FFP changes & Relegation predictions

3rd May 2024

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A story that has gone mostly unnoticed is that the FA will be making changes to the FFP rule which has in some ways overshadowed the Premier League this season. Of course the rule which stipulates that clubs cannot exceed a debt of £105m over 3 seasons feels like it would work in an ideal world- but when has football lived in that world? This is not the 1980s anymore. It is a rule that already feels well out of place and in August the amount you can lose is going to increase because quite frankly £105m is a low figure and the FA know that many clubs in the Premier League are going to fall foul of punishments. What would happen if up to half of the teams who have traditionally overspent in the Premier League TV era were being punished every other month. Minus points here and there, charges, meetings, disputes, appeals, forget what happens on the pitch every weekend league standings would be dictated more by a boardroom than the actual quality of sport, are we heading into F1 territory? Something has to change. We have already seen one team use a loophole to get out of their impending FFP charge, that is Chelsea who have spent over £1 billion in the last 18 months. The Blues sold off two hotels located at their ground and that has left clubs fuming.

The FFP charge seems to work in the favour of the bigger clubs too and everyone associated with the game is trying to understand the fact that the more charges you break the more time you get- see Manchester City. Consistency has always been a problem in the game and the FFP has exposed this, how did Nottingham Forest who overspent double the amount of money that Everton did receive a lower points penalty? Transparency is a beautiful thing, which continues to lack in football. What are the wider problems of FFP also? For example billionaire owners are now being put off to invest in the Premier League, knowing that their ultimate spend will be limited. As the legendary sports writer Brian Glanville once wrote of the Premier League as the gravy league train and he was right but ironically what the FFP measures do is take that away. With less investments and perhaps less billionaire owners could a future Premier League start to go backwards in the amount of quality world class players coming to England? One would think that not to be the case but the FA are going to have to do some backtracking and that is beginning in August. Finally, hardly any managers have lost their jobs this season. Last season 12 managers were sacked for this one only 2 have been sacked during the season. One could presume that clubs have gone from a no-nonsense attitude to one of caution, after all with charges looming which club apart from the very successful ones who could afford a sacking can justify having to pay out between £5-£10 million on average to get rid of their managers? 


In the race for the league title it was Liverpool who blinked first and that feels significant. Not significant being up against Manchester City but certainly with Arsenal in the hunt because for a good six seasons now the two best clubs in the Premier League have been City and Liverpool. But as it stands with 3 games left to play as we enter May Liverpool are out of the title race, they were knocked out by a quick one two combination, first by Crystal Palace losing 1-0 at home in arguably the biggest shock of the season given that the Reds were unbeaten at Anfield and then they were floored by their great rival Everton. Everton have had troubles this season and the word 'troubles' seems very blaise to what the club has had to deal with both on and off the pitch. Everton have been under Liverpool's shadow for over 30 years and came into that Merseyside derby with observers believing that the best outcome for the club was to not concede too many goals and give their goal difference a battering in the wake of any form that may come at the feet of Nottingham Forest, Luton and Burnley. Forget that. Everton won 2-0 which incredibly was their first win at home against Liverpool in 13 years and the Toffees are now safe. As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp's final season with the club has ended with a klump and klopp flops to the floor. A Carabao Cup trophy isn't going to cut it for a side under Klopp that had won the league in 2020, had challenged for most of the titles this decade, had won the Champions League and reached 3 finals from the last six and had won the World Club Cup. It has all unravelled and while nobody can take Klopp's achievements away from the Reds, it has ended in a forgettable tarnish of red mist.

Perhaps what nobody else saw coming was that Mohamed Salah, a club legend was going to go the same way as Klopp and exit on a damp squib- it would be incredible if he was at the club next season. Statistically he's done well and it's another solid season for him but his body language and commitment at times have been lacking. He's never quite been the same player once he signed a new contract almost two years ago now, before then commentators were putting his skills, solo runs and goals in the same bracket as Lionel Messi, and there was justification in that. No matter what Salah means to you for the game of football as a whole it has felt like a slow and sad decline for an exceptional player.


Who will be relegated? That is still uncertain in the Premier League with just three games left to play. Only one club has officially gone down and that was Sheffield United such was their expectancy that not that much has been said about it when it finally was confirmed last week. Everton who have been under threat of going down for much of the season had driven away into the distance of safety having won their last three games in a row. Brentford are also safe. So that leaves us with Nottingham Forest in 17th place who have 26 points followed by 18th placed Luton with 25 and 19th placed Burnley with 24 points. Lets take a look at these clubs remaining fixtures and their prices:

Nottingham Forest are the only club out of the 3 teams we have mentioned who are safe for now but there is only of course a point in it. Forest will play Sheffield United away followed by Chelsea at home and then Burnley away. We can see the club get 3 points against an already relegated Sheffield United, losing to Chelsea and then the crunch game away to Burnley, what a game that could turn out to be.

Nottingham Forest projected final points: 29


Luton will face Everton at home this Friday and while Luton has recorded some good wins over Everton and the Toffees are safe we think this is when such an unpredictable side like Everton can be at their most potent and this game looks much harder than it should do on paper. Next up for Rob Edwards side is West Ham away from home and the Hammers will be favourites for that but we think Luton could get something from a side that look tired and have not always performed well even at home against lower ranked sides. Finally Luton will face Fulham at home. This game looks winnable but Fulham are no mugs, and we see a very close game indeed. From all of these games we're not sure Edwards' side will win again this season.

Luton projected final points: 27


Burnley will take on Newcastle this weekend and this should be a very interesting game. Newcastle are far superior but have really struggled away from home. Burnley has a chance to at least get a draw. Following this is a trip to Tottenham and while the home side have blown hot and cold this season we feel that they will have too much for the Clarets. The final game then could feel like a dead rubber as even a Burnley victory would mean that they had been relegated. In short, Burnley in order to stay up need a win from their first two games selected here, but we think despite a great effort they could go down.

Burnley projected final points: 28


To stay up: Nottingham Forest 29

Relegated: 18th Burnley     28

Relegated: 19th Luton       27


To be relegated this season latest prices: Burnley 1.15, Luton 1.20, Nottingham Forest 2.75

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