Sorry we couldn’t fit all of your millions of mails in today. Keep them coming to email@example.com…
Thank f*ck for that…Mourinho is gone…
Well, thank f*ck that terrible experiment is over. I have immediately picked up my Tottenham Hotspur branded syringe and happily relapsed. Addicted. Again.
I find it strange how the immediate narrative is one of how strange the timing is. This is utter bollocks. All of the content that proceeds the timing statement is one of how shit we’ve been. Why would it suddenly change for a cup final? Against the best team in the league and, potentially, Europe. It’s absolutely great timing. We are at the arse end of the season, have a winnable game against Saints – clearly Levy sees this an opportunity to build confidence before the City game- and still have a chance of top 4 in this topsy turvy season where no one quite wants to consolidate any decent position they hold. Clearly there is a massive hope pinned on a feel good factor of having absolutely anyone in charge who isn’t Jose.
Now, I’m not saying we will find terrific form, win the final and find ourselves in 4th. I don’t think we will. Will there be a feel good factor and bit of a bounce? More than likely. And honestly, that’s what we want and need. Just some joy, freedom and idea that we are united.
Now, lastly, I’m genuinely interested in what was the straw that broke the camels back. We will never really know but I reckon Daniel sat down recently with one H. Kane (no, let’s call him Harry. K to conceal his identity) and realised that continuing with Mourinho in charge gives him the least chance of keeping the anonymous star player in question who scores all of our goals and lays on most assists. There’s been a lot said about Kane being an advocate of The Miserable One, but how anyone can make a reasonable case as to why is beyond me.
Let’s see what the future holds. My bet is on the early Levy years which were also terrible but somehow less terrible than the last 18 months.
Glen, Stratford Spur
Anyone else thinking that sacking Mourinho was a condition of allowing Spurs entry into the European super league?
Perez; “Yes I suppose we can let you in. But you have to promise to lose the dinosaur and play football if we do”
Levy, sobbing; “But.. but.. he’s my hero. It took me 10 years to get him to play with me. He’s still good, really, really he is”
Perez; “we are creating the bestest league in the whole of history, ever. He’s sooo boring, no one’s going to be defending in my league. He’ll upset all the other teams”
Levy; “he can change, I can talk to him. He’ll listen to me, I promise”
Perez “I don’t like him. He spoiled my club for years. And he won the big cup with a small club, I can’t remember who exactly, they aren’t important now. That’s not allowed”
Perez, fingers in his ears “No no no no no no no no. (Stamps his foot) I don’t want him. Last chance…”
Levy, crying “ok ok ok, I’ll do it. Just promise you’ll be nice to me”
Perez “there there, it’s ok. Just think of the money, you’ll feel better”
Levy, leaving “I guess so. I’m glad we’re still friends”
Perez, as levy has left the room “good good, now to sort out the next whipping boys for my master plan. Ah Stan, good to see you….”
I called it last week. Daniel Levy is obviously a F365 mailbox reader and has realised Scrappy Doo is available so has given Jose the “Old Yeller” treatment.
Only Spurs could manage to make such a great decision into such a disaster by timing it the week before a cup final and throwing the preparations for their only meaningful game of the season into complete chaos.
If it wasn’t for the black cloud of the European super mega league casting a shadow over everything, I’d be happy… Or sad… I’m not sure. I probably just wouldn’t care, to be honest. What a tragi-comedy of a football club. Never has the “Spursy” moniker been more deserved. I look forward to what tomorrow’s roller-coaster will bring – perhaps a twin announcement that they’ve tied Harry Kane to a new contract and then re-hired ‘Tactics’ Timmy Sherwood as Jose’s replacement.
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames, confused and disillusioned Spurs fan
Daniel Levy has betrayed Tottenham, the supporters, and football as a whole – and still ends the day in credit. Everyone else can rail about the death of football today. My club is reborn and my heart is full.
He knows exactly what to do when he wants to get paid off doesn’t he.
My money is on him wanting out before Spurs are humiliated in this “European” “Super” “League” … he’s managed 4 of the others of course.
Probably picked a fight with Levy who told him to get stuffed.
Busted flush now though.
It really shows how cut throat it is at the top level when qualification to the European Super League isn’t enough to keep your job.
Big D, Luxembourg
I can’t believe Spurs have sacked Jose, just as he’s finally established them as one of the “big six ” too
Klopp MUST resign
There is one man who could, single-handedly, rip a giant a****** the size of Manchester United’s fan base into the E******* S**** L***** and its plans: Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp is famously left. In his book, Raphael Honigstein quotes Klopp as saying the following: “I believe in the welfare state. I’m not privately insured. I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate. My political understanding is this: if I am doing well, I want others to do well, too.”
Klopp’s credibility and standing as a man of the people has been key to retaining a good portion of the support amid all the backtracking and mistakes made by FSG over the last 3-4 years in particular. Imagine if he resigns over Liverpool joining the European Super League.
And Klopp MUST resign, for he would have no credibility left otherwise. If he indeed stands where he claims to on the political spectrum, resigning as the Liverpool manager along with a scathing takedown of the owners is the bare minimum. I wouldn’t expect him to do so while the season is still on. But once the final game of the season is over, I hope – nay, expect – he hands in the papers and walks off to manage whichever club (not part of the E******* S**** L*****) or national team he wishes to.
If Klopp resigns, it would undermine the entire Liverpool “project”. Let’s face it, despite the shitshow this season has been, there isn’t a manager around who can work the sort of magic Klopp has. Who will FSG get? I doubt Steven Gerrard will fancy the job under the circumstances. He might as well come out of retirement and join Everton and that would still be OK.
If Klopp goes, perhaps another manager of the so-called 12 founding members of the E******* S**** L***** will think it better to leave and earn a bucket of money elsewhere. It will take a man of principle, which can be often found wanting. Perhaps someone like Simeone, who is close to the supporters. Maybe Jose will surprise us (LOL, just kidding)?
Klopp has earned a lot of goodwill with the way he has handled himself at Liverpool. Yes, he can be petty on the touchline. But he has rarely got the human aspect of the game wrong. And none of that will matter if he decides to stay on at Liverpool beyond the summer. And I say that as a Liverpool supporter. Well, a former Liverpool supporter. As of today, the club is dead to me. I won’t be watching any more of their games, even if they backtrack (again) and quit the E******* S**** L*****. This isn’t a mistake which can be forgiven or forgotten. And Klopp can’t ignore that.
The Greed League
I doubt there will be many mails in regarding the proposed European Super League given what a small thing it is compared with the thrilling matches taking place in real leagues that actually exist, so hopefully this slips through the cracks and gets published.
Thinking about other super leagues that have started in opposition to the existing order it seems they rarely work out. Perhaps one day cricket is the stand out winner, but even that was more than a league and more a whole new game based on test cricket.
If there’s anything I’ve observed of these various greed leagues around the world is that they fall flat and fast once the money gets tight. So for all of those in Camp Kill Greed League, please join me in following these three simple commandments:
1. Thou shalt not buy… tickets, subscriptions or merchandise
2. Thou shalt not watch… any matches live, on TV or via any other electronic forms of distribution
3. Thou shalt not click… on any news articles on any website on any platform
Greed leagues, like advertising, only work when you watch them.
When a lot of Greed Leagues start, they are unable to use the IP of the original teams competing in the traditional leagues and so you end up with these lame approximations that hint at the authentic. That appears not to be the case here, but wouldn’t it be great if when the money makers fattening this cash pig were met with a wall of synthetic references to teams as they try and force feed us their content. For example, if you were an Arsenal fan strolling Highbury Fields and a TV journalist stops you to ask if you’re excited about the upcoming inaugural match in the European Super League, you could respond with a quizzical and confused, ‘Arsenal? What? They don’t play until the weekend. I think you’re confusing them with the Woolwich Reds.’.
To kick it off I’ve had a go at the synthetic teams founding this money bath. Happy to hear the many improvements other mailboxers can make:
1. Milan Mighty Reds
2. Milan Mighty Blues
3. Woolwich Reds
4. Madrid Fury
5. West London Bridgemen
6. Far West Qatar
7. Turin Mountaineers
8. Mersey River Rats
9. Manchester Mighty Reds
10. Manchester Mighty Blues
11. North Madrid Ice
12. North London Hens
Dr Oyvind, For An Earth Without Greed
I’m sure your inbox is going to be full of messages from fans of clubs from across the country (and likely the world) expressing their outrage and sadness that this is what football has come to. As a lifelong Man Utd fan, I’m afraid I’m adding to that list.
But as much as fans and pundits (and hopefully a bold few involved in some of these clubs right now) raging against the dying of the light is exactly the right response, what needs to happen now is something to make these spineless money grabbers sit up and take notice.
Boycott it. Boycott everything. Money is the only thing these people understand so let’s hit them where it hurts. Don’t watch the Champions League ties involving these clubs, don’t watch the Premier League ties involving these clubs, don’t use anything provided or produced by their sponsors, don’t buy tickets for their games when those days are finally here, don’t give oxygen to the inevitable disgusting and blatant PR campaign which we’re about to endure to spin that this is the future and we should be thankful for it.
I know this is a tough ask for the things we love, a matter of Davids versus a lot of Goliaths, but it’s the only thing we can do. I feel sorry for the fans of Man City and Chelsea, on the cusp of winning trophies they long for, for the Liverpool fans who’s shared history and pain has shaped a city’s identity for decades, for the Tottenham and Arsenal fans who have seen the gentrification of their clubs beyond recognition in a matters of years, local fans priced out for the sake of pulling in the easy money from tourists. And fans of my club, a club I have loved for 25 years, a club which has given me so much joy, heartache, relief, and at time tears as well. How could I feel anything close to that in a closed shop without jeopardy, fixtures that don’t mean anything.
An away trip to the Nou Camp or San Siro should be earned, not a God given right to those who feel it’s their destiny to play these games and do away with the other inconvenient fixtures that get in the way. We should’ve known that when those pesky upstarts from Leicester gate crashed the league that the big boys would make sure it wouldn’t happen again – I never thought they would stoop so low to make that happen. Perhaps that was naive.
If this is the future, we fans should be the ones who decide what it looks like, not soulless and faceless executives half the world away who don’t live in communities who are about to have their hearts ripped out from it, not to mention those communities with clubs further down the pyramid that will go under when the trickle down of money they receive to sustain them dries up for good. As fans proved earlier this season with the cash grab for the extortionate pay per view fixtures, if you don’t buy it or consume it, they quickly understand.
So many of us have lost so much in the past year – our livelihoods, seeing our friends and family, even our actual friends and family – but I didn’t think I’d being losing football too. A few months ago I was in a very dark place (mercifully doing much better now after talking to others and seeking support) but at that dark time, football was genuinely one of the few bright spots in my life. I suspect I’m not the only one who has felt like that during this pandemic, or at other points in their lives. The fact I’m writing this at 4am having woken up to see what happened with this story overnight is testament to that. This sport is one of the best things we have, and we should not let it go without a fight.
Boycott it. Boycott everything. Collective action, strength in standing together.
Fans of every club, our time to stand up is now. Use every forum you have to make your voice heard, and use every means you have, no matter how small it might feel, to turn your back on your club, their product (because that’s what they are now) and their sponsors. It will be hard, but the best things in life always are.
This is a fight for the soul of our game. Our game. It is not theirs.
We cannot let these bastards win.
Tom in Warwick
A few unconnected thoughts on this immediately:
– It’s pretty unclear where the money to fund this idea is coming from. Football is funded primarily by broadcasters and gate receipts – yet it’s not clear broadcasters want to fund this breakaway; and it’s fairly clear that gate receipts would go down (because fans can’t afford to travel across Europe, especially every midweek…). Presumably Perez, Glazer and Agnelli believe they can get a lot more money in from global fans of European football clubs by selling ESL rights collectively, and thus can create a financial win-win. And that by doing so they could pay off national leagues with higher solidarity payments and create a structure of promotion/ relegation from national leagues into the ESL. That strikes me as a pretty dubious assumption on purely financial terms, which surely means the most likely outcome is that this doesn’t happen (no money, no ESL)
– I can imagine that in the last days there was a lot of FOMO amongst big clubs in England – no one wants to be the one who failed to sign up if everyone else has. Which then led me to ask “which clubs were really essential to this happening?” My answer – Liverpool and Man Utd. Take either one of them out, and the list from England is laughable and would collapse in the face of their opposition. The other four? This would go ahead in the face of opposition from either Chelsea or Man City (but probably not both). Arsenal and Spurs are irrelevant to the conversation. And I realise that is also a grotesque answer to the “who’s really a big club?” borefest
– As a fan of one of the 12 clubs (Chelsea), I’m not sure I’d really be that keen on watching this (and again I’m assuming this ends up as a league that takes clubs out of their national leagues, not just a replacement for the UCL with different governance). The league relies on ebbs and flows, with narrative created by large numbers of “should win, must not lose” games for the big clubs that shape a narrative, provide upsets, and shape the enormity of the big games. The UCL creates a crescendo towards this via similar games in the group stages. If every game is a huge one, I think that could become a bit exhausting. Plus a question for Spurs and Arsenal fans (for it is realistically they in this list) – do they really want to swap winning most games but being inconsistent and fighting for Europe in the Premier League for being the relegation fodder whipping boys of the ESL?
– Overall, it just feels a very odd thing to do. It’s a blatant and obvious PR own-goal, seems unlikely to be financially viable without cooperation from national leagues (which this announcement makes less rather than more likely), and was obviously going to face massive resistance from the existing leagues, governance bodies, politicians and fans. So why announce at all? One can only assume it’s because several of these big clubs (probably all the Spanish and Italian clubs on the list) face imminent bankruptcy
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, Singapore
First time writer here.
You’re obviously going to be inundated with mails about this super league. But I felt I at least ought to try and get this point across.
THEY KNOW IT’S A DISGRACE. THEY DON’T CARE.
Now, obviously, I understand and agree. Gary Neville’s outrage was articulated fantastically, and he and every other pundit who have been asked about it are all correct. All of us who feel the same way aren’t wrong either. It is a disgrace, it’s an embarrassment and a damning indictment of the impunity with which these mega businesses are allowed to operate in such a destructive manner.
As I mentioned though, they know that already. It is impossible that those board members and club president’s that signed off on this break away league wouldn’t have anticipated the outrage. This will have been calculated into their decision-making months ago.
I don’t want to tell anyone how to feel or process this nonsense, especially if their clubs are among the ones who have joined up for this. My point is, though, that it’s important for us to be aware of the fact that they are not going to back down from the “shame” of being disgraced, no matter how loud people shout it. This was a calculated risk they deemed acceptable and likely have planned for in anticipation of this move.
We have to move past the initial outrage as quickly as we can and take a long look at what we can actually do to make an impact on this. They definitely need to suffer repercussions for this, but those won’t come from impotent crowing rage. Ask yourselves, just how far are you willing to go to make a stand on this? What can we actually do to put this down?
Just an important thing to consider, I think.
I’ve been a Liverpool fan since the 76-77 season, but I’m at the end of my rope. I am sick to death of the greed of billionaires for whom too much will NEVER be enough. The European FA’s, various domestic leagues, UEFA, even FIFA need to act in concert to smash this. Ban these clubs from domestic competition – you want a super league? Fine, that’s all you get. No Premier League for you. You take JP Morgan’s money, that’s all you get. Ban players of these clubs from playing in any other UEFA or FIFA sanctioned football. NO World Cup, NO Euros, NO African Cup of Nations, Copa America etc. You dine with the devil, you dine alone. And just to really show backbone, a watertight agreement between English, Spanish & Italian leagues that if it all goes t*ts up & they come crawling back, they have to start at the bottom, like AFC Wimbledon did. Yes, even you, Real Madrid.
F*ck them. F*ck them all.
Stewart, Chicago (right now I like Gary Neville more than Liverpool FC, FFS)
At the height of the COVID pandemic last year I chose to cease watching football. I was in a very poor headspace and while football was far from the driving factor, for the sake of my mental health I had to stop watching Arsenal play (a decision made easier by our rubbish form at the time) among other changes. I needed to limit any stress inducing environments and football was no longer the mental break it had been in the past. Consequently I have barely digested any football media apart from slowly watching games again. This is the first time I’ve contributed to your fine website – something I tried at least weekly before – in well over 12 months.
Nevertheless the news that the greedy elite are actually seriously going to try this European Super League thing has fired me up. It is a shameless attempt to remove any semblance of what makes world football unique. It is a cash grab and nothing else. It gives the rich clubs zero risk of ever losing their place at the table. I suspect it’s a ploy/blackmail to get what they want from UEFA.
Arsenal doesn’t even deserve to be part of it for crying out loud!!!
UEFA and FIFA need to show a backbone for once. Ban any participating clubs from any involvement in literally any other competition. Ban the players from sanctioned international competitions too. If this goes ahead and my club is part of it, I’m checking out of football for good.
I’m looking forward to the attempts at justifying this sh*t.
Matt Wright, Gunner in Aus.
So here we are then. The endgame has arrived. When foreign ownership started to take over English football we turned a blind eye. The fans of the individual clubs enjoyed the success it brought. The rest of us enjoyed the raising of standards across the whole Premier League as the league’s global popularity and wealth rose. However, what we failed to address was that none of this was being done for the benefit of the fans. If it suits the ends of these global owners they will happily take their clubs out of their domestic leagues, even relocate them to new countries. These super clubs are no longer anchored in their local communities, and no longer serve them.
Perhaps the answer is to let them go, leave these franchises to their closed super league, no doubt playing games all over the world, generating their money from a global audience.
We can replace them – FC United of Manchester and AFC Wimbledon show us the way forward for domestic football.
Woolwich Arsenal anyone?
Luke (disenfranchised Arsenal fan)
Is it ok now to say “the game’s gone” you bloody lefty, hipster w*nkers?
18.04.2020 – RIP Football
I support the Super League
It’s 1.30am and i’m still looking through my twitter feed for comments on the Super League. I just have to say i find it hypocritical for fans to claim that the Super League will destroy the game.
Football was destroyed when we let questionable investors with appalling human rights records invest in the game. I remember when Arsene warned in 2006 that this would be the beginning of the end.
At that foundation stage, it would have been easy to put an end to the selfish ambitions of these owners. But it was nice to the fans when City, Chelsea and co started delivering titles. They called Arsene a bitter old man who was past his prime. Now, the problem has become a 3 headed monster and everyone is running helter skelter.
If for anything, this is why i support the Super League. This is what you get when you fail to listen and fail to act. As for the governing bodies, let’s not pretend for a moment they care about the fans or the game. They are just as selfish and greedy as the founders of the Super League. I mean think about it. UEFA can’t even get FFP right and its been 10 years.
Maybe this will be the catalyst that will restore football back to its glory days. For now, i look forward to the start of the league in August.
Damola (AFC, Bremen)
What the devil’s advocate might say…
Ok, so i get that the Super League is a new idea now viewed as the most evil thing in world footaball…..BUT!
1) It doesn’t affect or replace any domestic competitions, so the leagues, FA cup & carabao cups will still remain intact . So i guess the big issue is the Champions League.
2) So basically the Super league is a champions league alternate, which will pit the top 12 + 3 invitee teams to compete in a league structure i assume. What’s so bad in that?
3) UEFA’s new proposal expands the CL to over 17+ matches per team with a frankly ridiculous format that will harm domestic cups and clubs.
4) UEFA & FIFA are literally evil incarnate, so if the Super League is a big fuck you to them ,whats the damn harm??!
5) Remember that these are organisations that are regularly corrupted with power, money hungry and don’t care about fans AT ALL
6) UEFA & FIFA gave the world cup to Qatar, multiple bribery cases, human rights violations, finals in Azerbaijan and many more atrocities just cause they have a monopoly.
7) So I still do not understand, what is the harm? ?Yes, some teams may not get that “dream run to the semi before being knocked out” but if the Super League can expand to 2 leagues of 15 teams each with promotion and relegation, what is the harm?
8) For YEARS members of this site and fans around the world are crying out for UEFA & FIFA to change, but when actual change happens everyone gets their panties in a bunch ??
9) I love the CL and the anthem, but i am hoping the Super League and its intent forces UEFA to come down from their pedestal and really listen to clubs regarding prize money, racism, match schedules etc.
10) Love to see the arrogance of FIFA & UEFA brought down a notch
So to summarize, its basically UEFA vs Super League. And do you really like UEFA as an organization?
Aman (Super League sounds stupid, but with more thought and inclusion, it could be a boon for europe and smaller clubs if they manage to fit in 30 clubs)
Many question why an elite few should have control of top European club football, instead of it being a democracy…
That’s already the case though. Fifa, Uefa… executives in these organisations have shown themselves to be corrupt demagogues – just ask the FBI – and not ones with fans’ best intentions either – just look at the examples of how they set-up club and international finals. There are such few tickets for finalists’ fans and often in locations where they can’t even get to.
The Fifa and Uefa executives have already shown themselves in an awful light in this whole fiasco too; threatening the clubs’ players and not just the clubs, telling them that they won’t be permitted to participate at the Euros or World Cup. What a horrible and meaningless threat. It’s not as if those players had or have a choice – they have employment contracts that they won’t be able to break and they didn’t advocate for this Super League. Plus, if Fifa and Uefa followed through with this, those competitions just wouldn’t happen. No way would other clubs send their players to get tired and injured unless all clubs had to do so.
Also, not enough fans would want to watch these competitions without all their “stars”. Sponsors would stop paying big bucks – something Uefa and Fifa executives would not like at all on any level (wink, wink).
Gary Neville questions why clubs like Manchester Utd or Arsenal or Spurs should get to participate as guaranteed members in such a league when they are “a shambles”…
I think these clubs would question why they shouldn’t get to play in the Champions League despite finishing 5/6th in the very tough EPL when a club like Olympiacos can, simply because Greece only has one club that can win its domestic league. These clubs’ premise is that the best and most followed clubs don’t actually get to compete with each other as often as they should and instead, UCL selects clubs they want, arbitrarily, to compete in the competition and earn huge money. These founding clubs’ attitude is, why should Uefa get to decide this if we have the power?
Most important one of all… many say that fans don’t want this…
Some fans don’t, of course. However, if the majority of football fans that pay to watch European football don’t want this then it wouldn’t happen anyway – fans have the power with their wallets. If they don’t pay to watch then this whole thing comes tumbling down. But maybe the majority of paying fans do want this and if so, who are you to try and stop it? The irony of Boris Johnson coming out against this because its harmful to other clubs is not lost on me. Brexit is massively harmful to many people and businesses that did not want it. But because a third of the UK voted for it (winning a vote by a couple of percentage points), it’s what must be done because it’s democratic. The same will hold true here – if the majority don’t want it, it won’t happen.
And now I shall stop playing the devil’s advocate and be my own. I don’t want this Super League. I too dislike the owners of all these clubs. In fact, there’s lots I really dislike about football now.
My (forlorn) hope is that it forces sufficient change at Uefa and Fifa so that the clubs come back aboard. However, that doesn’t look likely and I for one, will think long and hard before paying to watch the new Super League.
Financially support your local non-league club instead
I am a Chelsea fan. I have been all my life and will not stop being a fan of the club even if they do break away into this European “Super” League. I can’t change that, it is part of me.
However, I no longer support them. I was a season ticket holder in the Gullit/Vialli/Ranieri era and had been a member and regular attendee for many years before that. As I got older, moved out of London, got married (big mistake), had children (best thing ever) and eventually got divorced (serious trauma) I could no longer spare the cash or the time to attend on a regular basis. Still watch avery chance I get but never ever pay for the privilege.
Woking where I live has a small club in the Conference which I started to attend on a semi regular basis. It is not the same as going to the club I am a fan of and quite frankly clubs in the conference have as many shady dealings as those at the top of the premier league. It does however, scratch the football itch that I have. Quite frankly sometimes the football is more funny than skilful but one thing I am sure of is that my attendance matters to the club. They really need the money. They don’t care about the fans as individuals but I think they do care about the fans as a group whereas clubs at the top of the premier league do not need the fans. Their future is secure whether you turn up or not.
So maybe we all need to find a local team where we can walk to the games know a large percentage of the attendees and have a stake in the local community where the club is based. It is quite clear that the big boys will survive as there are more than enough glory hunters out there. My suggestion is to find something other than bragging rights and trophies to enjoy in football and find it outside of the big professional leagues.
You never know if enough of us do this it might actually change something for the better.
Johnny gets it right…
Johnny Nic was right all along. This ESL was really the inevitable culmination of greed and the stealing of the game from the working classes by the rich, who repackaged it as a shittier, more sterile version for the middle class of the internet age.
The real canary down the coal mine (nope, not Phil Foden) was Abramovich’s purchase of Chelsea all along, as many of us deeply at the time. By forcing the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa et al to sell out to corporate interests in order to compete with Chelsea, the power in the game was taken out of the hands of all but a few owners (many of whom come from countries that honestly couldn’t care less about football). The game was stolen from those who loved it and given to those who simply don’t care. The clue came in the narrative around Liverpool’s sale to Hicks and Gillett, and then subsequent sale to FSG – that Liverpool was a unique investment opportunity as it had a massive global fanbase but had never been able to leverage it. Here was a fanbase ripe to be mined, and they have been, systematically, over FSG’s tenure, with commercial revenues steadily increasing from 86 million euros in 2010/11 to 243 million euros last season. With this kind of approach – again, one that has existed for a decade now – it is only natural to want to protect their precious revenue streams further, it’s simply prudent financial risk management.
It is the Big 6, but the reality is it would have been anyone in the position to do so. All teams are all about self interest and no collective custodianship of the game any more – see 13 teams repeatedly voting against having 5 substitutes because it’s not in their individual interests despite heightened and foreseeable injury risks which have been borne out, see broadcasters deciding to make players play 60 hours after their last fixture.
The long con that we’ve completely missed is that really the status quo was calcified in the mid-2000s. We’ve been able to go along with the ruse in the intervening 18 years because it was easy to get sucked along in the wave of transfer activity and superstars and galactico teams, but we’ve missed the convergence of leagues to their natural state, where big clubs dominate and others are also rans. If we look at the Premier League table as it stands, the top 12 clubs are, alongside Newcastle (in 15th) and Sunderland, the biggest clubs in the country. Indeed, if we take an index that equally weights the size of a global fanbase of a club, their commercial revenue, and their historical count of big trophies won, the top 12 clubs (plus Newcastle and Sunderland) comprise England’s 14 biggest clubs. But other than the emergence of Leicester (purchased by a forward thinking capitalist in 2010) and Wolves (taking the place of West Brom and Birmingham City as the midlands’ second club), we would’ve been able to make the same list 15 years ago. Fanbases to be mined, better than any natural resource because the support is evergreen.
Since 2004, the year after Abramovic bought Chelsea and the game was forever changed, there have been 16 seasons:
- The same three clubs have won all of the last 16 Serie A titles, and currently occupy positions 1, 2 and 4 in the league this year (thanks only to Atalanta’s pantsing of Juventus last night).
- The same three clubs have won all of the last 16 La Liga titles, and occupy the top 3 positions this year.
- Leicester aside, the same four clubs have won all of the last 16 Premier League titles, and occupy 4 of the top 6 positions this year (and may well end up 1-4 on current form).
- Adding in Bayern Munich, who are expected to join the party, Super League clubs have won every Champions League, and will do so again this year.
The status quo has been preserved for years. This is just the next logical step. Honestly, the super clubs can f*ck off and it will absolutely improve the quality of domestic leagues.
Alex (********* FC)
Don’t pretend it’s only this six!
Where, as a Liverpool fan, I’m disgusted by the idea, it goes against everything the club, fans and city are, you can’t claim it’s only these 6 teams that are the horrible greedy bastards and that the rest are all pure socialist dreams!Wolves’ owners, Fosun International, are literally an investment company, Mike Ashley would sell his nan to be part of that conversation and, however much we’ve put it on a plate for them to tear us to shreds, you can’t claim Moshiri and Usmanov wouldn’t ghost Fat Joe Anderson if they thought they could Everton amongst the perceived European Elite.
All the stick is warranted, 100%, but don’t claim it’s a case of us and them when you’re talking Premier League!
Absolutely buzzing to have reached the FA cup final. The years have been kind to us Leicester fans, but I never thought we’d reach the point where we are playing in FA cup finals and for the second year running, knocking on the door to be playing in Europe with the top cl…
also, Spurs?! Arsenal?! Really?
Ben (Points deduction League and FA cup double is on), LCFC