European Football Clubs Discuss Spending LimitsBy: Daryl | January 22nd, 2009
The days of free-spending football sugar-daddies could soon be over. Seriously. Because the European Club Association (basically the new improved version of the G14) sat down with UEFA today to talk about capping the amount of money clubs can spend on transfers and wages.
We’re not talking about an MLS style salary cap here, because clearly that wouldn’t work in Europe.
The proposal is that clubs could only spend what they earn. Just like normal people.
Basically, a team’s spending limit would be determined as 51% of their income from gate receipts, tv revenue, players sold, sponsorship, merchandising etc.
So it wouldn’t matter how rich the owner was, a team couldn’t spend money that wasn’t earned by the club. Which would mean no more £100mil Kaka bids from Man City, unless they expand the size of the stadium about twenty-fold and sell it out every week.
So that all sounds like a good idea to me, in theory. It would certainly go some way to stabilizing the football world and stemming the never-ending upward spending spiral.
But – as with any new ideas – there are a few potential problems.
For one thing, it would make clubs even greedier for income. Ticket and tv subscritions could very well be driven up. And they’re already not cheap. And get ready for even more advertising.
Second, in some ways it’s sort of unfair on the smaller teams. Unfair in that the dream of being out by a billionaire owner and suddenly being able to compete with the big boys would be dead.
Third – and possibly the biggest flaw in the plan here – what’s to stop the billionaire owner going into the club shop and buying £500mil worth of team scarves in order to fund the purchase of player X?