In a bid to combat a rising tide of corporate cash, FIFA has put the power of its global marketing arm at the centre of its efforts to rein in the most popular football brands.
It is a move that could have serious ramifications for the sport’s most-coveted franchises, as it could force a return to the days when the most successful clubs and clubs with the biggest revenues are the ones that receive the most financial support from the governing body.FIFA has already been criticised for its decision to award some of its most valuable properties to clubs that were the recipients of massive payments from their owners, while the move to cut the amount of cash clubs can receive is seen by some as an attempt to appease financial markets.
The decision to cut off the maximum amounts clubs can be paid was announced in September and followed the news that the world governing body is now trying to curb the number of transfers in the coming years.
But it is the impact of the decision on the most-popular clubs that has drawn the most ire from those involved.
According to a report by ESPN’s John Wiedeman, there are at least three potential implications for the future of the biggest clubs.
Firstly, if the cutbacks are implemented, it will make it harder for some of the clubs to attract the most lucrative players.
It will also create more incentive for the owners to pay more money to players.
The most successful teams will have to compete more to attract big-name players, according to the report.
The report also claims that this could lead to lower-paid players being tempted away from the biggest teams.
But most damaging of all is the potential reduction in the amount clubs can spend on their top players.
While it is not clear exactly what FIFA’s plans will be for the 2018/19 season, the report does say that the financial structure of clubs will be altered, with clubs paying higher salaries and selling more players.
In total, the new financial structure will see a 20 per cent decrease in the money clubs are allowed to spend, with a further 25 per cent cut from the current transfer cap.
There will also be a 10 per cent increase in the number and value of international transfers, according the report, which also warns that this will be used to increase the amount a club can spend in the Champions League and Europa League.
There are also questions over how this new structure will work in the long-term.
With the transfer cap reduced, will clubs have to spend more to bring in new players?
Will they have to sell players to boost their income, or will they be allowed to use this money to reinvest in the club and rebuild?
This could lead the biggest names to leave the biggest-spending clubs, and the most powerful clubs will also find it harder to attract top-class talent.
It has also been suggested that the cut will increase the money teams can spend to sign players, meaning that players will have a harder time breaking into the first team, according an ESPN report from November.
This is not the first time that FIFA has sought to curb transfer spending, with the latest attempt to do so coming in October, when it reduced the maximum transfer fee for clubs.
Fifa is currently due to decide whether or not to continue the move in January.