The Football Column ‘Blueprint’

In 1961, Jimmy Hill alongside the PFA were instrumental in abolishing the players’ maximum wage, but in recent times, the face of football changed, when Standard Liège’s John Bosman created history by taking Liège to the European Court of Justice, because Liège had priced Bosman out of a
move to another club, but the player’s contract was at an end, hence Bosman’s angst. The control of the player’s registration was legally bound on the side of the Belgian club.

A 5 year court battle ensued, player power won the case. In came huge signing on fees for the players, as player power swept through English football in particular, hence the more inflated wages which the players demand. Is this good for the game? The Manero ‘blueprint’ endeavours to unravel
the complexities of football’s ills. Bosman received 500000 in compensation, and ignited the football ‘cash cow’ for the modern day player, as our clubs hit the debt buffer zone.

In response to Bosman, I suggest a player’s wage ceiling of 20,000 pounds a week, with the players forfeiting any signing on fees, which would take effect for any player wanting to break his contract.  On occasions these sums of money can exceed one million pounds, depending on the transfer fee,
with the quality and the stature of the player within football. This in turn would stop players leaving clubs with huge sums of money, and in return the players might consider showing some loyalty to their clubs and its supporters.

Still in focus is the Bosman case, and the Column maintains that the current contract system is frequently abused by the players to suit themselves. A change needs to be implemented in which the players’ registration would have to be 100% controlled by the clubs, so they can decide on any
movement within the legalities of the players’ registration. Currently the clubs cannot fully claim the registration from the player if he wanted to break his contract.

The situation for the managers is slightly different, as eventually many do not escape the sack. I suggest a 50,000 compensation payment for the managers. An example of a sacked manager receiving mega compensation payments was former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, who reportedly left the club with a 7 million pound sweetener due to his long contract. As for the football agents who represent the players and on occasions the managers, I suggest a small percentage of the transfer fee should be their payment, instead of the high percentage which they currently receive, again this would stop huge amounts of money being filtered out of English football. These changes which in my opinion need to be implemented to safeguard the future of English football, with this being applicable to the top flight clubs. Football’s second biggest governing organisation UEFA are currently bringing in new regulations, in part, during this season, outlining to all top flight clubs globally the need to provide documentation of each club’s plans to control their individual financial positions. The clubs have been informed that within UEFA’s criteria, they can only spend money depending on their incoming revenues. The aim is for the clubs not to out stretch their finances, which is presently the case with most, if not all of the clubs. This same format is being
seconded by the English Government, who have informed the Football Association, and the Football League, of the need to provide full transparent evidence of the financial position of all our clubs, with the main focus on the Premier League Clubs. If the Government are not satisfied with their
findings, then it is possible they may set regulations within English football, to hold the powers within football more accountable. I have long advocated Government involvement within football’s umbrella, as the powers that be need to be regulated.

Financial problems also impact on our lower league clubs, with many clubs constantly living under the threat of closure, but due to the earlier regulations being set, many of these clubs are being more responsible, with 20 clubs generating a profit last season. I suggest a larger slice of the television money needs to be circulated to the Football League clubs, where at least twenty clubs have entered administration during the last decade, without this facility, these clubs would not have survived, as liquidation would have been the next step to closure, we would have lost an entire league of clubs. In recent times, Wimbledon and Chester City have entered the liquidation umbrella, but due to the tenacity, desire, business acumen and love for their club, these two clubs are now ‘phoenix from the ashes’ clubs. Is Chelsea’s Champion League triumph any more remarkable than these supporters achievements at their clubs? The penalties induced onto clubs who enter administration by the FA needs to be abolished, which leads to many clubs being relegated, due to a
FA points reduction, which has been as high as a 25 point reduction for some clubs. This only creates more problems for these clubs, who struggle to survive. This has occurred mainly in Leagues 1 and 2.

Many of the bureaucrats within the FA have no concept of grass roots football, with the same people alarmingly involved in the selection procedure in appointing a new England manager, as the Manero blueprint enters another domain, inside the mechanisms within this particular governing body.
Further Football Column insight also reveals that many outside the FA are also involved, and have no experience of professional football, in which many come from football affiliated counties, they are football council members for their particular county, in truth, their work is involved in the amateur
game in our country, where in fairness to them, they do understand grass roots football and work diligently in their particular domain, which should not include their involvement in the selection of our national manager, which is based on a voting system, where too much politics takes place in this

This format is a ludicrous and scandalous system in appointing the right manager, for the most prestigious and biggest managerial position in world football. In my opinion, the English footballing public would be better served with former respected England international players and managers
who understand the World international scene at this level, and to be given the power to determine the right candidate for our national manager.