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Fierce_LiNk

Football Season 2020-21

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It's capitalism and elitism in its most bare, ugly and horrendous form. Business clashing with sport. Money is king, with history, fans and competition being placed firmly at the very bottom of the list of priorities.

I'm not even a fan of football so take the above with a grain of salt, but I find it disgusting. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Eddage said:

The Mourinho sacking is clearly just a diversion tactic by Levy, no way they would sack a manager six days before a cup final otherwise. This way they divert some of the discussion away from the ESL announcements.

I have been a Manchester United fan for close to 30 years and am disgusted by this announcement, I really hope that the FA/EPL/Uefa/Fifa/whoever find a way to stamp this out before it gains any sort of traction. However, if they were to follow through on threats of kicking teams out of the Premier League then where does that leave that competition? Suddenly the six best (although that's clearly debatable based on league position and recent tournament success) teams are no longer in the league, this in turn would reduce the appeal for broadcasting rights, etc. The best players could also in theory follow the money, so could the Premier League survive without these teams? 

Yeah, I think you're right about it being mainly used for diversion. Though now Mou has been sacked, can Sky or someone hurry up and get him on? I'd be interested to hear what he has to say about all of this. 

And I think that's a great question: what would the fallout of these clubs be leaving the Prem mean for everyone else? I think there'd definitely be an adjustment period of a few years if that were to happen from a financial perspective as things adapt and the power is moved from one set of clubs to the next (if they were indeed to leave the Prem, though at this point I think it's nothing more than posturing by basically leaping onto a table in the middle of a restaurant and declaring yourself the owner). Hell, wouldn't be surprised though if the issue then just went over to the next set of clubs down the line if new owners were brought in that only cared about the bottom line. I think it's a sign that larger reform is needed moving forwards for stable and healthy competition to thrive, which would be no mean feat. 

This year's Money League by Deloitte showed that the Big Six all fall within the top 11 (trust Arsenal to be the one you have to stretch this out for :p) for highest total annual revenue, but again, I come back around to AC Milan and point at this season likely being the first time they've qualified in nearly a decade for the Champions League, because they're the only club in the ESL's 12 Founding Clubs nowhere in the top 20 on Deloitte's list. Surely this would suggest that other than the club's history, perhaps more than any other team in the list of Founding Clubs, that they have no business being part of the ESL, even from a financial perspective based on their own revenue reports? 

27 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

I'm already past that point with the Champions League and it's ever-bloated pure idiocy of not even really being a "Champion's" league.

I've grown up on the Champions League in its current format, and while I do think it makes for great competition and memorable nights, it certainly does make it weird at times.

We won it a season after coming third and during a season where we finished sixth (!), and Liverpool won two Champions Leagues (in its current format) before they even won the Prem (in its current format). It's bizarre to be the best in Europe in a knockout competition when you aren't winning silverware domestically. 

And again, even that move to expand out from only having champions compete was a move driven by the neverending hunt for money. 

Edited by Julius

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The governing bodies of football should say that if they split off then they’ll be banned from playing in any domestic leagues/cups and also ban the players from playing for their national teams.

 That’d shut it down.

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Posted (edited)

Porto have declined an offer to join the European Super League:

Fair play to them.

I hadn't really thought about who else might be invited outside of the top five leagues in Europe. If they're inviting Porto, I'd have to imagine their countrymen at Sporting and Benfica were also invited, and I'd have to imagine Ajax could be getting an invite too? 

Also chuffed that Ander Herrera came out and said this:

Hopefully we'll hear more from players and managers relatively soon. 

Edited by Julius

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Let them go for it and if it backfires and they come crawling back, make them rejoin at the lowest in league 2, there needs to be major repercussions to any team willing to risk anything in pursuit of the pot of gold that is morally wrong.

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Is the Mourinho sacking a diversion, or does he have some large bonus in his contract for winning trophies? Sacking him is expensive, but maybe a lot less expensive than waiting a week.

Either way it's such a cynical decision, it spoils the League Cup final not just for Spurs fans but all neutral viewers too.

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As a guy who really doesn't care about football at all, I appreciate the last few posts from you footie nuts explaining the deets.

Feel like I understand it a bit more clearly now. Although I already figured that money was the obvious reason.

Yeah, the amount of potential income from this Super League move is eye-watering. But I do have one question (and remember, don't care about football, so don't get too mad if I overlook something).

How is this different from how the Premier League came about?

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With the Premier League they were basically just adding another division on top of the typical football league, promotion and relegation between the top two divisions is still in place so it didn't throw the system into disrepute, it certainly upset the balance of power but there was a well worn route to reaching the top table and each club in the top flight has an equal share of voting rights. 

The European Super League is ostensibly a closed system, with the founding clubs always guaranteed a spot in the league and therefore a share of the revenue. The prospect of huge earnings from the ESL means that the owners of said clubs will always prioritise the super league over other competitions - putting making money above long standing domestic and European club competitions. 

Most importantly though it disregards the fans who built these clubs in the first place, how many working class people will be able to afford away trips to Europe every other week? The Premier League is already too expensive for many fans to attend games more than a few times a season, taking the games out of the country in pursuit of new markets only further distances the professional game from its roots. There are issues at the moment with the amount of money that trickles down to the lowest levels, the big clubs should absolutely be doing more than they currently are, but these proposals would mean that even less resources will be diverted to the clubs that need it. 

It would basically undermine the historic and prestigious club competitions, the so called big clubs ignoring domestic trophies in favour of a Mickey Mouse league that exists purely to line the pockets of owners who are already multi millionaires and billionaires. 

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Another key difference with the formation of the Premier League was that it had approval from the FA.

English football was in dire straits in the late 80s. Crumbling stadiums, rampant hooliganism, poor public image, declining attendances, English clubs banned from Europe etc. It was felt that England was falling behind the likes of Italy and Spain and the big clubs advocated the new league to help rectify the situation. They also needed more money to improve stadiums following Hillsborough. At the time the Football League (different governing body to the FA) managed TV rights (ITV at the time) and distributed the income to all 92 clubs. The TV deal wasn't that lucrative and so as an independent body (the Premier League) they could negotiate a much better TV deal with Sky. The FA didn't like the Football League at the time so was happy to allow this to happen. They also felt that it would help English clubs compete in Europe and improve the game's image.

So the formation of the Premier League at least had some other postulated benefits outside of enriching the bigger clubs. It was also essentially a reform of the football league system rather than a true breakaway like @killthenet has said.

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I am so incredibly disappointed that a club that I love and hold very close to my heart have done this. Can't say anything other than gutted. There have been rumblings about this for some time, but following the news yesterday...it just felt different. Like this was inevitable. Absolute greedy bastards.

I hate the sound of the Champions League reforms, but I hate the sound of this so-called Super League even more. It's elitist, it's cynical, and it's come from a place of greed and disloyalty that I just cannot get behind it. It's ultimately so disrespectful to the other clubs in the country. I am far from a fan of Leeds United, but that club have played their way into the Premier League and have earned the right to compete against the best in the country. The same goes for Leicester City. They have grafted and have worked to get into the top tier. The idea that the "big" clubs can just cart themselves off into a league where they cannot be relegated or displaced is absolutely disgusting. They are building a wall around the top 6 and are effectively saying to the other clubs that they're not invited. Even the idea of having those 5 extra teams coming in on a rotational/merit basis isn't enough because of the other immovable teams. It's not coming from a place of merit or fairness.

The fans of the game are the very last ones to be consulted on this and they have been dropped this bombshell without any input being asked of them. It's wrong. It's their club. These players, managers, chairmen, boardroom people, the suits, they all come and go, but the fans are your one constant who will always remain and stick with the club. To do this is just taking the absolute piss. We're living in a time where fans can't even get into games due to restrictions, and now this is how they're being treated by their clubs. I also feel for the fans of the teams outside of the top 6 because they are being treated with proper contempt, that their clubs are simply not worth playing against because the so-called big teams only want to play against the other "big teams". It's vile. 

I feel that a lot of damage has been done already and it's a huge moment for the sport. It's very unsavoury. I echo every single word of what Gary Neville said because he was speaking as a fan of a club that he clearly loves, but also as a fan of the game. The way that we are trying to load the game by tilting it even more in the direction of these bigger teams is just plain wrong. I cannot and will not get behind this idea. If UEFA/FIFA/whoever decide to deduct points or ban us from domestic or European competitions, then we completely deserve it. 

I've already said a few bits and pieces in WhatsApp groups, other forums, social media and so forth, so apologies if this doesn't make too much sense as I get that it's quite ranty. I'm pissed off. Where's the game that we all grew up with and loved? 

 

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The historical context @Zell provides is especially important, it meant that there was an appetite for reforms from a large chunk of the fanbase - I'm sure there must have been some opposition to the formation of the Premier League but there was absolute a remit for reform whereas there is no appetite among the fans, players, pundits, managers for a creation of a European Super League, it is quite blatantly all driven by the boards of the biggest clubs who want a bigger piece of the pie.

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8 hours ago, Julius said:

Porto have declined an offer to join the European Super League:

Fair play to them.

I hadn't really thought about who else might be invited outside of the top five leagues in Europe. If they're inviting Porto, I'd have to imagine their countrymen at Sporting and Benfica were also invited

You might want a proper translation of his statement. Here's one I whipped up (for the one paragraph where he talks about it):

[Regarding the] European Superleague
“There were informal contacts from some clubs, but we didn't give [them] much attention for two reasons. The first one being that the European Union does not allow a closed competition circuit like in the NBA, for example. Seeing as the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) is against that, and seeing as FPF is part of UEFA, we cannot participate in something that is against the principles and rules of the EU and UEFA. If that goes forward, something which I highly doubt, UEFA is not going to end and they will surely continue having competitions. It must be recognized that the competitions that UEFA organizes are the official competitions. We aren't worried about being there or not, we're in the Champions and we hope to continue being there for many years"

In other words, he confirmed that Superleague talks were made off-handedly and informally, implied that it is a silly proposition, and his team's going to stay where it is thank you very much. He can be much more scathing than this if he wants to, but his brutal (and often shameless) honesty is always refreshing. Pinto da Costa is a borderline mafia boss, but he's our mafia boss (even if I'm more partial to Sporting).

To answer the rest of your (unvoiced and rhetorical) question, I don't think either Sporting or Benfica would accept it either. Though my opinion is based on stereotypes and preconceptions of those clubs, and as such, I won't elaborate further :heh:

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Well, that post I made about my own club falling into an uncertain future quickly got dwarfed by all of football falling into an uncertain future lol.

 

My opinion is pretty much that of the majority sentiment. This is the kind of decision making you see so often from the likes of EA and Activision although its with football clubs instead of video games. I really feel like there's a fundamental issue with American business as so often when you see these overly greedy aggressive business decisions it ALWAYS seems to be the Americans. Well, not always but quite a lot of the time you see it. It basically is "we don't understand the structure of football, lets change it to what we know".

 

That being said, I did get a bit of a laugh when someone posted this picture on Discord.

 

Image

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17 hours ago, Cube said:

Can someone explain the issue with this super League? All I can tell is that a bunch of clubs are planning on doing some extra matches between them, an I really don't understand the problem with that.

On social media the theres loads of outrage, calling for bans, points reductions, now allowing any player (many of which will have contracts and no choice) to take part in the world cup and stuff like that...buy no actual reason. All stuff that would usually be called "cancel culture" for some subjects.

There are calls about greed, but greed is pretty deeply rooted into football, especially FIFA (which is also full of corruption).

Unless FIFA do something drastic, what exactly will change? These clubs will still be part of the league's, they'll just be in some additional matches that you don't have to watch. I can understand saying that you'll boycott the new league, I just don't understand the calls for punishing them.

I don't do the footballs on the regular but without a doubt this came up lots today in my casual perusal of everyday happenings and political goings on.

 

It basically sounds like a guaranteed pay-to-play with will itself pay for playing; at which point it becomes pay to win? It's remarkable to me how fast this has unified people against basic unregulated captitalism thag concentrates wealth and encourages hoarding - but also how quick supposedly govt. and public figures are to be moving against this. Looks to be faster than they did with school meals, or rashford, or recent irish issues, or basically ANYTHING brexit and their shambles with covid, looks to be faster than they are on greensill lobbying absolute wasted public money on crony contracts test and trace access to Dido Harding etcetcetc.

 

Remarkable. It does seem absolute batshit insane tho - how does this league work if these big founder teams(i understand NOT at the tops of curent leagues) can never ever be relegated out? does that mean they can never be promoted either or just can infinitely be done so?

 

do any new teams rotate in and out? is there enough variety? if teams CAN come in and out/be promoted or relegated then how it can be a sensible/fair league of competiton when these founder member clubs cannot be?

 

15 hours ago, Zell said:

but at least it feels like I'm supporting a real club rather than some IPL franchise.

did you just actually....hate on my bois and the only thing that ever actually made me finally understand cricket cos ok you may have a point but plz dnt(also ironically now i dont follow it cos its on channels i dont get without paying!)

 

4 hours ago, Fierce_LiNk said:

Where's the game that we all grew up with and loved? 

Lol. Smash is DEAD bro.

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I know football has been going this way for a while, and the club I follow (MU) has been at the centre of it, but you've got to have a line right? A point at which all the bullshit, greed, disrespect is too much. Well we've reached mine, I'm done. I love some of our players but I can't support that any more. I'll be getting a Hartlepool season ticket. 

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11 hours ago, Aperson said:

That being said, I did get a bit of a laugh when someone posted this picture on Discord.

 

Image

A bit ironic that Dreamcast was Arsenal's kit sponsor during that period and they aren't included on the cover.

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Posted (edited)

European Super League: Chelsea preparing to withdraw from proposed competition

So it appears that Chelsea are going to request their withdrawal from the European Super league, so hopefully like a pyramid of cards, take part of the base away and the whole structure will crumble down.

 

Edit: Man City appear to be following suit. The nightmare looks to be ending.

Edited by Emerald Emblem

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Posted (edited)

Might be the best news United fans have had in nearly a decade? Ed Woodward has reportedly resigned. 

And good riddance. 

56 minutes ago, Emerald Emblem said:

European Super League: Chelsea preparing to withdraw from proposed competition

So it appears that Chelsea are going to request their withdrawal from the European Super league, so hopefully like a pyramid of cards, take part of the base away and the whole structure will crumble down.

 

Edit: Man City appear to be following suit. The nightmare looks to be ending.

While it's great that we and City are stepping away from this, I honestly think it shows a complete lack of backbone. Absolute cowards backing out of an absolute shambles of a league, it's so easy to leave when you're on the back foot. Then again, with the Americans and Perez seemingly at the head of all of this, it does make me wonder if they agreed to join not just for the money, but imagine how much weaker the Prem would be even without the four English clubs still in there. Might have seen it as a "join us or get left behind" situation"; to be clear, there's no excuse, and it's clear greed played a big part in this, but I do wonder if there are more politics at play here too. 

Guardiola seemed to come the closest to speaking his mind out of all of the press conferences, do wonder if City realised they'd potentially stand to lose the most in demand manager in the world - and the one at the core of their current success - if they went through with it. 

Do wonder who will be the last to leave in England, it's clear that over here at least the Americans were leading the way, and Daniel Levy is a spineless penny pincher, so it'll be fun to see how it all shakes out. 

What a crazy 48 hours it's been! 

Edited by Julius

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The extreme negative reaction from all corners couldn't have been a surprise to the owners of these clubs, they knew what they were getting into by announcing their intention to breakaway it seems quite cowardly to backtrack on it in the face of all the vitriol. Regardless of whether or not the other clubs pull out all of them should still face some sort of sanctions for supporting it in the first place. 

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Wow, Woodward leaving is a fantastic outcome! He has been utterly useless during his time as chairman of Manchester United.

Looks like the whole idea is falling apart rather rapidly, which is fantastic. I still think that all the teams that signed up for it need to be punished - points deductions from the start of next season and banned from Champions and Europa league. It isn't really fair for the players but there needs to be some sort of repercussion and the clubs need to be put in their place.

Now if the Glazers would only announce they want to sell the club as they can't get their beloved US franchise style league going then I would be extremely happy!

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11 minutes ago, killthenet said:

Regardless of whether or not the other clubs pull out all of them should still face some sort of sanctions for supporting it in the first place. 

I can almost guarantee that won't happen.

It has been fascinating watching this from my viewpoint. It's such a massive miscalculation in how well everyone took it. I don't think I ever saw anyone who would actually defend the Super League position. And this is the country where people can blatantly break Covid restrictions to take an "eye test" and still actually get some people to defend them.

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Yeah this whole thing is just gross.  It’s a competition where there is no actual competition!

Sad day for football, even with the good news starting to come out now.

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53 minutes ago, killthenet said:

The extreme negative reaction from all corners couldn't have been a surprise to the owners of these clubs, they knew what they were getting into by announcing their intention to breakaway it seems quite cowardly to backtrack on it in the face of all the vitriol. Regardless of whether or not the other clubs pull out all of them should still face some sort of sanctions for supporting it in the first place. 

Totally agree, let's get some of these owners out and see more power given to the fans. It's atrocious and they cannot be allowed to get away with it, but my only issue with sanctions (transfer bans, point deductions, European bans, etc.) is that it hurts the players and managers much more than the owners in my opinion, yes it's their money in these clubs, but they're stupid and greedy idea shouldn't see the hard work of their players all be for nothing. I think forcing them out should be the one and only best outcome we could see, to be honest.

I guess point deductions at the start of next season could work though, as it's not taking away something they would have already had, but at the same time, it shifts the sense of competition pretty drastically too. I'm not against the idea of sanctions, just think they need to be careful with how it's implemented, otherwise, as with them having to face the press without knowledge of this in the first place, it'll be leaving managers and players alike out in the rain. 

Do think it highlights just how ridiculous this whole thing is, and how angry every football fan is, just seeing how fans are looking for sanctions against their clubs. That's when you know you've royally messed up. 

47 minutes ago, Eddage said:

Wow, Woodward leaving is a fantastic outcome! He has been utterly useless during his time as chairman of Manchester United.

...

Now if the Glazers would only announce they want to sell the club as they can't get their beloved US franchise style league going then I would be extremely happy!

Something crazy like nearly £1 billion spent in the last 8 years right? And very, very little to show for it. So yeah, think it's great he's out!

But yeah, think the bigger issue is if the Glazers are allowed to stay. If it's some other useless puppet who takes over from Woodward you probably wouldn't be much better off, and they'd continue to bleed the club dry. I've genuinely felt sorry for United fans since Ferguson left, it's been rough to watch at times. 

47 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

I can almost guarantee that won't happen.

Urgh. This doesn't giveeuch confidence. 

The issue is if it'll just go under, they (the clubs and owners) will lobby for more power in UEFA, and both they and FIFA are corrupt to the core, so I think there needs to be a hard stance on getting these owners out. Especially FSG and the Glazers in my eyes: whereas both City and Chelsea have benefitted from the money pumped into them, United and Liverpool are very clearly being run as businesses above all else, and have been for some time now. Liverpool have won a couple of big trophies in the past few seasons, but you wouldn't tell it from the size of their recent bigger transfer fees. 

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