As we all know UEFA's FFP has received a lot of criticism. That criticism has lead the English FA (in all their wisdom and glory) to duplicate the well intentioned but ultimately flawed program. Why is it flawed? It operates under the assumption that the only way to ensure that teams don't create so much debt that they are left entirely at the will of their owner, is to restrict their spending to match their earning. Now this has some good sides to it. The best thing is that it forces clubs to invest in youth and expand their stadium. However, restricting spending restricts the amount you can improve your team, which restricts competition, which comes full circle into violating Anti-Trust laws. For those unfamiliar, Anti-Trust laws are laws set against the collusion of corporations to restrict competition. The exact portion of the Treaty of Lisbon (which established the modern EU) that this will violate is Article 101 Section 1 Subsection B.
1. The following shall be prohibited as incompatible with the internal market all agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market, and in particular those which: (a) directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions; (b) limit or control production, markets, technical development, or investment;
Instead of restricting wage spending based on earnings, force teams to create a bank account (not necessarily a bank account, but somewhere that you can place money into. It must be an actual transfer of money though) where they place a percentage of the players cost. I'd say 35-40% of the players total cost or 45-50% of guaranteed cost (bonuses excluded) over the ENTIRE life of the contract. You can use club earnings and total spending as a scale to decide the exact percentage. Also the percentage that you put in cannot be used in its entirety until the end of the contract. Meaning if you put 20 mil in the account for a player costing 40 mil over 2 years, you cant use the 20 mil you placed in the account in the first year. There must be funds in the account to cover at least a portion of the wages throughout the whole length. Before a transfer or contract renewal is accepted by league office the owner must deposit the funds into the account. The funds will only be used to pay contracts and cannot be withdrawn by the owner even if there is a sale of the club. Why would this work?
1. It still allows lower clubs to maintain the ability to spend beyond their earnings if and only if the owners are willing and able to pay for the wages. Where would Chelsea and City be without this? Current FFP restricts mobility because only the top earning teams can pay a lot of money
2. It still restricts owners from over inflating their wage bill and then leaving the team in massive debt.
3. Unlike the current system, this does not violate European Union antitrust laws
Why it may not work
1. Introducing a third party in the payment system may cause more red tape/ cost. Fix: create a system and come to an agreement with a bank where it doesn't. European football is a large and powerful industry and this could easily be accomplished
2. Owners won't like the idea of putting money in if they can't take it out when they sell. Fix: Use the money placed into the account in the valuation of the club. Now instead of player contracts being seen as a debt and lowering the price it could be seen as even or possibly help increase the price of the club. This may even end the practice of selling players to make it easier to sell the club making fans happier
3. It's not archaic and stupid so Platini won't like it. Also it can't be used to make Barça look like heroes and Chelsea as villains. Fix: sack Platini and put someone who understands the administrative part of the game in his stead
Mr. Abromovich what are your thought's on the current FFP set up?
And what about this new plan?