Say 'what?' one more time…

The foreigners are taking over and may God forgive them if they can’t speak English or if there are too many of them in any one place.

Yes, your lovely Premiership is being overrun by the Godless foreign hordes: Brazilians-cum-Croats, African francophones, Russians, Berbatovians, Ukrainians, Americans, the Irish, and worst of all… the French. Sepp Blatter is having none of it, the English Immigration folks are having none of it, and I’m left scratching my head wondering what color the sky is in their world.

As many of you already know, I have been steadfastly against Sepp’s attempted interventions because I think they are 100% wrongheaded. He starts with the claim that he wants to address the inequality in football

Shall we let the rich become richer and say nothing? The big money is coming out of the Champions League – it’s the biggest league in the world and practically 80% of the income goes directly to the 32 participating clubs

Quotas won’t do anything but put higher premiums on players who already command outrageous sums; if you think English players are overpriced now, wait until Arsenal, Man U, and Liverpool have to have 6 a side. In that system, mediocre players like Pennant would be worth probably £40m (Shaun Wright-Phillips commanded £30m BEFORE the quotas and he doesn’t even play). And Sepp is asking for 6 a side — 6 Players of national origin in each club. You want to tear down the “rich get richer” problem in football, by making English footballers command a premium?

After an initial period where top English talent would gravitate toward the top four clubs, those clubs would start spending huge resources signing English children and scouring the English countryside for potential signings. Oddly enough, a few months ago, Platini was looking to protect the children from being transferred from club to club. Under Sepp’s proposed system, transfers of minors and minors signing contracts would be increased dramatically. In fact, clubs would have to ask for greater protection of their youth academies if the “6 a side” rule were to take effect because otherwise English players turning 16 would be able to just leave their academy and sign huge contacts at the top clubs. Sepp’s plan would, in essence, give extraordinary power to 16 years olds and their agents.

Instead of breaking the stranglehold of the top four, Sepp would concentrate their power; by making English players a premium product, only the teams with the largest stadiums and biggest operating budgets could afford them. Take Man City and Micah Richards as an example. Micah would not be playing for City right now if this rule was in effect, he would be somewhere where they could afford to pay him double what he’s worth simply because he’s got the right passport. That means that City would have to field a lesser Center Back, which weakens City and strengthens whoever Richards went to.

That doesn’t seem to alleviate the “rich get richer” problem, does it?

What’s even weirder about Blatter’s extraordinary death grip on this concept is that he’s overt about it being about “national pride.” Wait… what?

This rule will be fighting against the monopolies of clubs and leagues. But we are not fighting the problem of money but for the identity of national teams.

So, all you English fans who think that the Welsh, Scots, Irish, and the Northern Irish would count toward this quota you’re dead wrong, because Sepp Blatter wants to bring back nationalism and he makes no bones about about it. He attacks players (especially Brazilians) who “switch” nationalities and wants to ban that stuff too.

After only a two-year period, a player can receive nationality from another country and there is a danger that in 2014 half the players in the World Cup could come from Brazil!

This old thinking is really distasteful to me. Nationalism as a concept has been thoroughly discredited. If Sepp Blatter wants to hold onto an idea that died in 1945, then more power to him. But he should be relegated to the fringe of ideas. The world has changed irrevocably in the last century and we need LESS nationalism and not more. We need more freedom to move from place to place, not less. We need fewer boundaries on the exchange of culture and ideas, not fewer.

Shame on you Sepp Blatter for making this about nationalism. I’m an American who loves English football and if I support any national team, it’s France. According to Sepp, I’m part of the problem. I should be supporting some crappy team here in Tacoma and supporting Team U.S.A. Why? Because I happened to be born here? That’s the dumbest idea ever.

I love going to England to see Arsenal and the only thing that will stop that is if people like Sepp Blatter start making the beautiful game into something ugly, small and provincial. Thankfully, the EU and UEFA have promised not to let it happen.

Until tomorrow.

1 Comment on Say 'what?' one more time…

  1. Blatter has always been a fool. Every time I see his name in the papers, he is saying something dumb. I still do not understand how he ended up as president of FIFA or why he continues to have a job.

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