SUPER LEAGUE IMPACTING DECISIONS ALREADY?

by .

Waking up the day after the news of the Super League and it still feels odd.

Spurs have sacked Jose Mourinho, a story I’d normally be basking in, but are they doing that because they want to gear up with a proper manager for this Super League windfall? They’ve gone from being able to attract Nuno, to now being able to attract a rockstar. They’ve gone from a certain Harry Kane exit, to now possibly keeping him.

I’ve spent 5 years writing about Stan K needing to do things the hard way, and in the space of one pandemic, he’s shortcut 5 years of pain and taken us back into guaranteed Champions League football. He did it all without spending his own cash. He brought us the Arsene Wenger FFP dream. We have the edge without the effort.

It’s a lot to take in.

Amazon and Disney are looking at stumping the $4b for the TV deal. That’s game-changing money. $350m just to sign on.

There are some lawyers doing the rounds that basically say UEFA have no say in this and the Premier League wouldn’t be able to stop it.

Some are saying the league might suspend the teams. Don’t be stupid. The 6 teams leaving are the 6 teams that matter. All of them are clubs that can make a super league on brand name alone. The Premier League likely won’t have much power in this.

One possible hope with this is that there is European Union or British government intervention. It’s been trendy for countries to get involved in big business to protect industry. We’ve seen moves on 5G, TikTok in America, medicine. Question, is football worth protecting? This is a culture wrecking move. There’s also not a lot of love for billionaires. Boris Johnson won with the little guys last time around, would he go against his elitist instincts and step in? Is Macron action-oriented or just hot air? Would Merkel accept this from yet-to-be-confirmed German sides? Where is the politics on this?

There’s not really a counter to creating a closed league, hence the botched PR launch. However, human nature is all about the in and out club. We’re programmed to want to be on the inside. In caveman times, if you were in the out-group, you didn’t eat. Well, shock horror, my DMs were firing on all cylinders this morning…

‘Awful… but’

Clear-eyed, this move for Arsenal, is hard to argue. David Dein led the first break away league way back when. We are crippled financially, there was no plan for the pandemic, clubs want to take back control of their destiny. Arsenal have turbo-charged the future with this move.

I suspect the calculation on this is that fans are easily won over. Morals didn’t stop human rights abusers taking over clubs. No one cared about blood money if it was being spent on big-name players over the last decade. It won’t take long for fans of the in-club clubs to sail over to the idea that this is actually a good thing because Arteta’s transfer budget just grew 10x inside a day.

The other part of this story is that there’s going to be a networked effect on the fan multiplier. The biggest clubs, with the most fans, always in the biggest competition, will grow their fanbase at the expense of outsiders or plucky upstarts. Where are the kids going to spend their $80 for football shirts? The clubs where the stars go every season. Wednesday night football will be a global spectacle that diminishes smaller ‘outsider’ clubs chances of moving forward.

Think about the shape of our summer now. We’ve gone from a hard sell, to one of the easiest.

I spoke to some people yesterday that had a ruthless mindset on the matter.

Why not change?

When you start at a new place of work, your first job is to look at how they do things and ask questions. You will always find something that is baffling, inefficient, and counter-productive. When you ask why… ‘we’ve always done it that way.’

Human nature is routine. Football is routine because it works. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This could be the start of an ideas race. Rory Smith, who I’m sure will have some excellent thoughts on this, said that football without competition is content. Do fans want content? Or competition? Can a truer competition exist for the purist? Does that purist spend more money than the casual? So many unanswered questions.

I was speaking to Matt Kandela from the podcast who has been shaped by New York to be one of the ruthless business people I know. He asked why European football was only for the top 7 clubs in each country. Is that interesting enough? Is that exploiting all the opportunities there are? Why can’t we create European avenues for Championship teams? That’d be interesting. Norwich vs St Pauli? I’d watch. Monday and Friday nights are free. Is there such thing as too much sport? Baseball has 180 odd games as season. So not in America. What is the capacity for fans?

Why couldn’t the alternative Champions League be an awesome spectacle? In the current Super League, you have a shite Arsenal, a shite Spurs, a fairly meh Chelsea team, and a Liverpool in decline.

Super League vs Champions League. Let’s make this pure WWE.

Football fans go where the hype is.

The main losers here right now are the fans that will have to spend money on all these experiments.

… but football only dies if the others don’t fight back.

What I will say is that I have absolutely no interest in supporting UEFA and FIFA in this. Two of the most corrupt organisations in the history of sport. Fuck them. They’ve allowed this into the game. They failed to enforce FFP, they failed to get a grip on disgraceful schedules, they gave the World Cup to a country using slave labour to build their stadiums. They have no moral high ground on this.

… and that’s the rub in this. It’s like a Tarrantino film, everywhere you look, there are bad guys. You don’t know where to place your allegiances.

The big loser is the game and as a result, the fans.

The billionaire class moved in on our culture and they are ripping it to shreds.

Being on the winning side is better than being an outsider, but don’t enjoy it too much, if something is too good to be true… it’ll bite you in the pocket eventually.

For now, tell me what you think in the comments below. Gonna try and get a podcast fired up a little later today about it.

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433 Responses to “SUPER LEAGUE IMPACTING DECISIONS ALREADY?”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Divine Sherlock

    It is not a question of supporting the idea that there should be an ESL, but if 12 of the 15 most
    post powerful clubs in Europe sign up to the idea then I am afraid it becomes a fait accompli
    whether you like it or not.

    There are three elite clubs who have sofar not signed up to the project and the only one which really matters is frankly Bayern Munich. The other 2 clubs PSG and Borussia Dortmund will make absolutely no impact on final outcome.

    There is a short term threat to the five clubs in Champions League and Europa Cup, but clearly the 12 clubs have factored this into their calculation. My guess is that UEFA will be
    precluded from kicking them out by the TV stations who pay the bills.

    The domestic leagues will huff and puff but will I am sure accept reluctantly the decision.

    The idea that FIFA will ban players from playing in World Cup is ludicrous. Let’s be clear footballers earn their wages from the clubs and not the national federations. I doubt that there will be a single footballer walking out on the 12 clubs, because of a national ban.

    As an Arsenal supporter am I seriously bothered if Aubameyang, Pepe, Partey and Elneny
    don’t pay for their national teams? Frankly I am not particularly after Aubameyang contracted malaria on his last international trip and there is the prospect that we could lose
    4 players in January when the Africa Cup is being played.

  2. Dissenter

    I cannot think of a bigger public relations fiasco that the announcement of the ESL.
    They seem to have totally miscalculated the public sentiment. All the balled up anger from the pandemic will be discharged on the top 6 teams.

    The premier league is not going to bin the top 6 clubs though because they hold most of the commercial value of the league.

  3. Danny S

    After reading up a bit I’m pretty confident The super league won’t happen.

    I’m a bit sad though that Arsenal have mugged themselves off by announcing it. We don’t have the pull or power of the likes of united, Barca and real. We just look like kids trying to sit at the big boys table.

    Could be worse though I suppose. We could be Spurs. What a joke that is, almost no winning heritage in that team.

    Hopefully the Arsenal brand will be damaged by this and our price will drop and Dangote will swoop in and take Arsenal off stans hands.

  4. Terraloon

    One of the major threats of forcing this league to structure itself outside of the FA, UEFA, and FIFA would be that there wouldn’t be any control or more likely any need for these clubs to pay transfer fees or compensation.
    No doubt that the clubs themselves would have some sort of agreement about honouring contracts but I do wonder how FIFA could possibly impose sanctions against clubs that wouldn’t be part of their structure.
    This whole saga is a about power and in this context power is money.
    There is a lot of knee jerk about clubs being kicked out of this seasons EL and CL I am not quite sure that will happen for a variety of reasons but I could see them not being invited for next season and then mayhem would take place.
    Irrespective can you really imagine how the sponsors, the tv companies would react if not just the English clubs weren’t in but also the two Spanish giants.

  5. wattsy

    Pedro

    The premier league is dying on its feet. most of the revenue is produced by the 6, and everyone else is living off their backs. Around 12 of the premier clubs start the season with only one thing in mind avoiding relegation, and play accordingly. overtly defensive set ups, living off scraps , conned penalties, and set play goals, and then hanging on for dear life. That is not football, its strangling the game, a cold Monday night and we get Brighton v Crystal Palace, what a pile of shit, not one half decent attempt at playing football, and trying to win.. out of ten matches a week , we get maybe 3 good games, and pay royally for them. I cannot recall Garry Neville complaining when the Utd were winning everything on the back of their immense wealth, when all the rest had fuck all.
    Not sure if this the way forward, but something has to change, so hopefully a compromise can be found.

  6. salparadisenyc

    In the end power really lies with players if they can rally themselves within players unions to shoot this down collectively across Europe.

    Unlikely for me but thats the play.

    Uefa threats are hollow, the game doesn’t exist without the talent. Talent is king.

    Mid 90s Major league baseball strike proved that, owners got their asses handed to them after attempting to eliminate free agency and salary arbitration. Throw in loosing revenue for the strike itself which killed back half of 94 season.

    Imagine LG discussing “replacement player” options for the Arsenal. Saw a wicked #9 over at Whittington Park playing 7 a side.

    Pedro you could finally get your chance between the sticks.

  7. Northbanker

    the Super league is a terrible idea – there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the competitions we have now

    If it happens, and i hope it gets kicked into touch, then millions of fans will refuse to support it. Who is really interested in a meaningless self interested league of 12 clubs with no relegation or promotion?

    I had always assumed i would support Arsenal till I die but now for the first time ever it is possible that I won’t. The whole concept bores me rigid. Us fighting with Spurs for bottom place isn’t good either.

  8. Guns of SF

    Isn’t the problem poor mis management in the first place?
    If we had a better team, decisions etc we could be earning top 4 on our own without this super league shit.

    That is what we are all missing here. This ESL is a bail out for us, most of our fans have been the ones following the team in the Wenger days and before. New fans are not drawn to us like they used to be. Its these old dire hard fans that know the real deal, the true story. We used to be great and always attracted top talent. Now its a real challenge to do that.

    Stan found his lifeline. I can see why he wants to do it.

    However, it does not sit right

  9. MidwestGun

    What a weekend.. crazy.. Anyhow.. to me it seems like the Big Clubs are just trying to hold everyone hostage.. because they can.. To force Uefa and the FA to meet any demands they have… The Super League doesn’t even have to be viable just have an air of legitimacy with backers.

    They have all the power… and of course all the big Clubs are holding each other hostage as well basically because one of them can’t afford to sit on the sideline and have the possibility of being left out. .

    So.. In my opinion, it will end up in some sort of Champions League compromise where the big teams automatically qualify every year regardless of position and they get a bigger share of tv revenue.

    Just can’t see the fans or the players getting behind a Super League.. the backlash has been huge. And if they are going to stay in the PL as well.. what is Arsenal going to play Liverpool, Chelsea, City, United and Spurs 4 times a season now.. ? Sheesh can you imagine… you think we are getting trashed now. and injuries are piling up.

    Anyhow.. Mourinho actually lasted a few weeks longer then I thought.. Fuck off Jose.. who;s the specialist in failure now?

  10. Valentin

    Stroller,

    ESL was responsible for the timing of the announcement. They could have waited until the end of the season, but they chose to make it at this time.
    I have no idea why, neither do you.

  11. Ishola70

    Kudos to Klopp.

    He has to be careful with his reaction at this time because we don’t know if this money making scheme is actually going to go ahead 100% at this time but he made it quite clear he is against it.

    I can understand Arteta not wanting to comment. He doesn’t hold enough significance in the game at this time having just started out in management and if he was implying like Klopp was tonight his feet wouldn’t touch the ground. Kroenke would have him out of the door without blinking.

  12. Words on a Blog

    Haha, now even Prince William has publicly come out against the breakaway “super-league”!

    We just need Harry and Megan to inveigh against the plan and it’s a goner…

  13. Elmo

    Stroller

    While I understand your commercial pragmatism in deciding that Arsenal have to secure their way in to this lucrative closed cartel, however underhanded and seedy, in order to ensure the future survival of the club, it surprises me that a guy who has professed to being a former long-time senior administrator of a British Olympic amateur sport having almost a callous total disregard for the health of the wider English game, which certainly will contract massively if this Super League goes ahead.

    Do you really not care if the whole domestic pyramid falls apart as long as Arsenal avoid being left standing when the music stops?

    Employing your same pragmatism, you will know that the Super League teams do not want to continue as PL teams. They might say otherwise, and litigate to seek compensation if banned, but they don’t want 38 games in a devalued competition when the new golden goose is the 18 – 25 games in the Super League, plus friendlies in other markets. Even if there is some compromise and they stay for a year or two, they’ll be gone sooner rather than later.

  14. Words on a Blog

    The thing is, if you are a politician of any persuasion, being against the ESL is such an easy win.

    One one hand you have evil American billionaires, Russian oligarchs, Arab sheikhs, the Agnellis and dodgy domineering Spanish club officials looking to stitch things up for their personal benefit, cut everyone else out of the loop and remove competition (the essence of the game) from the game.

    On the other hand you have passionate fans and communities who love the game, who hate the idea, and who vote….

  15. Elmo

    Midwest
    “In my opinion, it will end up in some sort of Champions League compromise where the big teams automatically qualify every year regardless of position and they get a bigger share of tv revenue.”

    Assuming that came to pass, would you support Arsenal in this if we were to be finishing 8th-11th in consecutive seasons but turning up in the CL each and every year?

    At that point to me all sporting integrity is gone and I’d be out.

  16. Foxy

    Those nostalgic of the Days when Arsenal was a proper footie club have to remember what we have now become namely a soulless corporate entity that was quite happy to make 50 staff redundant so that the Auba could buy another gold plated super car. Top level footie is destroying itself in a feeding frenzy of greed from UEFA to agents and players.and this is the end game.. that will kill us from boredom, Do we really what to watch Arsenal playing Man U, Chelsea spurs etc 4 times a season probably with nothing to be gained from the results.

  17. Swkmoon

    What an absolutely crap post from Pedro…sitting on the fence when we should be together facing down this American version of Sport/Soccer that they don’t give a shit about. Just because there are issues with sky/bt/Amazon/uefa/FIFA/premier League it doesn’t mean we have to forget the basic principles of meritocracy… let’s hope we get a bit of socialism stuck back into the club’s with forced buy outs of 51%…stick that up your moustache!

  18. Nelson

    This pandemic has changed the economics of football. People are staying home and spend more time watching football on TV. The TV companies are making more money through international sales. Football teams are getting more money from TV deals covering the loss in match day revenue. Suddenly, the local fan support becomes less critical. This ESL is promising a much bigger financial benefits. Those owners wouldn’t care less how this could hurt the fans.

    If the government allows the ESL to go ahead, I can’t see the EPL can survive in the current form. The big six teams would be so much richer. The league would be imbalance.

  19. WinOrDie

    People don’t like abrupt change thus the resistance to this ESL proposal but most football fans care about the quality of the game as in the case of man city. Although they are owned by oil state and violates the FFP rules, man city are entertaining and fans of the other clubs wish they are playing like city. Bottom line is ESL already have the best clubs with the best players so if they can really play entertaining football, most fans that are now opposed to ESL will easily be won over.

  20. Wardo

    Watching cars ghee is laughable

    Gobs at someone’s daughter and simply gets 6 months off

    Sky sports talking bout greed when the shoe horn adverts in at every opportunity is greed “and it’s live” then advert

    I want to learn more but all are greedy!!! Neville said today that if football clubs sold their matches at £1 each they could earn £100mm per match

    Football should not cost a fan £30-40 per month!!!

    Even as I write this carragher is mentioning greed and “lining their own pockets” when he should not even be in a job lining his pocket

    I’m not sure on this but I do think this stinks of massive companies worried that they can’t fleece us for loads of money. Fuck them

  21. Chris

    This ESl is absolutely abhorrent don’t get me wrong, BUT, FIFA and UEFA can’t take the night ground here, two of the most corrupt and hypocritical organisations in the world. Look at the history of the Indian Super League, from what I have read, a micro version of what is happening here. FIFA et al only give a shit because they are losing a fuck ton of money potentially. Pedro is right, the only good guys here are the fans, baddies everywhere.

    Graham62 – I’ll be down Woodside Road too if this all comes to pass. They’ll need to expand the stadium again probably!

  22. Almuniasaynomore

    What a depressing turn of events. Fulham,super lge,Mourinho sacking(arsenal fans should have been hoping that he,along with OGS,were given jobs for life).
    At least Pedro clarified my long held suspicion that he is in fact two people, one who writes early in the week( tends to be reasonable) and the other who writes later in the week( a more excitable and stubborn young man). These two don’t talk to each other. The latter got ahead of himself this week and wrote an article on monday,confusing everyone, especially pedro no.1 who was still admiring his article condemning the esl.

    On the plus side having read all the comments today I take great heart from the outrage expressed so eloquently by so many of you.You get it. A place at the top table. 350 million. That’s our 12 pieces of silver. Shameful. Take off your Arsenal hats and look at what this will do to the game at so many levels. These people’s sole purpose is to profit for themselves and they will continue to change the rules as they go. No promise they make will be honoured. Hatred towards fifa,UEFA etc should not blind you to the greater dangers these bastards represent.
    If you have to choose,which is the lesser of two evils for the game that you love? (If you’re still considering the esl as an option ask a loved one to click their fingers in front of your face,usually works.)
    Finally,to the guy who asked who really wants to see dundalk in the champs lge,my answer is dundalk fans. If that concept is too difficult to comprehend may I suggest you take the time to google Ronnie Radford, Lawrie Sanchez,Ben Watson,Mickey thomas(sorry lads),Jimmy Montgomery, Nottingham forest,Aston villa,Sutton utd, Luton town(FUCK). They’re just off the top of my head. Really don’t think football’s for you son.
    And for those who call me antiquated,refusing to evolve or just ignorant of modern commercial needs,let me tell you this. I know sport. And football is proper sport. Now fuck off and leave it alone.

  23. MidwestGun

    At that point to me all sporting integrity is gone and I’d be out.
    ________
    Elmo, Yep… I’m fairly old school. About everything.. Relegation is what makes it interesting.. with a fear of doing a Leeds. There is an edge, at least..and your spot is earned in any tournament.

    Now I can say.. yes I’m out..if there is a non relegation Super League or CL. . But my love for the sport and Arsenal is fairly addictive and it would be hard to just say .. No .. I’m not watching anything ever again.. Just being honest, not sure what I would do…

  24. RockyRoe

    Playing the devils advocate here and trying to understand the salient points. ESL states that their solidarity payments to the lower league clubs would be three or four times what these clubs get now.

    Assuming that they adhere to this wouldn’t ESL benefit the pyramid?

  25. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia

    Nice post mate. What a turn up eh? One minute you’re hating the team for fucking up against Fulham (and questioning yourself for supporting them). The next you’re forced into an existential dilemma looking forlornly back at a big part of your life..

    If it comes to pass, I’m certain it’ll negatively affect my love of the club. We all held our noses too long and never imagined anything as nakedly greedy and stupid as this but we should have seen it coming really. We underestimated the horrors and eventual direction of travel of Kroenke and his mates. Amazing that it was never leaked or exposed by a journalist really .Like others on here, I fear the worst.

    Sad old rich has had an even bigger wake up call, poor devil – he’s not only lost his identity with the club, he’s realised he’s been a thick twat for worshipping at the gold plated altar of capitalism all his life. I hear he’s reading Marxism for Dummies as I write…

    That roll call of cup upsets – at least the ones in which we were involved sent shivers down my spine. I was at the Luton final and still bear the scars. For that Wrexham game, it was a little more surreal – I was in a nature reserve in Belize with an ear on a crappy short wave radio and using both eyes to look out for wild pumas. I got severely pissed that night and thought the world had ended. Luckily the big cats were growling outside my hut but didn’t want me as an amuse bouche!

  26. Guns of SF

    This all comes down to poor management over the last 10 yrs.
    The cracks started showing, and we all know the story.

    IF a team like Leicester can win it, and stay competitive with good players, recruitment and commensurate salaries, then why cant we also get back to that???

    We should have earned and learned our way back to the top 4.
    now, these billionaires want to do it the easy way- like Stan.

    Wrighty is correct we have no place being invited to this.

    He is correct that after a while, playing the top teams in Europe will lose its luster and spark. It will become boring.

    Im a little old school too. I would like to see us earn it back. THE hard way

  27. RockyRoe

    And to add to my point assuming that these clubs continue playing in the league, they will still be subjected to relegation. It’s only in the ESL that they won’t be relegated from. So essentially these clubs are saying no to UCL but are willing to play the league as it stands.

  28. MD-Gunner

    This ia one way to how this could play out because FIFA and UEFA are now taking this personal because when they negotiated with the ESL proponents and came to an agreement about changes in the UCL they believed and trusted that this was the last of of it when the greedy owners in actuality already had decided just stall for time and then we will drop the bomb.

    This will be dragged through the courts, FIFA & UEFA banning players and clubs from their competitions. The lawyers for the ESL will sue them and we are looking at years of dragged out legal battle while the players age and spend their best years waiting. Managers and players will have to take a stand because this WILL end up in court, governments forced to take sides and take a stand while all along the players are wasting away and their dreams are shattered.

    Since the owners don’t give a shit, those that put on the show managers and players are forced to either have legal council or just forfeit their livelihood for principles good luck with that.

  29. MidwestGun

    I think the threat of dragging it through courts and litigation is exactly what the owners wanted and why they dropped it now.. to force all the parties to the table to come up with some sort of compromise.

    Some sort of Trumpian… “Art of the Deal” shit… where you create complete chaos with tons of fallout, so you can… end up with exactly what you wanted.

    Fans and players be damned.

  30. Almuniasaynomore

    Kroenkephobe

    I like Rich’s take on all things football, he’s sensible as they come. I don’t agree with his economics. I think we are all hugely influenced by our experiences, particularly in our youth. I think Rich probably had different ones to me,not better or worse,just different.
    I think you and I and people like us are now in serious danger of becoming inconsequential on the basis of this’ legacy fans’ notion. We don’t have as long left in the tank so we don’t represent as much spending power. I can just about accept that though it grates. What kills me is that there are those who would take our values and shred them as being old fashioned and irrelevant. Values and principles don’t have a time limit on them. Disappointed but not surprised by pedro,can imagine how he and some of his lesser able sycophants are constructing graphs and spread sheets which will prove that the excitement football brought us in the 80’s and 90’s was not real but we are truly entering a golden age now.
    Anyway I like your idea with Cardiff, for me it would be Charlton, cousin of mine has been dragging me to the valley since the 80’s(selhurst park at the time). Great thing is I can always come to places like le grove and find proper football supporters like you to chat and reminisce with(more of the latter in the future I’d say!) And it doesn’t even matter if you go to Catalonia you lucky sod!
    Levy didn’t sack Mourinho without plan b, who’s up his sleeve do you reckon?

  31. salparadisenyc

    Arsenal hasn’t been the place many on here commenting about for a very long time, baseline this is a corporate club owned by an American Billionaire whose a club/trophy collector. It died there.

    This was always on the cards.

  32. MD-Gunner

    @Midwestgun
    The ESL club owners were at the negotiating table, they got UEFA to change the UCL but they were not satisfied with it because their greed has no end. UEFA and FIFA are now feeling being stabbed in the back this has just turned very personal for them. This is a giant poker game and I believe this time UEFA and FIFA will not blink. The outrage by all sides of fans, pundits, former star players, managers, present managers, present players and governments has emboldened UEFA and FIFA this will end up in the courts big time. ESL lawyers already have filed preemptive motions this is going to unravel very quickly and it will get very ugly in a short time.

    The best you can hope for is that the UK government passes a law similar to what exists in Germany 50+1 which would piss of Josh & Stan which in itself would be very pleasing.

    Finally I have forced myself to watch teams playing in empty stadiums with fake noise being piped in and it was an abomination. On the other hand I watched Rugby games from New Zealand and Australia played in front of 20’000 fans where the fans with their booing had an influence for the referee to take a look at the video and agreed he overlooked a foul play and the fans were correct. Football games without fans is like eating ice cream melted, you get the same nutrition but it is not the same experience.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    Elmo

    I have made the case previously that there are many “alternative” sports to football which those who find the money orientation, greed and commercialism in football hard to stomach and to support.

    Personally I don’t like the ethics in football, but I recognise also that the creation of a “super”
    league of 15-20 clubs may well be inevitable. Frankly I don’t believe that it can be worse run
    than by UEFA AND FIFA both Organisations which have been riddled by corruption, sleaze
    and malpractice.

    All I have said is that if the proposed ESL is going to happen then I would prefer to see Arsenal included in that project rather than be outside it.

    I think that moralising about the ethics in football is long past.

  34. MidwestGun

    MD-Gunner-

    Yep…this season is like a never ending train wreck.. that I keep trying to come to terms with and there is always another bend in the track with more, misery there to try and process. No fans in the stands seems, pretty mild now.

  35. Almuniasaynomore

    Emiratesstroller

    I’m going to bed now so if you reply I’m not ignoring you, will get back to you tomorrow. I was reading your posts earlier and while I don’t agree with you I do very much understand your view.
    During the crash and recession over here a politician famously came out and attempted to justify the suffering by declaring that during the boom” we all partied”. The obvious implication being that we won and lost together. That was rubbish. Many of us felt little or no benefit from the boom but suffered terribly from the crash. That is how I feel about this. When people talk about the inevitability of this esl due to the growing greed that we should have seen coming as if we,the ordinary fans were implicit,I’m always taken aback. I didnt benefit from the Kroenke’s nor could I stop them. To think otherwise is silly. To suggest that I or any other fan had this coming is anathema to me. I love football. I love arsenal. I couldn’t stop this no more than I could stop an economic recession. I wont take the blame or accept that the blame lies with any of the fans who pay to attend matches or watch on tv. The business men parading as football directors are responsible. To point the finger elsewhere is disingenuous. I think that’s how some people are interpreting your stance,rightly or wrongly. Personally I like what you write though I rarely agree with you because your opinions are considered and intelligent, though different to my own. I know you’re as proper a gooner as anyone,good night to you.

  36. jwl

    I hope these breakaway teams are just doing this for leverage with uefa to get more cash from them.

    I am not bothered about this super league but i do not like American owners trying to bring their kind of sports leagues to europe.

    And i agree with Pedro, and others, that we have to join this new league if it ever happens.

  37. MD-Gunner

    @Midwestgun
    Totally agree and so far the only positive I have seen it has helped me to wean myself off the Arsenal addiction and in the new found Rugby world I enjoy at the time the status of a neutral.

    Just to spin this out a bit further the ESL clubs can’t put on a competition unless they play in a stadium filled with fans to create an atmosphere. If they play in the UK they face the possibility of massive bad PR. They possibly could lower the entrance fee to get crowds into the stadium for an audience watching the matches on Chinese TV. Or they could play the games in the US stadiums Stan has one available in LA, This is the 2nd aim of this ESL movement.

    I could see a new London Arsenal being formed with British background because the Kroenke Arsenal will become a travelling circus show. But we can find solace in the World Cup and other Nation’s competitions. The Arsenal that became the Invincibles is dead.

    Finally Pedro will also have to take a stand on this issue and it will be hard choice for him as this blog will change as it is made up of fans that hate the ESL.

  38. bacaryisgod

    Have to give some credit to Pedro.. This is almost like a new wave art experiment he’s conducting here. He’s all-in on Arteta and now essentially backing the ESL on the grounds of self-interest. This whole blog has been his experiment to prove that like Stan at Arsenal, he can do whatever he wants to offend his fans, because they will still keep coming back for more.

    I think he’s right too.

  39. gnarleygeorge9

    Cazorla said

    “This issue here is UEFA are taking more a cut of the pie than they should. The clubs want more. UEFA shouldn’t be a partner they should only be the governing body.“

    I agree.

    This is a similar to the Kerry Packer cricket revolution of the late 1970’s when he stuck it up the Australian Cricket Board. He ended up getting TV rights which was what he wanted all along. You all know it in the form of the Murdoch Sky broadcasting rights of the early 1990’s.

    The point is though, even after 18 years of relatively ordinary Arsenal, the Club is still seen as being in the highest echelon of football clubs in Europe. The negative thing is, the Club won’t be able to run with it because they have a penny pinching owner who knows sod all about footie. The last 20 years has proven that.

  40. Rocky

    When the ‘Other 14’ are playing these six arseholes they should just keep giving them the ball and letting them score. Arsenal et al are clearly no longer interested in competition so why not?

  41. Useroz

    Haven’t read all the comments so unsure if the same point is made.

    Regarding transfer budgets , if there’s much to spend, why would we want Arteta’s experiment~? As you say, we’d afford rockstar coaches and manager! Wouldn’t trust what’s currently available let alone potentially 10x to Arteta and Edu.

  42. MD-Gunner

    OH the irony, Arsenal and it’s supporters wishing and a hoping for a top 4 finish so that they can play next season in the UCL. Then when that dream was crashed Arsenal’s fans were hoping for winning the UEL so as to play next season in the UCL. Now there is good chance that they will be kicked out of the UEL and will not play in the final and may never play in the UCL ever again. Where they will play next season and in what competition no one knows. What a total clusterfuck.

  43. TheBayingMob

    Does anyone not feel that this ESL news is a convenient outrage while UEFA announce the cuntish botching of the UCL for, erm, the sake of greed and lining their pockets? It’s all rather convenient isn’t it? Nice day to hide bad news as they say. I think we are being mugged off

  44. N9

    Players who want to represent England in FIFA World Cup will leave Arsenal for Leicester, West Ham, Aston Villa, RB Leipzig, Monaco, Hoffenheim and etc. ESR and Saka will leave Arsenal soon.

  45. TheBayingMob

    “Now there is good chance that they will be kicked out of the UEL and will not play in the final and may never play in the UCL ever again”

    Fuck me this is a bit much. I can’t see any main stream news outlets carrying the news these six clubs are getting booted out of UEFA competitions. Calm down. It will blow over and in a few seasons time we will have a domestic game wrecking competition in the new format CL to fawn over

  46. Dark Hei

    Rocky

    Yah, the solidarity payments are more now because the organizing clubs are all so altruistic.

    Stan K is actually a saint.

    Yup. This koolaid is making my brain fuzzy.

  47. Dark Hei

    Guns of SF

    Honestly, what is the point of winning the Europa League?

    Kind of like what is the point of being past EPL champions if you are going to exit the competition.

    Football is being repackaged into Netlfix-style entertainment.

    It is no longer a spectacle.

    If you enjoy it, good for you. Maybe it will be cheaper for subscribers (I am probably deluded)

  48. Tony

    Not surprising to see Pedro giving an opposite view in his second ESL post. The club have no doubt advised Arsenal bloggers of the stance Stan Kroenke wants them to take where Pedro probably has given us the watered down version of the rallying cry Stan requested, which I’d be very surprised if it didn’t increase its intensity as the months drag by.

    To be fair to Pedro he can’t win unless he sits on the fence appeasing both sides of the argument.

    That’s right where I am at the moment firmly on the fence until I see what is the reality of what is happening after the dust has settled, which will take some time if governments and courts are involved.

    Could this be tied up in the courts for years?

    I talked to friends and people I know here in Thailand who love football as much as I and you all do.

    It’s different in Asia and particularly S E Asia. The Asians aren’t from areas where football clubs have strong roots to the communities. They don’t see football as an institution, but they are somewhat tribal in their support.

    They haven’t grown up in an area where generations of their families have supported their local clubs, and where there is more than one club in an area that rivalry can exist in families’ homes with brothers, fathers and grandfathers split with their allegiances to their local clubs.

    20+ years ago Thais supported whoever the was winning the most titles and cups, so a Manure fan culture existed above all other club’s with Liverpool a close 2nd and Arsenal 3rd until the Chavs brought in Abramovitch and City started winning from Oil funded player investments.

    ES doing his usual toeing the Arsenal corporate line no doubt praying for another lunch offer from a board member or Tim Lewis. Vinai is way too low on the ES totem pole for ES to consider lunching with him.

    We’ll know about any such luncheon soon enough and the event will be reiterated multiple times when ES feels he has to let us know of such a momentous occasion (in ES’s eyes and ego only) where every time ES is losing and argument, which is becoming more often as ES perfects the art of flip flopping or is so belligerent in his arguments that’s it’s impossible for ES to accept he is losing the point of the argument and goes off an tangents. Then we get the famed ES revisionism.

    ES acts as Stan’s lackey rooting out all the plastic or so called fans that fall so far below ES’s level of elite fandom. Bless him!

    The Thais I spoke to are happy for the super league and can’t wait for it to happen, which isn’t surprising as pretty much 100% support clubs who will be in the chosen few for the ESL.

    I’d be interested to know what China! has to say about the Chinese views, ditto that from Bojangles in Viet Nam, Dark Hei in Singapore, and Gons in Nepal. Also, Rambo/Sid from India/Pakistan and our Aussi gooners.

    The biggest sticking point for me is no relegation to keep the league honest or as honest as it can be under Perez.

    I don’t see how we can make an educated decision one way or the other until there is a final ruling for the league’s go ahead in whatever format or total collapse from the courts and governments involved.

    Until then the idea is pure conjecture where fans’ emotions, rightly so, are running high and will only get more ugly as protests and movements gather pace.

    I have a couple of questions for Le- Grove.

    If the ESL goes ahead, do we keep Arteta as our manager even if he wins nothing this season?

    With Stan being one of the founding fathers of the ESL will he trust Edu and Arteta with the rumored pre ESL bumper transfer chest for this window in view of Arteta’s and Edu’s player signings and acquisitions over the last 2 years.?

    As far as I’m concerned we have an important game Friday night and the infamous game pitting Arteta against Emery the following week.

    Right now that is upper most in my mind, not the ESL I can do nothing about at this stage or possibly at all.

  49. Tony

    One other thing ES when you tell us for the umpteenth time that Stan invested over a billion of his money to buy the club, do remember to tell us about the odd billion Stan made doing so, and that much of the money used to buy Arsenal has been leveraged against the club’s assets as loans.

    If you’re not clear about this I’m sure Terraloon will put you right as he so often does.

  50. Guns of SF

    Tony

    ESL has thrown all of us into a weird state of confusion.
    It has sparked ethical, emotional, financial, and sporting concerns wrapped around topics of equity and greed. Its like a shock to the system… we join basically this bad guy over that bad guy… I agree with Pedro on that.

    I also know that for Stan this was a lifeline. He of course is piggy backing off our fame and wide fan base. He has done nothing to help us to really push forward.

    Covid has made us broke amongst other teams so this was a meal ticket for him

    Mid week games against top Euro teams and prem games on weekends, and the FA and other cups pushed in… makes for one busy schedule !

    The 350 Mil buy in will likely go to new players and raises for the ones we want to keep. ESL teams will do business with others and try to find gems in the normal non ESL leagues.

    We should look at snapping up talent that will not cost a fortune bc Edu and Mike and Vinai have badly mis managed our funds with bad deals etc.

    I would get a new DOF and coach with some of that cheddar….

    Its going to be interesting but I agree, lawyers have been doing there thing with all this and its going to get tied up for a while…. maybe a year or more?

  51. Tony

    I wonder what Stan’s mindset was pre Xmas when we were descending faster down the league placings than a lead balloon?

    Why then, if Stan knew the ESL was going to be ratified only four months later, didn’t Stan pull out the stops to fire Arteta and his back room of nobodies and hire Rangnick and Nagelsmann or Overmars and Erik Ten Hag when he would have been well within his rights to do so based on their inept managerial and coaching performances landing us close to the relegation zone foe the first time in decades?

    Wonder who levy is going to hire now he likely has funds available he hasn’t had since the sale of Bale?

    Probably not going to be football intellectual fat Sam, knuckle dragger Pulis or Roy (of the Rovers) Hodgson.

    Will Pedro stick with the 3 wheeled Arteta bandwagon he’s created for himself?

    How many more wheels need to fall off for Pedro to say it’s beyond repair?

  52. Rocky

    So if the ‘Invited Five’ manage to fill the top five places and the Founding Fathers fill 6-20 what happens?

  53. Guns of SF

    The Athletic article was overall good. Basically surmised that Stan needed this lifeline since we are getting worse and worse and the timing came at the right time. 5 years from now, Arsenal might not have been invited.

    Some say like wrighty, we dont deserve the invite as it stands. I tend to agree.

    However, if this helps us financially, Its hard to say NO way.

    OTOH, if we had a competent team, we would be challenging for top 4 without this handout league

  54. Tony

    Guns
    We’re in the Stan’s poor decision making hiring Emery, Arteta and keeping Wenger 10 years too long.

    We are Stan’s and Josh’s making and now he wants a hand out because he’s let his investment devalue by not taking an interest to hire the right people to oversee the running of the club who would spend his money carefully buying the right players to fit the right strategy for our new footballing identity though the rebuild.

    He didn’t so Stan is the problem and not the solution for the best of The Arsenal.

    I never wanted Stan I wanted Ursmanov contrary to ES’s outcry of where Ursmanov’s money came from.

    No Billionaire is saintly in all their business dealings.

    I’m guessing Ursmanov rues his involvement with Everton now is club is in the also ran group left behind.

  55. China1

    I give this 3-5 years before most or all of the ESL clubs have effectively put themselves no better off than they were before the pandemic started

    350m sounds like a lot. Until you spend it. Plus if there’s that much money across all those teams what happens to transfer fees and wages?

    It’s going to be 80m paid up front for the kinds of players who would cost you 35m in installments today. It’s going to be 500-700k per week players instead of 350k rip off merchants like today.

    And sure enough they will all still be burdened by massive debts and struggling for serious profits in just a few short years

    You heard it here first…

  56. Guns of SF

    Imagine playing Barca or PSG on Wed, and then Norwich on a Sunday.
    How does the coach get the team motivated for the league? What is the incentive then for winning the Prem? Financially, the prize money probably is not going to be comparable to the ESL thingy

    We will need a big squad to compete …. for the big Wed night games and the lesser weekend games…

    What happens when you play City on Wed and then on Sunday in the league?

    It is going to be weird if this goes through!

  57. China1

    As long as I live in China this will be useless for me anyway as the games will all be too late to watch. I’ll either just have to settle for watching our reserves in the league or just not bother to watch if it’s not interesting any more

  58. Guns of SF

    China

    IF Amazon and Disney are in on it, there is money to go around. TV and Streaming services too. Fans back in the stands… its going to get off the ground… for sure.

    How long will it become ” not boring” is the real question….

    Also, will there be a CL running at the same time? Will that be the new EL?

    so many ?s

  59. Dark Hei

    Well the upside is that it doesn’t matter if we draw the last games of the season 1-1, isn’t it.

    How exciting.

    I think a fair outcome will be that if you are in the ESL (including the 5 invites), you are opting out of the UEFA competitions. Being thrown out of the domestic league is a bit much and ultimately unnecessary.

    The rest of the UEFA current season is a conundrum. Personally a fair outcome will be for the rest of the UEFA season to be cancelled as its sporting integrity has been lost. ESL to compensate UEFA for this season.

    That way all parties can have a clean breakaway.

    Maybe in the future, you can have winners of both leagues play one another. Like some rare boxing spectacle.

  60. Guns of SF

    Maybe in the future, you can have winners of both leagues play one another. Like some rare boxing spectacle.

    this will be a new cup….trust me.
    More $$ to go around

  61. Tony

    Dark Hei, China1,Guns

    Generally agree with you all.

    I’d imagine the streaming company (Amazon?) will have the games on demand so for me that would be watching at 6 to 7am the next morning.

    Asia and Far East are the potentially biggest markets so they will be catered for.

    When UEFA ,FIFA and others realize that the inevitable is in front of them and they take the view that their hey days are past them, they can start to work with the change rather than against it.

    In the end if the right financial and power incentives are in the offing, the message from all quarters will be they are working harmoniously in finding the right fit for all solutions.

    3 up and 3 down relegation could be brought in with Ueafa et al claiming it their victory in keeping the essential channels open to be promoted to the ESL after playing play offs against other leagues’ winners.

    A cup winners cup could be another route to the play offs.

    The ESL could have its own cup and or the league winner would go to play in an intercontinental league winners cup.

    There would be plenty to divide up if the existing bodies got on board the gravy train.

    Would be unlike them not to when money is available.

    It’ll work out in the end when the toys stop coming out of the prans.

  62. China1

    Guns there will be more money but this is also going to generate inflation

    It’s no different than TV money coming in and sending the PL into financial overdrive in the last 10 years. Yeah the English teams are rich but they also pay massive premiums for players, have greatly inflated wage structures and ultimately end up blowing their way through their new found cash so despite their bigger value, their bank balances aren’t necessarily better or even in the black even now.

    They got more money and they spent more money

    That’s why players like Ox and Iwobi could be sold for comical sums (a combined 70 odd million for two unremarkable bench players!)

  63. China1

    Like imagine this ESL started this season instead

    Last summer we were trying to renew auba’s contract and he had us over a barrel. If we are about to get 1/3 of a billion cash windfall do you think his contract would’ve been around 350k per week? You can probably add 50-100% to that because why not? Agents are going to LOVE this as they extract such a large percentage of wealth out of the game already and they will be increasing their cuts mightily

  64. Northbanker

    If we all stop TV subscriptions for any channel supporting this – Amazon Prime (willl be a separate sub) Sky Sports, BT Sport, ESPN and whoever else – then there will be no money at all

    This is the main way fans can protest if they really care. And as the competition becomes meaningless, i probably will anyway.

  65. DivineSherlock

    Emiratesstroller

    Of all the reasons that you give , you have not given a single reason as to why this ESL is inevitable ? Why because 12 billionaires decided they arent making enough money ? Because those owners realized they will lose a lot of income over the years because teams like Leicester , West Ham , Everton are competing with them on lesser resources ? Because the loan they took for stadiums and high profile players hasnt given them any revenue over the years ? Why the fuck should they exploit the 100years of history the clubs toiled hard to create , just so they can fill their coffers ? Fuck you and these entitled billionaires .

  66. DivineSherlock

    One thing I would really really like if this goes on ( worst scenario) is that alll the Football associations should strip them of titles and relegate them to the lowest divisions. I’d like Arsenal to play Barcelona midweek then on weekends play Barnsley on Saturday early kick off.

  67. China1

    I want to see arsenal against Bristol manor farm. Riverside stadium on a clay pitch. 25 person (no seats) covered stand for a stadium

    Pie, pint and entry for £12

  68. DivineSherlock

    The only reason they announced this now and not end of the season is because the fans arent in the stadium . Imagine last night Leeds vs Pool , I think the message would have been loud and clear if they were allowed in there. This American revolution in Football is despicable and worthless , I see Pedro defending it on Twitter and it makes me sick .

  69. China1

    If arteta comes out saying he’s against it tomorrow what odds on Pedro doing an about face 😅

    As a teenager I always loved this idea of a ESL. But as an adult I think it sounds emotionally exhausting when every match is against elite opposition. There no ‘down time’.

    Like anything in life, if you have a lot of something it just becomes the new normal. See the prettiest girl in the world and she’ll take your breath away but see her regularly for years and she will be just another pretty face. You’ll see her flaws too.

    If you take drugs you get high. Then you become dependent and need to take them just to feel normal

    If you win the lottery you go shopping at harrods. But after years of going there those £50,000 designer shoes start to just be your casual go to pair for the weekend

    And when all’s said and done all you’re really left with is yourself. So if you yourself aren’t good and worthy of much love none of those artificial boosts will cover the emptiness for long and it will be shit again soon enough. And football clubs *will* squander this money on wastage and massive inflation.

    It’s going to be rubbish make no mistake

  70. DivineSherlock

    China1

    Also similar to having a World Cup every year , just wont be the same . Its not what we want , I dont want Arsenal to play Elite teams every week needlessly with no consequences . I want Arsenal to play Elite teams by merit , knowing we are in a position to beat the shit out of Madrid/Bayern . The hard work and pain , it might happen it might not . Guaranteeing that will just take the fun out of it. I will stick to Cricket then . Whats the point of Sport if I cant dream that Bukayo Saka scores the winning goal against Bayern in the UCL final in 2024 . Instead we would get stupid breaks like Super Bowl Half time , Dua Lipa song and dance routine and 3 quarters of 90mins split like Basketball . Ugh.

  71. TeeCee

    Ignoring the whole issue of the SL being right or wrong for the moment…… of course Arsenal deserve to be in this ! This isn’t an exclusive ‘Ex-CL Winners super league’, it’s for big clubs ! Arsenal have been in euro competitions for 26 years continuous, no English club can match that, not even Man U. No we don’t win things but we’re there and we have huge worldwide support despite an awful last 10 years or so.. I’m stunned that Spuds are in? Won virtually nothing for 60 years, couldn’t even fill the old swamp week in, week out, but now they have a 60000+ stadium they are in, THAT is criminal!

    I don’t like the SL idea for the same reasons as most but we are in times where money is all that matters. If someone offered you £1m to do something that was morally ‘wrong’ but within the law, how many would take the money ? Most would I reckon. Arsenal have been losing money for some time, we have an owner who said in the past ‘you don’t buy a sports team to win titles’…..Arsenal are a mid-table team under Kroenke and his cheap hire Arteta. Now we are guaranteed to mix it with the big boys for at least 20 years or whatever the setup is. I guess being beaten by Barca, City and Juve every week is better than being beaten by Villa, Brighton and Southampton!!

  72. bacaryisgod

    VAR might be a mess but I also have a long enough memory to look back at the horrible refereeing decisions that ruined games. Taking significant power out of the hands of referees still makes a lot of sense.

    The problem is the never ending tedium of VAR. There’s a simple solution and while not perfect, it would alleviate a lot of criticism for killing the atmosphere and flow of the games. Each team gets 1 VAR review request per half. If the review is successful they keep the review, just like Cricket. This will limit the amount of interruptions. Again, not perfect but a reasonable middle ground.

  73. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia

    Great club Charlton. Their supporters of our generation have been through more than most. I still remember those photos of fans working to restore the pitch when Valley Floyd Road reopened. That song to the tune of Mull of Kintyre….Must be 11 or so years ago that I saw them beat Cardiff there. 5-4 scoreline after being 0-3 down. Lovely pint right on the river before the game. Perfect.

    Thinking of their experience, it puts ours in perspective. Fans like us, the really tribal ones, haven’t really mattered since TV became commercialised in one form or another.

    Rich is pretty harmless. In the last 24 hours, he’s worked out that he’s backed the wrong horse and trusted people who fucked him. He’ll get over it and we’ll go back to being uneasy bedfellows. He has a fine and accurate appreciation of all things Arsenal but goes awry on other stuff.

    I’ve felt more disconnected from the club than ever lately although there’s still that compulsion to watch games and join in the dissection of the loony shit that they get up to. We’ve become a difficult club to like and respect for Arsenal has diminished. I’ve still got a place in N5 but doubt I’ll ever return there full time. Maybe I’ll make an annual pilgrimage to the camp nou to watch us being hammered by Barca.

    My missus pissed herself when I said this felt like a watershed in my feelings for the club, but I might soon be coming to a point where I’m finally cured of my love for a club that no longer loves me. We’re big lads and we have to put on our big boy trousers.

    Keep em coming Almunia. I like reading your comments.

  74. Emiratesstroller

    Tony

    Let’s be clear I am not thrilled by the direction in which the sport moves, but I am a realist. It
    was always going to happen sooner or later. I had similar discussions about a Super League
    already in the 1980s.

    I am and have been a Supporter of Arsenal since the 1950s. It is my “local” club and I live just
    10 minutes away from the stadium. So Arsenal’s welfare does matter to me.

    The ESL has frankly nothing to do with current performance of clubs, but rather their status
    in the world game. I don’t think that I need a lecture from ex footballers like Gary Neville on
    the morality of what is proposed. Footballers have no morals when it comes to looking after their own interests. You need only take a look at the mess Arsenal have got into with Ozil.

    There is going to be trench warfare over what is going on primarily because of “self interest”
    whether it be at Federation, National , League or Club level. No-one wants to see their power
    base diminished.

    However, I will be surprised if the 12 clubs have not already entered a formal [contractural] agreement and they have not taken proper legal advice.

    If this project is going to succeed as I expect will be the case then I want to see Arsenal at
    the table and not on the outside.

  75. Spanishdave

    Players won’t mind it’s more for them and everybody else.
    The existing gravy train is in for a shock.
    ES is right we must be in rather than being left behind.

  76. DivineSherlock

    ES

    So your only reason re: ESL being inevitable is that it was always about the money ? Sporting Merit doesnt matter to you at all ? What you really want is Arsenal to not face the consequences if they arent ever winning anything . Isnt this what LeGrove was against when Arsene Wenger was delivering top 4 consistently ? Painful to see you having no ethics whatsoever.

  77. Dark Hei

    Spanish

    “ES is right we must be in rather than being left behind.”

    You are not looking at the welfare of the club.

    You are looking at the welfare of the owners.

  78. Rich

    Kroenkephobe

    How hard is this

    I believe in the free market, providing its based on free and fair competition, and not corporate or political protectionism, which are basically the same thing

    I’m not against a European Super League, I’m against the anti-competitive nature of it

    Society is build on competition, and that competition is healthy

    Competition is what drives society to be better, it drives progress and innovation and keeps people on their toes

    Without competition, people, businesses and bureaucrats, become lazy and corrupt, because there’s nobody to challenge the statuesque

    I’m a meritocrat, you only get out of life what you put in, and we should reward socially rewarding behaviour, and punish unsocially rewarding behaviour

    Equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome

    Bureaucrats should simply be refereeing the free market to ensure free and fair competition, anything that is at odds with anti-competitive rules should be stopped, everyone should have the opportunity to compete

    I’m completely opposed to diversity quotas, I don’t care if you have all men, women, or what colour anyone’s skin is

    They should be picked solely on merit, How reliable are you? Qualifications? References? What can they offer? Drive? Energy? Ideas?

    Excluding white kids from applying to win a job based on the colour of their skin, like we’ve seen with the BBC, the athletic and a few others, is straight up racism, imagine the uproar if they’d excluded a black kid from competing to win a job against white kid

    I’m all for people making money, but if Arsenal want the spoils from competing against the worlds best teams

    Then they should have to earn that right like everybody else

  79. Emiratesstroller

    Divine Sherlock

    Arsenal have been one of the best runt and successful clubs in World Football over a very long period of time.

    Success is not measured on just a few years. Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Man City, Inter Milan, AC Milan and even Man Utd,Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all had their bad times.

  80. TeeCee

    ´Then they should have to earn that right like everybody else’

    Where have you been in the last 17 years? Earning the right ended when Abramovich bought the Chavs. Umpteen clubs since have been falsely built up by rich men or organisations. Chelsea, Man City, PSG, state backed Real Madrid where have they earned the right? Where was the outcry when that happened ? It was a whimper! It’s no good moaning about the SL now, football has already half eaten itself! As a football fan it’s a horrendous situation, as an Arsenal fan, thank fuck we got an invite, because as was said before, in 5 years time we’d be no more likely to get an invite than West Ham.

  81. DivineSherlock

    Its all insecurities of these owners , they dont want Clubs like Leipzig , Leicester , Sevilla , Napoli , West Ham to name a few challenging their authority over the money . They think they rightfully own it . I applaud Porto , Bayern and Dortmund not bending over backwards for them . Never have I been ashamed of my club , sadly its the case no more.

  82. DUIFG

    I get put a positive spin on it Pedro but I’m just deflated this morning

    One kore step to the whole thing just being consumerism.

    Arsenal are fucking shit right now, the liberty to think we can get better by blocking all competition is so wrong.

    Us posting here is viewed as “engagement” to be “monetised” .

    If I wanted to support the NFL’s and by all the merch in a league with no relegation I would.

    This is an American mess, kronke, glazer all you lot fuck off

  83. DivineSherlock

    ES

    Arsenal have been one of the best runt and successful clubs in World Football over a very long period of time.

    Success is not measured on just a few years. Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Man City, Inter Milan, AC Milan and even Man Utd,Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all had their bad times.
    .
    .
    That gives them the god given right to stay immune from failure ?
    Also San Marino might not have the chance to ever beat a big team like Germany or France but that doesnt mean you should take that chance away from them ? What you are consistently dodging to avoid to talk about is competition , a contest . Just because these bastards think UTD vs Barcelona is a bigger fixture , doesnt mean they should be allowed to snatch the chance of Sheffield United to have a go at them ! Fucking Pricks.

  84. gunnerman

    Teecee

    Money doping is a bad thing but in no way is it comparable to a closed league.
    Those clubs you mentioned and every other club will not play in UCL if they finish outside the Europe places. Hence they still have to earn the right.

  85. DivineSherlock

    I’ll come straight to the point , if these 12 clubs think they are that good they can create the league , then they should have no trouble qualifying for the UCL . The very fact remains that they are troubled by that , troubled by the fact they will lose money over new clubs that are constantly emerging and beating them in sport by merit and with lesser resources . Clubs like Ajax and Atalanta , Lyon , Villareal . Just sickening to see this play out like this

  86. andy1886

    Sorry ES but you can’t view sport in purely monetary terms otherwise it ceases to be sport and becomes just another pointless brain dead form of ‘entertainment’ for the casually interested when they have nothing better to do. What’s the saying? Knows the price of everything and the value of nothing?

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the club that you live ten minutes from ups sticks and gets moved to become the Bangcock Big Guns so Tony gets to watch games in Stan’s new super stadium while you sulk back at home?

    Because that’s the logical next step (and we know you believe that because it’s logical Stan should be permitted to do it). Franchises moving to where ever the best offer is.

  87. Pierre

    And on to the football.

    Really looking forward to see how Balogun , Eddie and Martinelli get on in the next few weeks without Lacazette and Aubamayang available for selection.

    If Martinelli is being used on the left, alternating with Pepe, then Balogun and Eddie should be Alternating in the striker’s position..

    Eddie starts, Balogun replaces him on 60/70 minutes..
    Balogun starts , Eddie replaces him on 60/70 mind.

    The loan striker’s role in this Arsenal team is the hardest job on the football pitch and often a thankless task with little reward.

    The striker expends a lot of his energy closing down the keeper and defenders , he is often up against 2 sometimes 3 6ft plus centre backs and is often criticised for his contribution in the game..

    A striker in this Arsenal team totally relies on the movement and creativity around him
    Earlier in the season there was no creativity and movement and all our strikers struggled for goals .

    The arrival of more creativity and better movement led to more chances , more attempts, leading to more goals.

    The goal Eddie scored v Fulham is regarded as a simple tap in , but for me that goal was all about the movement and anticipation.
    When Ceballos had the shot , Eddie was 15 yards from the goal line , his anticipation was superb , pure striker’s instinct and is the reason ( like Aubamayang) he will always score goals.

    There is no way Lacazette would have shown that anticipation, he would have been too busy grappling with a defender..

    Aubamayang and Lacazette being out could well be a blessing in disguise, though I have no doubt that if Eddie misses a chance, mis controls a ball or mis places a pass, the know nothings will be on his back

    Alternately, Balogun or Martinelli will be given an easier ride by Le Grove, that’s just how it works on here.
    Person, I judge all players the same , whether they are the flavour of the day or not..

    For me , Eddie, Martinelli and Balogun are all in a similar position at this present time , which is fighting for game time and looking to impress.

    The next few weeks could have a massive bearing on how these players are perceived, especially Eddie who has been written off prematurely i believe.
    His goal v Fulham will do wonders for his confidence..

  88. TeeCee

    Yes but they are most likely to ‘earn the right’ because of spending money they didn’t generate!
    I’ve always hated Man U but to be fair they’ve always generated shit loads of money. How can you say Man City have earned the right even if they win the PL when the owners sponsored themselves to the tune of 450m?
    It’s so hypocritical to get angry at the SL and not these clubs being falsely built up by borderline illegal means.
    The German ownership model is the way to go but that boat has sailed a long time ago.

  89. DUIFG

    What a pisstake like a well run club like leicsester who have got themselves into the champ league by being clever will now become shit because a bunch of Americans decide to block their entry

  90. DivineSherlock

    andy1886

    I think the most damning thing I read was that these American owners dont even understand the concept of relegation . They are so scared of losing value of their precious clubs if that happens they want to discard that immediately.

  91. gunnerman

    Most likely to ‘earn the right’ and guaranteed the right are entirely different things though.
    We can also hate the ESL and hate money doping at the same time. They’re not mutually exclusive and as Arsenal fans I believe we’ve already been doing the latter for a while now.

  92. Kroenkephobe

    Rich
    I composed something suitably pithy in response to your latest contradictory weep about the lack of fair play in football, but the axe seems to have swung on it. No swear words either even though it probably merited some. At least you’ll now have to re-evaluate your position that lefties are the root of all evil. Stay cool.

  93. andy1886

    @DS – It’s only a matter of time before the SL clubs become franchises and people like ES realise they’ve sold their souls to the corporate devil.

  94. Valentin

    China1,

    The time difference will have an impact on the far East appetite. It already had on the Champion’s League. A few years ago, UEFA floated with the idea of a morning kick-off for its final. That was made to cater specifically for that market. The idea never lift off the ground, but with the ESL, I would not be surprised if that idea was revisited.

    20 teams means 10 games per round, so 5 on Tuesday and 5 on Wednesday. 2 games in the morning for the Far East market, 2 in the evening for the European Market and 1 very late at night for the North American market on Tuesday and same thing on Wednesday.

  95. Spanishdave

    It’s amazing.
    We sold out to Stan over ten years ago.
    He has used the club as an asset and even with all the moaning fans have not protested enough against it. The Premiership is the biggest league in the world and our clubs are known all over the world making them a dream asset for Arabs Russians and Americans to exploit and launder money and every one has sat back and let it happen.
    Our water is controlled by a French company all the profits go back to France.
    We let all the countries in the world invest in our country and steal assets without a murmur.
    Now we are all shocked because they have got together to arrange a tournament to take on the European corrupt administrators and unsettle their nice little earner.
    So now we all want to protest to ensure that FIFA can continue to be corrupt and the FA to sit on piles of the fans money.
    All the multimillion ex footballers are so hypocritical as they earned massive wages as a result of all the greed in football.

  96. Cazorla

    ES I get your point that if there is no stopping this it’s better to be involved than left on the outside.

    BUT let’s do all we can to stop this attack on European football and it’s fans. This will wreck the PL and football will never be the same again. I wouldn’t even be against the PL and UEFA demoting us and kicking us out of the UEL. We fucking deserve it.

    The football world will not accept this super League bullshit.

  97. Valentin

    SpanishDave,

    As a French man living in London, I take exception to your characterisation that it is all foreigners fault.

    The reality is that it was the greed of British owners that started that revolution. I may be wrong, but I believe that the only 1st Division football club foreign owner when the premier League was created was Irish.

    In fact most of the issues the world is now confronted came from a very Anglo-Saxon notion that the market knows better. Financial liberalisation and deregulation that became a mantra in the 80s are were pushed by British and US interest. Everybody who fighted it was viewed as archaic and ideologue.

    Nobody imagined that UK and the USA could be loser in that race for profit. At least nobody middle class thought that they would be the next victim of that greed. But now that belief has been exposed for the sham that it was.

    Even the Tory are now seriously considering renationalising part of British railways. Water companies have a local monopoly and therefore have no incentive to improve their service, nor lower their charge.

    Football is just the latest extension of Greed is good and the market should rule. Without proper regulation the market became a jungle where only the strong thrive, and the weak survive just to feed the predators.

  98. Emiratesstroller

    andy 1886

    I have not sold my soul to anyone.

    I was never a fan of the club being sold to Kroenke in the first place, but he was my preference if I had a choice between him and Usmanov. You can blame Dein for the situation we find us in. He went behind the backs of the Board when he convinced Kroenke to buy
    shares in the club.

    Let’s be clear the UK is an open market and we allow businesses to be sold to foreign owners.

    I don’t support Arsenal, because of the club ownership, but because it is my local club and my family have always supported it. When I read some of the posts on Le Grove I get the
    impression that many are just “fairweather” supporters with minimal connection to the
    club.

  99. China1

    Wiglaf you’re only complaining because you didn’t trim your toe nails!

    This reminds me of when I was about 10 we had a boy on my school football team called James. Proper head down merchant, would run through 100 players then hit it full power and hit the corner flag if you let him. One time before a school match his mum had to be called in for an emergency because his finger nails were too long to play. She had to come in and trim them or he wasn’t allowed to start 😂

  100. China1

    I’ve damaged and lost so many toe nails over the years, I’d like to hope is never be offside, but with size 13 feet the truth is in 2021 if I’m in the opposition half my toes are permanently offside