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The Glazers are to thank for Premier League competition
Project Big Picture has made me realise quite how much English football owes the Glazer Family. The last 10 years has seen the rise of the Super Club. One team is dominating the league in pretty much all the major European Leagues. Bayern Munich have won the last 8 Bundesliga, Juventus have won the last 9 Serie A, PSH have won 7 of the last 9 Ligue 1. The rich get richer and leagues get increasingly uncompetitive, boring and sterile.
The Premier League has been saved from this monotony by the Glazers. Their leveraged buyout of Manchester Utd has meant that the richest club in England (the world?) has not been able to exert similar dominance in the UK and has kept the Premier League competitive allowing others to compete and win.
Project Big Picture must ensure that competition is possible. Football dies without uncertainty. Long live the Glazers and long live leveraged buyouts!
Save your venom for Liverpool, Man Utd owners
As a United fan can I ask rather than spitting venom at United and Liverpool can we request you save your ire for the club’s American owners please, the players and fans of said clubs have no say in what the greedy American parasites wish to do, alienating the entire football community against them is a pretty fucking stupid way to do business but they don’t care, they don’t care about the game they care less about the fans and don’t give a flying shit what any of us think. The quicker we can get people like them out of the game the better, and please take Ed Woodward with you.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
I have been really interested in the ongoing fall out from Big Picture Gate, and it got me to thinking about the increasing presence of American financing in the Premier League and football in general.
Many US sports franchises are many times more valuable to their owners than the Premier League teams, and as more and more enter the market, the more they want to see their investments protected.
They can’t countenance the idea of relegation because then their cash cow becomes an albatross around their neck, taking funds not making them (sorry for the tortuous analogies). They want things like salary caps to enable them to take more money from the clubs. Look at the lack of investment in my club, Arsenal. Look at the behaviour of United and Liverpool. And then tell me the commonality between the owners. Add Spurs, and their many overtures to the US and NFL, and it is rapidly becoming apparent that people who have no interest in protecting the history or ecosystem of football in England are in charge of the biggest institutions.
The next few years will be very interesting, but I forsee big changes ahead.
John Matrix AFC
Are we sure all that glitters is gold?
The Great Pyramid of Giza stands at 139 metres tall at its pinnacle and 230 metres at the base along each side. Most historians believed there used to be a gold tip to cap this extraordinary feat of human engineering and work, which has long since disappeared. There is debate over what this ornate tip was made from, when/where it went and what its purpose is. If you could ask the original architects what they thought about the idea that this symbol of enormous wealth, a golden tip pointed towards the sky, would not only would go missing but its purpose would also be lost you would think they would be devastated. This pyramid was built to stand the test of time, that for eons it would stand as testament not only to the Pharaoh who demanded it but of the strength of its construction, beginning with the strength of the 1.5 metre stone blocks that make its base.
Besides the obvious use of the word pyramid history provides such strong clear metaphors. The largest pyramid was built as a testament to Pharaoh Khufu, built by slave labour to stand for his strength. The placing of an enormous golden tip to this pyramid is such a crystal metaphor for the way English football has been stolen from the people and forced into a grotesque symbol of wealth and power used by some groups/people. The Pharaohs didn’t build their pyramids, and they didn’t build ours. They co-opted others to build it for them. They forced them to crown this construction at the point where the stones narrow to their thinnest point with an object of worth so expensive that those whose hands crafted the stone wouldn’t be able to imagine the cost.
But now, after centuries maybe we have discovered where that golden tip went. Maybe looking at how human behaviour works when it gains power like ancient pharaohs possessed will help us understand. Maybe when the pyramid was built, when all 139 metres stood in the air people lost interest in the stones. People forgot how they were dragged across an ancient world by human toil, forgot how important they are to holding up this feat of human ability and decided that without the shining golden reflection of the sun they were dull and simply a necessity. Maybe a group who were able to take enough power, to divide and possess the economy saw that they had accumulated enough to take it. That they thought that this wonder was wasted stood above all those rocks and it should instead be held away from where everyone could see it, jealously guarded by some who had nothing to do with building it.
It goes without saying that the pyramids of Giza couldn’t stand so high, holding aloft the golden tip without the stones at the bottom, so while the eye is always drawn upwards to the tip of a pyramid, this is a deception of design. The stones most fundamental to the construction are the first placed, the largest, strongest and oldest that make the foundations of the building. But they have another trait, they shoulder more than they are supported.
A pyramid would largely stand if you left a stone to rot. If Wigan crumble into dust then the two stones either side would shoulder more of the burden. As more and more of the foundational rocks crumble, left to degrade, chipped away by tourists and looters, constantly scrambled over to provide maintenance to the peak then the strength the pyramid had will falter and collapse.
Maybe at the end we will find a solid gold, shining tip amongst the rubble, too strong to break but too far from the sun to shine. It will no longer stand 139 metres in the air, but amongst the broken rocks of a once great pyramid, soon to be removed by those who now have a justification for keeping it; “if it is left amongst the rubble then it will be taken, so best to let us take it, that way it will remain ‘ours’, yours and mine and everyone’s, but kept in our throne rooms.”
Let us listen to the lessons of history and not install a giant golden tip on top of our great pyramid, built not by slave labour and force but through passion, hardwork and dedication by the people not the Pharaohs. The only reason they are up there is because all of us brought the stones to set the peak on top, and while Pharaohs and Boards and CEOs may think they are Gods they are not. This is our game, we built it over generations, so let’s question now; what is the golden tip for? Who is this gold for? And why should we help them crush us with it.
DBM (Anyone else get a strong ‘Three votes were given to the oldest’ Sauron ring feel about this, another apt metaphor for another day) MCFC
Official and political
Interesting mail from Sam S from Hong Kong about fan clubs being stripped of official status after seemingly political statements were made.
I think there’s a straightforward answer to this – brand image/consistency of message.
If Liverpool have official fan clubs (the ‘official’ part can be miscontrued as confirming they’re an extension of the club to some extent) all over the world then naturally, given the varied social/political/environmental circumstances in any given area they could quite conceivably be sharing very different messages. I imagine Liverpool have no sight any tweet etc. before they’re sent and therefore no control over what is said.
In the age of cancel culture it’s easy to see why Liverpool or any other club would distance themselves from these groups (whether their cause is a righteous and positive one or not) as the risk is too big nowadays.
That’s my opinion anyway.
Just to say I’m glad that all of the “Big six” supporters trusts have come out against the big picture.
A friend of mine suggested that the other 14 pl clubs should all ram through the Big Picture programme minus the power grab. I think this would be hilarious and also a good idea.
Dan, Plastic LFC
Harrogate and Wenger…
Two completely unrelated things in one mail from me.
Firstly, what a wonderful, life-affirming and positive story from the ‘lower’ leagues with your story on Harrogate Town. How nice to hear of the goings on from non-PL teams on this hallowed site and, also, just something different than the endless Big 6 sh*t -churning that goes on and, frankly, makes life so tedious at times.
Secondly, a random take on the pr*ck of the week article (I like it even if those pr*cks below the line don’t seem to) was the Wenger comment about the shifting of the offside line to give strikers some leeway. This was a suggestion repeated endlessly in the mailbox (and will no doubt come up again once VAR re-starts this weekend) but whether you move the line 1 mm or 1 m, there is still a line that attacking players will look to exploit and, no doubt, infringe by a millimetre and send everyone wailing and nashing their teeth to the cries of ‘will someone give us our game back!’. There still has to be a line somewhere for it to work and if they are over by a mill then they are over. Does that mean we have to extend the line again??
Rob (a self-diagnosed pr*ck), Leicester
Man Utd analogy…
I believe Lawrence Abuja’s analogy of United being like a billionaire’s son is quite apt.
The difference for me, however, is that United is like a son of a billionaire owner who is largely absent and believes that sending his son a huge amount of cash for his birthday and Christmas somehow makes up for his negligence.
Until the father gets his shit together and actually decides to raise his son properly, or the boy is adopted by a better, more hands on father, the son has little chance of sorting himself out. Any money he is given, he is likely to blow very quickly on bad rubbish which means the more he gets, the bigger mess he will find himself in.
Back from the dead…
Tempting as it may be to bring back Gazza (for all sorts of reasons, not least that his mental health issues might be dealt with better if he was a player nowadays).
The sensible move – given the gaps in the current squad – would be to resurrect the career of the only other genuinely world-class player England have had in my lifetime, and the only member of the ‘golden generation’ that consistently turned up…
Step forward Ashley Cole.
Matt (I’d have Van Basten outside England though) C
Big up to all the excellent writers at Football365! Ozil-level wages wouldn’t be wasted on you. On the matter of smaller teams in the Project Big Picture debacle, Dave Tickner wrote ” the price of their continued existence is the death of their dreams”. I thought it was concise yet morbidly beautiful. This layman thinks you deserve a Pulitzer.
Lawrence, CFC, Abuja
Who is the prick?
Surely the real prick of the week are the league clubs that over spending to such an extent that they’re exposing themselves to a deal like Project Big Picture. If they were all run within their means and have balanced books no-one would need to suggest such a deal. Should we really blame the big 6 for looking after their own interests and maximising opportunity?
I’d just like to know what Chris Stockdale won for ‘the best mailbox entry of all time’. He’s a Toon supporter too, makes you proud!
Remember that glorious ‘Red Monday’ where absolutely nothing happened for 90 minutes, then the presenters tried to convince us that it was too tactical for us to understand. Well let’s give them 1000 repeats of that muck; play it out in 1000 different stadiums, make it available for streaming for the bargain price of £15.99 and let the rest of us get on.
The big six make me sick!
Ratt Mitchie – NUFC