Let’s face it, football authorities seem to attract corruption. The successful prosecutions of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are probably just the tip of the iceberg. Then there was the strange decision to pick Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. It was originally planned to be held during the summer, as it usually is, when it would be 40C in the shade. Even self-respecting camels erect a parasol when it’s that hot. I describe the decision as ‘strange’ because I wouldn’t want to publicly libel anyone by suggesting backhanders had a role in sealing the deal. I wouldn’t dream of doing that.
So with all that going on, I should be embracing an organisation that decides to take on the establishment. And I would if it wasn’t for dreadful way in which the European Super League is going to operate.
There are plenty bits of the proposal I don’t like, but one particular part of it stinks more than the rest: the so-called founding members will never be relegated. It’ll be forever a closed shop. If someone was designing a new league for any reason other than merely keeping the (current) rich teams rich — at the expense of all other European clubs — participation would be based on merit. Any football competition without that is a sham. Certainly the word ‘super’ should be considering various injunctions over its inclusion in the new league’s name.
For that reason alone the idea must be squashed under the hobnailed boots of everyone with an interest in football. Participants — both clubs and players — should be banned from playing in the domestic leagues and cups, the Champions League and the Europa League, and FIFA should slap a ban on players playing for their international teams. Fans can do their bit by simply not watching it, either in person or on TV. It should be rendered irrelevant.
I’m sure a big reason the present authorities dislike it so much is the fear that they’ll lose some of their own power, but that’s quite handy in this situation. It means they’re almost guaranteed to resist the idea.
It’s a case of better the devil you know.