Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday July 10 2009
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?
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.
'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?
By JP Fear www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk
Date:Friday July 10 2009
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