Can Arsenal Take An FFP Advantage With Forest Star

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There are quite a few stories that have come out of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign so far, and whilst Arsenal fans are well aware of the incredibly tight three way battle for the top flight trophy that we are having with both Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, continuing issues and mismanagement of the Video Assistant Referee technology constantly fill the headlines.

This season will be well remembered for something else though, and that is by fans of all club colours and not just Gooners – Financial Fair Play issues and the Premier League’s sudden sexual attraction to handing out punishments for Profit and Sustainability Rule breaches, whilst appearing to simultaneously sit on both thumbs when it comes to progressing the charges long laid against our challenging Etihad Stadium outfit and even PowerPlay Ontario would have had odds saying we would have a conclusion by now.

Everton, Nottingham Forest, and even Championship side Leicester City (who no longer fall under PL jurisdiction), have been thrown up the wall and are the FFP talk of the town, and understandably a lot of fans are confused right now with the appearance of even more double standards at play in the league.

There is another side to this story though in terms of a wider football perspective, if and when ‘all’ potentially breaching clubs are punished appropriately, the PL could see a rebalancing of power, and at least in the meantime, one of the first examples of that could be us capitalising on Forest’s current situation in an effort to sign Morgan Gibbs-White, who has been a long term favourite of manager Mikel Arteta.

With the City Ground club suffering a four point deduction if their appeal is not successful, even if they still avoid relegation this year, they still need to correct the abnormality in their FFP three year period, and cashing in on prized assets is one very quick way to do that.

With Gibbs-White joining them from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a reported £42.5 million back in 2022, in their current position, they simply might have to accept breaking even on the 24 year old, or even swallowing a small loss just to ensure they get an FFP gain. Particularly if, they do now succumb to relegation with the points deduction in play, there is very little chance of them being able to hold out for even a small profit given what would then be an already loss of the PL’s broadcasting riches.

There are plenty of twists and turns left in the 2023/24 domestic battle, and that will obviously take precedence for fans right now, but it does not take much of an educated guess to think that we have not heard the last of the FFP stories for the year. If that does continue through to the end of the season and into the summer months, then we could be potentially in for even more of a strange, weird and wild transfer window, as clubs like us look to strengthen ourselves with talent the could be more cheaply available.

The counter is, it could also lead to more tightly contested bidding wars as other clubs will have the same thought. This could well be the near future until the PL are perceived to be more fair in their decisions though. The playing field has never really been level, but it would be nice if it was not weighted to some.

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