QPR Co-owner Flavio Briatore believes that salaries should be capped for the long-term viability of the sport – but is that his soliary reason?
Following his take-over of Queens Park Rangers in November 2007 Flavio Briatore has brought some new found glitz and glamour to W12, unfortunately for Rangers supporters this tag has been reserved primarily for the guests as the playing side remains seriously under-funded.
Rumours of Luis Figo and Alessandro Del Piero have come and gone, and penny-pinching Rangers have cobbled together a team from the bargain basement.
The likes of Liam Miller and Gary Borrowdale are two of the most recent introductions that have failed to make a genuine impact on the Championship – the latter being placed on a lengthy contract and already appears to be on his way out after failing to make an appearance.
There has been a lack of ambition labelled at Briatore from sections of supporters with one of the richest men in the world – Lakshmi Mittal – seemingly unable to spend his money because of the club`s stance on player`s wages.
Briatore explained to Bloomberg that in the current economic downturn it is not viable to pay exorbitant sums of money on player`s wages.
He said: “The way the wages of the players are in this moment is completely wrong,
“A salary cap is fundamental. It`s not possible for people investing in football to make up the difference from their pocket every year.
“Maybe the shareholder is quite a wealthy one, but the club has nothing to do with the shareholder,” Briatore said. “It`s difficult for me cutting the salaries of people working in Formula One or the employees of QPR, while the players are untouchable. It`s about principles.”
In the January transfer window Mr Briatore shared Michele Platini`s view of Manchester City`s approach for Kaká. Both were scathing of City`s approach with Briatore describing the deal as ‘mad`.
Concerning the supporters he stated: “You have to have respect as well because there are people in the grandstands who only earn £14,000 a year.
‘When I arrive at my club parking lot it looks like the best car dealership in London because you see only Porsche, Audi and Ferrari.
‘Yet there are people out there who have difficulties paying their mortgage.”
Rangers cost cutting cull in recent times has seen the departure of youth team coach Steve Brown – something which the club has scarcely mentioned, yet players such as Gary Borrowdale continue to draw a wage from the club without a contribution.
While Briatore takes an admirable stance on the wages and the economic downturn, could it be viewed as an elaborate façade? Especially when you hold these comments against the backdrop of current season ticket prices, where in some cases fans have been sadly priced out the ground.
Could it be viewed as a cynical ploy on the part of the co-owner to stop his rivals from spending? Or is Flavio looking out for the long-term state of the game and it`s supporters?
In case you weren`t aware it`s season ticket renewal period?