Date: 7th July 2009 at 3:09pm
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I’ve moaned before about the way football is going and no doubt I’ll moan again!

Football is a massive part of many of our lives and is a passion for sure BUT when I read reports linking players like John Terry to Manchester City who a report this week said would be offered wages of around £300 000 a week, not to mention a transfer free in the region of £45million to Chelsea to tempt them to sell the England defender… well, I can only ponder at what point football in this country will go so far up it’s own backside that it simply implodes?

Won’t happen?

Well it did in Italy, that was always said to be the best league in the world, they paid the highest wages and attracted the biggest stars, now look at it, hooliganism, half empty stadiums and the world stars all going to England and Spain!

Would it be too much to say the sort of spending some are now embarking on could well prove to be the path to ruination for football? Time will tell. All I know is from when I was a lad (I’m 40, so not that long ago!) to now it is a totally different ball game (no pun intended) and it is very difficult to relate to the ‘stars’ of the game now as they are so distant, they are paid so much and they are no longer part of the ‘gang’ they are just the team that the ‘gang’ watches…?

There was a great report in the Guardian, nothing less than I’d expect when David Conn writes something to be honest.

This particular article centred around the need for a wages cap. How I wish!

In an interview with Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis the Gunner says the Premier League should look to get one in place in an attempt to bring some financial stability to the league and to hopefully even out the competition.

Lets face it, these days, it has become a four horse race and IF Manchester City do start throwing their money about the same way as Chelsea did when £oman Abramovich took the London club over, then they’ll no doubt buy themselves success as well… possibly at the expense of Arsenal … maybe hence they would like to see a wage cap?!

Then again, Arsenal have never been massive spenders, they have brought in talent and nurtured it, something that Villa have also tried to do with the excellent youth academy that we have.

Gazidis said:

‘I think it is worth our while to investigate whether there are elements of the salary cap system, which they have in US NFL and baseball, which would benefit football. Clubs have a duty to provide more stability in our business models and some form of wage restraint is one element worth looking at. There are many different ways in which it could work.’

The PL have never agreed to this sort of regulation before. Would they now? Those that really have the power are the ones that have the large purse strings, or in some clubs cases, massive debts… another bug bear of mine… I digress!

Gazidis points to Germany’s Bundesliga as ‘the only profitable league,’ due to the restrictions on the debt the clubs are allowed to have. Clubs have to work ‘within their means’.

Now what would that mean? Maybe some of the big world stars would no longer want to come to England? Well ok then, that would be to the profit of the home nations International teams wouldn’t it? It would also put more emphasis on developing and bringing through young players who at the moment are often blocked by the ‘easy’ route of buying foreign ‘stars’ to simply ‘football manager’ your way to the top.

Another report, this time in the News of the World by Andy Dunn has Real Madrid president Florentino Perez looking to create a super league.

Super = more greed by the way, not super as in super duper!

This the report argues would ruin the Premier League and result in the top four turning their back on us.

Disaster? Well, at the moment they have their own league, maybe if they were no longer in ‘our’ league we’d have proper competition again?!?!? But then, how would their fans feel? Truly gutted I’d imagine, you see, the English league is OUR league, it always has been and the tribes love going to ‘war’ each week. You mess too much with that and you’ll find that fans will simply turn off.

He said: ‘What we need to work out with UEFA is a European Super League that guarantees that all the top teams play each other all the time – something that does not happen in the current Champions League.’

I agree about the Champions League mind you. When Villa won it albeit named the European Cup in those days, it was a) a knock out competition b) for Champions only. How can 4th in the Premier League seriously be in contention in a Champions league when in effect all they are is 3rd loser?

If the FA Cup and League Cup winners, along with UEFA Cup winners were entered into it, then fine, you would have champions, you would resurrect interest and respect in the Cups and you could argue the Champions League is set up for Champions, not just for £££££’s

According to the report The plan is to maximize TV revenue and sponsorship deals for Europe’s big clubs and would threaten the future of the smallest sides in the Premier League. Asked if he would put his full weight behind a Super League he added: ‘Yes, but without abandoning national leagues.’

Well, if it happened and those clubs chose to go – and I seriously can’t see Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool fans allowing it – then let them, make it clear they’d never be allowed to get back into the Premier League… then maybe we can push through with proper and fair wage caps, reasonable money for the players who no doubt entertain us week in and week out, but none of this insane and distasteful money paid out at the moment.

Would all be so bad?

Probably not!


18 Replies to “The Ruination Of Football?”

  • Would we be complaining if the oil barons were in charge of Villa???? I know we would if Sparky had the purse strings (or MON for that matter as he still wouldn’t spend) but without a wages cap (which will no doubt break some fairtrade act made up by some jobsworth somewhere) the Prem is doomed.

  • Great article! To ensure we still attract top players to our league, would it not make more sense to have the salary cap, but offer more on a contract I.e, bonuses for scoring, assists, clean sheets.etc. Would be different but might make the league more competitive, although there is the risk of ball hogging!! haha

  • A super league scares the crap out of me.
    We have enough plastic fans already, imo.
    Kids are only going to choose one of our representatives in that league and no-one will support the likes of Villa.
    I dread to think what it will do to the game and simply can’t be allowed to happen, even though I predicted such a thing years ago.

    I agree, there should be a wage cap, but fear it’s too late.Sky and stupid money have already ruined the game 🙁

  • It does annoy me that having not been the league champions since the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE came into being, that Liverpool are allowed to compete in it. I think the biggest threat to football in this country is not a European Super League, but the fact that all our top clubs are falling into foreign ownership. If it continues to happen, I will not be suprised to see these foreign owners take “their” teams and start a break-away league similar to the NFL or NBA in which there is no promotion and no relegation – everyone simply turns up and collects their cheques!

  • Totally agree ? think the best option for is for English football to go ?bang, bang? and the money to disappear. As you suggest, if we become less attractive for foreign players our own players will get that much better. Will allow more teams, from all over the pyramid, to progress. Will mean clubs not being able to compete in the CL for a while, but it?s a price worth paying.

  • Wouldnt folk get bored of a super league after a few years ?

    Other than that – hear hear fear !

  • @tuscan3000: The European Cup was never created for league champions in the first place, was for clubs that football fans would want to watch. The CL allowing non-champions in continues that tradition

    In reality, all of the clubs who agreed to form the Premier League should be blamed for the farcical, plastic parody of football the top-flight has now become.

  • All it comes down to is greed. Chelsea, Man C and all the rest will never allow a wage cap or any kind of financial limitation as it will prevent them from attracting the stars they crave, for in turn that will make their squad, and therefore their product less attractive to investors, which is where the real money is. If they decide to start a super league, they will. Just for now it suits them to remain where they are.
    The argument that a wage cap will prevent some world stars coming to England thereby improving the state of out international team is a comelling one, and might even have some credibility, but these teams will not do it as it is not compatible with their plan of making as much money as they can as quickly as they can.

  • agreed. good article. but there is another thing ruining football – cheating. how the **** the powers that be haven’t started introducing huge bans for diving etc based on video reviews after the game is beyond me. if they did this then noone would dive, ever. simple as that. SORT IT OUT

  • would probably happen on D-day – right at the end….. citeh have effectively ruined football though – ruined the game totally. FIFA should of stepped in years ago and capped players wages- its no wonder our season tickets cost so much, Setanta are in administration, and football clubs like Southampton are dissapearing off the map! Discrace!!

  • I’m tired of people singling-out Man City. They found a way (the only way) to compete, so good for them. Same goes for Chelsea before them. The Premier League created this climate. The league is run as a for-profit corporation, not a governing body with some sort of integrity. It costs a fortune to compete and if you stumble, your club can fall into ruin. The league’s focus is on its biggest revenue stream – the big four and their ability to compete in Europe. It doesn’t give a damn about the health of the domestic game and the smaller clubs. Clubs like Fulham, Wigan and Bolton are just around to give the big four somebody to throttle every weekend between CL matches; a CL made up mostly of non-champions, I might add. He’s faced nothing but criticism over the past year, but Phil Gartside’s proposal makes a helluva lot of sense for the majority of the English clubs and I think it deserves some consideration. The fact that is hasn’t gotten more support is simply baffling. Good article, by the way.

  • Totally agree.Getting rid of the Big 4 (5 now) has always been my best way forward. They would miss us more than we would miss them. There is already power in the hands of the Premier League to kick them out (two thirds voting power was always my understanding). I would kick them out tomorrow unless they agreed a wages cap, no TV money more than anyone else, and an even spread of Champions League money too, with that to be dished out all round with increased leakage below the Premier League too. You should get tropphies and points for winning football games, not more and more money to ensure the rich get richer, with no fair competition, flexibility, or sporting chance for the rest.

  • What if the PL had a soft wage cap more like the NBA? Instead of every team’s salary having to be under a specified level, just tax every dollar spent over the specified level. Then if a team wants to splurge, they can…and get to pay for the right. Teams that are under the cap, then get to split the ‘salary cap tax’ that the over-the-cap teams pay. This gives the added benefit of increasing the pocketbooks of smaller teams, so that they can further compete. Relegation would still be a danger so no owner would sit on a small payroll just to make a profit. I’m not familiar with European labor laws. Would this scheme have potential?

  • Could we bring an end to one mid table club giving another one £13million for 2 reserves like Reo-Coker and Harewood?

  • My turn for a rant. The “Champions League” should be had up under the trades descriptions act for misrepresentation. I think Mercenary City want to be buy John Terry out of shear arrogance that they can take the captain from that ‘pauper’ Abramovich’s team. You could argue that Chelski at least won something in the ten years leading up to Abramovich taking over, UEFA Cup Winners Cup in ’98, FA Cup (at our expense [sob]) in 2000 and were Prem runnners up in his first season of ownership without a massive cash injection. For all their money, Mercenary City have spent that much really. Money can’t buy class. Even E’t’o’o’o was reported to have said he would lower his wage demands to play for Manure!! That must have hurt City LMAO. There is far too much money in football. I’m sure some smarmy solicitor would say a salary cap breaches a player’s human rights to earn a fair wage or that it restricts trade or some other bull**** reason not for it to go through. Not particularly constructed very well, but I got some things off my chest. And breeeeeeaaaathe

  • How well did En-ger-laaaaand do before the influx of foreign players to the EPL…..foreign players are not the cause of Englands lacklustre performance over the years. If every player in the EPL is English, how many current English first team players will make the national team.
    Without them, the EPL will not be this strong & popular…..Deep down in your hearts, I believe most of you know this

  • great little article, i enjoy reading stuff like this, and its something people can talk about down the pub but i feel its a never ending conversation cos it wont happen. we can dream tho.

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