Co-Owner of Crystal Palace John Textor has criticised the Premier League‘s financial regulations, calling Financial Fair Play (FFP) a “fraud term”.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football summit, Textor denounced FFP as deceptive and argued that the profit and sustainability rules (PSR) unfairly disadvantage smaller clubs.

“It’s clear that they’re (PSR) built to make sure that clubs who do not drive significant revenues cannot catch up. Financial fair play is a fraud of a term, to say it’s about sustainability,” Textor said.

“Sustainability should be about the quality of your balance sheet, not ratios against your profit and loss. We have got three billionaires in our ownership group (at Palace). We’re not allowed to spend at the level of teams that are in the top six.”

Implemented in 2013, PSR were intended to create fairness in football by curbing the excessive spending of affluent club owners. These regulations can result in possible point deductions for clubs that accrue losses exceeding £105m over a period of three years or £35m per season. 

However, they also provide avenues to offset these deficits through generated revenue, which is why there is an opinion that smaller clubs are at a disadvantage.

Recently, Nottingham Forest and Everton have been two clubs under the spotlight surrounding breaches of FFP, with the latter receiving a 10 point penalty, the harshest point reduction in Premier League history.

However, the Merseyside club appealed the decision and was successful, resulting in the 10 point deduction being decreased to six points. At the heart of their appeal, the club attributed the “excessive spending” to the building of its new stadium.

At the summit, Textor voiced his opinion on the latest Nottingham Forest story, who has been found to breach the sustainability rules.

“Marinakis (Nottingham Forest owner) has plenty of money to fund his team, but he’s not allowed to. If he spends too much and does what the fans want, somebody comes along and docks him points. That’s not right.

“If you have a billion pounds of cash and you’re sustainable—more sustainable than most clubs in the league—you’re not allowed to spend this. Everybody should be saying this; it doesn’t make sense.”

Textor then went on to speak about his own club, adding: “We have got three billionaires in our ownership group, maybe more. We’re not allowed to spend at the level of teams that are in the top six. 

“Josh Harris (general partner of Crystal Palace) has no trouble with money; he just bought an NFL team and owns the 76ers, but Parish (Co-Owner and Chairman of Crystal Palace) is not allowed to go out and spend that kind of money; he gets docked points and sent to the second division.

“I’m just saying you cannot have a rule that says somebody who has the money is not allowed to spend it because their club isn’t big enough. Yet how do you ever get big?”

In the current PSR climate, the Eagle’s Chief emphasised the impracticality of maintaining high-quality players on the bench to substitute for injured players.

“You don’t have an Olise sitting on the bench because you don’t have that kind of capital under FFP. So some people assume it must be the chairman, it must be the coach. No, believe your eyes,” Textor said.

“I’ve got to somehow find a way to put Crystal Palace against Erling Haaland, and if you have an injury, you don’t get to pull a £15m player off the bench, you’ve got to take someone from your academy, because you can’t afford to have that (£15m) player on your bench.

“That is not sport. Is anyone really having fun with this? It’s broken.”

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