Chelsea are like our politicians. They chose to make public the bad news on the very same day they signed Fernando Torres and David Luiz. Predictably, the papers are full of the Torres and Luiz news, photos, etc. etc., but neatly tucked away is the news that they made yet another loss for the 09/10 season, the little matter of £ 70,900,000 ....yes, that's pounds sterling, with all it's zeros. This adds to the similar and worse losses of the last decade.....it's estimated that Roman Abrahamovich has blown almost a billion of his cash stash on the club.
Evidently they know that the UEFA "financial Fair Play" rules come into effect for the 2014 Champions and Europa Leagues. Clubs have to demonstrate that they are living within their means, and have to present an overall aggregate "no losses" over a rolling 3 season period. Chelsea know this.....but still spent over £70 million in one day (no-one was sold to balance the books, like Liverpool have done), plus the massive wages they are going to be paying Torres (rumoured at £ 170,000 a week.). These numbers will evidently come out in the 10/11 figures, which are very very likely to be worse than the 9/10 set. As the qualification is calculated on a 3 year rolling, are they banking on making profits (don't laugh) for the 11/12 and 12/13 seasons in order to play in the Champions League? Or (more likely) do they know something we don't?
Mallorca qualified but were barred from participating in this year’s Europa League due to being under administration. So well done UEFA, helping a smaller club out of it's financial troubles but prohibiting them from the earnings a good run may have created. But, if that is the path they have decided on, we can't expect less when a Barcelona or a Chelsea are the club in question who have flaunted the rules come 2014. However, I think we can all see that Chelsea's behaviour, and that of the Man City's and Barcelona's, means that jiggery pokery will be admitted, one-off sugar daddy contributions will be admitted (Chelsea, Man City), a blind eye will be turned to cooked books (inevitable in Spain) and that as usual, less popular sides will be made an example of. It’s a clever way of deceiving the public into thinking you are trying to open things up, when in fact you are doing the opposite, and creating a virtual closed-shop.
How can the dilligent and well run clubs in Germany have a hope of winning the Champions League when they are up against clubs who can spend and spend and spend and spend and spend without any worry of having to balance anything? How can an Arsenal, whilst reducing debt (exclusively due to building a new stadium), concentrating on bringing players through their youth system, or Wenger's brilliance in identifying early talent and the odd calculated and affordable transfer, compete whilst their rivals sign off-the-shelf megastars as their benefactor blows another 200 million?
Wasn't the point to make the playing field level? Will UEFA have grown a pair by 2014?
Photo : I'll back a ogliarch russian mafia against a snail eating surrender monkey any day!