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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/6488300/Michel-Platini-who-would-be-stupid-enough-to-buy-Manchester-United-or-Chelsea.html

 

Michel Platini: who would be stupid enough to buy Manchester United or Chelsea?

Uefa president Michel Platini says he wants to protect English football from debt and destruction.

 

By Henry Winter, Football Correspondent, in Nyon

Published: 7:00AM GMT 03 Nov 2009

 

Back in his Juventus playing pomp, Michel Platini found himself in conversation one day with the club's distinguished owner, Gianni Agnelli. "Avocato,'' asked Platini, respectfully using his employer's professional title, "can you tell me to whom football belongs?'' Good question.

 

Platini, now Uefa's president, smiled as he related the story. "It was a good question!'' laughed the man who gave up running football matches for running football.

 

Does the game belong to the owners, businessmen such as Agnelli back then or current overlords such as Roman Abramovich, Malcolm Glazer or the assorted sheikhs now sashaying into the Premier League?

 

Does it belong to media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch? Does it belong to the all-powerful leaders of the strongest leagues, chief executives such as Richard Scudamore?

 

"I was very surprised by Agnelli's answer,'' continued Platini. "He told me that football belongs to the fans and to the press. I said: 'OK, I am 50 per cent agreed with that.''

 

Often painted as an anti-English ogre by Fleet Street, Platini is no admirer of the Fourth Estate but he wants to transmit a message to the English. He wants to protect English football from debt and destruction.

 

"Football belongs to the fans and you have great fans in England. They love football. They respect the decisions.

 

"England is the only country where they get angry about diving. They are great football people. They don't disturb the life of the players. It's wonderful. But I am not so open to the business side.

 

"I am not popular in England because of the journalists. But I see many fans on the plane and they seem to like me, we speak about my passion for English clubs.''

 

But shouldn't he speak with Scudamore? "No. Why should I?'' The Premier League's driving force is rather influential. "Perhaps, yes, but I speak with Lord Triesman of your national association. I get on with him. He knows there are problems in English football and does his best to help.''

 

An hour in Platini's charismatic company at Uefa's Nyon headquarters revealed how much he wants to "protect'' English clubs.

 

Worried about the huge debt, a Uefa committee begins meeting from next Monday to formulate new rules. "We have three years to regulate the situation," he said. "The idea is not to kill the clubs but to help them have better balance. As David Gill says: 'the devil is in the details'.''

 

Yet United's highly-respected chief executive oversees a club dragged into debt by the Glazers. "Gill is a very good guy and perhaps United will resolve the debts in the future. If you put the same [strict] regulations for all the clubs in Europe, they will accept.'' Clubs risk expulsion from Europe otherwise.

 

"The philosophy to participate in our competitions is you must not spend more money than you receive. If United have €300 million and they spend €400 million – no! If Liverpool pay €60 million (interest) every year to the banks, it's a lot of money.

 

"Every owner has asked me for a better philosophy, for better transparency. In Germany, debts are not accepted. In England they are.

 

"Some of the chief executives are not OK with the chance of new regulations [on debt] because they don't want to change their business. The owners are OK with it. Abramovich hardly bought one player this year.

 

"By putting in new rules we will protect the business of Abramovich, Massimo Moratti [at Inter Milan] or Glazer. I am sure they want to sell but who will buy clubs with so many debts? Who would be that stupid?

 

"If you regulate the system, many people will be interested in buying. I am not a big economist but I am logical.''

 

Platini has an issue with the foreign owners proliferating in the Premier League. "I believe [local] players and fans of Manchester and Liverpool create this atmosphere, this popularity. Identity is the basis of everything in football.

 

"It is the people of Tottenham against the people of Arsenal, the people of Abu Dhabi against the people of Riyadh.

 

"I like people to put their money in their own leagues. You English can put in rules so you have no more foreign owners, like in Germany where no foreign owner can have more than 50 per cent of shares in a club.

 

"In France, the stadiums belong to the city, who decide what is good for them. I like the Barcelona model. The fans are the owners and you can never have a foreign owner. It's great.''

 

As well as espousing home-grown owners, Platini urges the English to develop their own players.

 

"You have talent in England – it's up to you not to buy always the best 13-14 young players in Europe,'' said Platini, nodding at mention of Arsène Wenger's recruitment of Cesc Fàbregas from Barcelona's academy.

 

"I am not in favour of the Arsenal system. The more English youth players you have in your team, the better it is for your football and popularity of your game.

 

"Perhaps, in the future with Fifa rules on the transfer of minors, you have to work with English youth. Why can't the English play for Arsenal? They have to come to France to play. It's about identity. Manchester United have to develop players of that region.

 

"It's getting worse for England. We have to protect national teams so that at least England play with 11 English players because there could soon be places for those with residential qualifications.

 

"The European Commission says that people who are working the country can play in the national team. Perhaps Didier Drogba can play for England after five years. We have to protect against that."

 

He would also prefer national teams to be coached by a countryman.

 

"It's up to the national association. After the elimination of England [from Euro 2008 qualifying], they bring in Fabio Capello and have success. Capello is a good coach. It depends on the depth of crisis but I prefer a French coach for the French national team.''

 

Before joining Juventus in 1982, Platini, the then St-Étienne midfielder, considered offers from Tottenham and Arsenal. "But I didn't want to come because you play too much football. In Italy, we did not play for a month at Christmas but I was still tired in '84. That's why I only scored nine goals [in winning the Euros]!

 

"You can't play non-stop from September to July, particularly in a World Cup year. Some players pretend they have an injury just to get a rest.''

 

The 1982 World Cup was particularly frustrating, notably the Seville semi-final against West Germany when Patrick Battiston was almost snapped in two by Harald Schumacher, a moment that engendered a crusading zeal within Platini.

 

"If the referee had sent off Schumacher, given us the penalty, we would have got to the final. It's injustice. That's why I try to change injustice now.

 

"But I won games by injustice too from referee's mistakes. For 100 years, the referee was the boss. Now the cameras control him in the big countries.''

 

Although TV highlights mistakes, Platini refuses to contemplate instant video umpiring. "Technology will kill football. The human system is better. My job is to help referees see everything. That is why we are testing with an extra referee behind the goal [in the Europa League].'' Yet it failed at Fulham recently. "It will get better,'' insisted Platini, for whom goal-line technology is a non-starter.

 

"If the assistant referee is on the line, he can see whether the ball is over the line. And better to give the job to one guy then to spend €50,000 for each stadium.''

 

Additional assistants should, theoretically, prevent dives like Eduardo's against Celtic. "If you have referees there, you will not have any more simulation,'' said Platini who readily admits to cheating as a player.

 

"If I dive two minutes from the end of France-Germany in '82 and we scored the penalty, everybody would be happy. I would dive because the referee could not see me. It's different now. You can't tell diving on video but if you put other referees behind goal, I would not dive.

 

"I would love to have played now. Fifa rules protect players. The talents like Lionel Messi can play. You don't have one player automatically wanting to destroy you. In the past, it was more violent.

 

"I spent my life being man-to-man-marked. And teams play to win now. The Champions League is a wonderful competition. In England, you have four or five big teams, but it's good competition.''

 

Talk turned to darker times, to Heysel in 1985 when Platini was criticised for briefly celebrating his European Cup-winning penalty against Liverpool while 39 mainly Juventus fans were dying on the terraces. "I didn't know what was happening. My father was in the stadium and only learnt what happened by the radio the day after.

 

"I asked myself: 'Why do I play football? People come to see me play and then don't go back home at all. It's terrible.' I didn't think about retiring. My passion for the game is strong. But it was difficult. This drama changed all the stadiums, more in England because you had Hillsborough [four years later]. You always wait for catastrophe to have change.''

 

We quickly move on to Cristiano Ronaldo's £80 million transfer to Real Madrid. "I said to Mr Perez: 'Florentino, I don't understand it, but if you have the money, I have no problem'.

 

"It's not Ronaldo's responsibility, but for me it is amazing, it's a lot of money and there is an inflationary effect for other clubs. It takes away the popularity of the football; 99 per cent of people don't understand €94 million for a player – and my job is to protect football.''

 

Good answer.

 

Can't say I disagree with his view. A lot of Premiership and La Liga clubs run on massive debt where as the German league doesn't allow any debt. Newcastle would have been better off today if clubs were only allowed to spend what they earn. Our fan base income would have kept us miles ahead of the likes of Bolton, Wigan, etc.

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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

other clubs have clauses written into the contracts for pay c uts in the event of relegation.
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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

other clubs have clauses written into the contracts for pay c uts in the event of relegation.

I'd be very surprised if anyone in the PL had a 50% relegation wage cut in his contract. There are also a lot of costs which stay the same, like stadium maintance, match day expenses, etc.

I'm not saying that there's no need for stricter financial regulations, but the proposed restrictions would kill of a lot of clubs.

I'd be also interested in how exactly the Glazers or the Pool owners or Real Madrid are planning to pay back their entire loan in 3 years, and since they won't, and it would be insane to ban them because of their huge following and the economic power thereof, I'm pretty sceptical about the enforcement of this whole mess.

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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

other clubs have clauses written into the contracts for pay c uts in the event of relegation.

I'd be very surprised if anyone in the PL had a 50% relegation wage cut in his contract. There are also a lot of costs which stay the same, like stadium maintance, match day expenses, etc.

I'm not saying that there's no need for stricter financial regulations, but the proposed restrictions would kill of a lot of clubs.

I'd be also interested in how exactly the Glazers or the Pool owners or Real Madrid are planning to pay back their entire loan in 3 years, and since they won't, and it would be insane to ban them because of their huge following and the economic power thereof, I'm pretty sceptical about the enforcement of this whole mess.

there was a story to the effect that only nufc out of all the clubs in the bottom half of the prem last season didn't have these type of clauses and i never mentioned 50%, thats you putting words where i didn't. yes other costs remain the same ,if not rise, but the wages are the biggest outgoing from the club and any substantial reduction in that is what practically every relegated club does.

 

platinis plans would improve the game but i'm not sure if the opposition to it from the bigger clubs wouldn't be too strong.

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Mowens title  :laugh:

 

It was the first time I'd ever noticed you could change that when editing your post...thought I'd see how it worked. I love Dave really.

you love dave really + dave is a cock =  you love cock.
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Mowens title  :laugh:

 

It was the first time I'd ever noticed you could change that when editing your post...thought I'd see how it worked. I love Dave really.

you love dave really + dave is a cock =  you love cock.

 

It isn't like I try and hide it.

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Guest iliketoonarmy

"Technology will kill football" just doesn't make sense. Technology is used to help human in controversial situation and thus improve the quality of overall football field.

 

Technology won't kill football, it just kills off bookies and some random football management pockets.

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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

other clubs have clauses written into the contracts for pay c uts in the event of relegation.

I'd be very surprised if anyone in the PL had a 50% relegation wage cut in his contract. There are also a lot of costs which stay the same, like stadium maintance, match day expenses, etc.

I'm not saying that there's no need for stricter financial regulations, but the proposed restrictions would kill of a lot of clubs.

I'd be also interested in how exactly the Glazers or the Pool owners or Real Madrid are planning to pay back their entire loan in 3 years, and since they won't, and it would be insane to ban them because of their huge following and the economic power thereof, I'm pretty sceptical about the enforcement of this whole mess.

we're a rather unusual case as we were mad enough not to have relegation wage clauses and loads of players on 50k a week plus.

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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

other clubs have clauses written into the contracts for pay c uts in the event of relegation.

I'd be very surprised if anyone in the PL had a 50% relegation wage cut in his contract. There are also a lot of costs which stay the same, like stadium maintance, match day expenses, etc.

I'm not saying that there's no need for stricter financial regulations, but the proposed restrictions would kill of a lot of clubs.

I'd be also interested in how exactly the Glazers or the Pool owners or Real Madrid are planning to pay back their entire loan in 3 years, and since they won't, and it would be insane to ban them because of their huge following and the economic power thereof, I'm pretty sceptical about the enforcement of this whole mess.

there was a story to the effect that only nufc out of all the clubs in the bottom half of the prem last season didn't have these type of clauses and i never mentioned 50%, thats you putting words where i didn't. yes other costs remain the same ,if not rise, but the wages are the biggest outgoing from the club and any substantial reduction in that is what practically every relegated club does.

 

platinis plans would improve the game but i'm not sure if the opposition to it from the bigger clubs wouldn't be too strong.

I was referring to the fact that our revenues have fallen 50% so without loans allowed we would've had to cut back the wage bill by at least 50%, or, as a lot of other costs remained the same, even more.

 

Also another thing: stadium developement. How on earth would a club be able to raise money for a new stadium without loans? Will the club owners be allowed to set up another company, take out a shitload of loans, build a stadium, then rent it out to a club? If yes, what's the point?

 

Another scenario: a club sells it's stadium to a company/bank, then rents it for like 7-8% of the sum/yr for 20 years. It wouldn't go against the rules afaik, yet it's basically a loan.

 

I'm not entirely sure this thing would help football a whole lot, the big clubs have significantly higher revenues than the rest, so they'd remain the big clubs after all. It wouldn't ban rich people from buying clubs and splashing the cash, as long as it's not a loan but an investment. Clubs and chairmen would find the loopholes to take out loans, Real Madrid would sell a training center for 2bn to the government, and they'd continue to buy players for mad money.

 

I support a wage cap though, but only if it's Europe-wide, and is a net amount bc of the the differences in taxes.

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It's not that simple as Platini makes it out to be regarding the debt issue. Just look at us, according to our beloved chairman our revenues halved this season, what would we do if, let's say, we were owned by a fans' trust or by multiple people unable/unwilling to invest? How the hell would we half the costs?

He seems to forget that most players are on 3-4 year long contracts and that there could be a huge change in revenues every year.

other clubs have clauses written into the contracts for pay c uts in the event of relegation.

I'd be very surprised if anyone in the PL had a 50% relegation wage cut in his contract. There are also a lot of costs which stay the same, like stadium maintance, match day expenses, etc.

I'm not saying that there's no need for stricter financial regulations, but the proposed restrictions would kill of a lot of clubs.

I'd be also interested in how exactly the Glazers or the Pool owners or Real Madrid are planning to pay back their entire loan in 3 years, and since they won't, and it would be insane to ban them because of their huge following and the economic power thereof, I'm pretty sceptical about the enforcement of this whole mess.

there was a story to the effect that only nufc out of all the clubs in the bottom half of the prem last season didn't have these type of clauses and i never mentioned 50%, thats you putting words where i didn't. yes other costs remain the same ,if not rise, but the wages are the biggest outgoing from the club and any substantial reduction in that is what practically every relegated club does.

 

platinis plans would improve the game but i'm not sure if the opposition to it from the bigger clubs wouldn't be too strong.

I was referring to the fact that our revenues have fallen 50% so without loans allowed we would've had to cut back the wage bill by at least 50%, or, as a lot of other costs remained the same, even more.

 

Also another thing: stadium developement. How on earth would a club be able to raise money for a new stadium without loans? Will the club owners be allowed to set up another company, take out a shitload of loans, build a stadium, then rent it out to a club? If yes, what's the point?

 

Another scenario: a club sells it's stadium to a company/bank, then rents it for like 7-8% of the sum/yr for 20 years. It wouldn't go against the rules afaik, yet it's basically a loan.

 

I'm not entirely sure this thing would help football a whole lot, the big clubs have significantly higher revenues than the rest, so they'd remain the big clubs after all. It wouldn't ban rich people from buying clubs and splashing the cash, as long as it's not a loan but an investment. Clubs and chairmen would find the loopholes to take out loans, Real Madrid would sell a training center for 2bn to the government, and they'd continue to buy players for mad money.

 

I support a wage cap though, but only if it's Europe-wide, and is a net amount bc of the the differences in taxes.

i'm not so sure the revenues have fallen 50%

 

why do we need a new stadium ?

 

the way to look at it (to me at least) is like stopping credit card companies offering people more than they can service. imagine that on a business level.

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Platini wants to f*** off.

Very constructive  :facepalm: Tbh he makes a bit of sense on a few issues debt,players playing for there adoptive countrys national teams etc but is it really workable and as long as the rest of the european teams are treat the same way no problem.
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The principle on reducing what clubs can spend to a figure based upon income received is fine, but the detail is going to be difficult.

 

There are flaws with focusing on debt, as the examples above show. They key is to control wages, they are the single biggest cost. Everyone hides behind European law when this is discussed, saying that it would be "difficult", but that's complete bollocks.

 

There are other options other than setting a fixed cap at say £50,000 per week per player. You could quite easily set an aggregate cap that applies to the whole registered squad, but any one player could earn whatever they wanted within that cap. That wouldn't be contrary to European law, since a player could still earn what he wanted, and if a club had too many other high earners he could also seek work elsewhere in the market i.e. another club.

 

Result? The top clubs could not sweep up the best players, as players are generally motivated by money, and they would then be dispersed more evenly between the clubs. Each team would have a few "star" players on higher wages, however as they would take up a disproportionate amount of the total cap available, the other players would need to be on disproportionally lower wages - i.e. young players. So at the same time you're making the leagues more competitive, and forcing clubs to bring through young players.

 

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