AFC Bournemouth have a history with the regulations behind Financial Fair Play.
So it’s hardly surprising when the Cherries have spent in the region of £80million on transfer fees during the 2018/19 campaign that along with a few raised eyebrows, some questions would be raised as well.
In 2015, the Cherries were found to have broken Football League regulations in regards to FFP during the season in which AFC Bournemouth won the Championship title.
It tainted the achievement for neutral and rival fans who didn’t, understandably, know all of the ins and outs as to why, despite one of the lower budgets in the second tier, AFC Bournemouth broke the rules.
The fine, in the end, was reduced by the Football League and it was formally stated that the Cherries had not deliberately infringed the regulations.
So now that AFC Bournemouth are actually spending big money, should Financial Fair Play be a concern again?
Written by northstandmark
First off the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules that apply to the Premier League is completely and utterly different to the FFP that applies to the Championship. The former to drawn up and governed by UEFA with the Premier League agreeing to it, the latter is a self-imposed Football League matter. So the rules and scope of the two versions of FFP are very different and shouldn’t be confused, it’s an easy mistake that many people fall into, not least in the UK, sometimes even in our media.
It boils down to adding up your income over the course of 3 years, and limiting the net spend on transfers to less than you’ve earned in income. Reviewed each year taking the previous 2 into account also. So if for example, you want to splash out one year but reign it in the next, you can.
AFC Bournemouth earns north of £100million per year in income currently. I don’t have the 3 years of accounts to hand to tot it all up, but it’s substantial income. Using very fag-packet numbers, as long as our transfer fees, player wages, and agent fees don’t add to up to some £250-300million, we’re ok.
It’s worth noting we’ve posted operating profits in recent years, a £14million operating profit I believe it was last year.
We’re certainly spending a lot in recent months and have moved well up the table in transfer fees paid. However, our wage bill remains relatively low down the table, due to many of our players being in the younger stages of their careers. As an example, Crystal Palace are struggling to find money for signings currently, but they have a squad of experienced players, multiple of them on 6 figure salaries. That’s how they choose to apportion their budget, and that’s absolutely fair enough. Different strokes for different shareholders.
Our approach seems to be to put together this group of young players, even if it takes a lot of money to get them, and then build them up. As long as we continue to stay up and as long as those young players develop well, it’s a sound tactic that in the medium term would give us a squad full of valuable assets. The only danger to us is more of those young players going the way of Jordon Ibe as opposed to the way of Nathan Ake or Lewis Cook or David Brooks.