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Who benefits from a European Super League?

Who benefits from a European Super League?

Arsene has provoked some chin stroking contemplation in the media following the publication of his thoughts that a European Super league could develop within the next 10 years. The thought was expressed in response to the question whether Celtic could participate in the Premier league at some time.

"I see more a European league developing than one or two teams going out of a country" he said

The idea isn`t a new one. It was seriously contemplated by the former G14 group of major European clubs back in a time when David Dein was glad-handing on behalf of Arsenal. Uefa expanded the European Cup in order to satisfy the revenue generating ambitions of Europe`s big spenders. This idea was resurrected last month by Florentino Perez, Real Madrid's president, who expressly called for such a league leaving others to conclude that he needed the anticipated extra money to fund his summer transfer equivalent of a bout of binge-drinking.

Perez was no doubt one of the 'voices` that Arsene referred to when he said "I'm not sure 100% that I am right but I feel that there are some voices behind the scenes in our game aiming to do something about a European league, especially if the rules become too restrictive for the big clubs as things currently stand."

The attraction of the big clubs in Europe playing each other twice a season has obvious revenue raising potential for those big clubs but the European Cup competition already gives these same clubs huge financial advantage over non-qualifiers in their domestic leagues, to the extent that the qualifiers can usually be predicted with 90% plus accuracy. Any tightening of that cartel could only disadvantage some clubs further as the super league clubs suck more of the money out of supporters, sponsors and media. Unless, that is, there is a real competition and clubs are promoted and demoted. Even then, at present anyway, it could be the weaker, less well supported, European leagues that might find themselves contesting relegation each season.

Wenger`s thought is that two leagues, and therefore two teams, could operate with the European becoming a midweek league. "If a European league does happen the question is whether clubs will transfer from a national league or whether it is a franchised European league.

"That's the question people will have to answer.

"I personally believe only in sporting merit, so if one league is created there has to be promotion up and down but that would be, practically, very difficult to resolve.

"I do not want to kill the national leagues so each team should have to play in the national league and in Europe. "That means the Euro league taking place in midweek and the national league over the weekend.

"All this would mean having two teams, basically."

That risks turning the national leagues into a Carling Cup competition where the big clubs field their second teams except that if participation in the European League depended on success in the domestic league then the big boys couldn`t allow themselves to fail domestically. Inevitably then, any extra revenue generated would lead to the same major European clubs spending even more money buying players that would ensure they could compete in two leagues consolidating power even more absolutely.

The idea has its appeal but, like Scudamores proposal for an extra PL game played internationally, whether simply raising more money is good for football in its broader context is another matter altogether.

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Date:Tuesday August 18 2009
Time: 9:33AM


I think Wenger is right. Clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona are stretching themselves so far in terms of credit versus future earnings that they will need to increase revenues so steeply their domestic leagues plus the Champions League won't be enough to keep them ahead of the interest payments. At the moment they are protected from this brecause they can loan money cheaply with the Credit Crunch having forced rates down. But when the rates start to rise, as they will, then the voices will start to sound like screams.
18/08/2009 10:36:00
Uh, clubs with no money, like Manure, Liverpool, oh, and erm Arsenal. Simples!
18/08/2009 10:54:00
******** hate this idea. Would ruin european domestic football.
18/08/2009 15:37:00
This is a bad idea, but we've seen bad ideas being implemented before in football. The thing with Wenger is - he sees things far before anyone else does. He predicted that the impact of the Webster ruling would be to push up wage bills as clubs re-negotiate player contracts continuously, and we saw that happen. The man makes so much sense, its tough to ignore what he says.
18/08/2009 22:13:00
Still though, we should all be vocal in preventing this like we all were with the GAM£39. 120 years of football tradition, the prestige in the european trophys, all would be ended overnight by fat cats. This for me is up there with the bright futuristic idea the yanks had in the 80s about increasing the size of the goalposts to get more "scores". Why break something that doesnt need fixing.
19/08/2009 02:19:00
Good call HuddersfieldYiddo. ********* the Euro Super league. Real Madrid will just have to fkn spend less?
19/08/2009 02:28:00
Can I just point out for those who didn't notice, that Arsene never actually said he thought it was a good idea - just that he thought it was inevitable.
19/08/2009 03:22:00
Now if somebody could only tweak the code on the home page (this one) so the comment box is not 6-8 characters longer than the posted comments so that several letters disappear at the right, I'd be perfect.
24/08/2009 21:44:00
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