Financial Sustainability and a tyranny of the majority


I have no axe to grind with Manchester City, we have enjoyed a profitable association with them over many years, but you and I are still triggered by powerful clubs working in the dark spaces around the edge of league rules.

This month they face an arbitration meeting over their dispute with the Premier League, who have levelled 115 charges against the club, relating to its financial conduct, reporting and funding.  In response, City have launched a counter claim, seeking damages.  They claim they have been discriminated against by “a tyranny of the majority”.

As well as the best paid players in English football, you can guarantee they have the best paid lawyers.  If our experience in Scotland is anything to go by, leagues employ earnest solicitors who do not operate at the level an experienced commercial litigant is capable of reaching.

Football across much of Europe decided that Financial Sustainability was important and that rules regarding funding and profitability were required (although not yet in Scotland).  As well as enhancing the sustainability of clubs, these rules inhibit wealthy investors from spending as much money as they would like to compensate for whatever shortcomings they cope with.

This value of this latter point is contested by the Continent’s wealthiest clubs, who would rather spend without constraint.  They correctly claim that they can invest sufficient funds to ameliorate any potential sustainability issue, so the issue is not really sustainability, it is competitive balance.

There is no correct ethical answer here.  You either want rules to stop rich owners from obliterating the norms of progress and development in the game, or you are OK with it.  City fans will largely be OK with the idea, the rest of us, not so much.

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  1. Happy Wednesday everyone from a quite humid Kentucky.



    A deal for 3m is a steal.

  2. bournesouprecipe on

    “ A podium, a podium, my kingdom for a podium !” 👍



Richard III, Act 5, scene 4, line 13

  3. The Battered Bunnet on

    An interesting side bar to the FA v City is the lesser known fact that the SPL’s original rules were cut and pasted from those of the FA Premiership.



    Matters such as the requirement to act ‘in the utmost good faith’ were carried across into Scottish football without establishing what this meant in practice.



    Inexplicably, when the SPL had the opportunity to test the practical definition of ‘utmost good faith’ in the Nimmo Smith enquiry into then Rangers, they elected not to. The conduct of Rangers and its directors was never subjected to that test.



    In contrast, the FA has included this in the charges against Man City, principally in City’s failure to disclose documentation on payments to players and managers over many years.



    Sound familiar?

  4. ALMORE on 5TH JUNE 2024 10:14 AM


    Big Jimmy: BRRB’s bad luck on the horses meant I had to pay for all the drinks. He’ll be busking on Grafton street to earn his lunch time swally.





    He won’t get much money as he canny sing a Note…





    All the best Mate.



  5. The team with the most money wins (generally), the fans of that team only care about winning (generally).



    How that money is generated and spent, only becomes relevant to the majority when the winning stops.

  6. I think the question is one of attitudes to rules and laws, and the game.



    City’s owners, as you’d expect from an authoritarian state, respect only power and what money can do for you. They will cheat to get what they want, which is power and control over football for the purposes of their own state. If they get caught they’ll try and lawyer their way out of it. Then they’ll cheat again.



    The problem for everyone else is twofold. If they win everything in sight while cheating then everyone else soon realizes they also need to cheat to compete. Cheating becomes part systemic



    And if they consistently beat the administrators in court the regulators become much less powerful. A weak UEFA or EPL means a less regulated game which is bad news for everyone but those clubs at the very top.



    It’s a very thick wedge that we aren’t even at the thin end of at the moment. This is Ciry’’s owners M.O. in everything they do, the naivety of the average football fan, even the administrators means the game will ignore it while trotting out cliches like the ones we heard about Rangers – “you can’t touch what they won on the pitch.”



    It was inevitable the minute they took over City

  7. bournesouprecipe on

    Just what the SPL needed, more FSR undefined rules, not a convicted felon amongst them either.

  8. Prestonpans bhoys on

    I wonder how they are going to arrange with Sky over which 20 extra games are not included in their coverage?

  9. Prestonpans bhoys on

    Premier Sports have won the battle to screen 20 more Scottish Premiership games exclusively live next season – taking the total of games that can be aired up to EIGHTY.

  10. Asia Cup Final.



    Jordan 1-3 Qatar. Three penalties to Qatar.


    Didn’t watch it, who did . Maybe they were all stonewallers.

  11. prestonpans bhoys



    And there was me thinking that Sky “was the only show in town”


    Seems ah wiz wrang….

  12. Prestonpans bhoys on

    Celtic MAC



    My guess is that PS will get the ones Sky are not interested in, certainly not the golden nugget of the Glesga Derby!

  13. Go tell the Spartim on

    Going by their panel the other night with the Scotland Game, PS will be gutted if it doesnt involve the forces of darkness being covered more often, they’re even more sleekit than Sky, its close mind you

  14. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon from John Kavanaghs, The Gravediggers, Glasnevin. An excellent pint of Guinness. 👍

  15. prestonpans bhoys



    And now we are stuck with both broadcaster deals until 2029!


    Deary me…

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “There is no correct ethical answer here”



    I think there is.



    Stick to the agreed rules.



    If you don’t, you get punished.



    Everton were.



    Forest were.



    City owners have deployed the Trump playbook.



    Drag it out in court.



    Exhaust your opponent’s energy, resolve and bank balance.

  17. Prestonpans bhoys on

    Celtic MAC



    I’ve already got Sky & TnT, certainly not paying for more. Retired now and when wife retires the whole lot will be binned anyway!

  18. bigrailroadblues on



    When H retires you won’t get oot the hoose without a tracking device. 🤣

  19. Tom McLaughlin on

    The £6m buy option for Bernardo was a SMSM invention, because from the beginning they couldn’t run with the story without a figure to go with it.



    Nobody from Celtic or Benfica reported a fee at any time, let alone £6m.

  20. BRRB from earlier .


    Almore is taking a big risk drinking with you .


    I hope his wife has a good insurance policy .


    I end up steaming after a session with you and I’m only on the fresh orange and lemonade 🤪

  21. garygillespieshamstring on

    Bada Bing



    Fund Charlie my a@@e.



    I think another four letter word beginning Fu would be more in line with our thinking.

  22. Sound familiar?



    BIG JIMMY on 5TH JUNE 2024 12:18 PM


    ALMORE on 5TH JUNE 2024 10:14 AM


    “”Big Jimmy: BRRB’s bad luck on the horses meant I had to pay for all the drinks. He’ll be busking on Grafton street to earn his lunch time swally.




    He won’t get much money as he canny sing a Note…




    All the best Mate.





    He could take aff his shoes and hum though Jimmy!!!



    No spoke to you for a while, Jimmy, hope your health’s improving bud, por cierto

  23. TML,



    Correct on the Bernardo money.Usual media” It was 6 million for Jota,sooooo”.Clueless.Reports today saying 3.5,but we will wait.


    Meanwhile,I don’t know how the Huns do it.Every free transfer they are reportedly after,is world class.Half the teams in the world want them.What a scouting system.What sort of mugs are the teams kicking these players out.

  24. onenightinlisbon on

    If the banners are to state that we are Scotland’s most successful club I totally cringe.



    That’s the style of those over Ibrox way. We don’t need to shout our success from the rooftops.

  25. !!Bada Bing!! on

    The existing banners are crap,can barely read most of them, the old ones were far better

  26. Probably, most will disagree with this, but I’d be more than happy IF, we sign Bernardo, the Irish hot shot, Jotta and Tiermey. That would see me happy. The centre half thing is fine by me, Scales has done very well, and our man from Poland will be ok too.



    So, what’s to worry about.




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