Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. The two best managers in the world and the two strongest football teams on the planet.
The defining differences? The style of football they play and the way they approach recruitment.
On one hand, you have the high pressing but pragmatic football that Liverpool play and then, on the other hand, you have Manchester City’s total football approach.
You have the Reds, who are a sell-to-buy club with the owners aiming for sustainability over glory. The Sky Blues, on the other hand, approach the transfer market as a means to and an end and that end is to win at all costs.
Liverpool’s approach relies on all clubs being affected by the same constraints. The reason the Anfield outfit is in the position it is is that they sold Philippe Coutinho and so were enabled to sign Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
Manchester City, on the other hand, can afford to buy whoever they want and can make multiple big-money signings every summer.
It’s for this reason that I believe easing the financial constraints of FFP – which, among other things, dictates that clubs can’t spend more on players than they profited the season before.
So if Liverpool’s total profit for a season is £100million, UEFA don’t want them to spend any more than that and this is the case for two reasons. Firstly, they want to ensure the sides in various leagues can’t buy their way to success and to ensure smaller clubs can remain competitive.
Secondly, it’s to ensure clubs don’t bankrupt themselves by spending above their means.
These rules mean that a club run in the mould of Liverpool will need to ensure they’re producing the best players they can in the Academy or signing a player just as he’s becoming world-class or else they will need to spend like a club like Manchester City does every single season.\
For football, scrapping the current FFP rules would make it that much harder for clubs outside the top four to compete with Man City.
While for Liverpool, it would mean their new era of prominence would certainly fade in a season or two.