The European Super League and things to come!
By Peter J Arnold
It was a memorable few days in football when it was announced that six English clubs would break away from UEFA’s European Flagships.
The biggest clubs on the continent quit the Champions League, then returned, tails between their legs, humiliated and apologetic in fewer than 48 hours.
Between announcing that they had joined a Super League and then suddenly quitting, the clubs were bombarded with abuse, anger, criticism throughout the UK, Europe and most of the world. Ultimately it was too much for the embarrassed clubs, and the project crumbled into tiny pieces.
But I do not think it was a totally stupid idea. Mistakes were made, correct those mistakes, and it could still take off. After all, the football world is changing, will change.
Obviously, this was years in the planning, so the clubs were obviously determined to pull away and make more money for themselves (nothing wrong with that, providing it was done correctly).
After the first rumours began to appear and then the first reports were published, there was nothing official from the Super League camp until Sunday 23:11 BST later that day. Real Madrid president and proposed Super League chairman Florentino Perez gave an interview with a Spanish media outlet in the early hours of the morning on an obscure TV channel. After that, silence and the vacuum it created produced negativity from fans, media, players and managers. Even old boy Boris and Presidents condemned it, as did Prince William. After that, nobody came forward to defend, other than Perez, who tried to explain what the 12 clubs viewed as the positives.
The main contention between the fans and the wantaways was that they could not be relegated under any circumstances once in. That is apart from those few that were allowed in to be fodder for the giants of football. In theory, let us say, Arsenal were at the bottom of the table year after year, and they only put out poor squads every season; they would still get the same money as the others without fear of suffering any sort of financial loss. This was not on. Relegation is part of the British and European way and part of their fair play ethos.
They now need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something fairer. Maybe allowing more lower league clubs in, three strikes and your out (three relegation positions over three years for the main participants and you were relegated). Plus, they also need all the European countries to participate, including Germany, which were not part of the original sinners.
It is evident to anybody who knows anything about football that UEFA European competitions are not suitable for money striving clubs.
With the pandemic and other such issues (concerning money), big clubs wanted more of the cake and only allowing a few crumbs for the poorer relations to trickle down. The three primary sufferers were Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United. With the debts they had acquired, they had to find a way to milk the money tree a lot harder, but instead, they did not go over the finer details as precisely as they should have done. And because of that, everything blew up in their faces.
More crumbs, better chances for the poorer relations (and for other teams to participate)and they just might have got away with it.
One of the reasons why the big five (then Liverpool, Everton, Spurs, Arsenal and United) were dissatisfied with their lot in the old Football league system was because it distributed TV rights more equally. To satisfy “the big 5” and accommodate their wealthy ambitions, the Premier League was created. The world was changing. Football was changing from the cloth cap image to a more affluent clientele. No longer would fans be called supporters, but consumers (and they had the money). Shelves and standing areas were pulled down in favour of customers to purchase luxury Box’s. Instead of those solid hard plastic seats, they are now cushioned for the better off clientele; clients with money). A Luxury amphitheatre with better facilities equals better clients with even more money to splash around.
The 80s came and went with new, more savvy directors pulling strings. The nineties gave way to a new Century with even more money floating around. Dissatisfaction set in again, and new ways to attract even more pennies were required by the elite clubs.
When Daniel Levy stood on the shelf (all those years ago), I have no doubt that he witnessed Scholar’s revolution; yes, he also saw Scholars failures, but probably then planning how he would turn Scholars failure into successes (build an empire). Scholars failure brought in Alan Sugar, Sugar gave way to Joe Lewis & Daniel Levy, and the revolution was set in motion, and the rest is history, as they say. But it will not stop there, either.
With money being the objective and more moneyed people wanting part of the action, the Spurs Premium area will have to grow (expand). The GA (General Admission) will have to give up some of its locations (eventually). That will not mean they will be left out but allowed to upgrade (at a price). That will come, when, I do not know, but come it will.
People like Daniel Levy are modern wealthy businessmen who can see profit in anything. There is an old proverb, if it exists, make money out of it.
Other wealthy owners will follow Levy’s model and expand their clubs to get some of that cherry pie. In the meantime, the European Super league is just the beginning. Eventually, a world Super football league will dominate… but one step at the time.
I must state my position; I am only a humble season ticket holder (a GA, if you wish) and even a lowlier local journalist with not that much cash to spare, but my financial position or lack of, will not stop progress. I just hope that by the time all this happens, I will be in a position to reap what the elite clubs sow.
By Peter J Arnold
My name is Peter, and I have just joined this wonderful Spurs website, and I am looking forward to writing down my football thoughts and then presenting them to you. Agree or disagree; all views are valid and should be respected.
It was the famous philosopher Voltaire who said, “I might not agree with you, however, I will defend your right to say it”. Free speech. I am a journalist by trade for a local news outlet. I’ve been a Spurs supporter since the 90s.