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[Archived] Financial Fair Play in the Football League


Wayne Wild

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There is a wind of change approaching regarding the financial running of football clubs throughout the world. Closer to home is the upcoming changes in The Football League http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/FLExplainedDetail/0,,10794~2748246,

An extract...

"In the Championship, clubs have agreed to introduce a breakeven approach based on the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Whilst in League 1 and League 2, clubs will implement the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) that has been in use in the latter division since 2004/05. The SCMP broadly limits spending on total player wages to a proportion of each club's turnover.

How will it work?

The Championship

Financial Fair Play in the Championship will see the introduction of a breakeven model based on UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. It will require clubs to stay within pre-defined limits on losses and shareholder equity investment that will reduce significantly over the next five seasons.

The new system will require clubs to provide annual accounts to The Football League by December 1 every year, covering the previous season/financial year. Using this information a 'Fair Play Result' will be determined for each club that will equate to the club's profit/loss for the year, excluding investment in specific areas of club infrastructure or losses in certain extraordinary circumstances."

Clubs will not be able to bankroll their way to success using wealthy owners. This more than ever gives more power to any Supporters Trusts who run or part run clubs. They are not disadvantaged against wealthier owners. However, its all based on income.

As BRFC gate receipts are lowering weekly due to supporter apathy and disillusionment the greater problem mushrooms. Income streams from gate receipts, sponsorship and commercial activities WILL determine what wages and transfers the club can make. In short, the current problems will shape the entire short and medium term future of our club. These new regulations should not be underestimated. Fines imposed for non compliance can be huge, transfer embargoes can also be applied.

A strategic management plan needs to be compiled, introduced and followed if Blackburn Rovers are to be well prepared for this wind of change.

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Does this mean that clubs with wealthy backers will finish lower in a Fair Play League? What sanctions are enforced? Fines? You see what I'm hinting at?

More importantly would a club that breached the fair play rules be docked points? Relegated? Prevented from being promoted?

Does this fair play result take into account owners naming their stadium or funding a club sponsor and charging themselves a fortune? And what would prevent a sponsor injecting millions into a club - in exchange for a shareholding.

Wayne, do you believe the fair play rules will simply be window dressing? If not, where do you draw your confidence from?

You may believe that this levels the playing field but a club with sub-8,000 fans is surely going to end up in League One? The lower the overall league/division position, the lower the gates. It seems like a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy - particularly with some of the negative supporters we have - virtually encouraging folk not to go, or worse tarring those who do as fools.

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Personally, all I can see the Financial Fair Play system doing is ensuring that the Premier League becomes a private club for the "Big City" clubs who can generate revenue through commercial activities and large gates. Under this system Jack would have been powerless to get the Rovers into the Premier League. I think the introduction of Financial Fair Play simply panders to the big clubs once again. You only have to look at Accrington Stanley and see how a club struggles when trying to break even. They aren't in a position to strengthen the team on a permanent basis and live on endless loan players coming and going. The crowds fall away - Stanley are now getting just over 1,000 at home games - with the result that there is even less money to spend on strengthening team. As Wayne correctly pointed out with falling attendances at Ewood this system is going to have a major impact on the Rovers and, personally, I don't think it will be for the better.


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It's all to favour the Big Clubs. First the maximum wage for pro footballers in this country was abolished, then the ruling was made that instead of sharing match day receipts the home clubs would keep the money, then the Premier League was formed to generate money for the big clubs, then the European Cup (for the younger members... the EC was a purist and exciting knock out Trophy for the League Champions of each country in Europe) was replaced by the tedious Champions League and now this.

Lancashire United now moves from being the practical and sensible option to become inevitable. If you and your backers want to move football forward in this area Wayne then thats your best option. As Parson Blue points out we can't even hope for another one in a million chance like Jack Walker anymore. Thanks for trying but attempting to make a power of BRFC again is like pushing a marble up a ski slope with your nose. :tu:

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Personally, all I can see the Financial Fair Play system doing is ensuring that the Premier League becomes a private club for the "Big City" clubs who can generate revenue through commercial activities and large gates. Under this system Jack would have been powerless to get the Rovers into the Premier League. I think the introduction of Financial Fair Play simply panders to the big clubs once again. You only have to look at Accrington Stanley and see how a club struggles when trying to break even. They aren't in a position to strengthen the team on a permanent basis and live on endless loan players coming and going. The crowds fall away - Stanley are now getting just over 1,000 at home games - with the result that there is even less money to spend on strengthening team. As Wayne correctly pointed out with falling attendances at Ewood this system is going to have a major impact on the Rovers and, personally, I don't think it will be for the better.

My thoughts exactly. Keeping the fashionable clubs at the top and giving them more protection. At this rate the premier league table rankings will be decided upon a popularity poll.

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Please keep making a complete and utter plonker of yourself. It's very funny, it really is.

Could you put some meat on the bones of your objections Jim and provide a real and viable alternative to restore BRFC to the top table and on equal footing with the big boys?

Thought not. :wstu:

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Football is tribal. Supporters have backed Burnley, Rovers, PNE for generations and if any of the clubs go to the wall there's no way supporters will transfer their allegiances to a combined, false, manufactured club. And even if they were to do so it does not necessarily follow that the combined support will be the sum of its parts. Newspapers have closed and combined in recent years and the result has been an overall loss of sales and the same wlould happen in football. I love the Rovers but if the club folded I would not go and watch "Lancashire United" and I suspect most folk feel the same.

A "Lancashire United" has been mooted for as far back as I can remember. Why you keep peddling this rubbish only you know - but this is the point where there ought to be one of your favourite "stupid" emoticons.

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Personally, all I can see the Financial Fair Play system doing is ensuring that the Premier League becomes a private club for the "Big City" clubs who can generate revenue through commercial activities and large gates. Under this system Jack would have been powerless to get the Rovers into the Premier League. I think the introduction of Financial Fair Play simply panders to the big clubs once again. You only have to look at Accrington Stanley and see how a club struggles when trying to break even. They aren't in a position to strengthen the team on a permanent basis and live on endless loan players coming and going. The crowds fall away - Stanley are now getting just over 1,000 at home games - with the result that there is even less money to spend on strengthening team. As Wayne correctly pointed out with falling attendances at Ewood this system is going to have a major impact on the Rovers and, personally, I don't think it will be for the better.

Agreed, a move that ensures SKY get their big city clashes to broadcast on SUPER SUNDAY every week. Soon they won't have to grumble about putting teams like Rovers, Wigan, Bolton etc on their programmes because only the big city clubs will have the necessary tools to play in the top league.

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Whether we like it or not FFP will be introduced across the globe. BRFC must therefore forsee this and act accordingly. All clubs (apart from the elite) will be on approx the same footing financial position, ie what income is generated will dictate what the wage levels and transfer policy will be. Therefore the income stream generation must be considered as primary. Current BRFC income sources such as gate receipts and sponsorships are treated secondary as they are dwarfed by TV income. That policy is catastrophic if we are not a premiership side as the TV money in the Football League is minor in comparision.

Therefore the dwindling crowds ongoing currently will determine the level we can compete at in the medium term.

If you read the link in the initial post the site details the date line of implementation and the potential fines and transfer embargoes.

Any general 'businesses' faced with this future dramatic change in the 'rules' of their working platforms would have a policy in place now to combat them.

Do BRFC ? I would like to think we do.......

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