Sunday, August 1, 2010

UEFA: Underhanded Egomaniacal Fuck-All Association

I know the title is very strong; UEFA actually have a good vision about this entire financial fair play concept. However, what I don’t like is the bigotry, which lately is part of the territory when it comes to UEFA. On one hand, Platini makes vociferous claims that though he plans to introduce the Financial Fairplay scheme (which broadly means that clubs will not be allowed to spend more than they earn), it will only be applicable by 2012 which gives time to clubs to sort out their financial woes. Then the same Platini goes ahead and bans RCD Mallorca from taking part in this season’s Europa League.

Now, don’t get me wrong. For a club of Mallorca’s stature, being in the financial mess that they are in, they deserve a strong rap on their butts (make that a double to Webo whom I dislike very much), but they do not deserve an action so extreme. Mallorca has a debt of € 85 million, which is quite a lot and they have gone into administration, which is like a public admission that they cannot service their debts. You may be forgiven for thinking why I’m bitching then. You’d feel that they should hire better financial managers than the idiots who’re running the club right now and get it done. But that is not my beef actually. Oh I mean, they need to hire better financial planners and all that, but there are three things that stand out for me.

New Ownership

They have a new owner (Lorenzo Serra Ferrer) and Rafael Nadal has also bought shares into the club with the aim of pouring in some much needed money. Lorenzo Serra Ferrer has a long time association, being born there, then playing and finally coaching Mallorca. What Ferrer did after immediately taking over is go into voluntary administration. Though this is like a public admission that you’re bankrupt, it essentially allows the club to operate and yet pay off the debts. Administration is actually a good thing in the long term for the club. It will help them survive and pull out of the financial mess that they find themselves in currently. A point to be noted here is that there are clubs like Fulham who are in a marginally better financial condition but were allowed to continue playing in the Europa League last season simply because they haven’t publicly admitted that they’re going broke.

The Debt

A debt of € 85 million isn’t much if you compare some of the other clubs on the European scene, but what matters is how you service them. From the look of things, Mallorca, by going into voluntary administration shows that they are serious about climbing out of the financial mess that they’re in. A point to ponder on is that you need money if you want to compete in Europe; such is the state of the footballing world today. And Platini, while concentrating on the financial mess that the club is in did not concentrate on one of the causes: The Individual TV Rights Negotiation prevelant in Spain. How can you expect a club to “spend only what they earn” AND compete in Europe when they do not have the sufficient meants to earn in the first place. A club like Mallorca was actually counting on playing in the Europa League this season because the earnings from the tournament would have helped them a lot in servicing the debt. Sadly, that’s not going to be the case. An interesting thing to be noted here is that Portsmouth, who also have gone into administration were ALLOWED to submit a late application for Europa League by May 31 by the UEFA. It was the FA and the Premier League which put a spanner in the works for them.

Fair Dealing of Fairplay

I do not understand why clubs like Mallorca are made scapegoats for such an issue. If Platini wanted to enforce his financial fairplay scheme in double quick time (and I actually support that scheme), he should’ve done so pronto; but for ALL the clubs. This sorry handing out of the punishment to a smaller club reeks of something bad. I’m sorry to say but UEFA remind me of alley bullies who talk like old granddaddies about what should be right in this world and bash up freshmen and 10th standard graders to a pulp, but never take a stand against someone of their own size.

All in all, I feel UEFA have displayed a lot of bigotry in letting clubs like Fulham and Portsmouth go scot free but have handed out such a strong punishment to RCD Mallorca who could’ve actually made their debt more serviceable by playing in this season’s UEFA Europa League. So Boo to you Platini.


Estimated financial loss to RCD Mallorca by missing out on an Europa League Berth

The below mentioned information has been calculated by my friend Nikhil Rane, who did some dipsticks into the ether and then some estimations and calculations in his excel sheet.

Stadium capacity: 23142
Average attendance (as per the 09/10 season): 12500
Average Ticket Price (based on the 10/11 season): 105.00 €
Average Turnover thru Gate Receipts: 1,312,500.00 €
Total estimated loss over a projected 4 game time period: 5,250,000.00 €
Estimated Prize Money at a bare minimum for reaching a projected knock out berth: 12,000,000.00 €
Total Estimated Loss of Revenue: 17.2 million
Estimated Loss due to unearned TV Revenue for Europa League Telecast: undetermined
Estimated Loss in any Sponsorship Deals: undetermined
1. Average Turnout has been calculated based upon attendance for the home games in 2009-10 seasons
2. Average Ticket Price has been taken from a comparison between average League Match-Day Ticket Price and the probable Europa League Ticket Price
3. It has been assumed that Mallorca will reach at least the knockouts, thus will play an estimated 4 home games and earn the said Prize Money


zizowen said...

agree with you on it being applied more broad scaled... it's not going to gather a reaction that UEFA wants anyways since its firstly one small hobo of a club... but then again it seems thats the case for fifa etc and all in these dealings remember algeria's case ... had that been england that another national team had attacked players of all hell would have been unleashed!

Ashay K. said...

You're right. It seems to be a bad habit of both UEFA and FIFA to make examples out of smaller clubs and big players. I dont mind when rules are enforced, but the bigotry is what I hate; hence my statement about "alley bullies".

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