ARSENAL PART OF DISGRACEFUL REBEL GANG THAT WANT SUPER LEAGUE

by .

Well, there’s quite a lot to unpack today.

The football, at this point, is about one thing and one thing only… winning the Europa League.

The second part of the football equation is keeping our stars fit. We didn’t manage that against Fulham. Alex Lacazette pulling up with a bad hamstring injury which could be the last of him this season, maybe even forever depending on how the summer goes.

The game overall was a bit of the nothing event.

We dominated Fulham, had 18 shots, hit the woodwork, had a good goal chalked off for a VAR minor infringement, then conceded a stupid penalty.

To the credit of the team, they did keep going until the end. Mat Ryan making himself available for a corner, nodding it to the back post where a cross was tapped in by Eddie.

The team celebrated like they’d won a world cup instead of focusing and chasing down the last minute, but there we go. There’s still a lot of education to go at Arsenal FC.

You could complain about the line-up having too many first-teamers… but when we rest players and lose, it affects our momentum.

You could complain about Balogun not making the bench, but Eddie did and he scored.

You could complain about a lot of things, but in the grand scheme of this season, the only thing that matters now is making the Champions League via the back door.

I didn’t think the performance was as bad as some made out. We created enough big chances to win that game and we weren’t treated well by VAR. The main concern defensively was Gabriel with another reckless mistake at the back. He’s young though and that’s part of the bargain with defenders of that age. I hate that he has to come out and defend himself from social media idiots. The internet really is an embarrassing place these days.

Saka, Gabriel and ESR didn’t have their best game, but man, when those three click, it’s going to be special.

The main concern going into the Everton game is who picks up that role Lacazette has been doing so well?

I think we’re dreaming if we think Auba is going to recover from malaria in a week. It’s a serious, serious disease. I think it’s going to take a while to go from hospital bed to Premier League fitness.

That gives us a conundrum in attack. Eddie is going to be off this summer, do we put our season on his shoulders? I’m not so sure the quality is there for him to do the things we need him to do.

Flo Balogun has signed his deal, he’s exciting, but it might be a bit wild to start him in a European semi-final we have to win. Crazier things have happened in the past, but that might be a stretch.

Martinelli seems the obvious choice as a striker, but he’s not a connector of players like Lacazette is. He’s more in the mould of Jesus at City. He can lead a press, he can go over the top, and he’ll work like a dog.

There are also other options in the false 9 role. Nico Pepe could be an interesting option, though I worry that he’s quite sloppy compared to Lacazette. Alternatively, the return of Odegaard might alleviate the need for Lacazette to play that role.

I just really, really, really hope it’s not an emergency call for Willian.

The other point I’d make about the Fulham game… Mo Elneny just ain’t it. He can do a lot of the basics well. He moves the ball fast, he covers a lot of ground, but the biggest miss yesterday was Partey’s quick thinking and fast actions. Mo doesn’t like to go vertical, he’s extremely low risk, and his crab football totally clogs up our game. We really need to take a chance on a youngster for the rest of the season, even if it’s worse, at least we’ll be investing in an idea we’ve not seen tank numerous times.

Onto the biggest story of yesterday: Arsenal is part of a rebel set of clubs that are pushing to set up a super league. Vinai was due to meet with fans on Sunday, but after the uproar, he cancelled. Shocker.

Here’s the basics.

  • 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
  • Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
  • An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.

It’s a £340m signing on fee. There’s no relegation. No promotion. It’s an enclosed league of ‘big name’ clubs that think they are better than everyone else. The absolute cheek that they’ll let 5 other clubs cycle in based on achievements… we’re currently 9th in the Premier League!

This is a football coup.

This is the billionaire class taking a lead in destroying football culture to entrench their wealth.

It’s anti-sport.

No one wants it.

It is an outrageous heist none of the owners will speak publicly about.

It is an international disgrace.

A few have said that the modern fan likes the big games and this might be targetted at them. I absolutely cannot have that. The narrative cannot be allowed to shift to ‘this is a visionary marketing step for a game that needs change.’

No, no, no, no. Football is fine. In fact, it’s more than fine. It would be in stunning health if not for the pandemic. Fans are getting what they want and they show it because they keep paying for it. Sky know what fans want, which is why they keep buying the rights. Amazon is sniffing around, because they know it’ll help them sell Prime bundles. There hasn’t been a conversation amongst fans about the need for a Super League.

This is not a painful idea to save a game in decline. Football is not baseball or golf. The model we have now is the hottest commodity in sport. It doesn’t need an innovation to keep the dollars rolling in.

… and if there was an innovation then SURELY that innovation is not creating a less competitive league for a select few elite names.

What makes Champions League football incredible is that everyone can win it until they can’t. A Super League will not be that. 2 or 3 teams will compete, then what of the rest? Fans like winners. A bottom of the table Super League clash will not be a spectacle. Just like it’s not a spectacle in the NFL when a once-great team that’s gone to shite falls off the wagon.

Who wants to see a shite Arsenal get walloped by Madrid? Why do Spurs, a team synonymous with losing, deserve to be in this coterie of clubs? How are Liverpool selling this vision to Klopp?

This is the billionaire class trying to impose themselves on the people’s game, again. We’ve already had to deal with expensive TV subscriptions, aggressive price hikes, attacks on the kick-offs… but the game was still the same.  Moving to this model is an attack on our football culture. Keir Starmer, the Sports Minister, and Boris have all piped up about this. Fans need an intervention at the highest level. It should not be allowed to happen. It is an international disgrace.

I am absolutely ashamed my club is part of this. Not surprised though. Stan hasn’t been able to crack the football code organically after trying 50 bang average short cuts, so now he’s attempting the ultimate short cut… start a closed competition. It is absolutely shocking.

It also shows where we are on ‘values’ and ‘class.’ Just talking points. Very sad.

Let’s see how this farce plays out.

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288 Responses to “ARSENAL PART OF DISGRACEFUL REBEL GANG THAT WANT SUPER LEAGUE”

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  1. Dissenter

    gunnerman
    I agree that the ESL is utter shite.

    I just can’t imagine UEFA and FIFA being guardians of the realm
    A few years ago the FBI was bursting corrupt football officials in FIFA all over the world and now they are the good guys?

  2. Dissenter

    Football fans in. America don’t want the ESL too.. People that follow football [soccer] in Europe understand the organic connection between the communities and the clubs.

    Stop all the American bashing. It’s uncalled for.

    If English clubs didn’t get so greedy, there wouldn’t be a case for international investors.

  3. Jim Lahey

    “If there is a Super League I suspect that the constituent clubs will set financial rules, which
    prevent one club dominating the League.”

    Why would you suspect this? Why would any of the clubs agree to this?

  4. China1

    Yeah fifa and UEFA are corrupt as fook

    Absolutely hate them both

    Somehow they’ve drilled oil by people actual long being on their side for once

  5. Dissenter

    What a crazy day in football
    Is there another specific brain eating virus infecting football.

    ESL craziness
    Spurs sack Mourhino
    Liverpool move on from Koop, more like Klopp is mentally and physically sapped.

    What else is left to come today?

  6. China1

    Dissenter it’s not aimed at your discerning real American football fans

    It’s aimed at attracting the casuals

    Also the bashing is because the ESL model is the American League format which is wank

  7. Dissenter

    China1 and gunnerman
    The ESL story is about narratives sn who you choose to believe.

    At the end of the day, it’s a strategic blunder made in a desperate act of negotiations.
    It’s a very bad hand played in a game of corporate poker.
    No more than that. It’s an act designed to force the other dealers hands in in bargaining.
    It’s not workable, just gesturing.

    Let’s not go overboard and but all the nonsense that both sides are serving.

  8. TR7

    I posted today that any credible resistance to ESL has to come from the likes of Fergie, Wenger, Klopp, Pep etc otherwise the billionaire owners will have their way. Imagine John Henry’s Klopp resigning from Pool job and joining a Budnesliga club for the spirit of the game, it will be massive or Pep leaving City and going back to managing either Bayern or PSG. It will be massive.

  9. andy1886

    ES – Yes, City have more resources than anyone else. Yet they don’t win the league every year and their record in the CL is poor given those resources.

    Clubs CAN move up the food chain even those on moderate incomes. Leicester are the obvious example, Brighton are in the PL while the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Derby and Birmingham are languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship – bigger clubs all of them.

    FYI the ‘Greed is Good’ mantra went out of vogue decades ago.

  10. China1

    Maybe dissenter, I don’t have any problem with Americans

    But this ESL is a rubbish, American style model which is being pushed in no small part by American owners with no interest or idea about the game.

    Whether it’s just a badly played negotiation or whatever I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out. But it’s just absolutely shit and people can’t let it slide

  11. Jamie

    Don the school-leaver giving everyone his red hot medical and legal expertise on covid deaths and human rights abuses.

    Honestly this is more hilarious than Jose’s sacking.

  12. China1

    Man less than 24h passed and there are already big casualties!

    Mourinho out… is Klopp really on the out too???

  13. gunnerman

    Dissenter

    I hope it’s only gesturing but it’s really done in poor taste and in absolute disregard for the spirit of sporting competition.

  14. Carts

    I remember these rumour about super league doing to rounds every other year then getting poo-poo’d.

    It’s a mammoth power grab, no doubt, but how much of this was indirectly caused by UEFA? Just look at the re-jigged format that proposed. I highly doubt the big clubs were involved to the extent that they all gave their blessings.

    I’m not saying I’m on-board with the super league, the fact you can’t get relegated is where I draw the line cos to me, that’s the hallmark of a US take over. All we need is for invitational MLS involvement then we’re well and truly in hell.

  15. gnarleygeorge9

    Pedro

    You said the Kroenkes aren’t the issue. Well, this is what you get. The Kroenkes should have pissed off years ago, but hardly anyone ever mentions them in the scheme of things.

    But if there is a Top 12 Club competition, The Arsenal deserves to be in it. But to the naysayers who have been silent about Stan, you are to blame for this development because you didn’t put up, you shut up!

  16. Dissenter

    TR7
    Maybe Andr Herrera should speak out against the massive cruelty his Qatari club owners are extending to her worlkers building venues for the World Cup.
    The same World Cup that was win through bribery. Remember the claim that Qatar will build massive air conditioners to cool the 50 degree centigrade air in the Qatari summer?

    Let’s stop reacting to the narratives and agendas that we are being served.

  17. China1

    ‘Kane to ask to leave if spurs miss out on CL
    ‘ headline news

    I know ‘arry can’t read but surely someone needs to tell him 😂😂😂😂😂😂

  18. AFC Forever

    Rich

    Yep agree.

    As the terrible implementation of VAR has proved, fans are treated with sheer contempt – ideology has yet again proven to be totally different to reality.

  19. Biggles

    I wonder if anybody on the planet put a quid on this top 4:
    #1 Leicester
    #2 West Ham
    #3 Everton
    #4 Leeds

    I’m sure the Premier League and UEFA rules would allow expulsion or docking of points. I’m furious with Arsenal for signing up to this and I really would rather see us punished than see the game collapse. Let the clubs go ahead with this, then punish. It’ll certainly shake up European football, because let’s be honest, Arsenal as an exhibition only club not being able to play or at least win any domestic isn’t a team I’m going to bother supporting. Will I watch? Perhaps. But there’s a reason LeBron doesn’t play for the Harlem Globetrotters and I suspect we’ll see Messi, Kane, Salah, De Bruyne and others in different colours fast.

  20. NORG

    A lot of players from the the teams linked with the ESL will have break clauses built into their contracts should the teams no longer be in the version of a premier league. Tim Lewis will be extremely busy.

  21. Graham

    I assume PSGs not signing up and Man City only joining last minute (if the rumours Saturday were right – and they have proved very accurate so far) is due to the risk of stricter FFP regulations. Given this is very driven by US sports franchise owners salary caps, transfer restrictions etc are I suspect part of this.

  22. Leedsgunner

    There’s a very easy way for FIFA and UEFA to kill this European Super League proposal dead in the water.

    Announce that any player that that plays in a club that participates it will not be eligible to play in the upcoming World Cup and all other World Cups as well as associated national cup competitions such as the Asian Cup, the African Cup of Nations and the UEFA European Championships.

    Players in these top 12 clubs will refuse to cooperate and the ESL will be dead in the water.

    Plus, place a complete transfer ban on all these clubs as long as they remain signatories to this…

    The main sponsors of all these clubs will be furious. All these clubs will have toxified their brand in the eyes of millions overnight.

  23. into the red

    It is reported that Arsenal, Liverpool and Man U are the ringleaders in this coup. Well, what a surprise – the clubs owned by American billionaires have been secretly hatching a plan for some time to create a NFL version of European football. Billionaires always need more money, apparently.

    It is also reported that you, me and all the regular Arsenal fans are now referred to as ‘legacy’ fans. The owners aren’t interested in these legacy fans, they are interested in what they call ‘future’ fans. These people live in Asia, the Middle East and America. They number hundreds of millions, if not billions, all assumed to be willing to pay for TV packages and tons of merchandise. And why not games in their continents – NFL teams move cities, as Kroenke has done with his.

    In relative terms, ‘legacy’ fans are minor part of the financial picture, which is of a global sport with global brands. A football version of F1 franchising. Countries will pay handsomely for the benefit of the ‘stars’ visiting their countries.

    As for their ‘desire’ to stay in their domestic leagues – what relevance will a Saturday or Sunday game against Fulham or West Ham (who deserve a merited crack at the CL if they can keep in the top 4) have? Arsenal will be in next year’s Super League come what may. The only incentive will be if they are in the (currently unlikely) position of challenging to win the PL. If they aren’t they have no motivation for the game, while the opposition may well have, although they too will have zero incentive to finish third or fourth, even if it were possible.

    So the PL will be devalued, maybe a reserve team league for the ‘big’ six. As for the Super League, the same old situation will occur – if you can’t compete for the top three or four spots, the games become meaningless, routine, dull encounters.

    This all goes back to the transformation of the Prem clubs into PLC’s, whose ownerships then prioritised share values and profits over sport and supporters. That’s what plc’s do, they are businesses. The foreign ownership just handed over our traditions and history to people with little interest or care about it. Germany is the exception, which limited outside ownership to 49%, and is exactly the reason there are no German clubs in it, while English clubs have the most of all. It is a sorry tale of asset stripping and selling community enterprises for pieces of silver, with false promises of ‘integrity’ and ‘fit and proper persons’ garbage.

    Now we can see why US billionaires moved in, some loading their clubs with debt to gain ownership – the future revenue streams was what they were always interested in.

  24. Lacaqualidie

    Three Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – have confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that they have resigned from the European Club Association.

    The ECA is the body that represents all the clubs in Uefa and is the only one officially recognised by European football’s governing organisation. Quitting the ECA is an aggressive step and significant move towards the formation of the proposed European Super League.

    The ECA held an emergency meeting on Sunday evening about the biggest threat football has faced but the clubs did not attend and have now all formally resigned.

    Three other English clubs – Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea – have also left as of Sunday evening along with the six other self-styled ‘founding fathers’ of the ESL. They are Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus whose president Andrea Agnelli was the chairman of the ECA. He has also resigned from the Uefa Executive Committee.

    Daily Telegraph
    ———————————————————

    This is abysmal. I hope all of them are kicked out. I also hope FIFA and the UEFA ban anyone participating in this from every other aspect of football. It’s not just the players and managers it’s the referees, assistants, coaches, owners, etc that need to be banned permanently too.

    There is also the legal aspect to sport in the EU and potentially the UK:

    In 2018, Uefa and the EU signed a new Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement stated that the Council of Europe and Uefa recognise that the European sports model “is based on sporting and financial solidarity mechanisms” citing “open competitions” and explicitly mentioning “the principle of promotion and relegation”.

    Bailey said that this agreement could create scope for a case against the Super League – either going through the European Commission or even being initiated by the Commission themselves.

    “Typically the Commission would act on a complaint from an aggrieved party but if they regard the matter as exceptional they could of their own motion initiate an investigation to see if it was in compliance with European law,” Bailey said. “The courts would need to be much more prepared to recognise the specific attributes of the European model of sport – sporting merit being central to this model and not closed leagues. The outcry against the ESL from so many stakeholders certainly provides them with evidence that the European model of sport is regarded as fundamental to sport across the continent.”

  25. Major_Jeneral

    Via @brfootball
    Weniger in 2009: “Maybe in 10 years, you will have a European League… The money that will be coming in from the Champions League will not be enough for some clubs’

    Wenger in 2018: it is inevitable… To share money between the big clubs and the small clubs will become a problem.

  26. Foxy

    A big concern to me about this new ESL which also applies to the proposed new CL format is the big increase in games when added to the existing domestic leagues and ever increasing number of internationals. For example to win the ESL you would need to play between 23 and 25 games compared to 13 for the current CL . A team like Arsenal would have no easy games and our poor squad unless dramatically strengthened would have no hope of effectively competing in both the ESL and our UK domestic competitions.

  27. China1

    Foxy also away games would usually be on the continent so you’d need to rotate even more

    Basically you’d have a first team for the ESL and a youth/squad team for the domestic games

  28. into the red

    Looking back, you can see how English football was the trojan horse for this. We had such lax rules and regulations that foreign owners could easily snap up clubs, through engineered share buy outs, even at the expense of debt loading on to the clubs themselves.

    The dominance of the EPL, through TV money, combined with the new owners then gave them a powerful platform to build a European NFL – because Spanish and Italian clubs in particular were getting heavily into debt with their increased spending on players to compete, but without the EPL TV money. So they could leverage their own positions against the need for those clubs to earn more money (Barcelona are £1bn in debt, Real Madrid aren’t far behind, the Italian clubs are struggling).

    So thanks, PL and Sky, your riches and lax laws have created the opening for foreign billionaires to own our top clubs and create a closed shop, uncompetitive league.

  29. Rich

    Most people can deal with a new competition that has no history

    What’s really hard to stomach is a new competition, with no competition

    The idea a handful of clubs can freeze out competition is insane

    Protectionism whether it’s at state level, or at corporate level, produce exactly the same results, which is monopolies

    Corporate monopolies and state monopolies are exactly the same thing

    A free market based on fair competition, produces lower prices, better service, more consumer choice, and the need to continually look for progress and innovation

    Protectionism produces higher prices, no consumer choice, worse service, and no pressure from anywhere to progress or innovate, because all you’re left with is the statuesque and nobody to challenge it’s dominance

    I’ve had people with apparent economic degrees laugh at my economic theory

    The best thing for inflation, is more inflation, because that means a free market based on fair competition, will naturally produce more of whatever’s in desperately short supply, to deal with the shortfalls

    The best thing for deflation, is more deflation, because that means the market is flooded with too much of something, and a free market will deal with waste all on its own

    Economists are always wrong because there’s too many variables, and those variables don’t matter, because a truly free market will find a natural balance all on its own without any interference , and that balance is created by the basic economic principle of supply + demand

    The government shouldn’t get involved in the free market, it should just be there to officiate it, and ensure free and fair competition

    Bureaucrats should be fair referees

    Referees should never become players

    And referees should never have a stake in the game, that they are officiating

    The government shouldn’t be involved in the direction of football, but it should put a stop at any attempts of creating a closed off sector, that is detrimental to free and fair competition

    Once football loses its competitive nature, it will die in a cesspit of its own waste

    People, businesses and politicians become lazy, when there’s nobody snapping at their heels to keep them on their toes

    What they’re suggesting won’t work, and is destined to fail

    KSE can’t produce competitive teams in a competitive market, in spite of their financial advantage, so there’s little chance of improving their motivation in an uncompetitive market

    They’ll be happy for Arsenal to simply make up the numbers, and collect their dividends

  30. into the red

    Whatever you think about Wenger’s later years at Arsenal, you surely can’t deny his love for the game and its founding principles, and his wish to keep its soul. Not only does he love the game, he understands politics and economics, and speaks a lot of sense.

  31. Leedsgunner

    This way in Kronke’s mind Arsenal is guaranteed a place in the top table without the inconvenience of having to work for it.

    Absolutely no need for him to spend another pound in supporting financially the club he supposedly owns.

    If this ESL proposal goes through and becomes reality, let’s not kid ourselves, we will never win it because our owners will not spend the money necessary this new elite competition.

    We will just make up numbers in this competition. We have become the new Whipping Boys for the real big boys of Club football.

    I note that AC Milan is a part of this too. Not surprised. This has all the hallmarks of Gazidas all over it.

  32. into the red

    Juventus and Man U shares have gone up 10%. This is the only news their owners will be interested in, not the universal outrage and disgust.

  33. Lacaqualidie

    Into the Red – spot on with that analysis of the PL and how lax UK laws were in protecting the game.

  34. Karsa

    Both sides are in it for the money. UEFA and the Super League care about cash and cash only. Neither care about football heritage.

    This move is the opening gambit. A compromise will be arrived at no doubt.

  35. AFC Forever

    I agree with Dissenter, there is a lot of posturing here. Nonetheless, it has all been presented poorly by the clubs and has shown a lack of respect to fans.

    Just like VAR.

    These decisions are never considered or taken by football people but by people who work in football. That is one of the reasons why they are so badly presented; they actually don’t care about what fans want.

  36. Thank you and goodnight

    Spurs unhappy with Maureen and sack him. Arteta fucks up worse than Emery…..let’s give the guy time. We call ourselves a big club 🤣🤣🤣. No wonder kroenke wants to join the super league, easy money and don’t have to do much for it

  37. Saladin

    Hey man, can you guys stop all the shit talking about the American fans? Majority of us have grown up with the traditional English Football and do not want any part of this Super League or the Korenke Satan club. I probably should have taken a big ol dump on the roof top of his Rams stadium when I was working on it as an Engineer last year.

  38. LoveSausage

    This is what you get when you allow American sports billionaires to own football clubs. And this is not American bashing, it’s just a fact that’s based on a core difference between European and American sports. In Europe, sports are an open competition with money and entertainment layered on top. Over here, professional sports are entertainment cartels. They sell a sports product that competes with the next Marvel movie. They have franchise owners whose primary goal is to increase the value of the cartel. New franchises are added and old ones are moved around the country based on this goal. The closest thing you can find to the European sports model and culture here is college sports, even though that too is quite different.

    If this is allowed to happen it will be the death of football. I sincerely hope all the clubs behind this are punished. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can find me a nice second club in Germany to support. After 30 years with Arsenal, it won’t be the same thing. But as usual, the Germans have been smarter than everyone else.

  39. LoveSausage

    Karsa,

    I disagree. As much as I hate those corrupt bastards in EUFA and FIFA, they’ve done a lot to make sure that grassroots communities across the world are funded and encouraged. The fact that they’ve been skimming off the top doesn’t change that.

  40. Leedsgunner

    If this goes ahead, I’m done.

    I cannot in good conscience support a team who has gone so far from its roots.

    I’m not abandoning Arsenal.

    It looks like Arsenal has abandoned me and millions of fans like me.

    I’m not looking forward to telling this to my boy tonight.

    Respect to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund who said “NEIN” to this foolhardy idea.

    They care about their fans!

  41. Elmo

    Leeds
    “I note that AC Milan is a part of this too. Not surprised. This has all the hallmarks of Gazidas all over it.”

    Milan are owned by a US vulture fund, Elliott Associates, who took possession of the club when the previous Chinese owner who they lent to at extortionate rates defaulted on his debts and disappeared. They focus on cornering financially distressed companies, extracting all the value, then selling on an asset-stripped shell that fails a few years later.

    So it’s no surprise that they are all over this. Elliott literally would be happy to destroy all of Milan’s football culture and heritage if they could pocket an additional $50 once they reach the conditions where they sell their previously distressed asset.

    Gazidis jumped ship because he was offered equity incentives in Milan by the father of his close friend, Paul Singer, the head of Elliott. Ivan will be highly motivated to get this through so that he gets the huge payday on Milan’s future sale, catapaulting him from being just a wealthy employed guy into a member of the super-rich whose children or grandchildren will never have to work.

  42. AFC Forever

    Leeds

    You are right, financially we aren’t in the same league as other clubs. That is the reality of the situation and why expectation has to sometimes be tempered, as frustrating as it is. Look at Bayern, 75% owned by FC Bayern with the remaining 25% owned by Adidas, Audi & Allianz – which is why they win the Bundesliga every season and when they don’t, they just buy Dortmund’s best players! PSG and Man City are the only two clubs that are solely state-owned, Qatar & Abu Dhabi, you simply cannot compete financially with clubs like these, Kroenke is never going to be able to do that. These clubs have access to a bottomless pit of cash. Sad but true.

    Those of us old enough can remember the days when football was organic, 11 local lads plus 1 sub. Is football better today? Absolutely, these are athletes on perfect pitches but it’s no longer the case that you will have a twelve-year period when Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Red Star Belgrade, Steaua Bucharest, PSV & Hamburg are going to win the European Cup/CL. It’s going to be even less likely if this ESL goes through.

  43. Karsa

    Love Sausage

    They do have some benefits but the FL rearranging of fixtures to suit tv without thought for the fans, and the expansion of the CL are purely money making moves.

  44. Rambo

    Can always count on Leedsgunner to be over dramatic. What have Arsenal done to let you done? They have somehow managed to find a spot amongst Euro elites even though they’re shit.

  45. AFC Forever

    Leeds

    PSG are on the board at UEFA so they can’t say anything about the ESL! Bayern, well perhaps they want to continue winning the Bundesliga every season, I’m not sure they are any role model with the absolute dominance they have in Germany – I suspect non-Bayern fans would be happy to see them go so they can have a proper league for a change.

    It’s all posturing, no coincidence it comes after we find out Barca & Real are knee-deep in debt with the pandemic affecting every club’s finances, well most clubs. This is only about one thing and that’s not the fans.

  46. Kegunner

    In pure entertainment terms current football model is similar to forcing blockbuster movies to share sales with indie movies as they share same theaters and they need to improve indie movie quality. The model was going to break.

    Big clubs haven’t got greedy they have just asked for wages for the work they do. Smaller clubs force bigger clubs to but their players at inflated costs due to nationality caps. Smaller clubs also invest less and benefit more out of league competition. The inconsistency makes owning any big club a liability and that is why so many of them are sold to investors.

    To improve the game changes need to be made to reduce the cost of football overall. More organic development of football at a realistic price is required.

    Parties not involved in the grind of football need to be eased out. Three major parties need to be at the centre of decision making. Fans, players and football players. All other parties are getting a free lunch and will hold the sport at their mercy. Fans want the best football, football players and clubs dream of success. Start there and maybe the sport can be rescued.

  47. Cheney10

    AFC ‘happy to see them go so they can have a proper league for a change.’

    There is nothing in the proposals that suggest the teams will leave their domestic leagues.

    The ESL is an attempt by clubs to cut the middle man out (UEFA) and negotiate their own deal with TV, sponsors etc. The ESL is an attempt to change the face of European football competition not domestic football.

    The ESL needs to look at the closed shop aspect of the competition ie it needs a clear promotion relegation process and the chance for more to join; however, we need to see this as an attempt to remodel European cups not the EPL/domestic leagues.

  48. Press Box Gooner

    If ever evidence was needed that Kroenke is not a ‘fit and proper person’ to own our club, then this decision ticks every available box.

    As a point of interest, a former member of the club’s commercial department who was one of the 55 made redundant recently is now a work colleague. A Gooner, long-time season ticket holder and employee from the Highbury days onwards, he says the organisation is more like a bank than a football club. Pretty much describes the whole shameful money-grabbing scenario that knows the price of everything and value of nothing.

    Think whoever paid for the ‘Wenger Out’ fly-past would have been better advised to target the Kroenkes.

  49. Sid

    The English ruling class believes everything is for sale, including their ports,
    The English working class cluelessly cheer them on with distractions like Brexit, now their bread and circus is being sold too

    Let that sink in

  50. Guns of Hackney

    Anyone else find it ironic that Arsenal are in, or being linked to a European Super League?

    The ‘big six’? Arsenal will be around 10th again and out of Europe again for the 5th year running.

    Bolton Wanderers have as much right to a European super league place as we do.

    Anyway, meh. Imagine watching us getting trounced every week by a proper club?

  51. Sid

    The pandemic has seen the biggest transfer of wealth from the serfs to the ruling classes,
    The serfs are still clueless thinking immigrants and BAME are the problem

  52. The backpass

    “RamboApril 19, 2021 13:08:25
    Can always count on Leedsgunner to be over dramatic. What have Arsenal done to let you done? They have somehow managed to find a spot amongst Euro elites even though they’re shit.”

    LOL

  53. Emiratesstroller

    AFC

    There is a lot of moral hypocrisy posted on Le Grove.

    1. How many posters complain on a regular basis that Kronke does not spend money on the
    team?

    2. We read persistently criticism that Arsenal are recruiting a “generational” manager

    3. Arsenal win the FA Cup, but that competition is irrelevant and does not count as a proper
    trophy.

    Yet when Arsenal are invited to join a European Super League and play at the top table suddenly this becomes a money grabbing exercise and Arsenal should not participate in
    such a competition.

    When I read the suggestion that Bayern Munich are the “paragon of virtue” because they
    have so far not decided to join this league it makes me laugh. All they are doing is sitting on
    the fence and waiting to see what is going to happen!

    This is the club who “steal” on a regular basis players from their competitors in the Bundesliga and pay them zilch for their best players!!

    From a sentimental point of view I will be sad that the EPL is not the most important league
    in Europe, but realistically I am a “supporter” of my home club and that is more important than the league. I want them to compete at the “top table” and be successful.

  54. Wingdings

    gunnermanApril 19, 2021 12:31:09
    Le-grove favourite Ozil chiming inhttps://twitter.com/MesutOzil1088/status/1384100211815976960

    ___

    Embarrassing coming from him. He’s part of the problem with his £350k every week.

  55. Wengaball

    Everyone calling for a ban on the ESL clubs – they are already planning to sue UEFA and FIFA if they do so.

  56. Wengaball

    With typos corrected, that should read:

    They have thought this through. They will eat their cake. And still have it.

  57. TT

    You can be damn sure that the 12 clubs would have studied the legality of their move and all the possible repercussions. I don’t believe for a moment that UEFA or FIFA can stop this, no matter what they are saying now.

    The owners of those clubs are not stupid and will have all the relevant regulations, both within FIFA/UEFA and European Union studied and plans put in place to deal with any legal fallout and any actions taken by the regulating bodies.

  58. Kroenkephobe

    Graham 12.15

    Cardiff City – biggest team in Wales and plenty of passion (despite the meccano set ground and MickfuckingMcCarthy as manager). Maybe they’ll eventually stay up in the PL esp if the big cunty 6 are banished.

    Leedsgunner – assuming you’re actually in w Yorks, you could do worse than your local team. I saw Cardiff play in a stonking 3-3 at Elland Road last season. One of the best games I’ve seen for years. Felt like being back in 80s.

    Can I just chip in on the anti-US sentiment which is dumb and knee jerk. There are money grubbing scumbags on both sides of the pond AND people who are completely sound. I lived in DC for 5 years and met some brilliant people (mostly outside the beltway it has to be said). It’s a consequence of free market ideology that the owners in question are American. And inequality and corruption there is arguably even worse than here. But we could just as easily have been owned by the parasite that is Richard Branson as we are Merkin man Stan. No need to fall out over contrived nationalism.

  59. Leedsgunner

    Kronkephobe

    I congratulate on your moniker, I think we are all Kronkephobes today!

    I note your comment about Leeds United FC, they are a decent side managed by a seasoned tactician… and I would love someone like Bielsa at Arsenal… they are definitely not playing like a recently promoted side are they? He’s an excellent manager.

    I hate what Arsenal FC has become under present management.

    We’ve all been had haven’t we? We were promised that we would be given a seat at the top table once we moved to the Emirates… I doubt this was what was envisioned by most fans. A top table where you are guaranteed a place no matter how badly you do isn’t a table worth being at.

    The fans, like us, will end up being the biggest losers here.

  60. englandsbest

    No surprise to me, I’ve been expecting a takeover from Uefa for years now. And there is nothing good you can say about Uefa. They have emasculated European Cup (as it was) with utterly daft combat by including the no-hopers. Not for moral reasons, for commercial reasons. Extra money for them. And for weight of numbers on their side. What’s more, they plan to INCREASE the number of games and contestants.

    Nor is it any surprise that Arsenal are one of the English Six. Stan is the owner. Fro him it’s like opening the coffers of Fort Knox.

    Okay, so it’s about money on both sides. Forget all the nationalist flag-waving. On the deal offered, the PL will carry on (including the six), international games will continue, FIFA will still run World Cup (god help us!)

    One way or another, it’s gonna happen. Money speaks and the most money speaks loudest.

    I imagine the next step in their agenda will a second league of twenty Clubs, which the next twenty richest European clubs will join in the blink of an eyelid. Sensibleromotion and releagation are essential, not the ludicrous version proposed.

    To be honest, we should be glad to see the back of Uefa. A bit like the EU. No more than a bit, EXACTLY lile the EC.

  61. Dream10

    @thelawyermag

    The Lawyer understands that
    @Clifford_Chance
    will be the law firm acting for JP Morgan in the Super League mega-deal. The magic circle firm declined to comment. #SuperLeague #JPMorgan

    Tim Lewis used to work for this company. The man the Kroenkes hired to look into things after Sanllehi left. Lol

    And Sanllehi is involved in the Super League process.

  62. Ozy

    I have yet to see a single valid reason why the Super League is bad or “the end of football as we know it” – a bit hyperbolic.

    The alternative is staying in the stale Europa and Champions Leagues. Are we pretending that those competitions aren’t also just about the money? Since when? Also, fuck UEFA and all of these football governing bodies that fuck teams around and lie about FFP, that are corrupt and couldn’t care less about anything but the bottom line – why do we need to show them loyalty? Look at how much energy UEFA has on this, but not racism.

    I welcome the Super League! The cash influx will help us in the Premier League and I wouldn’t mind seeing Arsenal play against the big teams again.

    Y’all are losing your minds over nothing.

  63. Ozy

    Oh, and there is no way the FA will kick the founding clubs out of the Premier League. That would destroy the league.

  64. Cheney10

    @englandsbest

    Spot on there. This is a competition to rival the champions league and europa league… why should we condemn the clubs for cutting the middle man out? This is what big businesses do… it may be crass for us fans but they are businesses.

    I also agree that the promotion relegation thing needs sorting and a second division with play offs etc to gain entry could solve that issue and pretty much leave uefa in the cold… is that such a bad thing?

  65. Tom

    For all the fan outrage, it’ll be interesting to see how many empty seats there will be at the Arsenal /RealMadrid game at the Ems once the league starts.
    My guess…..not many.

  66. Tom

    Funny that some believe Stan would even budge on the promotion/relegation issue lol
    He didn’t put the wheels in motion on this project so Arsenal can get relegated from it in season two.

  67. Champagne Charlie

    “I want to see Arsenal compete at the top level in the best league.“

    Stroller this is an incredibly poor statement given what you’re inferring/ignoring.

    We all want Arsenal to compete at the top level, it’s the reason we’re not happy in the current state of mediocrity. But, changing the rules of the game to protect ourselves isn’t what anyone can reasonably say is acceptable.

    You perform poorly, run your club poorly, you deserve the regression that comes from it – and the owners should take the responsibility. It’s why there’s integrity in the game, and it’s a huge part of why it’s the biggest game in the world. It’s honest and you have a chance until you inevitably don’t, you perform well and you reap the benefits in organic growth.

    Money has muddied the waters and put a bad taste in the mouths of many, Chelsea, PSG, City, Leipzig aren’t examples that anyone admires in football, they go against historical tradition. But make no mistake, closing ranks on who happens to be amongst the most lucrative clubs in this moment in history represents the lowest low in the history of the game.

  68. Ozy

    People need to grow up and realize that there is just too much money in the game to ignore.

    @Champagne Charlie – if you were running Arsenal, you wouldn’t last very long.

    The game is evolving. If Twitter was around during the inception of the Premier League, you would’ve seen the same outrage from people that don’t know how to move forward and would rather see their club fall into a pit of mediocrity that will be near impossible to get out of for the sake of “football” than the opposite. Shame.

  69. Ray+in+LA

    Interesting weekend for talking points…

    The PL complaining about the ESL as being driven by greed 🙂

    People complaining about our performance home to Fulham — if you edit out the six minutes that won us the tie on Thursday, there was not much difference in our two performances

    People complaining about ElNeny not replacing Partey in a role designed for Partey

    People complaining that the sacking of Mourinho will allow Sp*rs to hire Nagelsmann

  70. Rambo

    Ozy, its very good for clubs with ambitions to kick up another scale. Up against the best every week and better rewards to moot. Most of these clubs are Uber successful and they didn’t get there by being lame or taking easy. So its not likely they are gonna just settle and stop trying in the ESL.

    Of course the asterisk is the *clubs with ambition, which Arsenal may not be part of

    Anyway what’s there for us to lose? Not like we are going anywhere in the traditional setup, we are actually drifting further away from CL and Europa.

    The ‘Omg what a crime this is’ are an embarrassment. Unfortunately these are everywhere, crying and being sensitive to fvcking everything

  71. Nelson

    The reason football has become popular is mainly built on the emotional connection of the team to his home fans. ESL will turn football into a circus event. Each team ignores the feeling of the home fans. They’ll think that the football itself can attract a even wider followers all over the globe. I wonder why the fans would continue to support an administration/owner disrespecting them.

  72. Thank you and goodnight

    @Sid

    SidApril 19, 2021 13:39:42
    The pandemic has seen the biggest transfer of wealth from the serfs to the ruling classes,
    The serfs are still clueless thinking immigrants and BAME are the problem

    Well said Sid. Spot on, it’s always Johnny foreigners fault 🤣

  73. Rambo

    ‘The reason football has become popular is mainly built on the emotional connection of the team to his home fans.’

    Dafuq is a home fan? Is it only Londoners? You can go back to the 70s grandpa

  74. Captain Tierney

    ET

    I dont think you truly understand why people are opposing the ESL. Here and everywhere.

    We all want Arsenal to win and compete at the top. But not in this way.

    The European Super League is not a competition. We wont be competing there. Its like a friendly game where the results dont matter. The different being Friendlies are played to build fitness,
    ESL will be played to build fortunes.

    I and many others are not against the idea of ESL or a reformed CL where the funds distribution is more fair and there is no corruption involved. But ESL is not that.

    Creating a competition where each founding team face the prospect of relegation and even the smallest clubs in Europe can dream of playing someday should be the goal.

  75. Thank you and goodnight

    @Wiglaf

    I’ve said this many times before, but the day I found out we’d been bought out by an American I turned around to a few other gooners ,who thought kroenke would be our Abromovich , and told them that that was us fucked now and we’d go backwards as a club under the Yank. Seems I was proven right

  76. andy1886

    I’m with CC.

    ES: ” I want them to compete at the “top table” and be successful.”

    You can keep posting the same old tripe and I will keep on posting the same reply: Arsenal will NOT be successful in a ‘Super League’, we’ll be propping that miserable competition to the point where simply having a season where we win more than we lose will be a cause for celebration.

    And you think that the money will be invested in the club? (sorry, that should be ‘brand’). You’re living in dreamland, the money is going straight into Kroenke’s pocket. No relegation means he doesn’t have to spend a dime.

    Quite honestly football doesn’t need people like Stan and certainly doesn’t need enablers like certain fans who just bend over and take whatever their lords and masters want to shaft them with.

  77. Jim Lahey

    @Rambo –

    Are you American by any chance?

    “Anyway what’s there for us to lose?”

    Everything, and how you are incapable of seeing it is staggering.

  78. Rambo

    The pressure will be even more in the ESL than it is in the PL. I really don’t get these folks claiming otherwise.

    Again what has this traditional setup done that is so good and awesome for us? Has it steered us on the right path

  79. Elmo

    Kroenkephobe

    The anti-US angle is NOT aimed at American fans (who must be allies in our resistance), it is aimed at the cadre of US billionaire opportunists who aren’t interested in innovating in a way that benefits society or even their customers, but are purely interested in seeking out opportunities where they can strip value for themselves by exploiting the fact that free market capitalism (a system they ironically don’t subscribe to) doesn’t value intangibles such as culture, sporting integrity, and fans as stakeholders.

    They all bought into European football because they viewed it as both lucrative (a much bigger global footprint than US sports) and backwards (owners had little control over costs because the game was open to whomever wanted to invest in it, rather than the owners acting as a closed cartel who carefully managed who was allowed to be involved). Their goal was always to create a closed shop where their financial risk was all but eliminated, and inconvenient low margin activity like domestic cups and games against league ‘minnows’ were eliminated in favour of higher margin spectacles, be it friendlies in Shanghai, or back-to-back games where the same superclubs field different players to play a series one night after the other.

    There’s nothing inevitable about this coming to pass; it must be stopped. If you think football is unrecognisable compared to what you remembered as a child, what the American sports-entertainment billionaires have planned is a quantum leap beyond that, which will collapse the football pyramid and leave us with no more than a wide, beaming grin staring back at you on a screen.

  80. Kroenkephobe

    Ozy

    Really mate? Getting our arses handed to us by RM on Wednesday, then Soton on Saturday, Barcelona the following Wednesday, Wolves on Saturday. Rinse and repeat ad fucking nauseam. Arteta and Kroenke would do just enough to keep us up in the PL with a b squad while the a squad faces no relegation and gets regular rogerings all over Europe. You’d be happy with that all too likely scenario?

  81. Dissenter

    The top 6 clubs in England have been whining about getting share of the pie for a long time, especially revenue from foreign TV rights.
    They are right absolutely right to demand that Arsenal get more of the foreign TV rights than the likes of Brighton or Burnley who are just there to make up the numbers. There are probably more Arsenal fans in DC that Burnely fans worldwide. The EPL was built on the backs of the lore of the bigger clubs. Maybe the Leicester’s added to the mystique too. Burnely shouldn’t be getting the same share of the foreign TV pot as Arsenal.
    This ESL move is a strategic blunder of epic proportions that’s set back the bigger clubs behind in their quest for more equitable distribution of money. They’ve shot themselves in the foot. There is a point to be made but the ESL is unworkable and very dim.

  82. Emiratesstroller

    Captain Tierney

    Utter rubbish it is a proper competition.

    I suggest that you read what is proposed which is fully published on the Arsenal Website. The format is a Table with home and away games followed by knock out for those teams finishing in top 4.

    Arsenal have been offered the opportunity to play at the top table and from my perspective they should grasp that opportunity.

    I have supported and been a season ticket holder for a very long time and I am more than happy to continue doing so.

  83. Champagne Charlie

    Ozy

    I understand the mentality of the owners fully thanks.

    It’s you that’s completely confused by the idea of “evolution”. Having a league where 15/20 can’t suffer isn’t evolution of anything. It’s protecting self-interest from a wealthy few.

  84. Hitman

    Remove the fit and proper person test designation from these owners forcing them to sell up.
    Take away work permits for all foreign players playing in ESL and right to live in UK.
    Arrest/ deny travel to those players seeking to leave UK for unapproved league games under Covid rules.
    Similarly arrest/ detain/ quarantine players coming into UK to play ESL games under Covid rules.
    That should put and end to it.

  85. Jim Lahey

    “the idea of “evolution”. Having a league where 15/20 can’t suffer isn’t evolution of anything. It’s protecting self-interest from a wealthy few.”

    Yeah, there is nothing evolutionary about this, if anything it will create stagnation.

  86. salparadisenyc

    What an escalation, feels kinda of half baked for the elite in football ownership. Talk about not reading the room and time.

    Now have Uefa saying they will ban players for competing in this new endeavour, these are players under contract to the club having zero say in owners decisions to join Super League. Anyones guess how that goes but it certainly has makings of getting quite messy.

    Two of the current top four in the premier league not invited to Super league incredible to unleash this news with it all to play for. Real slap in face considering last calendar year how many have rallied around this sport under dire circumstance to find the light.

  87. Cazorla

    American fans eroded the quality of our support. American ownership destroyed our club. Now an American style Super league is going to kill English and European football.

    Cunts.

  88. Ozy

    Yikes, a lot of old, antiquated farts in here, so petrified of change.

    We get it. Only English fans matter, it’s about the passion of the sport and blah blah blah.

    I forgot the crowd in here averages around 60 years old.

  89. Jim Lahey

    @Ozy –

    “We get it. Only English fans matter, it’s about the passion of the sport and blah blah blah.I forgot the crowd in here averages around 60 years old.”

    I’m not 60 or English, no one in Europe wants this.

  90. gunnerman

    Sal

    Players currently have UCL clauses in their contract so this gives them room to negotiate or pull out.

  91. Taylor Swift

    Just went for a run in my Lakers vest. Was just too embaressed to wear Arsenal shirt. Sums it up really.

  92. Cazorla

    Ozy this doesn’t benefit anyone involved in or that cares about football apart from the greedy cunt owner.

    We’d never field a full strength team in the PL it would be a waste of time ( that’s even if we were allowed to compete) if by miracle the PL agree to this.

    Agree with stroller that we couldn’t be left on the outside looking in though but disgusted that we’re one of the main drivers for this.

  93. andy1886

    Ozy, why not just cut out the middle man – send Stan your bank details, maybe if you ask nicely he’ll put ‘Love Island’ on between quarters (two halves are sooo old fashioned) for you young hipsters!

  94. Ozy

    The sport died when owners started injecting their own money into clubs. We tried playing by the rules for years, hoping that FFP would hold those clubs accountable. It didn’t happen. We either understand that this entire sport is ALL about money now and plan accordingly, or get swept away.

  95. Captain Tierney

    ET

    Explain to me how a competition is a competition when a team no matter how poor they perform do NOT face any consequences like relegation.

    It doesn’t matter if Arsenal or Spuds or any other team accumulate 0 points in the group stage. They will STILL have the luxury of genormous financial incentives. It is utterly unfair to teams like Leicester and Villareal and Lille who have been growing their clubs organically and legally with hopes of getting CL football consistently and one day competing for the big honours.

    With the ESL it becomes impossible because majority of the football money all over world will be directed to the ESL. The ESL clubs will get stronger financially and buy and hoard all the best players in the world. The CL if it goes will become a second tier competition like Europa and the Europa will essentially hold the same weight as the League cup.

    In 5 or 10 years we’ll start the actual consequences, i.e countless small clubs going bankrupt.

  96. Rambo

    Champagne Chuckles letting out the pearlers as always.

    Why would clubs suffer or not suffer in the ESL? Does suffer only entail relegation? Why would clubs not try to make the Quarters or beyond? Why would clubs not make the best attempt to win the thing? If they suffer a bad season and end up close to bottom, why would they not try to improve next season?

  97. Danny

    Yet when Arsenal are invited to join a European Super League
    ——————–
    Invited? More like helped create!

  98. Rambo

    Again Arsenal are the exception here, the majority in that list will genuinely want to improve and stand at the top of that pile. Who knows, maybe even Arsenal will improve amongst that group. Instead of getting cosy with the Evertons and West Hams of the World

  99. Champagne Charlie

    Rambo

    In football terms it’s winning trophies, participation in European competition at the top end, and relegation/promotion at the bottom end.

    In the ESL 15/20 clubs never have to worry about either. It’s fucking basic why that’s anti-competitive and lacking the possibility of suffering.

    Arsenal won’t make any moves to win the thing under Kroenke, he’s securing European money for 23 years and will put his feet up in absolute comfort the gravy train will continue. Guaranteed top 4 money was always his aphrodisiac.

    What incentive is there for him to actually make us number 1 amongst genuine giants? He’s not shown any desire in making us number 1 in England ffs.

  100. Bergkamp63

    The problem is, once one or two make their minds up to go the ESL route, what else are clubs like Arsenal to do, you either jump aboard or get left behind, it only takes a couple of big clubs from each big league and it then snowballs until you have enough.

    I would imagine domestic cups will be a thing of the past for ESL first team players.

  101. Guns of SF

    Ever since that snake Kroenke came in and took over it has been bad news.
    When he forced shareholders to sell, he showed his true colors. He wanted total control

    Time to get the plane out with the banner…..

    Kroenke out.

    Unfortunately, any new owner would see this is where the money is and sadly, they also might come to the reality to join

    Our EPL will be watered down by all the best players playing for the top 5 ESL clubs. The remaining average players will be in the remaining teams .

    Teams who want to buy and ESL player will have to pay a shit load to get one. It makes it harder for them. There is going to be a serious equity issue happening if this passes

  102. Foxy

    Perhaps the only way this can work is if say

    1. The CL and EUL are merged and the two finalists or even the top 4 get auto entry into the next seasons ESL.
    2. The two bottom group teams get relegated and replaced by the top non ESL team in their respective home leagues.

  103. Biggles

    @Emiratesstroller

    The thing I liked most about the European Cup was that winning it meant that you were the best of the best. Of course the biggest argument against it as a knockout competition was that – just like with domestic cups – a club could make a run and win it without really being the best. The Champions League, if it were an actual league of Champions, would be better than the European Cup. But this nonsense of having finals contested between teams where neither of them are champions (or hell, have even won anything at all in the last decade!) already demeaned things.

    Now, this planned ESL will be a bunch of big names playing each other frequently. And there’s a fairly high chance that none of them will be champions at all since there’s a chance that either the clubs will be expelled, or the players banned from other competitions if they play in the ESL. If Manchester City need to keep De Bruyne and Sterling for the ESL and can’t play them in the PL, do you see them winning it still? I don’t. If you take Messi and uh… Braithwaite out of Barcelona, do you see them winning La Liga? I don’t. The fans that currently pay big money to Sky and BT Sport are just going to lose interest over time in their teams, so the long term economic prospects seem to me to be rather weak.

    If we do manage to stay in the PL after all this, I can see us looking at a ban like post-Heysel. Could be years before we recover from the damage.

  104. Wengaball

    I had said many many years ago in a debate with Gambon that football as we know it will not survive if it does not put in practice ‘no money in – no money out’ principle.

    The only way to keep the utopian idea of anyone can win was to make clubs not for profit entities by decree, and then share equitably (not equally) the money that was generated within the sport.

    The chain of events leading to the ESL was set in motion a long time ago – the moment it became a ‘business’.

  105. Wengaball

    FFP was one chance to save the game, but UEFA et al blew it big time.

    Arsenal of course were the victims then. Now we say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

  106. Wengaball

    ESL is just a symptom of foundational flaws in the what football has become.

    Barcelona and RM have racked up debts of a billion euros trying to keep up with the Chelseas, Cities and PSGs of the world.

    Barring a fluke, the winners will always be the moneybag clubs. There difference between the current football set up and the ESL is just of degrees, not kind.

    Football has long been the mythical Ouroboros. It is just that the mouth, having devoured the tail, is now headed for the belly.