Why The Premier League Can’t Sign The World’s Best Player

Well Liverpool are not there yet.  Here is why, it’s just a bit more complicated.

The English Premier League grapples with constraints in acquiring top football talent, a challenge which appears not to be  as pronounced for Spanish giants like Real Madrid. This discrepancy primarily stems from the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, a regulatory framework implemented by UEFA to ensure financial sustainability and fair competition in football.

Yes it applies in Spain but are there some greater powers at bay? Kylian Mbappé is worth upwards of £150M a season and if the likes of Liverpool could sign him I am confident (providing there are no dressing room bust ups) Liverpool would win the Premier League again.  But also will City and Arsenal et al, especially the latter as they are in desperate need of a striker as proven by the last game between Arsenal and Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Breach of FFP – Points Deductions and Financial Penalties

However we have seen the potential consequences if the clubs get their finances wrong and to overreach and overpay for one player could be more costly, see in  particular the 10 point deduction against Everton for breach of FFP.  Also Manchester City are still under investigation for breaches of FFP and could be hit with a penalty like never seen before.

Is FFP Good or Bad?

But is it a good thing?  I think so as otherwise State Owned Clubs would be able to suck up all the best players and we will be down to one or two clubs just fighting for glory line in Scotland or in France just one clue PSG. It’s great really that we have Aston Villa in the mix fighting at the top and Arsenal back to their best with Tottenham biting away at their heels.

The FFP regulations set financial parameters for clubs, aiming to prevent excessive spending beyond their means and curb financial irresponsibility. In this context, acquiring a marquee footballer becomes a complex task for English clubs. The cautious approach mandated by FFP limits the Premier League’s capacity to compete for high-profile players, potentially hindering their ability  to secure football superstars.

Real Madrid, operating in La Liga, appears to navigate these restrictions with more flexibility. The interpretation and enforcement of FFP rules in Spain seemingly offer greater leeway for Spanish clubs, such as Real Madrid, to engage in high-profile transfers. This adaptability positions them more favorably in the pursuit of top-tier footballers compared to their English counterparts.  Whether this is a true perception I am not sure it just feels that way.  If anyone can help me on this let me know. Is it just that Real Madrid are a better run club or that they have finances and net profits greater than the English Clubs?

The Top Eight Richest Clubs in the World as at 2023

From the website Goal there is a report from Deloitte’s for the world’s top eight richest clubs as at 2023:

1Manchester CityPremier League£619.1m
2Real MadridLa Liga£604.5m
3LiverpoolPremier League£594.3m
4Manchester UnitedPremier League£583.2m
5Paris Saint-GermainLigue 1£554m
6Bayern MunichBundesliga£553.5m
7BarcelonaLa Liga£540.5m
8ChelseaPremier League£481.3m

From a profit point of view (only for last season) Liverpool and Manchester City are up there.  Maybe the rumours of  Kylian Mbappé persona may be a putt off and his wage demands.

Sum Up

In this scenario, a footballer of global stature becomes a focal point of contention. While English clubs may harbour aspirations to sign renowned players, the constraints imposed by FFP can hinder these pursuits. Real Madrid, benefiting from what appears to be a more adaptable FFP landscape in La Liga, may find it comparatively easier to secure the services of such football superstars.

This nuanced application of financial regulations across football leagues significantly influences the competitive landscape in European football, shaping the dynamics of player transfers and club strategies. As FFP continues to be a determining factor, the ability to acquire and retain top football talent remains a complex challenge, particularly for English clubs navigating the stringent financial constraints set by these regulations.

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