With Manchester City receiving a two-season ban from the Champions League for serious breaching of the FFP policy, the talks of gulf money ruining world football will only escalate.
Manchester City, a renowned English football club, has been banned by UEFA for the two upcoming seasons (2020-2021 & 2021-2022) of the Champions League. The club will not be a part of any of the UEFA championships for the next two seasons.
A fine of 33 million Euros (£25m) has also been imposed on the English Premier League champions for breaching the European football’s governing body in addition to the serious breaching of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) has found the English club guilty of “false portrayal of the sponsorship revenues” while submitting the evidences for the FFP compliance. This comes after an investigation carried out by the publication of leaked emails and documents by a German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018.
The two-season ban on Manchester City will for sure once again spark the debate of the serious ill-effects that Gulf money is having on professional football.
Heads Up! Is Manchester City’s ban by UEFA a proof that gulf money has ruined football?
- Manchester City banned from Champions League for 2 seasons
- Manchester City failed to comply with FFP policy
- How does the FFP policy work?
- Ill-effects of gulf money eating up world football
- Why is the 2022 FIFA World Cup under the hammer?
What does Der Spiegel’s investigation prove?
The investigations carried out by the German magazine Der Spiegel reveals a portrayal of ‘blown up’ share of sponsorship revenues by Manchester City to the UEFA’s CFCB.
The documents and leaked emails reveal that out of Manchester City’s massive total annual sponsorship of £67.5m; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan – the owner of the English club – was himself funding a higher proportion of this amount through his country’s airline, Etihad Airways.
Further investigation proves that out of this amount only £8m was actually funded directly by Etihad. The remaining amount came from Mansour’s own company, the Abu Dhabi United Group.
What does the FFP policy state?
The Financial Fair Play (FFP) was introduced by UEFA in 2011 in order to prevent the clubs that qualify for the UEFA league from spending amount much above their purse.
According to the UEFA president Michel Platini, the FFP policy is meant to eliminate the so-called ‘financial doping’ in professional football.
The insurmountable expenditure of some of the clubs ruins the game, leads to higher debts and puts the smaller clubs into a hole.
Under the FFP policy, the clubs are required to balance the football-related expenditure (transfers and wages) with their ticket and television income in addition to the revenues raised by the commercial departments.
Is wealth incongruity killing world football?
Manchester City’s ban by UEFA is a clear testimony to the fact that inconsistency in money across various clubs is hindering the game to a great extent.
What happens when a club like Manchester United or Arsenal fall a step short of the ‘championship’ title in a season? It’s always considered as an average performance by their fans.
One may ask why? Why do such clubs have almost seemingly impossible targets? – It’s all about ‘money’. These clubs have an ocean of wealth.
Such established clubs have more than a heavy purse. They possess great stadiums, excellent training facilities and higher ticket prices for their games. As a result, they keep adding more and more money to an already full purse.
Clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City, financed by gulf nations, have a backing of seemingly an infinite wealth behind them.
Case of rich getting richer and poor getting poorer
These popular clubs sign heavy sponsorship deals as compared to the minnows like West Hams, Fulhams and Bournemouth. 50% of the domestic revenue in the Premier League is shared around equally while the other 50% is divided up based on league position and popularity among the audiences.
As a result, the rich and successful keep getting a push while the poor and the unsuccessful keep lagging behind.
FIFA World Cup 2022 under the scanner
Qatar bagging the rights of hosting FIFA World Cup 2022 has only added to the debate of gulf money ruling the game.
Fans and media are questioning the fact that how can a nation that has never qualified for a World Cup before get to host it. Being the host, Qatar automatically qualifies for the World Cup. However, the question is – Does Qatar deserve to be a part of 2022 FIFA World Cup?
This has raised a question on the game’s governing body FIFA itself. Lack of infrastructure, harsh weather conditions, low fan following – How does this make Qatar a FIFA World Cup host?
Money surely seems to have taken over professional football. It’s impossible to expect a fair game when the clubs or teams are not having an expenditure at-par.
FIFA must realize that it’s high time to remove wealth disparity and block gulf money from the game. It’s only then that the popularity and fame of the game can be restored. UEFA banning Manchester City is an appreciable step in this regard.