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Thread: Money, money, money it’s rich mans world…

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Has everyone forgotten this detritus?

    Gained some amnesia towards WHO spearheaded it and why? Socialism for the rich..

    It's behind a pay wall so I have posted the copy below. It's from a western focussed article riddled with the same jingoism we see on here so often YET it still gets so much closer to the nub than almost anyone on here is willing to go.

    The Washington Post

    The Americanization of the global game reaches a tipping point

    To understand the seismic importance of*the proposed European Super League, let’s first think about the United States.*In a country that prides itself as the cradle of modern capitalism, there’s been at least one realm where*a form of socialism holds sway: professional sports. The top American leagues all operate with what could be described as “socialism for the rich.” The owners of franchises work in a closed shop, where no matter a team’s sporting success, a steady stream of profit is effectively guaranteed by shared television deals and other mechanisms, including salary caps and penalties on overspending.

    For those holding the purse strings, egalitarianism is the name of the game. For example, in the National Football League and National Basketball Association, as the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson*noted a few years ago, “the top draft picks typically go to the worst-performing squads from the previous year. Revenue sharing redistributes wealth among the rich and poor teams. Overall, success is punished by design, misfortune is rewarded by design, and the power of wealth is circumscribed with spending caps.”

    In Europe, where social democratic systems abound, the opposite is the case. The continent’s many national soccer leagues have long fitted into a Darwinian maelstrom of survival of the fittest. Success begets success, often yielding greater revenue and the opportunity for top teams in each country to participate in Europe’s Champions League — a lucrative annual tournament that runs parallel to the national competitions. The richest clubs corner greater commercial deals and can*outspend the also-rans; the bottom feeders get relegated to lower divisions, making the target of climbing back to respectability all the more difficult.

    The risk of failure in European club soccer is far greater than anything stomached by owners of American sports franchises. Sometimes, ambitious leadership jumps the shark, gets saddled with debt and*leads the club to ruin, not glory. But for decades, the average European soccer team was never seen and never operated as a franchise — that is, the plaything of a billionaire or ownership group — but as the social clubs many once were, rooted in communities and beholden to the fans who gave them life. That an opportunistic owner could relocate a team to some other city, as is common in the United States, would be a monstrous act in Europe.
    “Traditionally, clubs did not regard themselves as businesses. England’s Football Association used to forbid club owners from profiting from their investment,”*wrote Simon Kuper of the Financial Times. “The aim was to ensure clubs were run by ‘the right class of men who love football for its own sake.’ Regrettably, those rules were scrapped in the early 1980s.”

    The model steadily eroded thereafter.*Soaring TV revenue, sponsorship deals and the investment of major financial backers — from*Russian oligarchs*to*Arab sovereign wealth funds*to*American billionaires*— made an already unbalanced playing field all the more warped in favor of the haves over the have-nots. To the corporate executives running soccer’s elite teams, a fan sitting in another continent thousands of miles away was as exciting a potential customer as those living a stone’s throw from their home stadiums. Soccer in many European countries had already broken free of its grass-roots tethers.

    Then came news of the European Super League.*On Sunday evening, it emerged that 12 of the continent’s most well-known teams had agreed to form a breakaway tournament that, if successfully launched, could prove fatal to the Champions League and*the entire soccer pyramid that sits below it. Most of these clubs are already huge global brands, with social media followings far greater than those of any U.S. sports team. There has been talk of such a competition for at least 30 years, but this proposal, which is apparently backed by financing from U.S. investment firm JPMorgan Chase, looks the most serious one yet.

    “A dozen clubs have agreed to become founding members of the league, including much of the cream of English, Italian and Spanish soccer: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur,”*my colleagues noted.*“Fifteen clubs are expected to become permanent members of the league, per the shared announcement, with five more rotating through after achieving qualifying benchmarks.”

    In effect, the proposed competition would cement the Americanization of top-level soccer in Europe. The owners of the new league’s permanent clubs would be granted an environment free of jeopardy. Gone is the risk of failing to even qualify for the Champions League, a fate endured by Arsenal for the last few years. Instead, there’s a guaranteed fortune for the designated super clubs, some of which are currently loaded with debt and in deep financial trouble amid the pandemic. And for thousands of other professional clubs in Europe, there’s the vision of a ladder being pulled up and the airship of the chosen ones soaring away.

    It’s unclear if the project will get off the ground.*As it is, it has provoked a huge backlash. Both national and regional soccer authorities have threatened the teams with expulsion from existing competitions. Former players have*lashed out in disgust*at the cynicism of the concept. Fans are*staging protests outside stadiums, though probably in far smaller numbers than they would in an age without*coronavirus*protocols. Politicians, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right Italian leader Matteo Salvini, have all*condemned the greed*of the cabal of breakaway owners — some of whom happen to be American billionaires and financiers.
    “We must not allow the financial interests of a few top clubs from England, Italy and Spain to result in the abolition of tried and tested structures,”*declared Germany’s soccer authorities. “Football in Europe also lives from the fact that it is theoretically possible for any club to compete with the best on the continent. This dream must not be replaced by an almost closed society.”

    But there’s plenty of reason to also be cynical about the status quo. The romantic “dream” of*soccer as the people’s game*may be true compared to any other sport, but at its highest echelons, it’s already become an “almost closed society.” Three of the four competitors in the semifinals of the Champions League — including two clubs that have signed up for the breakaway league — are run by owners tapping into vast reserves of Russian, Emirati and Qatari petro-wealth, respectively. The existing bodies that govern soccer are hardly institutions of democratic accountability and drag a*long tail of scandal and corruption. And the pandemic has accelerated fears that*an already unsustainable business model for many clubs*lacking the same resources as the wealthy few is on the brink of collapse.

    Ultimately, in a globalized world, it’s almost certain many viewers would still tune into the spectacle of this super league, no matter the outrage of those in its shadow.

    “It is worth pointing out an uncomfortable truth: this is what a lot of people actually want,”*wrote Guardian journalist Jonathan Liew. “Maybe not you or the stalwart season-ticket holders … but certainly millions around the world with no particular historical attachment to the game, and for whom the idea of keeping the elite teams apart for the sake of tradition seems as perverse as shelving the Godzilla vs Kong movie on the basis that they still need to face all the smaller monsters first.”

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    They are killing our game while you are all focussed on the Gulf - and that simply because UAE FC have won so much.

    From last October:

    US owners understand profit but do they appreciate clubs’ tradition and values?

    US owners understand profit but do they appreciate clubs’ tradition and values?

    Half of the Premier teams are part- or fully-owned by Americans or US companies. Fans’ suspicions are understandable

    Most fans maybe but sadly so many Liverpool fans are either too scared to admit it or simply too brainwashed to see it.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Apparently Saudi consortium has bid to buy Everton!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2006
    everywhere and nowhere
    It doesn't matter what nationality(ies) these owners are. The influx of big money into the game, with the apparent aim of simply making money for the owners, is abhorrent.
    If you look at football in England/UK before the inception of the Premier League, the old First Division threw up a wide range of winning teams.
    Ever since Sky, the Premier League has been dominated (to a large degree) by a small number of clubs. Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal are three that come to mind in the early days. Recently into the mix has come Man City. Its getting to the stage where there isn't really any competitiveness any more.
    Football, in my opinion, used to have a reasonably level playing field (as the saying goes). That has now gone, it's being ruled by, and ruined by, money.

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