Michael Platini’s plans for Financial Fair Play (FFP) across Europe has come into effect after 23 clubs had their prize money withheld by UEFA for failing to comply with new rules.
The penalties see the likes of Spanish clubs Atletico Madrid and Malaga, Turkey’s Fenerbahce and Rubin Kazan of Russia put under scrutiny and are based on overdue payments to other clubs, employees or tax authorities. Though they are not among the favourites for European trophies, they are significant enough for the rest of Europe to sit up and take note.
UEFA’s insistence that clubs must live within their means is the central idea of FFP and Platini is right to begin his challenge on overspending powerhouses. For football will reach a point of no return should FFP fail to bring European club spending back into line. The latest moves have affected Betfair Champions League markets as punters wonder who is next in his sights.
British football has already witnessed a multitude of financially stricken clubs suffer off the backs of over-eager chairmen and uncaring owners. Leeds United, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Rangers are just four that have felt the full force of financial mismanagement.
Platini and UEFA are right to implement these FFP plans in order to prevent more Leeds Uniteds and Portsmouths from developing and this recent move should be widely praised by fans and pundits alike.
What is most pleasing about this decision is that it targets clubs that are failing to provide other clubs and their staff with a means of surviving. Withholding payments only deteriorates the sport and European football – currently billions on Euros in debt – needs this stick to drive them away from corrupting the game for good.
Platini has his critics are still wondering whether or not FFP will work, but this recent development can only be good for the game and will hopefully make the rest of Europe aware that they cannot simply spend their way to success.