Joke of the day: Jack Warner’s idea for a “level playing field”

Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner, said yesterday that wage restraint was necessary in football to ensure a “level playing field”, and a “salary cap should be introduced”. Noble sounding talk from a high ranking official that was once again offering no detail as to how it would work.

Was he suggesting that Manchester United only be allowed to pay as much as Burnley? Who knows, but it’s doubtful. Was he tacitly supporting Michel Platini’s competition destroying idea of limiting a club’s expenditure on wages and transfers to a percentage of it’s revenue? Maybe he was.

If so, then this line was ridiculous:

“In the Premier League four clubs have been dominant over the past decade, and will continue to be until doomsday under the present system.”

Yes Jack, we had noticed the ‘top four’ have been established for some time. This is, to use a Michel Platini term, the result of ‘financial doping’, where the money they receive from playing in the Champions League enables them to outspend other clubs and lure the best players with promises of playing in the top European competition.

Of course, this season, City are able to challenge the ‘top four’ thanks to the investment by Sheikh Mansour. To attract the necessary quality of player for this, City have had to pay more than the players would get at teams already competing in the Champions League. This is a harsh reality that a lot of people prefer to overlook. It’s certainly not something Jack Warner or Michel Platini like to acknowledge when commenting on our spending.

I’m not saying the current situation is perfect, far from it. It’s just tiresome hearing leading figures pushing their own agendas and trundling out pious ‘greed is bad’ views that are so fashionable in our post credit-crunch times.

Warner also went on to question whether having Arabic owners was good for the sport. As opposed to folk like Ken Bates, eh Jack?

I don’t think we need to put a poll on the site to tell us whether City fans are happier with Sheikh Mansour than they were with Peter Swales, do we? Admittedly, the Sheikh has yet to show the same commitment to holding on to power as Swales. But that dedication was hardly endearing.

The Guardian also had this:

“Digger spoke to the Milan director Umberto Gandini, who warned that, if it came to pass, then the top European clubs would feel they have no option but to organise a closed league of their own. “If this is the regulation that Fifa brings, and with what Uefa are talking about, then we would do this,” Gandini said when asked if what Warner terms the “megaclubs” would break away.

“That feeling was echoed by Arsenal’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, who also indicated that the current peace accord under which European football is operating would be broken if heavy regulation is introduced.”

This seems to contradict the line from Platini recently that he had the backing of Silvio Berslusconi (Milan’s president) for the introduction of spending limits.

Previously in The Guardian, Ivan Gazidis had said how he was interested in Platini’s ideas. Of course, Arsenal are now comfortably ensconced in their new Emirates home and receiving match day takings that are second to none. As a result, having a system that limited a club’s expenditure to a proportion of their revenue might suit them down to the ground (quite literally).

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  1. Gazidis & Gandini are playing the obvious roll of if you can’t beat them then join them and then make sure that they don’t do anything stupid to rock the boat. Salary caps cannot work, contracts can be written for a say a 4 year period, but they get released after 2 and still get paid for 2 more or something similar. To increase revenue City just sell 10 super season tickets to Sheikh Mansour family members at 10 million a season, that’s a 100 million in revenue per season. Platani & Co are living in jealousy dream land.

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