Supporters Club News FFP Statement

Published on September 24th, 2014 | by admin


MCFC Supporters Club Statement Regarding FFP

Press release following last night’s EC Meeting

Manchester City FC Supporters Club was formed in 1949. Although we have strong links with MCFC, we are independent with an elected committee and have an agreed set of rules that are designed to help benefit our paid membership.

On 23 September 2014, MCFC Supporters Club (1949) voted unanimously to join the legal actions against FFP led by lawyers Dupont and Hissel (complaint to the European Commission and civil action in the Brussels’ Court).

These actions were initiated by some football players agents and fans from the UK, France and Belgium.

MCFC Supporters Club (1949) has almost 15,000 active members, with 168 branches worldwide covering the UK, Europe, Asia & America.

Our members are consumers of the football product and it is as such that they denounce the EU competition law infringements caused by the UEFA break-even requirement.  Far from implementing a true “financial fair play”, this rule is in fact a prohibition to invest that prevents ambitious owners to develop their clubs, that therefore shields the established European elite from being challenged (this elite being unsurprisingly the main sponsors of the UEFA rule) and that, consequently, puts additional financial pressure on supporters (higher prices and lower quality).

With this UEFA rule, it is now almost impossible for any ambitious investor to take over a “sleeping giant” and to turn them into the next Manchester City or PSG.

In other words, the UEFA rule may be bad news for MCFC supporters, but it is even worse news for supporters of all clubs that do not today belong to the established European elite.

Click here for the Manchester Evening News’ article about our decision to join the legal actions against FFP.

Click here for the BBC’s article about our decision to join the legal actions against FFP.

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See Jean Louis Dupont talk about UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rule at a Supporters Club meeting at Mary D’s pub:

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27 Responses to MCFC Supporters Club Statement Regarding FFP

  1. Gavin Alcock says:

    £20,000 fine for racist abuse and £50million for spending your own money… … …???????

  2. Bertie Magoo says:

    Complete rubbish!

    Without the meaningless sugar daddy clubs, proper clubs like Everton, Tottenham and even Newcastle would have had the opportunity to establish themselves in the European Elite.

  3. david roberts says:

    this FFP was brought in to stop clubs spending money they don’t have. but how can city be penalised for buying the best players when the sheikh has the funds for his project. they, UEFA, don’t want clubs like city to gatecrash the top table of the CL. that’s why clubs like barca, real Madrid, Bayern munich etc are always there or thereabouts when the CL final comes around. this FFP rules was designed to help clubs from going under, that’s not going to happen at the Etihad where the club has no debt. its an illegal rule as its creating an uneven playing field. how can it be fair when UEFA restrict clubs like city and psg are penalised for trying to get the best players to give them a better shot at winning the CL.

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  5. Tony O Neil says:

    What about clubs such as Spurs and Villa and Newcastle and Everton? You know the ones that are naturally bigger than the likes of you and Chelsea? They’re the ones that have been shoved out of their natural place due to the artificial inflation of your and Chelsea’s finances.

    You shouldn’t be anywhere near the champions league.

    Bravo Monsieur Platini, you have our support in your attempts to restore some reality back into the game

    • Jesus says:

      So obviously you have blinkered view on this situation. I’m afraid, legally, what UEFA are doing is wrong. What about the natural shifts in the game that has happened ever since the Football League was formed way back in 18 whatever. The league was formed by Blackburn, Bolton, West Brom, Stoke and Villa if I’m not mistaken. So by your reasoning, these clubs should be challenging in all the major competitions year in year out and nothing should have been allowed to change. The fact is, many clubs have experienced success throughout the years, and power naturally shifted. Now there is so much money involved, which was brought to the fore by the formation of the Premier League. This natural shift no longer happens due to a monopoly of the ‘BIG’ clubs, using their financial clout to get what they want. Now a few teams are spoiling the party, the dummies are out. The only way for any team to challenge these clubs, is with a lot of investment. So, if you think about this for a minute, who set this trend? Certainly not City, it was started way before now and the natural shifts of power that happened in the past have been lost forever. The only way for a team to compete, as i said, is with heavy investment. The only reason this FFP is happening, is through jealousy! WHO THE F**K ARE MAN UNITED?

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  9. bob says:

    you went through the bad times why shouldnt you enjoy the good ones but be warned lufc are coming for you slowly but were on our way back lol

  10. Carl Abbott says:

    So you think it’s fair play that football success is based on the random investment of unsavoury billionaires and oligarchs rather than self generated income which can gradually be built and developed. Hardly fair play.

  11. michael marchant says:

    we should be fighting this. i’m quite baffled how other clubs in the premier league voted for the same thing.

  12. Pingback: Legal action against Financial Fair Play | MCIVTA

  13. Mike Fallon says:

    Please tell me how to join in the fight against this unfair play set of rules

    No other industry / business would be treated this way within the competition laws

  14. Pingback: Man City fans’ group joins FFP fight | The World Tonight

  15. Richard Hunt says:

    In your statement you grandly claim that you are doing this in the interests of “fans”, implying fans of all clubs. How would scrapping FFP help address the suicidal chaos of football finances in the Championship? Do you care? If so what is your alternative to FFP? How would your alternative help ensure that someone would not be able to follow the “Risdale” route again? And do you seriously believe that the lawyer who inflicted Bosman on us, who is representing a football agent, cares a jot about the interest of fans? Unfortunately I see this as simply part of your tribal fight against Man U. Well I suppose you think thats what MCSC is for, but don’t pretend you are doing this on behalf of fans of other clubs.

    • Hank Bouvant says:

      There are lots of ways to address that problem. E.g. insist that if an investor spends more than the club is making, the investor sets funds aside for the club to recover should the investor leave or have trouble. But tell me, how does FFP even address the problem of clubs having dangerous finances when it provides zero disincentive to stop clubs from borrowing money unless they are within touching distance of the champions league (i.e. how does it stop Brighton and Hove Albion from borrowing themselves into the poorhouse, or do they not count)? How would it help a club that had borrowed itself to the brink of oblivion to get into the Champion’s League to (i) hamper it in that competition, so that it can’t recover its debt in TV money and (ii) fine it tens of millions? How does that help it to NOT go under? Obviously, whatever they’re up to , the idea isn’t to prevent the kind of collapse experienced by Leeds and Pompey.

      • Richard Hunt says:

        I respect that you at least acknowledge that there is football outside the FAPL, and that is where some of the most threatening problems exist. However you seem unaware that FFP rules there have been drawn up by the clubs themselves and will certainly limit the loans taken out by Brighton or anyone else. I’d recommend this article by my colleague

        Anyway my reason for being here is not to defend FFP per se, it is certainly not perfect. I am here to criticise MCSC for publicly licking the arse of a lawyer of questionable morals who has already wreaked havoc on our game, being the man who represented Bosman. In doing so, he manipulated laws which were designed to protect factory workers and the like, not already well off footballers. he doesn’t give a shit about the fans in his quest to destroy FFP. Look who his client is : a football agent. A parasite who has leeched money from our pockets, and wants to continue to doing it in ever great sums.

        Maybe MCSC does not feel it has any mandate to care about anything other than Manchester City and that therefore the only goal is to allow the Qataris to continue pouring money into City as part of its global PR campaign (Pleeeeease don’t call them “investors”, investors seek a financial return).

        Supporters Direct is an admirable organisation which unites fans of different clubs who understand that the health of all clubs is essential for our enjoyment of English football. Sadly, few FAPL clubs supporters are members. If MCSC really wants something better than the current FFP rules, it could join Supporters Direct and help shape what that better way is.

        And Mr Bouvant, i don’t know if you are actually a MCSC member, but do you know what they mean by “joining the action” ? Are MCSC making themselves liable for legal costs? All the same to me , but if I were you, I’d want the question answered.

        • Hank Bouvant says:

          Good comments, but I would argue that whether clubs have drawn up their own FFP is tangential to my point, which is simply that IF Platini intended to design a system that would prevent clubs from spending themselves into bankruptcy, he would have chosen a system that addresses the needs of the vast majority of the clubs across Europe, not a system that is only relevant to the tiniest few top clubs (leaving the rest to come up with their own systems.) However convenient it is for him to pretend that that’s what he cares about, the problem he appears to be addressing is how to protect the major European powers from non-establishment challengers.

          What other cases this lawyer has pursued, and for what motives, is surely neither here nor there. Had I been wrongly accused of murder, and had I had the money, I might have hired the late Johnny Cochran. It wouldn’t matter that he had represented probably-guilty (IMO) clients in the past and got them off, or that he doesn’t really give a shit about me and is just taking my money and advancing his career. I’m looking for an effective lawyer, not a nun. 😉

          I believe ADUG are “investors” in City in the same way that Barclays are “investors” in the Premier League. Neither intend to get a profit directly from their investment. The pay-off is in terms of exposure. ADUG want global exposure for Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination, for Etihad Airlines and related companies, and as a way of advertising themselves as something different from the average Westerner’s idea of a Middle Eastern desert nation. They get more attention, and more column inches, from owning MCFC and making us into a world power than they would from just sponsoring our shirts. I have no sense that they are treating MCFC as a “plaything”. It would be against their interests to do that when they are trying to promote an image of being a dependable, respectable, forward-looking nation, a good place to visit, and a good place to invest. They do not want to come off like a bunch of cowboys.

          You probably won’t believe this but I don’t oppose FFP because it hurts MCFC. Whatever slaps on the wrist City are getting right now, FFP helps us over the long run. It protects us from future challengers.

          But I’ve been supporting City for a long time, and I am more familiar with the dispiriting experience of living in the shadow of a mega-club,seeing our best home-grown players lured away by rich suitors (Giggs, Shaun Wright Phillips, even ADUG weren’t able to stop Sturridge going to Chelsea…) And then when we do get into the CL (with the help of a LOT of money) we find the seeding system is so badly rigged in favour of the established powers it takes years to get a decent first round draw. (We’ve faced the German champs in our qualifying “group of death” every year. In our second year we even had the German, Spanish, Dutch and English Champs all in our qualifying group of four.)

          What I’m saying is that at City we’ve learned first hand, as a lower division club, as a struggling premiership side, through our youth academy, and as a johnny-come-lately “big club”, how unfair the system is, how hard it is to keep hold of your home grown players, and how it’s virtually impossible to succeed without major third party investment. Adding FFP just closes the door entirely. Not to us, but to others. That’s why I oppose it.

          You might be skeptical that many City fans prefer a world where a resurgent Notts Forest could come and knock us off our perch, but remember who we are. Those of us who signed up for this roller coaster pre-2008 were obviously after something more interesting than the club that always wins, or else we’d have followed the reds.


          • Richard Hunt says:

            Thanks for your interesting and intelligent comments, I do feel though that you have swerved my key reason to come on here, so at the risk of boring everyone else, please allow me to reply.
            First, I have never been anti-City, and City fans have helped me understand the pain. Although compared with the pain fans like us or those of Brighton have been through, it is relative.
            Second lets say I broadly accept the criticisms City fans (and others) have of FFP as it affects the FAPL clubs.
            My issue is the way MCSC are going about changing it. You (its not personal, I suppose I’m talking to MCSC here) could have joined with other clubs through Supporters Direct to make a protest which really speaks for all English fan, and crucially COME WITH A BETTER, MORE FAIR ALTERNATIVE. Instead you simply hitch your wagon to this scumbag commercial lawyer whose only concern is to enrich himself and his football agent friends. And nobody has answered my question. What has MCSC actually agreed with him? Are you going to pay a share of his costs? More fool you, if so.
            The MCSC move is typical of the tribal, parochial attitude of English fans, especially FAPL club fans, who desperately seek their own pot of gold, and don’t stop to think about the health of English football overall. Contrast that with the German fans with their fiercely protected 50+1 fan ownership. Or Swedish fans where the bitterly contested Stockholm derby was brought to a halt in front of the TV cameras by a co-ordinated action by both sets of fans against TV messing with their routines. Can’t see that happening in a Manchester derby.
            So by all means protest against FFP, but do it in a way which embraces other fans, and most of all do it constructively with a better way to stop the madness, not just for City but for the Brighton’ s and the Charlton’s. “Joining” with this scumbag isn’t the way. He doesn’t care about City, or the interests of fans, one jot.

          • Hank Bouvant says:

            (There’s no ‘reply’ button to your message Richard. Too indented I suppose.)

            Just to sign off I don’t think we’re in disagreement over the deeper issues. Football needs some form of FFP that takes care of all clubs, not just those at or around the CL places. In particular it needs one that discourages irresponsible owners while allowing for and welcoming sound investment. The current FFP doesn’t do that. For teams that hope to get into the Champion’s League, it discourages the good investment along with the bad. For the rest, it does nothing.

            I don’t think that supporting Dupont means we can’t *also* protest against FFP in constructive, inclusive ways. I think if fans of other clubs were more vocal about opposing FFP we’d find common ground. Speaking for myself I have no wish for either a system that locks the establishment clubs in or one that allows mega rich owners to buy silverware. I think there are systems that do neither but this isn’t the place.

            I have no love of Dupont, but he has forced the issue. Prior to his getting involved, clubs with CL aspirations had something to hang over UEFA: Namely, that FFP looks to be legally unsound, and if UEFA don’t design something that gives new challengers a chance then clubs that feel excluded might take it to court. But now, if Dupont loses, those clubs will have no cards left to play. So even those of us who think he shouldn’t have forced the issue now have to hope that he wins.

            I don’t know whether it is costing mcfcsc anything. Someone else will have to answer that.

          • Richard Hunt says:


            You might find this site interesting, I just came across it myself


            The reason why Dupont is so destructive is that it likely means nothing at all will happen with FFP while the case drags on. That’s a much bigger problem in the Championship. Our clubs are already being squeezed and blackmailed by that **** Scudamore, and this will further increase the pressure. We haven’t got 5 years to wait.
            That is why I am gutted that MCST blindly lend their support to him, rather than reaching out to fans of other clubs to persuade us that City have a way which is better for all English football – and not just newly minted City.
            I’m afraid I remain deeply cynical about “investors” being allowed to make losses short term for long er term gain, like “normal” businesses. This simply has not been the history of ownership in England in the last 20 years, has it. I accept that your Arabs, unlike the Glaziers, are not here to line their pockets, but in my book it’s just a monstrous PR campaign with very dubious final goals. In general there is quite enough revenue available in the FAPL for a club to be successful and to more than break even. Look no further than Swansea City. When the Swans Trust tell me they agree with MCST, then I’ll start to be convinced. Til then I can only urge you to remember that in my lifetime if not yours I have seen City in both the 2nd and 3rd tier, and that it seems like only yesterday that Leeds with Kuell, Bowyer and Viduka would have had you lot for dinner. We need a solution in the interest of all English clubs. Dupont doesn’t give a toss about us, including City. He cares only about the fees from his agent friend. I can think of few people less deserving of your support than an already stinking rich football agent.

          • Richard Hunt says:

            Apologies, I used the abbreviation MCST, when of course I mean MCSC.

  16. Richard Naef says:


    Please explain to me how FFP rules, ie restricting clubs to spend a amount relative to their earnings DECREASES fairness?

    The reality of what has happened since Ambrahovic took over chelsea is that billionaires with a passing interest in football are able to buy success. No relation to size of fanbase, financial propriety, commitment of manager & players, quality of youth academy, hard work or even luck, just 100% down to how much a Oligarch or son of a sheik is willing to plough into their plaything. If your organisation had any interest in fairness, you’d be surely pushing for wage caps and NFL style draft of MVPs.

    Put yourself in the place of the 85 or so PL & FL clubs that weren’t lucky enough to have a billionaire benefactor.

    • Hank Bouvant says:

      Here are a list of things that are not fair:

      1. City being able to outspend their competitors. You’re right. I agree with you.
      2. Chelsea being able to outspend their competitors, until someone else comes along who can match them, at which point they help change the rules so that others can’t do what they did.
      3. Tottenham, Newcastle etc not being able to do what City did, because it’s against the rules now.
      4. The situation as it was before, where ManU, Arsenal etc have the best players that they bought from poorer clubs who couldn’t compete with their finances. They are therefore a shoe-in for the champion’s league positions. They therefore get bonanza Champion’s League money. They therefore have the most money. They therefore buy the best players from the clubs that nurtured them, and the wheel turns.
      5. Massive investment at Arsenal, ManU etc, being legal because it was made years ago, even though it’s that investment that led to Arsenal ManU etc having the kind of income streams that they have. Yet others cannot invest the same way.
      6. Responsible investors being punished while heavy borrowers are rewarded.
      7. Safeway telling Meg’s corner shop that they cannot get investors to help them expand. If they want to get as big as Safeway, they have to do it by never borrowing, never being invested in, and purely by selling more carrots, even though this is economically impossible. It’s an analogy.

  17. Damilola says:

    Please lets support our lawyer still the end, so that our beloved club pay no coin. people you know what platini is not happy because in his playing days he can not afford what each player in man city and psg our buying a saddest. please rest of the clubs support us let join hand together and Say No More platini cause your club might be next on there UEFA book.

    Don’t you want your winning trophy at the end of which season ???

    Clubs that spend also win cup 1 or 2 at the end of a season, Don’t you want your club to win a trophy ???

    Please let reason and Say No More Platini cause we love football.

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