⚽ I was tempted to write this week's article to gloat over the demise of Celtic and the "nailed on 10 in-a-row" following yet another Old Firm defeat against the mighty Gers, but alas current events have forced a rethink.
I don't think many of the TPQ's regulars will be disappointed! So, to the bigger story this weekend: Europe's "elite" have finally announced their breakaway league. It has not gone down well with the pundits or Boris Johnson and rightly so in my opinion. It has been called everything from "disgusting" and "greedy" to "devastating" with the British PM saying he would try to stop it. Football in these islands holds a special place in people's hearts and it is with a sense of dread for many that this point has been reached.
Football in the 80s got out of control, hooliganism, Heisel, Hillsborough and many, many other incidents forced change on our game. The advent of seats, modernisation of stadia and ticketing reduced the violence and incidents without lowering the atmosphere too much. The enforced changes were mostly positive, footy once again became a family sport. The English Premier League teamed up with Sky TV and we witnessed a soccer revolution, top quality live footy on the TV. Then we saw the Champions League become the best footy competition on the planet.
Suddenly, there was mass global interest in European football and the sharks started circling. Clubs that were traditionally locally owned were bought by oligarchs and oil barons and it became clear that they were in the game to make money and not to entertain the locals. For example, we experienced the owner of Cardiff trying to change the club colours and crest, and the owner of Hull City trying to change the club's name to the Hull Tigers to better market the club in Asia. Fan power and relegation from the EPL saw them off, but we all knew that the big clubs would try something more audacious, the much talked about European Super League.
I have to say here that I am not without a modicum of sympathy. FIFA and UEFA have been corrupt like few other sporting bodies in history and have retained power with some ruthlessness. Watching Blatter and Platini fall has been a pleasure to watch. However, on this issue I have to agree with the governing bodies. A super league with no relegation is anti-competition.
And who are the "big 6" anyway? Would that include City, Arsenal and Spurs who have never won the Champions League? Leicester and Blackburn have won more Premier Leagues than Spurs! What gives those clubs the right to be in the "big 6"? The fact that some seasons the "big 6" don't qualify for the CL is clearly the reason they want a super league. England only has 4 CL spots so by design you have to earn the right to play with the big boys and so it should be! This is what make the EPL so good, so competitive. Literally any club in England can theoretically get into the CL. Wolves and Sheff U had a good go at it last season with Leicester only falling short in the last few games. This is the essence of the EPL and what makes the CL so very special.
It is bitterly disappointing to see the clubs go down this route but unfortunately not surprising. It would be truly great for football if fan power stopped it, a super league played in empty stadia wouldn't be super. Alas, I am quite pessimistic on this one and think that big money will win in the end. I hope I am wrong.
I think this has a while to run yet. At the minute I fail to see it getting off the ground.ReplyDelete
Yet, as you say, FIFA & EUFA have been less than wholesome in their management of the game.
Big 6 - Glentoran or Linfield should be there if Arsenal or Spurs can make the cut.
Listening to Carra and Gary Neville on MNF last night plus the general noise from fans has made me more optimistic than I was yesterday. The game needs serious reform, agents and oligarchs have too much power.ReplyDelete
there was anger coming from the both of them. I liked Klopp's point that while he did not want to see the Hammers get into Europe as it would be at Liverpool's expense he thought it great that they could have the chance. Not so with this Conceited League.Delete
Peter - a suggestion for next week: your take on Jose getting the boot.ReplyDelete
You're determined to keep the Rangers article out of your blog!LOL Yeah sure, Maureen it is.
Do Rangers first if you want. Celtic are hardly anything to crow about! Both will still be timely.Delete
May as well start the Super Lge next August. Otherwise, Lfc will be playing Europa league two. Not investing in players during the last two windows has predictably proved very costly.ReplyDelete
No club has fallen so far, so quickly as the burned out Lfc players and manager. The points gap behind Man utd is as wide as during the Fergie era.
they can hardly start it on Liverpool's account! Let the Reds get their own house in order. I think Klopp will go if this goes through.Delete
As Carra said last night, if the new ESL forces Klopp out there will be mass protests in Scouseland.ReplyDelete
I've no interest in Scottish footy, just like winding up the Green Brigaders!
Kilmarnock or Queen of the South ♔ ? 😂Delete
Chelsea and Man City have just pulled out. Was this just a negotiation tactic for a bigger slice of the CL cash?ReplyDelete
Have seen that speculated. What is keeping Liverpool?Delete
My son just told me that all six English Premierships clubs have pulled out. Can't see it going anywhere now.Delete
Unknown - sign off on your comment and it will be published.ReplyDelete
All seater stadia have reduced the atmosphere, it is all stage managed today. Furthermore football hooliganism is more sinister, even police orchiestrated in some cases, than it ever was in the sevemties and eighties. The European Super League has only done a tactical retreat, they will be back. This is the second time they have done this, it will not be the last.
Finally football always was a family day. When my parents took me, late sixties and early seventies, it was a family day, our family day the working-class family day. I remember sat in the main stand at Old Trafford, with my family, when a United fan, an elderley bloke who remembered Munich well, shouted "for fucks sake Best get yer finger out". The language bothered nobody, it was part and parcel of the game and the day.
Just a thought, we were all crying foul when the rampant corruption of FIFA and UEFA was shown but yet when the "Big" clubs & spurs tried to make a move we, collectively, lost our shit.ReplyDelete
Does this mean we are happy with a level of corruption? Why criticise the clubs who were doing what was in their financial interest? would subsidised home tickets for ESL games have helped?
And why are we still indulging the League Cup or pointless International friendlies? If we got rid of those we'd free up time on the calender. How about we give all top divison teams entry in to a draw against the rest of Europe making it a proper European Cup?
Regardless, they are repeatedly testing the water, they may have got burned now but they will be back when it's cooled down a bit.
Steve - I doubt any lover of the game is happy with the corruption of FIFA and EUFA. As Peter said, it was great to see Blatter and the rest take a fall.Delete
Why criticise clubs doing what is bets in their financial interest? I imagine anybody with a smidgen of left politics could answer that for you - people who pursue their financial interest over and above and to the detriment of all others have always come in for criticism.
This was a rich man's club. I commented to my wife that I would have abandoned LFC had they gone through with the deal.
That said the monetisation of the sport has left me sticking with LFC only for the fans and what they endured at Hillsborough. I would have started following Tranmere Rovers - even Everton - out of some sort of affinity with the city and the slurring and smearing of it in the media. I have little sentimental attachment to preening, posing, strutting millionaires.
We criticise FIFA and UEFA for their corruption but as they rightly point out themselves they are doing a great job. They plough money into developing countries and at grass roots, they have made the World Cup and the Champions League into unmissable competitions for millions of fans. Yes they could do more and yes they wield power and patronage to line their own pockets but they have kept the sport together and uniform. There is no split like rugby league and union. The game that children play on school playing fields in Togo is essentially the same game that professionals play in Spain. Credit where credit is due.
whatever argument might be made for an alternative to EUFA and FIFA, the European Super League is certainly not it. I would not like to see s sport such as soccer being reduced to fiefdoms in terms of rules. I recall the 1994 World Cup in the USA where there was some lobbying to have wider nets - the need for more entertainment as they saw it. The best response was from somebody who suggested that they should not change the rules but just have the teams use smaller keepers!!Delete
I remember that too. They also wanted time outs in the middle of each half for ad breaks on TV!
They also wanted kick ins instead of throw ins if memory serves!ReplyDelete
Back to the ESL, it may indeed stick in our craw, but nobody was talking about leaving the domestic league, and if UEFA and FIFA were doing such a great job why the repeated attempts to leave? I know it comes down to money, but doesn't everything? None of our teams would have won anything without the major cash injections over the years- spurs being the obvious exception by being shite regardless- so now saying looking for more revenue is greed is lacking something.