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Financial Fair Play (FFP)


Profits up at Newcastle

Newcastle United are the latest club to report increased profits,  the after tax margin up from £18.7m to £32.4m in the year ending June 2015.  

However, their position is more perilous than it appears.  £80m has been spent on new players in the two transfer windows this season, not to any apparent great effect.   Moreover, the wage bill has gone up and there are no relegation clauses in players' contracts should the club go down.

Big debt at Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers have announced losses of £17.2m for 2014/15, seeing their overall debt swell to £104.2m.  This includes £87m of interest free loans to owners Venky's.  The losses do represent an improvement on the £42.1m pre-tax losses recorded in 2013/14.

Blackburn manager Paul Lambert commented, 'There has to be leadership and talking about how to reduce the debt.   You can't just magic that sort of thing out of the air.'

Cardiff owner writes off debts

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has converted £65m of the club's debts into equity.  He hopes that the club will be debt free in five years.

The club is currently under a transfer embargo for a breach of financial fair play rules, but he hopes this move will lead to the lifting of the embargo.

Can Charlton fans force owner out?

Charlton fans, organised by the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD), will be demonstrating again against the club's Belgian owner and chief executive when they play Blackburn Rovers at The Valley tomorrow.   

Charlton fans have a history of fan activism.   They enabled the club to return to The Valley from ground shares, overcoming the opposition of the local council.   They entered candidates in the council elections under the banner of the Valley Party and ousted the chair of the planning committee.

Financial fair play ban for Cardiff City

A transfer embargo has been imposed on Cardiff City for breaching financial fair play rules.   The club is considering an appeal.  They join Bolton Wanderers, Fulham and Nottingham Forest who have been similarly penalised.

The Bluebirds' finances have not been helped this season by many fans voting with their feet and choosing not to watch the team. Last weekend they crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of lower league Shrewsbury.

Bournemouth to be hit by a FFP fine

Bournemouth are to be hit by a hefty fine for breaching financial fair play (FFP) rules and manager Eddie Howe thinks that they stand in the way of smaller clubs wanting to progress.

In their push for promotion Bournemouth exceeded the permitted £6m after taking account of adjusted losses and shareholder investment.

Nottingham Forest submit accounts

Nottingham Forest have submitted their accounts for 2014-15 to the Football League for assessment under the financial fair play system.   Having lost £22m in 2013-14, they have reduced their wage bill and benefitted from player sales.   They are thought not to be far off the required limit of £6m.   However, they anticipate the transfer embargo being lifted in the summer rather than Janaury.

Revenue growth helps City

The impressive Swiss Ramble blog has produced its latest forensic financial analysis on Manchester City. The focus is on how City have managed to spend big in the summer transfer window, yet remain compliant with financial fair play rules.

City stay within financial fair play rules

Manchester City's spending spree this summer should not get them into trouble under financial fair play rules.   Although their gross spend has been £100m and could go up to around £150m if one more rumoured signing is made, their net spend is £35m.   Even if it went up to £85m, the sum would be spread out over the life of the players' contracts.

How fair is financial fair play?

The Football League has issued detailed guidance on its revised financial fair play regulations.   Championship clubs are allowed a loss of £13m in 2015-16 or £39m on a rolling three year basis.

The regulations attempt to take account of clubs moving between divisions.   This is necessary given that Premiership clubs are allowed to make a loss of £105m.   However, the question that arises is whether new unfairnesses have been set up.