"At A Loss" City Have Little Cause For Complaint

On the field Manchester City are closing in on a second league title in three seasons, but UEFA's FFP sanctions threaten to leave a sour, and deserved, taste in the mouth...

Last Updated: 07/05/14 at 11:57 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Everton Rise To The Occasion Once Again

7 comments

After Spurs' dreadful 0-0 draw with Partizan Belgrade, Matt Stanger was grateful to see Everton mirror their manager's enthusiasm with a bold display against Wolfsburg...

A New Deal? Yaya Needs To Earn His Place First...

18 comments

His performance against Bayern Munich was his worst of a season that has not quite started for Yaya Toure, who looks disinterested after a summer of unrest...

All Articles

In a weird season, Manchester City are enjoying and enduring the weirdest of weeks. After Liverpool's collapse at Crystal Palace, Manuel Pellegrini's side will surely pick up the four points needed to secure the title; off the pitch, though, the hierarchy are facing a challenge to their entire strategy from UEFA and seem at a loss as to how to handle it.

"At a loss" are apposite words here: because City are being challenged for the money they have lost and also for that squandered by Etihad. The marketing deal has been deemed to have been designed to artificially boost the football club rather than be mutually beneficial at the requisite level the airline. For Sheikh Mansour - and any who assured him all was well - UEFA's decision to offer a £50m fine and a four-man cut to their Champions League squad as an appropriate punishment to swallow is distinctly unappetising.

City deserve their punishment. They have tried and failed to draw a nonexistent distinction between themselves and Paris Saint-Germain, who are reportedly accepting that their Qatari fig leaf cannot remotely cover their modesty. The distortion in competition at the highest level needed to be addressed, not merely to deal with the existing problem but also to deter newcomers from following suit. If there is a regret here, it is that no action was taken earlier, when Roman Abramovich threw a billion at Chelsea before bringing down losses.

There is nothing wrong with investing in a club, and certainly not with trying to keep a club alive as a social service to a community. But sham investment, forcing well-run businesses to give up on hopes of glory or take substantial risks in order to cling on to an outside chance, needs to be curtailed.

As soon as a football club ceases to be dependent on attracting ordinary supporters through the gate, it has lost connection with the community that gave birth to it. It is far from clear that Richard Scudamore and the Premier League will ever address this, and there are surely grounds to be sceptical that their own FFP regulations will come with the teeth UEFA are baring, or even with the Football League sanctions that concern some loss-making clubs in the Championship and below.

Financial fair play is not a panacea. Distortions that threaten the stability of dozens of clubs remain, in the shape of the gulf that separates the Premier League and the Championship, despite parachute payments. Desperation to stay in or get into the top flight is a menace that reaches down into League One, with the casualties of failed attempts - hence the Football League's measures. UEFA's own elite competition creates a painful gap between qualifiers and non-qualifiers but domestically we have a chasm into which too many slip.

Michel Platini and UEFA make too many mistakes to catalogue but have acknowledged one problem and are taking serious steps to tackle it now, to the evident discomfort of City. The game will remain in the paradoxical word of greatest losses in an era of astronomical income unless action is taken at home, too.

Philip Cornwall

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew - It's mass hysteria

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini not concerned by Yaya Toure's form

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no concerns over the form or commitment of midfielder Yaya Toure.

Transfer news: Chelsea's Jose Mourinho plays down Cristiano Ronaldo transfer talk

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has played down speculation about signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dundee boss Paul Hartley anticipates a good derby with United

Dundee boss Paul Hartley maintains his players have no fears as they prepare for the derby match with Dundee United.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property