Following a brilliant season for United, we scooped a sweet £33.9 million from Champions league television and merchandise alone, dwarfing the respective money clubs on the continent earned.
Anti-English UEFA president, Michel Platini, who has already branded United “cheats” in the past month, was none too pleased. The fact that three of the four Champions League semi-final places have been taken up by English teams in the past two seasons is certainly a concern for him.
In 2003 when the situation was the same of Italian teams, with AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan all reaching the semi-finals, UEFA took no issue with it. Likewise in 2000, when Barcelona, Valencia and Real Madrid took up the semi-final places.
When the figures of United’s mammoth takings last season, as part of the £102 million the four English clubs earned, were announced, Platini was none too happy.
William Gaillard, UEFA communications director and special adviser to the organisation’s president Michel Platini, spoke out in complaint. “We are well aware there are some imbalances in the revenue distribution which have a negative effect in national leagues by widening the gap between the rich and not so rich,” he said. “We will talk to the clubs and see how they feel, and try to convince them that in the longer run it is not in their interest if, because of the way money is distributed, national leagues become too imbalanced.”
So Platini feels as though it’s unacceptable for wealth not to be evenly distributed, that we should make things fair for all clubs. Then five days later he completely contradicts himself.
Following Real Madrid’s ridiculous pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, United reported the Spanish club to FIFA. This complaint was rejected, something which Michel Platini supported, when backing Real Madrid’s hounding of our player.
“Every club in the world would like to have Ronaldo,” he said. “It’s part of the system we have today. Players move from club to club and I can understand why Real Madrid want him. They had Di Stefano and Puskas in the past, and as Ronaldo is considered one of the best or the best player in the world it’s normal. If the club has the finances they can do it so, if they don’t have the money they can’t.”
So because Real Madrid can afford to pay £70 million for Ronaldo, it means they are fully entitled to speak about him to the media every couple of days. Some clubs have the money, so can do what they like, and the clubs that don’t, should keep schtum.
If it’s alright for Real Madrid to be loaded and conduct themselves in whichever way they see fit, (behaviour which even Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, and Bayern Munich’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have criticised), because of the unequal distribution of money in football, where does Platini get off condoning this behaviour, whilst criticising the fact United have a similar unequal distribution of dosh because of television funds?
If you’ve got it, spend it, seems to be the general message in reguards to Real Madrid. Unless “you” is Manchester United, or any other English club, in which case we will seek to prevent you getting the money you are entitled to.
The incompetency and bias of the FA and UEFA never ceases to amaze me!