FFP, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos, was once thought to be make-believe. It existed in some magical universe in which unicorns pooped jellybeans and the Republican Party was the sane, mature one. However—much to our surprise, Everton’s chagrin, and Man City’s disdain—FFP does actually exist. As you surely know by now, Everton have been docked ten points for breaching financial rules. Well done, Premier League. Well done indeed. Now, do 115 alleged financial violations FC, otherwise known as Man City.
It’s one thing to punish a club that’s a clown-show than to punish a club that is essentially a monolith. Everton have hired and sacked eight managers since Moshiri took over in 2016, wasting who knows how much on compensation. Then, there’s been the foolish and feckless transfer business. £40m for Sigurðsson? Look, I like an eth as much as the next person, but ðhat was madness, and it was just the type of ðhe iceberg. Hell, we managed to palm Alex Iwobi off on them for roughly £30m. On top of that, there’s financing that new stadium. Still, it seems that Everton’s biggest gaffe was in cooperating with the Premier League.
By unhelpful contrast, while Man City have been hit with those 115 alleged financial violations, they’ve kicked and screamed and whined, dragging their heels and resisting any request to cooperate—and still any idea of them being sanctioned still feels as real as those aforementioned eskimos. Whereas Everton’s violations took place during the 2021-22 season, the allegations against City bring us way back to the bygone days of yore: 2009-2018. Everton’s cooperation led to a swift and severe penalty that might very well doom the club to relegation. City’s recalcitrance has seem them evade any form of consequence whatsoever, and the more that time passes, the easier it gets for them to claim that it’s old news while they consolidate their power.
If Everton are punished with a ten-point deduction for losing £124m during one season, what would an appropriate punishment for almost a decade of financial malfeasance look like? To see Everton punished this season for violations committed two seasons ago suggests that City’s sanctions, should they ever actually be called to the carpet, will apply to the season in which the sanctions are ever eventually announced. In other words, we’re not likely to be awarded the 2022-23 Prem title retroactively. I’d much rather we be given back the 5-6 points we lost due to incorrect VAR decisions; at least, it would feel like we’d earned it on our own despite City’s massive financial advantages.
Given City’s resources and refusals, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any resolution any time soon. For myself, I find the whole situation especially enraging given how it coincided with our own period of Arsène-imposed austerity. That’s not a criticism of the man; I respected then and still do to this day his commitment to a self-sustaining club. We fast-forward to today, and Stan Kroenke is finally investing in this club to a level that allows us to go toe-to-toe with the deepest, wealthiest, corruptest (?) club in history.
I do hope that the FFP hammer does eventually, finally drop on Man City, and that the hammer is proportionate to that dropped on Everton. Ten points for one season of recklessness? How does that translate to nine seasons of malfeasance? A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, complete with slide-rule, abacus, and sextant, suggests that a 90-point deduction is in order. That’s enough to get Man City relegated. Wouldn’t that be something? It would be almost as magical as those jelly bean-pooping unicorns.