SPL CEO Neil Doncaster has spoken out on the topic of financial fair play. In a robust statement, he made clear that clubs had to balance their books, and not spend more than they earn. He stated that any club spending more on players than it can afford is automatically gaining a sporting advantage over every other club it competes with.
He made clear the SPL would not turn a blind eye to teams which fail to pay the taxman, their players and other clubs as bills fall due.
He made it clear that all teams would be treated equally, and even-handedly, but that the SPL would not turn away form talking action against clubs who did not comply with the fait play principle. The integrity of the league demanded nothing else.
Extracts from his statement are below.
“Crucial to an understanding of financial fair play, is an appreciation of why it is vital that clubs live within their means.
‘Financial fair play’ is a phrase that is often trotted out in football circles. It was one of 11 key values presented by UEFA President Michel Platini to the 2009 UEFA Congress. Its stated aim was to “restore well-being to the European club game”.
But what does ‘financial fair play’ really mean? UEFA’s explanation, in 2010, was that the concept would require clubs to balance their books over the medium term, not spend more than they earn, and operate within their financial means.
This is all seen as important for one key reason: because any club that is spending more on players than they can afford, is automatically gaining a sporting advantage over every other club it competes with. The logic behind the principle is, I think, broadly sound. And it is this same principle that explains the position of the SPL.
To turn a blind eye, to allow clubs to continually fail to make prompt payments as they fall due, would be to allow those clubs to gain an unfair sporting advantage over all those other clubs that pay their players, the taxman and other clubs on time.
The fundamental basis of any football league is that all member clubs are treated equally.
In the meantime, it is vital that the Scottish Premier League continue to treat all member clubs even-handedly.
It may put the SPL in the uncomfortable position of having to rule against member clubs in certain instances.
The integrity of the entire League – and the long-term interests of all 12 member clubs within it – demands that we do just that.
More widely though, it is important that we keep the whole issue of financial fair play firmly in the spotlight. It is vital that we do not shy away from these issues or bury our heads in the sand.
It may be uncomfortable to address these thorny problems head-on. But the long-term health and prosperity of Scottish football demands that we do just that.
Stirring stuff, and Mr Doncaster has made clear the position of the SPL – rules will be applied without fear or favour.
Wait a minute…I am hearing that this is not in fact a statement issued by Mr Doncaster today, but back in March…
I have done a quick Google search for “Neil Doncaster” and “Financial Fair Play”. There are sixteen entries in the last month, but only a couple are actually referring to things written in that period.
As far as I can see Mr Doncaster has not mentioned “financial fair play” publicly for a while.
In addition, one wonders what projections, if any, Sevco Scotland have put to the SFA. The Club Licensing rules, as opposed to the UEFA Licensing rules, do not require projections, although they do require audited and unqualified accounts.
Presumably the SFA has asked for assurances that Rangers will be able to make it through a season?
I am sure in that even Mr Green’s figures are much more optimistic than mine.
He clearly has room in the budget for acquiring international players to fill out his SFL3 roster!
And on a separate note, after pointing out yesterday that Rangers had vanished from the SFL website, they are now back.
However, they might still be annoying the Rangers support. The website states that The Rangers FC formed in 1873.
Oh dear again…
Posted by déjà vu McConville