It’s going to be a big day today for Manchester United CEO David Gill at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester.
On Day One of the Soccerex European Forum on Tuesday, Gill stepped reluctantly into the spotlight to jointly-announce the agreement by European Club Association (ECA) members to broadly accept UEFA’s Financial Fair Play proposals. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and ECA General Secretary Michele Centenaro were on the main stage too, but the press corps only had eyes for Gill.
A wry-looking Gill was well-prepared and deflected any barbed questions about Manchester United’s ownership and debt levels with either a ‘No comment’ or a school-masterly rebuke to the questioner for bringing up such matters when they were there to discuss Financial Fair Play.
So Gill will know what to expect this afternoon when he enters the same auditorium for Round 2 of the press vs Gill in a session called “One-to One with David Gill’. The journalists are primed and ready for action but my money’s on the cool-headed Gill to emerge ruffled but unscathed when the dust settles.
By the way, some people thought the ECA announcement a bit of a damp squib, falling way short on the key details. I got the feeling it was rather more than that: sure, we don’t know exactly how much club sugar daddies will be allowed to spend on players from their own bank accounts in future; the requirement that clubs should ‘break-even’ over a three-year period was also a little cloudy, as were detail over what the actual sanctions would be for transgressors.
These details will doubtless emerge in time. Meanwhile, European football has taken a couple of important steps: it admits it’s got a problem and it’s trying to do something about it.