulling up their socks and the clubs are making special efforts to comply with the rules.'

Meanwhile, back at erstwhile liddle ciddy, where a legion of 'Invasion of The Body Snatchers' style shrieking fingers continue to be pointed towards, Football Administrator Brian Marwood had this to say:

''s something that every club has got to be aware of but we are fairly comfortable in terms of where we are at and moving forward, and that element is something that not just Manchester City will face, but everybody.'

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

Writer:Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday August 30 2010
Time: 6:32PM

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An interesting point is that debt will be counted against a club, meaning that the rags will be responsible for their bottom line. All the interest they are paying will count as a negative, so they will need to balance their own books counting the debt as an expenditure. It will be interesting to see how Platini will disallow City based on these rules, but bend them in order to allow Liverpool back in the Champions League and keep United, Arsenal, and Chelsea in it. Mark my words, the "Financial Fair Play" rules will not be fair for all those involved.
30/08/2010 18:45:00
Very good article Johnny, there will be ways round this for a little while yet. All the loopholes haven't been closed. When all else fails, good old barter will still be there. I suspect that most people would go for more equality, but these actions of Platini's are making sure that the poorer clubs stay poor in the short to medium term, and they have also now determined the top 6 for some years to come. Lots to think. No time right now.
roy harper
30/08/2010 19:06:00
they'll hang us out to dry but the Spanish clubs will still flout the rules - mark my words!
30/08/2010 19:23:00
All the owners have to do is 'gift' City a billion, or whatever sum they have in mind, inside the next 12 months and Platini can go and whistle Dixie. That is allowed.
30/08/2010 19:29:00
One thing is for certain - the French League will never benefit from this because it is rubbish. Also is it me but every time I see a photo of Platini he looks as if he's had a few!
30/08/2010 19:31:00
@PhillyBlueMoon- why mention Arsenal in the group of teams. Arsenal has been operating in a never seen before for a big team for the last 4yrs. That may be the reason we haven't won the league but we seem contented. We have made profits year after year in operations and in transfer market. This year's transfer is no exception. Chamakh (free), Laurent 4M+ Add ons, Squillaci 3.6M = 7.6M while we have sold Eduardo for 7M, gotten rid of big wages like Gallas. And are planning to sell Traore for fulham's goalkeeper's fee.
30/08/2010 20:13:00
There's certainly no doubt that Arsenal's own oligarch's one of whom has slowly picked up more shares, correct me if I'm wrong have played a shrewd game in the transfer market. There is also this Fanshare initiative they are bringing in.
Johnny Baguette
30/08/2010 20:45:00
I think what philly is aiming to explain is that the established order will be preserved. That's what Platini has always wanted. He rarely ever talks about smaller clubs.
Johnny Baguette
30/08/2010 20:47:00
Cant stand platini, He gives the vibe to me that he just cannot stand the english league, Its asif he feels threatend or jeolous.
30/08/2010 21:25:00
I think Platini is right - a club should spend within their means. Look at Leeds Utd and Portsmouth. They went one route were they sunk money they didnt have into the market, and it backfired badly. Liverpool and Man Utd, have sunk money that they do not have into the market, and it has given them an unfair advantage over the PL for years(Other then Liverpools recent meltdown), then comes the sugar daddies - Aston Villa, Birmingham, Man City, and Chelsea are all in positioins that they would not have been if it werent for their rich owners. I dont think you can argue that. THe One thing that ManU, ManC, Chelsea, Liverpool, Avilla, etc can not see, is that the more they do this the harder it becomes for other teams, that function as a business and not as a toy, struggle. And why should the ones that are following sensible rules(guidelines) be left to watch as others appear out of nowhere and forgo their work towards the top of the PL or towards cups? These clubs are left with only a couple options, either bang out money they dont have(Pompey, Leeds) and risk their club and business while trying to keep up, or watch as they get left in the shadows. How is that FAIR PLAY?
30/08/2010 22:04:00
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