SISU Open A Potential Can Of Worms Over Coventry City & State Aid


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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4 Responses

  1. keith says:

    Coventry City’s new nickname: The Rent Boys

    I think state aid in football is not so straightforward, on one hand there is the argument that clubs are part of the community in the same way that a park might be provided to keep kids off the street and give people green spaces. Funding the local club helps to keep people employed, helps to have a local attraction for outside visitors bringing trade into the region, puts the place on the map etc.

    But on the other hand with private ownership and potential profits on the line, private competition should be fair and equal so having he backing of the taxpayer and having much deeper pockets lends a slope to the playing field. Particularly in areas with multiple teams, where it would be unseemly to support one team but not others. Also should tax payers money be used to help private businessmen get richer? Seemingly not when there are more needy people in the area who have nothing.

    So several things appear to be relevant: one club town? What level of football? Who owns the club? Any league-wide rules?

    One way of limiting the fall out from this would be for FIFA/UEFA to put their own rules in that deal with what state-aid is acceptable and what is not, that way if they deal with it they may head off the involvement of the EC. Perhaps they could add it as an appendix to FFP.

  2. Ian says:

    What about in places like Italy where the city owns the stadium, not the club: is that fair or against the rules?

  3. Axl says:

    The reason why State Aid law has become such a big issue in football is for 2 reasons:-

    A) Platini has identified it is a good mechanism to apply the Financial Fair Play rules; and

    B) There’s a state aid case called Leipzig Halle, which was decided in December 2012. It says that public sector bodies that operate in markets will be considered to receive state aid when they build infrastructure they then operate such as airports and stadia. In such situations it’s the body that builds the infrastructure that is in trouble with the European Commission. That’s what SISA are trying to argue.

  4. N. Fenton Beasley says:

    I am very surprised that none of the major newspapers have yet cottoned on to this story and the wider implications of state aid investigations into professional football in the UK.

    Take the Championship. The two clubs automatically being promoted are Cardiff and Hull.

    However any Championship club or deep pocketed fan could, with the right lawyer, launch a legal action because they both have benefited from very low rents charged by the public sector owners of their stadiums.

    If successful, the clubs would have to repay the rent due over the seasons plus interest. They would also, surely, be docked 10 points for having been illegally funded. This would probably reverse their promotion.

    So, this could change the outcome of the Championship and the make up of next year’s premier league. Remind me of why no newspapers are covering this? Too complex?

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