Editorial: EFL and FFP

With the summer transfer window due to open on Thursday May 17, the topic of Financial Fair Play is still a thorny one online. In the absence of any official information from either the EFL or from the club there is still a question as to where Blues stand with respect to FFP.

Finances and BCFC

FFP is a difficult subject to write about, simply because of the absence of information available from any official source.

I’m of the personal belief that the EFL need to be a bit more upfront about FFP and how it is working. I think this because it seems painfully obvious that there is a lot of scepticism out there about how FFP works and indeed if it works at all.

There are two key things that one needs to understand which relate to the EFL’s attitude towards FFP.

The first is that the EFL are more an association of member clubs than a regulatory body. The clubs run the EFL, not the other way around – and as such rules are going to be made that suit clubs rather than fans.

The second thing to bear in mind is that FFP relates to financial information which clubs are going to want to keep as confidential as possible, like any business.

I’ve long believed that rather than just complaining about things it’s wise to offer a solution, and as such I want to offer my solution to make FFP more transparent.

My proposal is this: a page on the EFL website which outlines in rough detail where clubs stand, that is updated on a set basis so people know when the next time the league changes things will definitely happen.

I would like to see a page where all 24 EFL Championship clubs have a traffic light next to their name. A red light would indicate that a club was in breach of FFP limits, and there would be a link from here which confirms the sanctions in place against the club. An amber light would indicate that a club was within a set limit – say 10% – of FFP limits. A green light would indicate that a club was outside of that limit.

This page would be updated four times a year as a minimum, with set dates so fans know the next time they need to look at the page to see how their club is doing. For clubs in breach the page would be updated more often to reflect changes made by the club to bring themselves back within limits and/or updated sanctions imposed by the EFL.

The idea would then be as a fan I would have a rough idea of where my club was, and a date in mind when I know it will be updated. The second is important because it ensures people aren’t left wondering when announcements and the like would be posted.

I think FFP is going to be in the news a lot this summer, and not just for Birmingham City. As I’ve said earlier in this piece without citable information it’s a difficult subject to talk about but the sad fact is I think a lot of clubs are going to be talking about it in way or the other before the summer is out.

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