It’s baaaaack

I said it before and I’ll say it again; I understand the impetus behind the Super Duper League. Of course it’s money but more importantly, clubs are asking themselves “why should UEFA get to decide which competitions we play in and why should they get a cut of the money?” And I think it’s a legitimate question, though I’m not sure the Super League is the right answer to that question.

Why is UEFA in charge of creating a club competition at all? Well, because they just are. Someone has to organize these tournaments and they set up the first European Cup way back in 1955, taking the idea from South America, and creating a European Cup. Oddly, the then English league champs Chelsea were banned by the English Football League’s secretary from participating in the initial season.

I admit that I don’t have much respect for UEFA or their parent organization, FIFA. The corruption and incompetence of these two organizations is legendary. Former UEFA president Michel Platini was banned from all football activities for four years after being found guilty of taking an illegal payment from former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter. Those two convictions were just the tip of a global corruption problem in world football in which bribes were nearly openly paid to top level officials. Many, many FIFA officials from various federations around the world have been convicted of numerous crimes.

UEFA and FIFA are also wildly incompetent and often out of alignment with what fans and clubs want. UEFA’s bungling of the Man City FFP case – where they let the statute of limitations run out on many charges – is just one example of their incredible incompetence. They are also notoriously soft on clubs whose fans shout racist abuse at players and there have been many accusations of doping which have been quietly swept under the rug or given light fines. And what UEFA and FIFA want is more competitions, more matches, more often because if means… more money. The growth in the number of matches that players and clubs have to play now is obscene. It’s gotten to the point where I no longer even want to watch all the games.

The flip side of that is that to be fair to UEFA, they do organize an absurd number of matches. It’s not just the Euros and the Champions League, there are also qualifying matches, U21s, U19s, etc. etc. The sheer volume of football that is organized by UEFA is staggering.

And UEFA are governed by the 55 member states who vote on membership, their budget, initiatives, and so on. This isn’t just a loose band of criminals, it’s an organization with governance, which is ostensibly run as a non-profit. They are supposed to be putting any money they make back into grass-roots football and development of the game across Europe.

In theory, UEFA are the good guys. And I think much of the antipathy toward them (by me anyway) comes from what I see as a combination of incompetence and corruption.

That said, I’m not sure the Super Duper League is the answer. Basically what’s happening here is that the rich clubs want to wrestle power away from UEFA and FIFA. They don’t want to be governed by UEFA, they want to govern themselves. They also see how much money UEFA makes and they want to turn that non-profit money into for-profit money.

My gut reaction to this is always “good!” And I have to say that it’s probably not good. I always seem to need to have a think about these things before I come to the conclusion that “well, actually, Tim, UEFA are probably not going to be anywhere near as corrupt as letting Man City and PSG run European football”. Which is what the Super League is sort of proposing. I’ve seen the Super League proposals and I know that they say that there will be better FFP, that there will be £400m in revenue sharing with the other 200 clubs in Europe, and that the places for the 80 clubs in the Super League will be awarded based on merit. I know what they say but why should I trust them?

Just look at the Man City case. Why would I think that the Super League’s investigative powers would be any better than UEFA? I can’t see a reason why. The only reason I have is that “well UEFA haven’t been great” and the absence of good work on UEFA’s part doesn’t mean that the Super League will automatically be better.

And when I see the Super League proposing huge numbers in terms of revenue sharing, that also sets off alarm bells. No for-profit organization is giving away £400m unless they are bringing in huge profits. Massive, giant, obscene, profits. And more to the point, what happens if in the first year they don’t make enough money to give out those payments? I suppose they just don’t pay them. And who holds them accountable? No one.

Which brings me to the main problem: UEFA. What we need here is a stronger UEFA who aren’t just trying to put on endless competitions. We need them to stand up to the corruption, cheating, racism, and all of the other problems which the Super League clubs are pointing to and saying that they will solve. And fortunately, that can be done. UEFA has mechanisms to change, to make their governance better. They can do it. And I think that they really need to. We are coming to a breaking point with the English clubs (in particular) wielding enormous power and money. If UEFA don’t clean up their act, we are going to get a Super League. Whether we want it or not.



  1. On a related note, I’m forced to root for UEFA to do something positive relative to the sale of ManU. Can’t see how the Qataris buying United on top of PSG would be anything but extremely problematic on a variety of fronts.
    Hopefully the Ineos guy comes up with a good enough bid to win and make it a moot point.


  2. Partey late scratch 🙁
    Be interesting to see if he moves Xhaka or Zinch in there or gives Jorghino a first start. In any case, this is exactly why we bought him, so glad we made that last minute move.

  3. Bernardo Silva as a left back against Saka has to be one of the all time no-clue managerial moves in a title race, and City still go into halftime with 11 men.

    Also the only time Arsenal’s flat near post corners and diagonal chips into the penalty area result in huge chances is against City – the fraud is incapable of coaching a defense to judge crosses, which is usually like the third thing PL managers figure out.

  4. City are distinctly mediocre, and being bailed out by the depth of their financially doped squad, including a Diego Costa knock-off that they’re paying a million pounds a week, and referees unwilling to call out their bullshit early in the game.

  5. Argh. But honestly, they were the better team. They capitalized on our mistakes, shut down Saka and Odegaard in the second half, and took their chances, which we mostly didn’t. Nketiah had two good looks and took neither. Haaland had one, and took it. It’s an overall quality difference. Maybe if we’d had Partey and Jesus it would have been a different story, but there’s still a gap.

  6. We werent supposed to be here but now that we are its a gutting result. I’m just sad. It’s what should happen given the financials but we just gave them their chances. Disappointing doesnt cover it. I dont know what else to say. Sport can be cruel.

  7. Meh… I was annoyed initially at the end, but mostly at our inability to put away our chances, or even get them on target. But after all, we’ve still got a game in hand, and more importantly, we weren’t supposed to be here yet in the first place.

    No one had us pegged for a title run this year. I think we would all have taken fourth before the season started and been happy to do so.

  8. If you like football; you’re gonna enjoy that sublime piece of skill from Kevin De Bruyne. You have to stand and applaud something like that. Takes the sting out of losing. Not really, but sort of.

    It was a game decided by two hurried, blind passes… picked off and punished professionally. Tomi in particular was out of control with that ugly backpass.

    They were clinical; we were not. It was the difference, because goodness knows that we matched them over the course of the game. Our one shot on target tells its own story. Speaking of clinical, Eddie should have had both headers on target. Game he’ll want to consign to history. Jorginho was terrific. You love a guy a who plays with his head up, something neither Gabriel nor Tomi did in making those suicidal passes.

    We move. The league is won by the team with the most points at the end. As we say in the Caribbean, “fancy gallop na win race”.

  9. i’m going to say something controversial. i think the last 2 goals were down to jorginho. seemingly, he recognized situations but dodged responsibility…moving to areas where he proved redundant and unbalancing the team. saliba was hung out to dry multiple times. it was almost as if jorginho were afraid of haaland. for heavens sake, he didn’t have to win a physical battle; simply deny him the easy entry passes.

    so many swoon over his ability on the ball but it’s equally important to play well without the ball. one of my favorite quotes from cruyff says something to the effect of “during the course of a 90-minute game, the average player has the ball at his feet for roughly 3 minutes so what are you doing the other 87 minutes?”. jorginho was good on the ball but unremarkable at critical moments when gabriel needed cover. partey and elneny wouldn’t have gotten those things wrong.

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