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Thread: UEFA To Abolish FFP?

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    In The West Stand Webbo Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBT View Post
    So, anyone interested in buying Messi? 700 million transfer fee and 1 million a week in wages - that's surely got to bring FFP to the door of whoever does get him?

    Not that I believe he will actually leave Barca mind, just a ploy to get rid of the President and get himself a new longer deal.

    I think Abu Dhabi will sign him - and get one of the dictatorship's companies to sponsor the tea lady's apron or something for 100m a year but claim it's not connected to the owners. As we've seen, FFP is a sham.
    I f*cking hate wi*an.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    I think Abu Dhabi will sign him - and get one of the dictatorship's companies to sponsor the tea lady's apron or something for 100m a year but claim it's not connected to the owners. As we've seen, FFP is a sham.
    Your obsession with Manchester City is noted and gives me a great deal of amusement.

    Keep going. It fuels our fire. :-)
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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBT View Post
    So, anyone interested in buying Messi? 700 million transfer fee and 1 million a week in wages - that's surely got to bring FFP to the door of whoever does get him?

    Not that I believe he will actually leave Barca mind, just a ploy to get rid of the President and get himself a new longer deal.
    For various reasons, FFPR is not likely to be as much of an issue from now on.

    As we all well know, FFPR was introduced by UEFA under 'orders' from the G18, who wanted to ring-fence themselves and keep all the money in-house. However, now their corrupt organisation and their kangaroo courts have found to be, well, corrupt, the next stage is open for clubs to challenge the whole validity of it. The self-appointed elite have never liked competition from outside and this could have them crying more childish tears into their cornflakes.

    As it happens, Aleks Ceferin seems to be a decent man. He's not a puppet of the G18 and sees through how FFPR has completely destroyed the competition in the likes of Italy, France and Germany, and turned previously good competitions into one horse races. He knows the whole concept was a ruse and I'm sure he'll try and either phase it out or, more likely, adapt it so that it isn't purely about protecting the established elite.

    However, I can't see anybody meeting this 700 million deal and paying those kind of wages. Not even PSG. However, certainly a relaxation in the rules could allow City or United through the door, and let's make no mistake, a relaxation is a certainty because football can't afford to turn down the chance of anybody pumping vast sums into the game in the current world climate.

    In the end, I suspect he will stay where he is. City certainly have a wage structure, transfer fee and signing policy that they haven't wanted to break down the years, and you'd have to wonder if it would upset the level of parity that has kept all players bar one or two happy at the Etihad over the last decade. If Messi gets paid extortionate wages then what would that do to the morale of the likes of KDB and Sterling?

    City have generally seen sense when it comes to extortionate demands in the past and have always pulled out when somebody starts taking the p1ss. I'd hope that same principle applies even when it comes to a player like Messi.
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    Learning All The Songs barry's Avatar
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    And all of the above happens while my team who finished 13 places beneath the bottom placed Premier League club in the League Hierarchy (prior to points deduction) are begging its fans for 500k just to survive past Monday. And we won't be the last.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barry View Post
    And all of the above happens while my team who finished 13 places beneath the bottom placed Premier League club in the League Hierarchy (prior to points deduction) are begging its fans for 500k just to survive past Monday. And we won't be the last.

    Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk
    You can thank the big five in England and the G18 in Europe for the way the game has gone.

    Back in 1992, things were honest and simple. Granted, United and Liverpool had more money than the rest and spent to excess at times, but generally the game was pretty even. Until those big five kicked up a stink in the 1980s, gate receipts were shared between the two clubs.

    Until the big five threatened to spearhead a breakaway Super League with no promotion and relegation, TV money was split equally and all lower league clubs took a share. The compromise was a breakaway Premier League that took all of the money, but at least allowed promotion and relegation.

    At the same time, UEFA formed the 'Champions League', replacing the honest European Cup with a formula that guaranteed the bigger clubs entry every year, which in turn guaranteed them the money to ensure qualification the next year, by way of negotiating mega-bucks deals for group stages that few people had or have any interest in at all.

    They created a never-ending spiral of money spending, but at the same time created a huge gulf in wealth between them and the rest that could now only be bridged by owner investment. The numbers were now so large and the disparity in wealth so huge that footballing dreams for most fans had been shattered. There was no way back, and that's how the G18 always wanted it, because their ultimate aim was to create a gap so large that they could eventually justify breaking away and forming their own European Super League.

    Unfortunately, for them, mega-owners saw this as a chance to invest, but rather than invest in the established elite, they took over outsiders such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris St Germain. The plot was then hatched by UEFA to stop this unwanted intrusion on to their patch and FFPR rules were brought in place. Chelsea and especially City (given how far they were behind) then had no choice but to spend huge amounts in an initial period to make sure they crossed the drawbridge before it was pulled up. This they managed to do. much to the chagrin of the self appointed elite.

    Unfortunately for lower clubs, it's all cast them further adrift. Even more unfortunately, owners aren't allowed vested interest in more than one club here, so the lower clubs in trouble because they owe the equivalent of a day's worth of Alexis Sanchez's wages cannot be helped out.

    Of course, Wigan have been part of the Premier League party and their new owners haven't been anything like as rich or as intelligent as ours. They have mismanaged the club and the situation isn't something that even I could pin on the G18 or Webbo on City. I accept Covid and all the money issues that come with it, but everyone else managed to avoid the same pit fall. I'd be all for a central pot that big clubs could put into struggling clubs, but that then creates a major issue in that some of the lower clubs will harbour no ambitions of playing it by the book, knowing that any difficulties they get in would be resolved by the central pot helping them out.

    The game now isn't what it was. The Champions League and Premier League have destroyed the game in so many ways, but made it better for those whose teams made the cut and especially for those who watch the games on their televisions. Maybe, in that sense, the Super Leagues with no promotion and relegation would have been better, because those fans of lower league and non-league clubs could turn their TVs off and simply watch the more honest game of football at the lower levels. Their ambitions of joining the elite may have been stripped, but without huge foreign investment, they have been anyway.

    I'm at a point now where I see two different sports. The one that Manchester City play in will never leave me, because they are a club that I have supported and loved through all its various ills over the last 41 years. I've never deserted them, but even before 2011 I had some great memories. It's been a true rollercoaster of emotion, and I doubt many have had that true range of emotions I have had watching my team over the years when watching theirs. It's been a dream ride, punctuated by more than the odd nightmare.

    However, I'm also as partial to watching non-league games, going to different grounds, getting wet, mingling with proper football fans, eating a pie, sampling a dodgy pint and risking a smack in the face from the ball when perusing the programme. But let's not pretend they are the same game now. They are not. The continents started to move in different directions back in 1992 and the telephone cable that connected them has long since snapped.
    Last edited by DD; 28th August 2020 at 12:59.
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    In The South Stand Tallahassee's Avatar
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    Great to see a thread about the football again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    You can thank the big five in England and the G18 in Europe for the way the game has gone.

    <<< SNIP >>>

    You have quite the talent for rewriting history and putting a particular slant on events and motives.

    During the 90's, globalisation in general and of football in particular, along with growing economic power within certain countries that had strong football following, saw international demand for TV rights soar for the big [Western] leagues. It was the big, glamour clubs these people wanted to see - and pay money to watch on telly. At home, Sky threw money at the game to get TV rights to live matches. Again, although to a lesser extent, it was fans of the bigger clubs predominantly tipping-up the money to Sky. That in itself enriched not just the big clubs, but all teams who got into the Premier League. When the leagues below this sought to negotiate their own TV deal, they could only secure a fraction of the money, and even then the TV company (OnDigital) lost money (albeit they had piracy issues), thus proving that few people wanted to watch lower-leagues.

    The biggest clubs were the milch cow for all of football.

    In other countries, Spain especially, TV money has always been shared unequally. As a lefty, I really don't agree with this and am glad that PL money is allocated more equally. But when you look at the breakdown of incomes of the biggest British clubs without a sugardaddy, you see that the differential is made by global appeal and the commercial opportunities that that provides, not heavily-biased allocation of TV revenues.

    I do get your point about FFP and the effect of protecting this status quo, although other clubs in each of Spain, Germany & France who are not part of the established 'elite' have become bigger/wealthier organically, rather than as the plaything of a crooked billionaire or sportwashing vehicle of a tyrannical dictatorship. There is certainly a moral argument that clubs like Abu Dhabi, Qatar Saint Germain and Chelski are 'cheating' by using financial doping to skip the long process of building a fanbase sufficient to improve your revenue and commercial attraction enough to enable you invest in good players and a manager to pull it all together.

    More than protecting the positions of big clubs, though, FFP was designed to stop clubs spending money they hadn't got and ultimately getting into financial difficulty. It's easy to say that bankrolled sugardaddy clubs don't face that issue, but what would happen to Chelsea if, say the Russian crook p*ssed off Putin and fell victim to a poisoning? (albeit Chelsea's success has brought them a global following to go with their 'fashion accessory of the C-listers' fandom and therefore high revenues) What if the Abu Dhabi dictatorship fell to an Arab Spring 2? Or the region descended into a hot war as the geopolitical and oil ambitions of the Saudi/UAE/Kuwait bloc and the Iran-allied states spilled over? That big wage bill would still need to be serviced - not to mention making up the shortfall from the lost wages that are currently paid offshore direct by Abu Dhabi.

    But regardless, your club - like PSG - is still owned by a murderous dictatorship for whom equal rights and civil liberties are an alien concept and who have 'appropriated' the income of the country's natural resources to enrich themselves beyond imagination whilst using modern slavery for both building projects and servile jobs. Perhaps by following an established big club it gives me the luxury of being picky, but I really wouldn't want my club owned by such a regime, and I'd campaign against it if the possibility ever arose. And if we ever were bought by such a set of scumbags who just threw money at mercenary players to buy us silverware, I certainly wouldn't feel anything like the same jubilation as I've done when Liverpool have won trophies. Yet we have you and thousands of others who are, in their own way, doing a PR role for the human rights-abusing, equal rights-denying, murderous, terrorism-funding, modern slavery-using dictatorship. Well done you.
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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    You have quite the talent for rewriting history and putting a particular slant on events and motives.
    You say this, but you also do the same. I have a razor-sharp memory for football in the 1980s and I remember exactly what happened. There has been nothing ‘re-written’. As a “lefty”, you should have been appalled by the way the big five tried to screw the rest. Your ‘morally superior’ club was a leading part of that motion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    More than protecting the positions of big clubs, though, FFP was designed to stop clubs spending money they hadn't got and ultimately getting into financial difficulty.
    Come on. You are an intelligent bloke. You don’t really believe this for a minute, do you? Why would UEFA care if individual clubs got themselves into difficulty. It was ALL about protecting the elite. You know it. I know it. Platini knows it. Everybody knows it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    I do get your point about FFP and the effect of protecting this status quo, although other clubs in each of Spain, Germany & France who are not part of the established 'elite' have become bigger/wealthier organically, rather than as the plaything of a crooked billionaire or sportwashing vehicle of a tyrannical dictatorship. There is certainly a moral argument that clubs like Abu Dhabi, Qatar Saint Germain and Chelski are 'cheating' by using financial doping to skip the long process of building a fanbase sufficient to improve your revenue and commercial attraction enough to enable you invest in good players and a manager to pull it all together.
    Of course other clubs have got wealthier. With the vast amount of money circulating in the game, how could that not be the case? TV money alone allows each to grow ‘organically’. Even we would have done. The point is that the gulf between the established elite and the rest has become an unbridgeable gap and that is largely due to FFPR. The only way to cross that bridge now is by financial investment and masses of it.

    As for growing the global fanbase, well the only way you can do this is by being successful. That’s the modern world. So, it is actually physically impossible to organically grow enough under the set of circumstances we now live with. That wasn’t the case in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    What if the Abu Dhabi dictatorship fell to an Arab Spring 2? Or the region descended into a hot war as the geopolitical and oil ambitions of the Saudi/UAE/Kuwait bloc and the Iran-allied states spilled over? That big wage bill would still need to be serviced - not to mention making up the shortfall from the lost wages that are currently paid offshore direct by Abu Dhabi.
    You may think that all the money is invested by ADUG but that is far from the case. Deloitte can tell you that. If you don’t believe that we are largely self-financing now, that is your choice. Outside of UAE companies alone we have massive deals with Puma and the Chinese now own a large share of the club too. The City Football Group pulls in all sorts of sponsorship deals across the globe and our football academy alone is averaging a 100 million profit a year over the last three.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    But regardless, your club - like PSG - is still owned by a murderous dictatorship for whom equal rights and civil liberties are an alien concept and who have 'appropriated' the income of the country's natural resources to enrich themselves beyond imagination whilst using modern slavery for both building projects and servile jobs. Perhaps by following an established big club it gives me the luxury of being picky, but I really wouldn't want my club owned by such a regime, and I'd campaign against it if the possibility ever arose. And if we ever were bought by such a set of scumbags who just threw money at mercenary players to buy us silverware, I certainly wouldn't feel anything like the same jubilation as I've done when Liverpool have won trophies. Yet we have you and thousands of others who are, in their own way, doing a PR role for the human rights-abusing, equal rights-denying, murderous, terrorism-funding, modern slavery-using dictatorship. Well done you.
    As previously stated, you ‘lefties’ always told us to butt out of Middle-East affairs before. If you criticised their way of life, you were racist. None of our business. You can’t judge their standards by ours etc. Now it suits your agenda though, you’re all offended by it.

    Of course, if we do want to go down the path of blaming Shiekh Mansour, Khaldoon Al Mubarak and any connected with the club for the human right issues in UAE, then it might be prudent to research their local laws and customs, how they came about, why they remain and why those individuals cannot be held responsible. The reality is that they do not have the power to change systems. They may or may not agree with things, that I cannot say, but it might be useful to see if you can find Colin Savage’s piece on this. It was an article in a written publication, but when I have time, I might be able to find it and copy some of it here. Needless to say, it takes years to put motions through legal processes and many of the old guard are so set in their ways that they would never pass them.

    “Mercenary players”? A quote that was thrown about ten years ago and was proved not to be the case. Our current top player is nowhere near one of the best paid in the world, nor have any of them been. Kaka would have been a mercenary but didn’t come. Nobody has ever fitted into that category since Robinho.

    I felt more jubilation than you can imagine. I have been present at every single one of City's trophy wins in the modern era. Unless you’ve actually been present at your team’s trophy wins, you cannot possibly comprehend what that jubilation feels like, especially after years of not winning anything.

    In the meantime, thank you for carrying on your obsession with Manchester City. It’s great. :-)
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    The majority of Saints and City fans have seen Saints at Main Road (remember that) more times than city. In the 80s and 90s Town had more fans in St Helens than city.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostik Bailey View Post
    The majority of Saints and City fans have seen Saints at Main Road (remember that) more times than city. In the 80s and 90s Town had more fans in St Helens than city.
    It's quite possible, being a town full of Scousers. ;-)

    It was also called Maine Road. I should know. I watched City there on 472 separate occasions. :-)
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    So... European Super League

    I f*cking hate wi*an.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    So... European Super League

    I could go on for ages about this but Gary Neville has said pretty much everything I could say on the matter. Its a ing disgrace.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    I could go on for ages about this but Gary Neville has said pretty much everything I could say on the matter. It’s a ••••ing disgrace.
    As the Real Madrid president has said now, this is all about money. RM have lost 400 million euro's due to Covid so he wants to do something different in order to get all that back - and that tells you everything you need to know about why this is happening.

    Not a Liverpool fan, but some good comments from Klopp about him and the Liverpool players not being involved in any of this decision making - so it's clear that all this has come about from the top brass at all these clubs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBT View Post
    As the Real Madrid president has said now, this is all about money. RM have lost 400 million euro's due to Covid so he wants to do something different in order to get all that back - and that tells you everything you need to know about why this is happening.

    Not a Liverpool fan, but some good comments from Klopp about him and the Liverpool players not being involved in any of this decision making - so it's clear that all this has come about from the top brass at all these clubs.

    Seen on both Liverpool & Man U boards that the established giants of the game involved in this - Real Madrid, Barca, Man U Liverpool, Arsenal, Juve, Milan - are seething at the failure of UEFA to properly implement and stick to FFP. The oil-dictatorship clubs and the Russian crook's money laundering vehicle have distorted the transfer market by throwing huge amounts of money at players. 200m for Neymar by PSG? That they also signed Mbappe for 110m in the same year is staggering - especially when, particularly at that time, their income from non-Qatari 'faux sponsorship' was relatively small. And they had no FFP sanctions. Citeh also escaped the UEFA ban through exploiting a loophole left open by UEFA incompetence.

    There's a valid argument (repeated by DD in this thread) that the established giants want FFP primarily to stop entry onto their top table by 'plastic' clubs bought by countries or billionaire oligarchs.

    But without the FFP way of stopping these clubs outspending them, the established giants have figured that they'll just look to take an even bigger slice of the TV rights money pie to be able to compete.
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    This at a Chelsea fan protest. If not done in irony, then a hilariously massive lack of elf-awareness:

    I f*cking hate wi*an.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    This at a Chelsea fan protest. If not done in irony, then a hilariously massive lack of elf-awareness:

    Big lad Drogba, certainly couldn't call him an elf.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk DD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    Seen on both Liverpool & Man U boards that the established giants of the game involved in this - Real Madrid, Barca, Man U Liverpool, Arsenal, Juve, Milan - are seething at the failure of UEFA to properly implement and stick to FFP. The oil-dictatorship clubs and the Russian crook's money laundering vehicle have distorted the transfer market by throwing huge amounts of money at players. 200m for Neymar by PSG? That they also signed Mbappe for 110m in the same year is staggering - especially when, particularly at that time, their income from non-Qatari 'faux sponsorship' was relatively small. And they had no FFP sanctions. Citeh also escaped the UEFA ban through exploiting a loophole left open by UEFA incompetence.

    There's a valid argument (repeated by DD in this thread) that the established giants want FFP primarily to stop entry onto their top table by 'plastic' clubs bought by countries or billionaire oligarchs.

    But without the FFP way of stopping these clubs outspending them, the established giants have figured that they'll just look to take an even bigger slice of the TV rights money pie to be able to compete.
    Of course they were seething. They wanted to stifle competition. They wanted a closed shop. They wanted a "fair play system" that would allow them to buy the likes of Erling Haaland for 150 million, despite already being much more than that in debt already. Constantly living on the never-never. Never paying off their creditors.

    Can you tell me what was ever fair about FFPR, when it sought to punish solvent clubs but allow the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and United to run up debts of hundreds of millions of pounds?

    I would have been all for a real FFP, but those clubs never wanted that. They simply wanted to stop other solvent clubs from outspending them. They were scared. Cowards! It was a ring-fence.

    I think we are all aware that those clubs were the ring-leaders in all of this. They simply wanted a means to wipe out the debts that they've built up through their own mismanagement. Debts that they were running up well before they cried wolf about others distorting the market.

    If they were really bothered about the likes of City and Chelsea circumnavigating FFPR, then they wouldn't have tried to form a competition that invited those "plastic" clubs to come and join their party. They'd have cut them out of the invite.

    As for clubs distorting the market. Yes. They have. Many of them. You may want to have a look at how many times City have broken the transfer record or how many players they have signed that are in the top twenty fees of all time.
    Last edited by DD; 29th April 2021 at 15:16.
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    Another once-proud club becomes the sportwashing tool for a scumbag, human rights-denying oil dictatorship.

    The hypocrisy from people like Shearer is laughable.

    It'll be incredible seeing their players take the knee against all forms of discrimination when their employers deny women even basic rights, murder dissenting journalists, and execute gay people.

    When you think football has lost its soul, something like this happens and you realise there's further to sink in that cesspit.
    I f*cking hate wi*an.

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    Shocking to see their supporters celebrating like they’ve won a trophy or something

    Hopefully they can put all the images of women and homosexuals being stoned to death to the back of their mind when they are celebrating qualification to the Europa League

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    Do Newcastle fans really think they are gonna win a trophy in the next 5 years? Players are mercenaries these days, don't care about winning anything, just go where the biggest sum of money on the table is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBT View Post
    Do Newcastle fans really think they are gonna win a trophy in the next 5 years? Players are mercenaries these days, don't care about winning anything, just go where the biggest sum of money on the table is.
    Its going to take a while, they have no core to their side, when Chelsea did it they had the likes of Lampard, Terry etc to bring players in around. City’s success wasnt overnight, they spent under the Thai owner and then went even bigger under the current lot, but it took them 5 years before they won things, and the league was a bit weaker when City started spending big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsepho View Post
    Its going to take a while, they have no core to their side, when Chelsea did it they had the likes of Lampard, Terry etc to bring players in around. City’s success wasnt overnight, they spent under the Thai owner and then went even bigger under the current lot, but it took them 5 years before they won things, and the league was a bit weaker when City started spending big.
    Even still, the players they are being linked with (which I know is everyone and all about selling papers) I just don't see them making a "team" from in at least 5 years that would even contend to win a trophy let alone actually win one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBT View Post
    Even still, the players they are being linked with (which I know is everyone and all about selling papers) I just don't see them making a "team" from in at least 5 years that would even contend to win a trophy let alone actually win one.
    I agree, with money the only incentive you are looking at mercenaries, they need to get in to the Champions League before players will go there for the football, or at least get a manager that people want to play for to split the difference.the only player in their current squad who has got any quality is ASM, they beed to add players in around him and create a spine for their team, but thats a long term process and they have a short term need to avoid relegation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsepho View Post
    I agree, with money the only incentive you are looking at mercenaries, they need to get in to the Champions League before players will go there for the football, or at least get a manager that people want to play for to split the difference.the only player in their current squad who has got any quality is ASM, they beed to add players in around him and create a spine for their team, but thats a long term process and they have a short term need to avoid relegation.
    Which I just don't ever see them getting, unless they somehow manage to pull off getting players like Haaland, Mbappe, De Ligt, Rabiot, Chiesa, Donnarumma that they are linked with everyday. Everyone else is the Premier League is spending and improving every year too, and already challenging for Champions League positions, so no way are Newcastle ever going to be able to push the likes of City, United, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea out of that chase - if a player wants CL footy and not just money, he is (or should) going to go to one of those already established teams.

    Different era now, to say in the 90's, when United and then Arsenal, were dominant and you knew one of those was always gonna win the league. The rest of the CL spots were seemingly always up for grabs and different teams getting in them each year, whereas now it's same old same old. One top class player in your team back then (like Shearer at Blackburn then Newcastle for example) could make you a challenger for trophies - now you need 5 or 6 world class players, and the rest of your squad needs to be quality too, and I just don't ever see that happening at Newcastle, or any other club that suddenly gets massive cash investment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsepho View Post
    Its going to take a while, they have no core to their side, when Chelsea did it they had the likes of Lampard, Terry etc to bring players in around. City’s success wasnt overnight, they spent under the Thai owner and then went even bigger under the current lot, but it took them 5 years before they won things, and the league was a bit weaker when City started spending big.
    Another key difference is that there a multitude of teams who can match Newcastle in the transfer market. In reality, it matters not whether your owner is worth 23 billion or 320 billion. There's only so much that can be spent.

    If you look at what Newcastle are up against in world terms.

    1) You've got City, who can spend 100 million on a player comfortably and are at such a level in the game that pretty much every great player would seriously consider signing for them.

    2) Chelsea - See No.1

    3) United - Have spent 70-90 million on a number of players and are still a major drawcard for anyone.

    4) PSG - Who can spend 200 million on players.

    5) Real Madrid. Who's debts are constantly on the never-never and can still pay 100 million without being questioned.

    Throw in Liverpool, Bayern and a few others, who have never been shy of spending big money and, quite frankly, who's going to go to Newcastle?

    If people remember with City, apart from the farcical attempts to sign Kaka. the first few years was very much spent by signing players the existing top clubs thought slightly beneath them. Robinho was the symobolic signing and Carlos Tevez the statement one, but the next couple of years saw the likes of Adebayor, Bellamy, Lescott, Bridge, Given, Barry, Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure come in, before moving to the next step once the club had made the top five in 2010.

    Even the greats that did come in came under the radar and required a bit of astute scouting. Kompany and Zabaleta were already in place by the time of the takeover, Silva and Aguero weren't even attracting any interest from others over here and Yaya Toure was laughed at for being an overrated plodder. It was never as simple as simply waving the chequebook or the signings would have been established household names. Those five were the real spine of our team and they cost roughly 100 million in total.

    Of course, we did go through a bag full of mercenaries, some of which I have mentioned above, but if Newcastle think it will be easy to construct a team in an era when even the worst Premier League club gets 100 million a year from TV, then they are sorely mistaken. In reality, City just about got over the moat before the established elite pulled up the drawbridge, but it will be a much, much harder bridge to cross now. Their only way to get up to anywhere near where they want to be is to make a ten year plan and start by signing the better players from those around them in the table.
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