Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wenger: FFP is gone

Arsene says that Financial Fair Play (FFP) is now ‘gone’, and has laid the blame at the feet of clubs who never had any intention of adhering to the rules.

While the implementation of it was abysmal, conceptually it’s a good idea: that clubs should survive as actual businesses, using the money they generate themselves, or earn through lucrative television deals/sponsorships and, of course, prize money.

However, with so many clubs in Europe built on a model where the owner-investment is tantamount to their success and power in the transfer market, it was always going to be a difficult thing to enforce. And when you have a body as insipid as UEFA trying to do that, it was only going to go one way.

“It has gone,” said the Arsenal manager. “I have seen the signs coming from Uefa for a while now. I thought for a while FFP would happen but now it is not possible.

|The clubs threatened to go to civil court – not only through sports courts. That brought a lot of insecurity in the decision making of Uefa so they started to soften the rules a little bit.

“The last decision in July was about Paris St-Germain and then Manchester City and that opened completely the door.”

As for what it means for Arsenal, he said, “Exactly the same. We continue to run our business with the resources we create. We can always recreate the resources and they can put a hundred or two hundred on top. It is always like that.

“Maybe it will change here one day. It is not a shortage of money. At the moment it is a handicap to us because we have the resources, just shortage of players.”

The question is, if this is the way it’s going to go, what do Arsenal do? Do we simply accept a position as a second-level club, or keep up with the Jonses using funds from our two billionaire owners? If we do that, what happens if their funding dries up?

Minefield stuff really, but it’s a real shame that a system that at least tried to address some of the financial issues in the game has failed so quickly and so completely.

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Barry wickings

I always thought FFP was for Flawed Financial Program in an ideal world yes but the d’etre mental effect in the long run clubs like pubs will cease being of existence


Exactly. Capitalism is the embodiment of human greed, they can’t control it in the real world, what made them think they were ever going to control it in football? Especially considering football is the playground of the billionaires.


Implement a salary cap, adding some much needed parity.


Salary cap is anti competitive and prohibits an individual’s right to bargain.just as business seeks to procure talent at Mimimum cost it is inherently unfair to place a cap on the potential earnings of players seen as employees.

I understand this my unpopular, but the sentiment is unfair considering people daily change jobs mostly for earnings, seeks bargain when purchasing, why then wish to subject football players to limited choices?

Oor Wullie

“subject football players to limited choices”

So say the cap was £100,000 a week what choice is being limited? A player can then go to the club they want to go to. I’m not going to shed a tear for someone on that much money!

John C

Why don’t we put a limit on what you do to say £5 a week, then you can go and choose which ever employer you want to work for?


You moron!!!

BIG difference between us earning your £5/week and footballers on £100,000 – £200,000 per WEEK.

Yes, they have a short career but after 52 weeks in their shoes, you could live off £100,000 per year for 52 years. And the average career is 5-10 years. (And I’m not taking into account sponsorship deals or bonuses.)

Oor Wullie


John C

There’s no difference, who are you to tell someone what a lot of money is?


Are you Bill Gate’s love child???

£5.2m – £10.4m per year is a lot of money……for anybody, with exception to the 1% of society.

And “who am I” …..well that depends on your date of birth. ?

John C

Maybe £5 a week is a lot of money for some people, it’s not for me or you to say what is or isn’t, that’s the point.

It’s not for you or me to make up some arbitrary figure as to what constitutes a reasonable amount to earn.

Oor Wullie

I refer you back to my previous comment.


If you have ask that then you have missed my point. The fact that you place a number on a choice tells me that you have chosen to misunderstand me. If you place a cap players will move somewhere else. It’s simple economics. Denying it won’t change reality

Oor Wullie

I agree. If FFP was carried out properly all it would do would keep the top teams at the top and smaller teams would never be able to do any more than Europa League. But a salary cap would mean teams like Stoke could make the Champions League with the right investment and that would only piss off the bods at UEFA who want the most widely renowned teams in there as part of their product. A salary cap would be awesome and could drive down season ticket prices and also subscription prices. Therefore it will never happen.


The problem with a salary cap is it would have to be enforced by FIFA. If it isn’t universal it wouldn’t work. You can’t have a salary cap in just one country or even just one region.

John C

“The question is, if this is the way it’s going to go, what do Arsenal do? Do we simply accept a position as a second-level club, or keep up with the Jonses using funds from our two billionaire owners? If we do that, what happens if their funding dries up?” This comment is a load of bollocks, Arsenal have £200m in the bank, we’re amongst the most profitable and solvent clubs in the World. The problem, as the manager has said, is not that we don’t have money we have lots of it, but apparently (again according to the manager)… Read more »


I fully take the point that we don’t have anything like that amount to spend. But the issue is more to do with the idea of doing as much as we can, with what we do have available. There have been several recent seasons where we self evidently have NOT done that and I’d be interested to hear the basis of the argument for saying otherwise on Wednesday morning, if Wenger has sat on his hands. This – the comments from Wenger – smack of getting his excuses in early. Still the fourth placed cup is still very much on… Read more »


…and he may be saying it because 2 or 3 targets were enquired about/bid for but some bunch of rich cunts plopped down silly money to take the players away from us. Remember, WE do not tell the world what we are doing in the market.

Bhav G

, Arsenal are generating approximately £50 per annum (EBITDA) with income coming from match day, TV, commercial and players loan and costs in relation to player acquisitions and salaries (the largest cost driver).

Whilst Arsenal have £230m gross debt outstanding it is long term debt and covenants to not allow it to be repaid early.
Net of any reserves they need to maintain as a debt covenant, Arsenal have £140m cash at bank, at their disposal. IMHO this is sufficient to acquire 1 to top marquee signings.

John C

Exactly, the figure might be £140m or £200, but they are cash reserves, ready to be spent and not needed for day to day costs like wages etc. I’m not saying we should spend all of it, but it’s disingenuous to say we don’t have money to spend. After years of not having enough money to compete, he’s now saying we have the money but there are no players good enough to buy!! It’s ridiculous, not good enough, and if he can’t find players to improve the team maybe he should do the honourable thing and let someone else have… Read more »

Santi Claws

Fuck chelsea. What a bunch of classless money grubbing cunts


As much as I want to blame Chelsea for this…it’s more PSG and Man City. Chelsea have more or less played within the FFP rules for the brief time they were implemented.


Even if UEFA were determined to make the FFP happen, the rich clubs would have found ways to circumvent the rules


I doubt it. I felt like Man City were struggling to balance their books.

I think FFP was the reason they signed Bony.

They did find a temporary loophole which was their Etihad sponsorship deal but I felt like that cash had dried up.

If memory serves me right, I think in the last two windows Man city and PSG were bystanders as barca and Real dominated the transfer eindow

Paul my Dickov

There was always too much money for FFP to work. Great idea. No chance.


Football has gone mad absolutely bonkers. De Bruyne for £54million? and wages of £200k a week. What the fuck has he done? Fucking fuck!

John C

He’s done nothing, but player recruitment cost only go up in line with the television and sponsorship rates.

Arsenal, and more specifically Arsene Wenger has to come to terms that if television rights income goes up by 60-70% that the cost of players will go up at the same rate, he’s been around long enough to know thats what happens.

There’s no point fighting it as thats a losing battle, if you’re uncomfortable with the cost your only option is to find a level of football at which the cost suits you.

Andy Mack

£200k, I thought they were saying £300k per week. And if the papers are correct, Pogba will get the same in the unlikely event he comes to the PL instead of La Liga.

Lloyd Townsend

He did lead Europe for assists last year, I believe – plus he’s still young, athletic and has the hunger to succeed. For City, it’s a wonderful signing IMO.


No kidding. I can’t quite believe the mythic aura surrounding this guy now.

Me So Hornsey

So basically 10 years of pain only for UEFA to fuck us over.


We should have known this was coming, it was obvious FFP was flawed and only someone naive or stupid would believe it would ride to our rescue, as such I blame the previous board for selling out to the wrong man (Kroenke), either get Usmanov on the board or sell up to someone with more ambition, I will not accept being a 2nd tier club, what is the point of watching if you’re only ever playing for 3rd (at best)?, it’s been going that way for too long now and I can feel a lot of the fan base feel… Read more »

Ox in the box

And this is the exact mindset that sums up everything that is wrong about the perception of football that a lot of ‘fans’ have. Not worth watching football if there is no probability of winning everything? Why don’t you fuck off to support Man City then?


And this is exactly the mindset of the brainwashed Wenger can do no wrong, Arsenal are god’s own club type.

If you have no chance of winning what is the point of starting a race?, especially if you have to spend £100 to watch the bloody race!!.

As usual though the predictable ‘f*** off and support city/chelsea’ reply, if you want to be a mug and spend your money lining Kroenke’s pockets while watching us finish 4th, more fool you I say.. some of us have had enough.


oh you’ve had enough? shame


It’s a sad state of affairs. I hate to admit but I’m falling out of love with football more and more every year. Money had ruined the working man’s game.

Even though Arsenal are among the last clubs that try to do things right, the cost of going to a match is ridiculous.

I doubt anything will change any time soon. But for the sake of the game it must.


Amen Mark, for the cost of doing things right AW gets lambasted for no trophys in years despite brilliant, (if not winning) football by the likes of Mourinio, the press, Vtop 4 trophy winners (when AW’s remit was 3 out of 5 years in top 4)”, and developing youth, for which he gets chanted a pedo by Man U supporters and a specialist in failure by Chealsea and its all lapped up by the 24 hour bullshit phones and apps and pundits and back pages. I just like the football, shame I cant see it live anymore, dont care about… Read more »


That reads as the drunken rant that it actually is.


The flaw in any unsustainable policy is just that – it can’t be sustained. Sooner or later those pumping money into club’s without reward other than silverware will get tired of doing so. Eventually the trophies become devalued and along with it interest in the sport. That may not be for a while yet but without a more level playing field in time it will happen.


It’s great that we have run the club in the right way and have got into a position to compete with the bank rolled clubs financially to degree, yet we aren’t spending the money to compete with them on the pitch. We all love to watch the Arsenal and will pay a lot of money to do so but if that money is being stuck in a bank account doing nothing when it could be used to see our club challenge for the title that’s inevitably going to make a lot of fans unhappy. I don’t like all this bemoaning… Read more »


When you have oil sheik billionaires and ex KGB agents (allegedly) running clubs and spending billions on them, do you think:

1) They would ever listen to rules?
2) Not pay back handers to get round any difficulties?

These guys are used to getting their own way and never hearing the word NO.

Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

The upside of oil sheik billionaires and alleged former KGB agents pumping billions into sport is that at least is isn’t funding terrorism.

Martin Finley

The downside of ffp though is that the smaller clubs would for allways remain small, while the CL regulars would for allways remain at the top. If Chelsea and city did not get billionaire owners then premier leafue would be a 2 club league like La Liga. The whole reason our league is as competitive as it is is down to the money being injected into other clubs. Manchester United also want ffp because they would reign supreme under those rules. Barca and Madrid dont want to share the TV money with the other clubs cause it is not in… Read more »

inside tip

Chelsea owes nearly 1 billion to Roman (which he will not collect), Man Utd owes nearly 350 million, Arsenal around 240 million. The difference is that we have a new stadium, and are well into repaying that debt, while the rest of the clubs are piling up those numbers without ever having to settle those debts, and without new infrastructure… That is the real tragedy, players are being bought for astronomical sums but that is all lent money, it’s not generated in a healthy fashion. I wonder if Arsenal will get a pat on the back and a “good job”… Read more »

La Défense

This! Exactly!

The self-righteous, preachy attitude of some Arsenal fans regarding our so-called “morally superior” position never fails to irritate me. Wake up! Nobody gives a fuck. Spend money, win trophies; don’t spend, don’t win trophies. Let’s please leave it at that, and spare everyone the silly sanctimonious, “holier than thou”, attitude.


Yes! Trouble is, though, you can’t really blame Arsenal fans for the vomit-making, deluded moral superiority thing that they’ve been preaching for years because what else was there to clutch at? This ‘we are doing things the right way and we’ll be rewarded in heaven when the immoral Chelsea and City are burning in hell’ has been drip-fed to us daily by the club since Kroenke took over. For obvious reasons. I don’t believe for a moment that Gazidis and Wenger were ever fool enough to actually think that FFP would have serious bite. But once we’d shot ourselves in… Read more »

Andy Mack

It’s not ‘Gone’ but it is failing at the top level. The main reason it’s failing at the top is the enormous income derived from TV now, together with UEFA being rather wimpy about enforcing it. The vast increase of TV money couldn’t have been foreseen but UEFA being a limp wristed eunuch was always a strong possibility. There is the possibility that it can be rescued before it fails completely if UEFA start popping testosterone steroids. Will it happen????? On a national level (championship and below) it does still have a place as it potentially will stop some clubs… Read more »


I advise everyone who appreciated their sanity to stay away from this article on the Facebook page. The amount of stupid in the comments is bound to drive you mental.


And Arsenal sell Afobe for only £2million who will eventually come to a top premier league side and score many goals and keep sanogoal instead but are now in need of a goalscorer.
Forget FFP this kind of thing happens all the time and it is Arsenal wasting large amounts of money on useless players whilst letting their better players go cheaply.
Sack Kroenke and bring back Dein

Me So Hornsey

Sack Kroenke? Maybe you need to analyse that statement.


okay sack wenger


Yes sack Kroenke (and his son), the fans have the power to get rid of anyone by not going to games, not buying merchandise, not going on an Emirates Tour. All this will amount to £loss and that is what Kroenke / KSE is ONLY interested in as the cash from Arsenal is a feeder to his US sports clubs and other projects like his outdoor channel.


How much does he take out of the club and how much of that goes to his US teams?

Please can you provide the balance sheets?


This is what I am now doing, not going to games unless either he goes or we spend enough money to genuinely compete for the title, which at present we are not. I just worry there are too many fans who will just blidly go along though and keep Kroenke at Arsenal, if it stays this way for many more years I think I’ll have to stop taking an interest in football, as it is already boring and frustrating in equal measure.


It was protectionism at its worse. They never had any interest in making clubs live by their means it was all about stopping new clubs coming along and eating their lunch. Glad its dead


Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool. All challenge at the top end of the table without relying on handouts.
Man Utd a different beast.
Chelsea and Man City, taking huge handouts and winning/buying trophies.

I would say that smaller team would prosper if FFP was fully implemented as it would stop the super rich buying entire squads for instant gratification.


Wenger should spend less time thinking about FFP & more time thinking about how to make Arsenal something other than also-rans, which we’ve been for ten years now.

Other clubs, e.g., Atletico and Dortmund, have beaten the biggest clubs/spenders without outspending them. This requires the right manager and approach, though, and Wenger has shown over the past ten years that he is not that manager.

Not to mention that Arsenal have more than £140m in cash reserves and Wenger has had three years to improve us at CF and CDM.

Wenger out.


The reason we have four points from a possible nine is not FFP but poor decisions made by players and manger on game day. I am not saying we can win the league or champions league but I do feel we hold ourselves back by being too predictable in build up play, making subs at the same time every match and dithering in the transfer market for players we can afford.
FFP will hinder us but sometimes I feel it is used as an excuse.


7 out of 12, not 4 out of 9.


the only people that are getting rich in all this are the players and agents money talks fans pay and demand more trophies there’s no fun banter unconditional love for your club in the PL when I was a kid it was beat spuds win a cup great times


FFP is illrelevant and always has been. Other clubs use their financial advantage to make top players available. Arsenal on the other hand either wait for them to become available or submit ridiculous bids.

Despite our cash reserves we still behave like amateurs in the transfer market.


last year it was world cup, this year lack of player, previous years lack of funds to compete with other elite clubs. List goes on and on
one way to compete was to generate commercial revenues however while like of ManU and LFC have countless secondary sponsors, our commercial income is well below. Unless AFC is bought by a billionaire owner, no sustainable cash injection is going to happen anytime soon with this current set up and the whole promise of jam tomorrow is gone out of the window. Better get used to it

Springbank 1962

And Platini wants to be in charge of FIFA?

If he can’t fight for a principle now then what would be the point?

Al Gilmore

In capitalism throughout history there are many instances of booms and busts. Football has yet to really experience this and that is why so many clubs spend money on the basis that the money will always be there. But will it? I count myself as a fairly average bloke. Average job/salary. I have Sky but not BT and as I don’t have BT broadband I would have to pay to watch it. But I have chosen not to. Is it outlandish to suggest I am not the only one to do so? Being from N.Ireland I don’t get to many… Read more »


The NFL have got it spot on with their salary cap and other measures. The problem is, the clubs are franchises that work purely under the NFL’s license. The likes of UEFA can’t call the shots in that way. Plus, NFL teams are all US based, you couldn’t have one across Europe because of different tax levels etc. For me, the only way you could introduce any parity is to make clubs name a squad, say 23 players and that’s your lot for the season. The only other players you can bring in are from your youth/under 21s, for injuries… Read more »

It is not surprising for FFP to fail. Pisspoor enforcement of anything ends up screwed. This article has only ensured I now watch Baseketball again, which of course, foresaw the whole ordeal we are due to face in time.

Man Manny

Strenghten our scouting network – get more Kolo Toures, Anelkas, Henrys etc. We continue to make our stars. The difference now is that with our solid financial base, we can keep them in the long term.


Without any control I’m afraid this sport will only be a giant casino for billionaires.


A complete failure of the officiators to get it to work.

Back handers.


wenger must be so relieved. with ffp the focus would’ve been on his management skills. now he’s back to blaming an unfair financial playing field for not being able to challenge for titles. phew.

Chilean Gooner

I’m not into economic conspiracies and shit, but someday this heavenly-like cash-filled bubble will crack and all these teams that work on virtual money, speculation, will fall to the ground and end up bankrupt and relegated to amateur crap like Pompey (come on Pompey <3) and we will stay upright saying thank you (maybe). Anyway, we've proved we can cope with this excesive money spending bastards and still battle it through, the problem, like a lad said, is in the pitch, stupid errors costing us 2 and 3 points week in and week out. Let's focus on that first, the… Read more »


Has FFP ever existed in any context in the history of human kind?
It was never ever going to work from the start! But the ridiculous money and power in football will probably collapse at some point, I would say more than probably

San Elan

It was so naive for Wenger and Gazidis, with their knowledge of football and economics to think it would ever work or even implemented.

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