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SBD Global/October 11, 2013/Events and Attractions

Leaders In Sport: Chelsea's Buck Says Stability A Key Ingredient To Success

Chelsea Chair Bruce Buck speaks at the Leaders in Football Summit.
Chelsea Chair Bruce Buck appears to be at odds with the club’s owner Roman Abramovich over his sacking of managers, arguing it is better to have a long-term manager in place. Buck was speaking Thursday at the Leaders in Football Summit in Chelsea, where he also took a stance against the English Premier League Financial Fair Play rules, which are to be implemented to make clubs more financially stable. Since Russian oligarch Abramovich acquired Chelsea in '03, the club has had 10 different managers, as it looked to achieve domestic and European dominance. Buck said, “In terms of stability of manager, surely having a manager for a longer than a shorter period of time is better. But you have to have the stability of the right manager. I appreciate we have a lot of managers over the last 10 years, but fortunately for us it has worked out and we have been very successful on the pitch. But the biggest problem for me is the reaction from the fans when we change managers.”

PAYING THE BILLS: Buck also hit out at the Financial Fair Play rules. UEFA has introduced financial controls forcing clubs to break even or face stiff sanctions such as a ban from competing in Europe. The Premier League is also bringing in regulations to prohibit excessive spending. Buck said, “Football has a problem and that is there are some clubs who spend money they do not have, in terms of taxes not being paid and clubs going into bankruptcy. We felt that football should do something from a rule-making perspective, but our approach really was financial stabilization, in other words rules which would require clubs to pay their taxes and would not permit them to spend money they did not have." The problem with FFP, Buck says, is it "goes a long way to preserving the status quo." Buck: "One of the great things about football in this country is that if you are in last place in League Two, you can still hope that someday you will win the Premier League. I think that is difficult if not impossible due to Financial Fair Play."
John Reynolds is a writer in London.
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