European Super League 'Soccerbowl' is pure greed but no surprise...good riddance to the big six!
Ian Hart: So the big six: Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea have finally shown their hand and announced the formation of the European Super League (ESL) scheduled to start this Autumn.
I was surprised when I heard this news on Sunday, well as surprised as I was when I found out TV’s Mrs Brown was actually a fella!
Back in the day, all six clubs were home owned, boards made up from traditional football supporting families or groups of local businessmen, now we’ve got three American owners, two Russians and one Middle Eastern owner, and basically, according to the six clubs, nearly 150 years of Football tradition and history counts for nothing.
It wasn’t really a shock to hear the formation of the ESL has the backing of US investment bank JP Morgan, and to a degree this whole operation smacks of the NFL template.
No relegation for the founding members, annual invitations to selected clubs to make up the 20 strong field, 18 guaranteed matches, knockout format for the top sides at the end culminating in the final, or should that be "Soccerbowl"?
Backed by global TV deals, and no doubt some games even taking place in The Desert States, you can almost smell the greed and the gluttony.
But, they won’t let sport get in the way of making money. If Katherine Tate were here she might ask, “Am I boverred?”
Frankly no, I’ve been in love with the ‘beautiful game’ for nearly half a century, and not even this footballing version of prostitution will damper my ardour.
I say, let them go, at the end of this season let all six walk away from the Premier League, don’t relegate anyone right across the leagues, promote the top six from the Championship.
Then likewise in League One and Two and then invite the eight best equipped clubs, that is facilities and finances, in order of finishing in the Conference to join the Football League, and then the remainder of the non league pyramid can back fill after that.
It will be a challenging transition but ultimately without the fat cats at the top, wages will settle down to a level that’s realistic against the general UK workforce and clubs will actually start cutting their cloth accordingly rather than embarking on the constant cycle of boom and bust.
TV money will obviously decrease, but ultimately eventually paying the players on a realistic wage scale will balance that out, who knows we might end up going back to all kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday and 7.45pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday with the exception of the occasional live game on TV?
Far from fearing this situation the elite have presented the rest of football with we should actually embrace it.
Good riddance, to reiterate let them go, let’s reclaim our National game, and if the ‘Rebels’ aren’t allowed to play for their national teams, is that really going to effect any of us supporting England?
Not really, I had thought Covid might give Football and chance to press the reset button but the ESL has well and truly usurped that now.