In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany has spoken out against UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, insisting they do nothing to prevent clubs from being badly run and falling in to debt, but instead, serve only to protect the status quo, ensuring that the big teams remain at the top while other clubs can no longer invest to bridge the divide.

‘What has been introduced denies clubs like Leeds, Nottingham Forest and others with big fan-bases the opportunity to ever get to the top level again.’

Kompany uses the example of Manchester City and his own experiences in English football. When he arrived on these shores, the traditional ‘top four’ seemed unbreakable and it took the considerable wealth of Manchester City’s owners to break the stranglehold they had on the Premier League.

‘Just who is FFP protecting? For me, it is protecting those few clubs who were already geared up to be successful.

‘Just because a club is part of the established order doesn’t mean they should be guaranteed success forever, I just look at it in terms of the established order protecting themselves.’

‘When I first came to England seven years ago, it was the same four clubs always in the top four. That has changed. Our owners have invested to build a successful club. That in itself will bring in more fans and create more revenue. Is that so bad?’

It’s a point I’ve hit upon myself in the past. The nature of FFP means turnover is king, but in football, a higher turnover comes from established success and playing in the Champions League. Without that, the deck is already stacked against you, but when you’re also prevented from investing, you’ve already lost.

Without a billionaire sugar-daddy there to write-off your debts, there’s risk to such levels of spending, sure. But from the day Sky Sports bought into the English game and the revenues starting spiralling upwards, football has been business first, sport second. I don’t like it any more than the next fan, but that’s the reality of the modern game and while ever the game is dominated by money and run in this way, the only way the top clubs can be challenged is the way Chelsea and Manchester City did – with heavy investment.

20 Responses

  1. number2301

    I would say FFP isn’t the problem, the Premier and champions league are. The vast amount of money you get being a top end team creates the the imbalance.

    If the TV money was evenly distributed between all Football League clubs, from the Premiership champions down to the bottom rung, success would be based on things like good management instead of years upon years of built up TV money.

    • ARC1997

      What has Exeter City F.C. done to get any share of money that people spent on City V Barcelona?

      • number2301

        They form part of the overall sport which the other teams take part in. If there’s no integrity to the sport we may as well just rename all our teams after large aggressive animals and abolish relegation / promotion like some other ‘sports’.

      • ARC1997

        I do not get your point, how is integrity related? The teams get the money from TV audiences, the audiences the teams attracted.

      • Grumpy

        What has ‘City’ done to get where they are? They were fortunate to get the benefit of mega rich benefactors who financed their rise from a position not too dissimilar to that of your derided ‘Exeter City’. Not every team can ‘win he pools”.

      • ARC1997

        FFP doesn’t prohibit money poured to fulfill debts.. Yes Manc lucked out, but that is how the way things work. Someone has it easier someone else has it harder. Manc had the luck that some megarich guy picked them. Others have to find a more difficult way, but its still possible. You only have to look at Dortmund and Atletico. Now okay, they were always in the top flight, easy for them. But a more closer example to the situation clubs like Leeds itself in (not the ownership problem, but the investment restrictions) is Southampton. I can find several similarities. They jumped two divisions, Leeds have to go only one. Also Leeds do have a good enough academy to produce top talents frequently.

        But then again, Southampton had committed owners. Duh

  2. Benjamin Peter Richards

    Bournemouth look on course to finish as champions of Division Two. Greece won the European Cup (in Portugal AGAINST Portugal) — What I’m implying is teams like Leeds need to take the patient route; we already have one of the best academies in England and a huge fanbase. It wouldn’t take much to get us in the Top Flight, sadly, the thing letting us down is megalomaniacal owners putting business and personal wealth before the club.


    As much as the ability to spend on bringing good players to Leeds, it does not help when the people that own the club seem to have some sort of brain malfunction when it comes to telling the fans what is going on and what the future holds. You cannot expect players to give 100 % when they do not know where they stand in the clubs future. With this insecurity hanging over their heads they are bound to be unsettled both as individuals and as a team.

  4. NottsWhite

    Under FFP the established teams are protected from clubs being taken over by mega rich owners and challenging for top 4 by pumping money into their club. It does not stop teams getting into the PL but it will mean that building to challenge would take many years. The greater challenge to getting into the PL will be relegated clubs coming down with vast fortunes which will allow them to maintain and improve their squads. Mis-management i.e. Fulham will generally create the only window of opportunity for promotion, otherwise those that come down should go straight back up

  5. oldschoolbaby

    The interesting point is that Kompany bothered to make the point and demonstrate the issue concerns him. They may be a tiny minority but there are still footballers who give a shit.
    I can`t imagine Cellino is the man to harness it but reverse psychology is a powerful force. If a club, and I`d love it to be us, could develop a social model and portray themselves as the valiant underdog then, I believe, some top footballers could be attracted to the cause on modest wages. Potentially, this could dovetail very nicely with the bloody minded, us against the world mentality that can take any sporting team to great heights.
    I appreciate it`s incredibly difficult but the current monopoly can broken. Keep fighting !

    • Irving08

      Yes, every sport needs a ‘story’ to avoid the death blow of routine such as the PL has largely become (it is basically underwritten by TV viewers from countries with a shallow football culture, the dubious gains of the post-Soviet shake-out and diminishing oil revenues). Last summer Sri Lanka, harnessing its local talent,
      showed what could be achieved in cricket by an ‘outsider’. There is no reason why, under Cellino, who is an outsider of sorts, analogous heights, could not be reached at Leeds. First though order has to be restored; then the carping from such as LUST has to stop, and the President has act to decisively to prevent the callowness of youth taking its toll viz signing the youth on long term contracts, making Lewis Cook the. Captain, and getting Redders the class of assistant he plainly needs. As for such social models as fan ownership, I am not convinced that this is the way to go at the present juncture. A mobilisation model under a selfless President would be my preference.

      • oldschoolbaby

        It`s a difficult one.
        I talked about industrial psychopathy in the time of Bates. It refers to the prevalence of those, without fully developed hardwiring and lacking empathy, in the higher echelons of business. While I still find a good deal to admire about Cellino his apparent aversion to stability is disturbing especially in the context of his lack of “feel” for the situation when succumbing to the temptation to tinker.
        I didn`t adopt the purist view on Thompson. As long as there are no issues of deference ( and ST didn`t strike me as deferential ) I had no real problem with NR appointing a friend as no. 2. Dismissing him, when I was thinking of unbuckling my seat belt and summoning the air hostess for a drink, was, in my view, a bovine move.
        I do worry that our fanbase gets over-excited and sort of assumes we can we can remotely impose a social model. We can`t. That said I think we do need to study how it`s done at Dortmund / Atletico / Swansea / even Rabbitohs for the albeit unlikely situation that the opportunity comes along.
        I felt for you a bit last night having fallen for newspaper speculation that Dawson may get the nod. We`ve let him down in failing to move heaven and earth to get him a loan if he wasn`t to be used.
        Ngoyi looks the template of what we`ve been missing. However, if we are to keep our youngsters I think we`d be better suited to an alternative model to the conventional power / pace formula so often favoured in the Championship.

      • Irving08

        But we do need p & p upfront. Thank you for sparing me a thought re Dawson – 3 generations of us turned up expecting to see him play. An uttely wasted season, from his point of view, and from ours too, I suspect. None of our current midfield seems able to unpick a defence or organise play, Murphy is a stylist and Mowatt, a gifted opportunist. I fear Dawson will soon be lost to us before we have a chance to see if he really is as good as some of us think he is. Ngoyi, I agree, looks the template, but so too did Doukara: we need to see more of both. We’re an odd team: our best outfield players (Cook apart) seem to be the full backs – Berardi and the two others. I am all for studying social models, but the big money is currently Cellino’s, and he doesn’t look like he’s about to leave. So those who have – prematurely, in my view – written him off ie much of the organised support, need to control their vitriol, or risk provoking fresh rifts amongst, or cause Cellino to do something many of us would not like. But you are right – by implication – Cellino now has to demonstrate that he has learned some lessons, from this past season, on how not to run an English football club. Whether that extends to letting the head coach choose his assistant from a shortlist of one, I’m not sure; but the upturn in results following Thompson’s arrival, as you noted, is most striking. Finally, on the marketing of the season tickets, I wonder whose idea it was not to have one Italian – Silvestri being the obvious candidate – in the picture, given talk of divisions in the camp along national lines, and the apparently related Thompson-Salerno spat. Was it Cellino’s way of telling us that Byram and co are not going anywhere, I wonder ? Whatever the intent the poster itself was a welcome show of imagination from the commercial department. Salut !

      • oldschoolbaby

        I wasn`t thinking of dispensing with p & p, we, quite obviously, don`t have enough. I was cautioning against it becoming the be all and end all.
        I too fear Dawson is coming to the end of the line. It must have been a sickener for him when Phillips was promoted in the pecking order. Perhaps Ngoyi may be his salvation as NR was loathe to deploy him without an enforcer alongside.
        Doukara is the first of the foreign legion for me to give up on. He can go. Too timid in too many situations.

      • Irving08

        I didn’t see Phillips – does he offer us anything different from Cook ? If a Premiership club comes in for Mowatt, Dawson may get a chance then, otherwise the lad should try to get away. On Doukara, I’m not fussy, but he has scored some decent goals. Redfearn has got some tough decisions to make on personnel – one he needs to make quickly concerns the full back positions: we don’t want Taylor to be the next Aidy White, whose career was mucked up by Managers playing him out of position. It may be a bit tough on Wooton, but he has to make way for Berardi, allowing Taylor to revert to left back. Byram so long as he is here is probably better in his present position than at full back. Who’d be a manager, eh ?

      • oldschoolbaby

        Phillips is bigger and sturdier than Dawson. Plus he`s not averse to a shot from distance. I wonder if that`s why he got the nod. We`re reliant on goals from midfield, Phillps being prepared to have a go might buy Mowatt and Murphy a bit more time and space.
        As far as I was concerned the 50point mark should have meant the start of pre season. Fair play to Wootton he`s shown some heart but he`s no quality RB. We`re not taking the chance to bed in a back 4

      • Irving08

        We have got nowhere over the past three seasons by playing people out of position. Whatever the thinking on Tuesday, Byram and Taylor swapping wings did not work – it rarely does. I agree with you, it has to start with defence. I was puzzled by Redfearn’s statement on p & p – you’re right, our current strengths lie in a different area (strengths presumably that were emphasised by Redfearn at the Academy). His later observations on 4 4 2 were likewise puzzling, at any rate if taken literally: most of the top teams do not line up this way. I guess he simply meant that pace out wide is desirable. Overall I don’t feel we have a clear playing strategy; I hope it’s only due to uncertainty at the top.

      • Irving08

        PS Charlton’s scout obviously noticed from the Norwich game that Wooton, as he drifts towards the centre, tends to leave space behind him. On Tuesday Charlie Taylor had to signal him on a number of occasions to watch that space. Today we paid for it. It would have been better today to put Byram back and give Dawson a run out on the right – a chance missed, in my book.

  6. Mike

    Sadly FFP should really benefit us in the Championship when you think about it. If the bigger clubs truly thrive under this system being the biggest club and fan base in the championship should have us a step ahead. When you boil it down the only teams that really should have the advantage over us are the ones that have just come down.


    ‘Scuse me if I sound abit thick but am I right in mythinking that the FFP ruling runs outat the end of the season and if so, are we again restricted to a transfer budget of £8 mill


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.