Re: The Football Thread
A BIT CONTRARIAN, in the spirit of discussion.
Question: Is the proposal unprecedent and unique?
Answer: HARDLY. Football has a history of reinventing the playing system, the most recent of which was culminated in the Premier League and the Champions League as we know them today. My knowledge of the English League is better so I will stick to example from that.
In mid-1980s, the clubs in the Football League (predecessor of the PL) threatened to breakaway and managed to wrestle a favorable financial arrangement, getting up to 50% of TV and sponsorship revenues.
The negotiations of broadcasting rights in 1988 were again conducted under the threat of top 10 clubs leaving the League to form a 'super league' (sounds familiar?) unless they were paid more.
In 1990s, the top five clubs of English football (again, sounds familiar?) teamed up with ITV and, in collusion with FA, presented the plan of a Premier League, with the sole purpose of making more money. The Football League clubs 'resigned' in 1992 and joined the Premier League.
Q: BUT, no- they maintained the structure of football even when they created PL. Clubs could get relegated and promoted. The Super League is a closed shop!
A: Really? Well, for one, there aren't enough details about the Super League for any of us to take extreme position on the matter. What we know as of now is that it is a replacement of the mid-week matches that clubs played i.e. Champions League and Europa League. IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR THE DOMESTIC LEAGUES. The concept and joy/pain of promotion and relegation is a domestic league concept and that is not proposed to be touched by the Super League. A Tier 4 club can rise through the ranks and win the Premier League in future, as they can today.
Q: Hello? What are you saying? What about the opportunity to play in the Champions League based on domestic league position? The romance of Leicester v. European Clubs, or the chance of West Ham to lock horns with continental opposition next year.
A: Umm- that's not being changed either. The UEFA competitions can continue as before. Based on league positions, the teams will continue to lock horns with other teams in Europe.
Q: But, hello! They won't get to play the likes of Real Madrid or Barca.
A: Umm, again- so? Is there any right of anyone to meet the likes of RM or Barca in European competition? It's not RM League or Barca League. Anybody who does well in the domestic league, will get a chance to play in Europe. What if RM/Barca don't make it to CL?
Q: But man, doesn't that de-value the European competition itself? That will have an impact not only on the prestige of the competition but also money that can be made.
A: True, it will. And that is where the real colors of stakeholders start to emerge, no? Even those clamoring to 'save the football' are essentially fighting for more money. And if everyone is so clear that the prestige and revenue drivers of these competitions are these so-called big clubs, what is wrong with the big clubs asking for more money in the current format. But there suddenly everybody becomes socialist and wants to spread the money around. You see the problem?
Q: Ok. But this won't be just another competition. It will essentially kill the Champions League.
A: Doesn't Europa League exist side-by-side with Champions League? It is the same competition for teams with with poorer performance. It has less money and prestige and the Champions League will essentially become equivalent to Europa League to the Super League. It's adding another step to the ladder.
Q: Aha! Nailed you! The real problem is that the Super League is not another step in the ladder. It is a closed shop, where only select clubs play!
A: Umm, no. While there are 12/15 founding members, there is proposal for 5 to 8 clubs to be invited every year in the same way they are invited to CL every year.
Q: But it's only 5-8 clubs. There is no democracy- all the positions should be available to all clubs based on performance!
A: Fair enough. But all the financial risk is also being taken by these clubs, they will need some guarantees to be able to recover that. At the end of the day, the clubs are also businesses. We, the fans, clamor for the 100 million signing every window but don't want to pay for pay-per-subscription or increased ticket prices or higher merchandise fee. Where do they make money from?
Let's be clear, I am not a fan of the Super League idea. I definitely hate the way they have gone about communicating their plans. But I do think there is a bit too much pontification going on from all parties. The epitome of corruption, UEFA and FA, have taken to sermonizing, firing from the shoulders of the fans. They are raising a hue and cry over the big clubs challenging their dominance but it has come to this only because they were not paying the due of the big clubs in the competitions.
If the big clubs are not big clubs, let them go and do their own thing! If, on the other hand, they are this important that they have to get the British government involved, why would you not engage with them in a way that satisfies all parties?
And don't get me started with the threats of cancelling previous titles, cancelling players from playing for national teams! Man- my blood boils. If anything is closed shop, it is the UEFA and FA competitions right now. They won't pay the big guys their due and they wont let them leave. Why not put the clubs in chains and force them to play year after year in meaningless matches.
Last edited by Vitalstatistiks : 20th April 2021 at 21:07.