Editorial

Financial fair play rules bite at both ends of the Premier League table

Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers are both facing massive fines for failing to comply with financial fair play laws over the last season.

UEFA have already restricted Manchester City’s squad size for the coming Champions League season, and the English champions could face a fine of £50 million if the fail to comply with financial fair play laws in the coming seasons. Around £20 million of that figure is the total that they owe now even if their finances are scrupulous in future.

The first set of payments to come from the financial fair play laws is set to total £20 million from all the clubs involved, including Paris Saint Germain and Zenit St Petersburg along with City.

Queens Park Rangers meanwhile, face a fine of £40 million for having posted a loss of £65.4 million last year in the Championship. They have vowed to fight the fine. At present the Football League cannot force them to pay it while they are in the Premier League. While they are untouchable in the Premier League, the moment they drop back down into the Championship, they could face relegation back to the Conference if they do not reach a satisfactory conclusion to the dispute.

QPR boss Tony Fernandes argued against the fine. He said, “My view has been consistent, that it is very unfair for a club that has been relegated as the wage difference between the Premier League and Championship is impossible. There should be a time period for clubs to rectify their salaries.

“If we were in the Championship in two years with that wage bill it wouldn’t be right. I’m in favour of FFP but it is unfair for a club coming down.”

Another interesting difference between the fines is where they will be redistributed. While the Football League is committed to handing QPR’s fine to charity, UEFA believe it is most appropriate to split the fine from Manchester City among the other European clubs.

For the critics of UEFA financial fair play who claim that the policy is merely a way to safeguard the interest of the elite, handing these already rich clubs City’s money certainly appears to add fuel to that argument.

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