Arsène Wenger, previously one of the biggest supporters of a system of Financial Fair Play, now wants the current system to be scrapped.
The problem Wenger has with the FFP system as it stands is that it is not being enforced, and therefore the clubs that stick to the guidelines lose out to the clubs that don’t.
It’s that simple.
Wenger said via BBC, “Financial Fair Play raises new questions.
“I am not very convinced that we can maintain it.
“Do we have to open the door completely? To investments? That is a question we have to raise, because at the moment it looks like we have created rules that cannot be respected.
“Nothing works when you create rules that cannot be respected.”
The problem is that clubs are clearly finding their way around the rules.
Neymar and Mbappé’s moves to Paris Saint-Germain are great examples of this. There is no club in Europe that should be able to afford a £200m player in the same summer they buy another one for £165m.
So how did they do it?
Firstly, reportedly, it wasn’t PSG who actually made the payment for Neymar. Their owners paid Neymar €300m to be an “ambassador for the 2022 Qatar World Cup”, Neymar then used €220m of this to buy out his own Barcelona contract and moved to PSG for free.
On PSG’s books, they therefore don’t have to list the transfer fee, even though the payment was clearly made with the intent of transferring Neymar from Barcelona.
Mbappé then joined on loan, so again, they don’t actually have to pay anything until next year. Although this will go into their books this year given the expected payment of £165m next year, it still hasn’t actually been paid yet.
If it’s that simple to get around the FFP guidelines, then Wenger is right to change his mind on them.
There’s no point having them if Arsenal can’t buy because of wage restrictions but other clubs just ignore restrictions and find ways to buy anyway. That way, the Gunners are being punished for following the rules and actually being the type of club FFP wants you to be.