FFP come for Forest & O'Neil impressing

21st March 2024

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FFP come for Forest

The FFP have come knocking, this time at Nottingham Forest's door and the club have been docked 4 points and as a consequence have been dumped into 18th place and the relegation zone. The club knew that a charge was coming and originally this was set for April but has been moved forward to the present with the intention of giving the club some time to make up the points. Forest of course will appeal and Luton and Everton will be happy for now. However it should be asked in the name of gamesmanship if the timing is off? Should Forest be punished goes with question, they have broken the rules and signing 29 players in their comeback season in the Premier League has not helped matters. But now Forest find themselves in the bottom three with 10 games to go and it feels like all of these inquiries are dabbling into the football we know and love and shouldn't the matter of who goes down and stays up rely on what happens on the pitch?

The solution? Well we could take Everton manager Sean Dyche's words from a few weeks ago and he suggested that clubs who are docked points should receive their punishment in the summer, so if you are found guilty this season, in effect you are punished for the next, of course given Everton's position and what they have been through with FFP he would say this but it does seem to make sense. In Forest's case even though they have been docked points they have only slipped 1 point behind Luton and could well still survive, the winners at the moment are Everton. The problem is that Everton's second FFP hearing is scheduled any week and the Toffees could well lose more points. Again we are taking the action on the pitch and chucking it aside for the numbing entertainment in a boardroom where a panel are making huge decisions. Something seems off and something seems American. In American sports decisions away from the actual game are commonplace and as we know in these sports everything is slowed down and takes its time, they even managed to slow Ice Hockey down. This past weekend the game yet again felt its American presence with a 6 minute delay in the West Ham-Aston Villa game over a handball. Is it not ironic that the real people who suffer these time delays are the paying customers?

However, back to Forest and their points situation, the club will appeal- when Everton did the same thing it took 3 months to garner a result, so could we have a situation where Forest have been relegated, the season is over but they win their appeal in the summer and stay up? Will we have a situation where Forest have gone down and the panel will feel prejudiced to keep them down because of the can of worms that would open? Let's not forget Manchester City and Chelsea who are the next two clubs to surely face FFP sanctions. With clubs having between 4-10 points docked on small charges one can only wonder what is in store for City and Chelsea, it will be interesting to see if the big clubs with the big money and big lawyers will be punished to the full extent.


Gary O'Neil impressing

Gary O'Neil has certainly been one of the best managers this season and it would have been easy for him to have fallen off the radar after being sacked at Bournemouth but he has gone to Wolves, a club who have suffered from sales and injuries and so far done a fantastic job. Good English managers can be hard to come by but with Wolves pushing for a European place no one would have expected O'Neil to have had such a season with the current squad he has. He currently has a win rate of 45.7% which is fantastic for Wolves and a mid table side. But should we be worried for O'Neil's future in the game? At this rate O'Neil won't be at Wolves too long and the big clubs may come knocking but this quickly reminds us of what happened to Graham Potter at Chelsea. Before Chelsea Potter was doing a superb job at Brighton and was being touted as a future England manager and perhaps a genuinely brilliant English manager overall. It took 7 months at Chelsea to blow up the hype and he was sacked and has been out of a job for almost a year. Now this doesn't mean that Potter isn't a good manager but some of the big clubs pull the trigger too soon and it can damage your reputation, beforehand Potter was in a great position, now, that isn't too clear. O' Neil could follow a similar path and if one of the big six clubs came knocking in the summer how could he turn them down? That is the catch 22 and it is hard to blame a manager in that respect. But the problem is you are given no time and that is underlined if you are also English. This has been evidenced repeatedly in the league with the latest example being the sacking of Potter at Chelsea while Mauricio Pochettino keeps his job at the club who are in 11th place and 25 points behind the league leaders. 


England look strong

There are no Premier League games as this week is being taken up by Internationals. England will play two friendlies against two quality sides in Brazil and Belgium in the space of three days. It is perhaps a shame that both games will take place at Wembley Stadium and it may have been a chance for others in Northern England to have seen England play nearby. England are being spoken up by much of the English media as the favourites to win Euro 2024 and having reached the final of the last tournament and done well in the last 2 World Cups perhaps that is justified. There is some real quality in the England team now with the likes of Harry Kane upfront having one of his best seasons with Bayern Munich goalwise and Jude Bellingham could well be one of greats of English football, certainly England will be expected to go far this summer in Germany.

To win Euro 2024: England 4.33, France 5.00, Germany 7.00, Spain 8.00, Portugal 9.00

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