To sort of change gears, I was reading a story from the other side of the pond recently that League 1’s Bury Football Club was over 1 million pounds in debt (That is $1,534,198) and was looking for external investment. I had known for many seasons and going into this season that Bury continued to struggle financially at Gigg Lane, but it just blows my mind how something like this could happen.
How does someone allow the situation to get that far out of control? How does someone not stop the club and make them pay up? How does someone in League 1 get that much credit? I’m thinking this is part of the “results now” society and when it does not turn out the way you planned it, someone is left in the wind.
I was under the impression that the recent UEFA FFP regulations that these types of situations would be reduced and clubs could not run up huge losses, but this shows that teams will do what they can to succeed, but in Bury’s case, your club just might cease to exist.
On Sunday, during the 4th Round of the FA Cup, Liverpool lost 3-2 to Oldham who plays two levels below Liverpool in the Football League system. In conjunction with losses by Premier League sides Norwich City, Tottenham and QPR, all I read in comments how the sky is falling and losing teams are destine to doom, especially with Liverpool.
I have a different take on the reason for the recent losses from Premier League sides to so called “lesser” sides, it could from the UEFA FFP regulations starting to take effect. These rules aim to reduce the heavy losses that some teams take on for short term success at the expense of their long term existence. With these rules, the traditional powerhouse teams are not always able to go out and get the top-notch player they might need, they need to put more of an emphasis on developing players within their own programs
The recent struggles from Arsenal and Liverpool from the top 5 could be attributed to the board paying more attention to their expenses than the short term victory. In America, most of the major professional sporting leagues (except MLB) has a similar way of keeping expenses in line called the Salary Cap. This prevents teams from buying multiple high priced players and preventing smaller marketing teams from succeeding. Teams are now unable to string together multiple championships with these rules and the same thing appears to be starting in the Premier League.
No more in the future should we see the dominance of the Big Four (or Five) as other teams should get in on the mix. You will see more “Upsets” which are really more than a shift in power that should happen more and more as spending comes back to reality. The only difference between the FFP rules and a salary cap is the total revenue matters with the FFP rules. As long as you can generate the revenue, you can get some of the players you want, you just can’t get every player you want.
Do not be surprised in the next couple of years you see new teams crack to the Top 5 and teams that spent their time at the top of the table battling at the bottom of the table. These rules will stop the rampant losses for teams all over Europe and it is time for people around the world to take note that the rich teams getting richer is not the Status Quo anymore.