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Should FFP also insist on transfer payments in full?

Posted on August 09, 2013 by Tony

The most written about player pursuit of the summer has involved Real Madrid’s attempts to extract Gareth Bale from Tottenham. Just about everybody has had their say on the subject but most seem convinced that the richest club in world football will eventually get their way. It seems that Madrid are by now fully aware that Tottenham really do not wish to sell the player this summer but unfortunately all the attention has turned his head and he seems intent on leaving.

Up until this point Zidane and Perez have spoken openly about being willing to spend whatever it takes to sign the biggest stars, even a new world record if that is what it takes, what they seemed to have forgotten to mention is that they would prefer payments over quite a long period, five years in fact. Daniel Levy had some long drawn out dealings with Perez last year over the Modric deal and even that fee, which is minor in comparison, involved paying Tottenham in installments, some still owed.

Madrid seem to believe that they are still the most successful team on the planet when the truth is it is more than ten years since they ruled the roost, players are still attracted to them as they are still capable of paying enormous wages. they are fond of telling the world that they paid the £80m for Ronaldo in one lump but that was long before the Financial Fair Play rules came into force.

With a revenue stream of over £500m each year they dwarf that of Tottenham which is currently around the £150m mark so to believe that they can relieve them of their star player for £35m, made up of one £20m installment and wages of £15m to Bale, seems quite insulting especially when they still owe some of the fee for Luka Modric. Daniel Levy has appeared to play a blinder in his attempts to retain the services of Gareth Bale, it seems for the first time that Perez and Madrid have been knocked on their heels a little.

Whether Levy sticks firmly to his insistence over the sum and a single payment remains to be seen, he has a player to think about and the club as a whole but perhaps Platini should think about some sort of regulation over payments of fees agreed for players, perhaps if regulations insisted on payment in full from turnover and not loans from rich benefactors it would dampen the market both in terms of fees and wages to players both of which are reaching sickly proportions in many cases. Madrids wage bill is now somewhere in the region of £250m each year compared to Tottenham at approx.£90m, and let’s not forget that Tottenham are still the 11th richest club in the world. Perhaps that is another way to prevent the likes of Madrid and all the other big clubs plundering all the best players, if a player is still in contract his club can still insist on an inflated fee, if that fee must be paid in a single payment the likes of Madrid will no longer be able to go out and secure the services of all the best players and will have to be more selective and sensible.

Everybody seems critical of FFP, even Arsene Wenger, but it seems that the likes of Madrid and other big spenders are getting around the rules by extending the payment period while continuing to stoke up the inflated transfer market still further, this enables them to remain as one of the elite clubs and the status quo continues.

I would like to think that on this occasion Perez and Real Madrid have met their match in Daniel Levy, whether that be by retaining the services of Gareth Bale or extracting an enormously inflated world record fee on the terms stipulated by Levy, only time will tell but even that it is ebbing away with the window due to slam shut at midnight on the 3rd September..


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