Chelsea, Premier League

Chelsea Chairman Questions FFP Rules

Stamford Bridge ChelseaLove this story. Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has hit out at the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play regulations saying that it doesn’t let small teams compete.

Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference last month Buck said:

“The problem we have identified with Financial Fair Play is that it goes a long way to preserving the status quo, and one of the great things about football in this country is that if you are in last place in League Two, you can still hope that some day you will win the Premier League. That is now difficult if not impossible due to Financial Fair Play.”

Buck added that Chelsea are on target to meet UEFA’s FFP regulations, so his complaint is more about the small clubs than Chelsea. And that is what I find so amusing by Buck’s comments. Chelsea have benefited from Roman Abramovich’s wealth, and now they have slammed the door on another middle of the table club buying their way into the top four as they have done.

Yet here is Bruce trying to position himself here as the friend of the small club. Very political of the Chelsea chairman.

Bruce did go on to bring up a point that anyone involved with FFP is concerned about. And that is how massive sponsorship deals or naming rights are taken into account.

“Financial Fair Play will now have to wrestle with issues like: are certain sponsorship agreements really bone fide? Insularly revenues, is it appropriate to put those into the equation?

How can Uefa determine whether a sponsorship agreement is at market level, or whether it is in place purely to flaunt Uefa’s rules? If a club increases its shirt sponsorship deal with the same company from £5.5m a season to £30m a season is that a legitimate deal? Arsenal will say it is, when they signed their new kit deal with Emirates airlines.