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Burnley FC Column: Gridiron gang is ideal blueprint
THE race for the Premier League title, much like this year’s Grand National, is heading for a neck and neck finish.
One of the most exciting, tense finale’s in the Premier League’s 20-year history will reach its conclusion on Sunday.
Will Manchester City get their names on the trophy for the first time, or will it be Manchester United for a 13th?
Or in monetary terms, will it be a £160million spend or £167m (the respective cost of their line-ups last weekend) that is ultimately rewarded with silverware?
In the Championship it’s been equally predictable on a financial footing. Leicester are the exception, but there was disruption in their season with a change of manager part-way.
But as expected well-off Southampton are up having stayed in the top two all season, and West Ham United are a step closer to an immediate Premier League return.
Champions Reading didn’t spend particularly big this year, but had the purse of multi-millionaire chairman Sir John Madejski to fall back on if necessary, and more recently their new owner – Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich.
In football, the rich get richer, and better.
UEFA’S Financial Fairplay regulations are designed to at least curb all that.
Football League and Premier League clubs will be encouraged to balance their incomes and expenses over a period of time covering 4-6 transfer windows, starting this summer.
There will be penalties for those that don’t comply, and there will be no get-out clauses in the form of loans or contributions from directors or owners.
Clubs can only spend what they earn.
But this won’t necessarily make for a more level playing field.
The turnover of Manchester United, for example, is vast.
In the Championship, the city clubs are likely to pack a bigger financial punch.
Burnley will have to make smart decisions, on and off the pitch, to compete.
But perhaps there is a better solution to the imbalance than the FFP, and it has been working well across the pond for almost 80 years.
The National Football League Draft is the most common source of player recruitment in American Football.
The lowest placed team from the previous year gets first pick of the cream of the graduates from college football, and so on, working backwards until the Super Bowl champions make the last of the 32 selections.
Compensatory picks are also factored in for teams that lose higher value players.
Nine different names on the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the last 10 years proves it’s a fairer way to operate, and makes for a much healthier competition, and environment.