The FA have charged Manchester City with a doping offence, and while it’s not as exciting as you might think, it does pose quite a few questions.
Clubs are required by the FA to inform them where their players will be every day so that surprise doping tests can be carried out. Should a club fail to provide this info to the FA three times in a rolling 12 month period, they will be fined. That’s what has happened here with City. Well, they’ve been charged, at least.
While Pep Guardiola’s side have until 19 January to respond to the charges, if they are found guilty they face a fine which, in previous instances, has been around £25k – peanuts to a club like City.
Fleetwood Town have also been charged with the same offence, but does it seem fair that they could both be fined the same amount? Isn’t that punishing the smaller club more harshly?
Income based fines
In most of Scandinavia fines are based on income.
If you are caught speeding, you don’t get a flat £100 fine (for example) but a set percentage of your wage. This means that if you are earning £1m per year your fine, relatively speaking, is the exact same if you are earning £10,000.
A £100 fine certainly means a lot more to the latter group who are earning just £10k than it would to someone bringing home £1m a year.
Under the current system in the UK across the board, the rich basically get away with doing whatever they want because the fines are so inconsequential.
Manchester City’s turnover in 14/15 was £352m.
Fleetwood Town, for the same period, turned over £4.67m.
That means, if both sides are fined £25,000, City would pay a charge that represents 0.00769 % of their turnover, Fleetwood Town 0.535%.
If City were fined at the same percentage as Fleetwood, they would have to pay £1,738,750. Or, if you want to do it the other way, if Fleetwood were charged at the same percentage of turnover as City, their fine would be just £359.12.
Does the current system seem fair to you?
Of course, this will never happen because the rich clubs, and I include Arsenal in this, are also the ones with all the power.
It’s a loaded game.
We can only hope that if the FA is serious about using the fine system as a deterrent, they reconsider the amount they charge Manchester City.
Money, however, at this level of the game, is no issue for clubs and there is simply no way that the FA will fine City an amount that will make a difference to their attitude.
They should lose points.
Football doesn't take doping offences seriously. If it did, 3rd offence/error/oversight in 12 mths would bring points deduction, not a fine pic.twitter.com/X2MbvCstpZ
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) January 12, 2017