Blog template Rock the Crossbar: Meanwhile, in the smoke-filled rooms...

Rock the Crossbar

Tuesday, March 21

Meanwhile, in the smoke-filled rooms...

Is anyone else concerned about the two stories going around regarding the fat-cat G14 clubs and the even-fatter-cat UEFA and FIFA committees? The first proposal is that clubs start getting compensated by the national federations while their players are on national duty. Furthermore, if those players end up getting crocked while away, the clubs want to be compensated for the injury recovery costs. And these costs don't end with just the cost of treatment. They're looking to claim lost opportunity cost and just guess who gets to put a number on that. Aren't most of these guys insured by the clubs? If not, why not? Lloyds would be happy to take that call. Because if it's left to the national federations, that's the end of the World Cup, the European Championships, the African Nations Cup, the UEFA Cup. All of it because while maybe the English, the German, the Spanish, the Italian FA's might stump up this fee, I don't think the Dutch FA will be able to afford the Gelding, Robben, Kuit, Stam, and the rest of their team's trip. Furthermore, I can't imagine that the Ukrainian FA will be able to afford to pay for even one Shevcenko, or the Ivoirians or Camerounians to pay for Toure and Eto'o respectively to go on national duty. And as if this isn't bad enough, there's news that once again the G14 are threatening a breakaway and rival league if they don't get to point a gun at UEFA's head and motion to put the cash in the sack. And many of us on this site support clubs that would be involved, like Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United. Are we going to support our clubs behaving this way? I've followed Arsenal since '71 and even when we were playing some ugly stuff under GG, I never thought once about looking around for another club. But would I be able to stomach this kind of breakaway? It for sure would bring down the curtain on any Arsenal merch purchases. Living in the US doesn't allow me the gesture of turning in a season ticket. These are very troubling developments.


  • That assumes this goes through. I think the clubs are frustrated, rightfully so, about the increasing number of meaningless matches their players are called away for. The French were having some silly matches. I would read this as throwing down the gauntlet to national sides; curb your senseless matches or this is what we're pushing for.
    I don't see it reaching a point whereby Chelsea start billing Ghana 115K per week for Essien or whatever he's on. An insurance scheme might not be a bad idea.

    The breakaway football league is more scary. Unfortunately, the big clubs have the EU on their side as well. The EU was against the FA's TV rights plan that more evenly distributed revenue among the clubs than having the clubs negotiate themselves. The EU would rather allow Man U to negotiate with Sky. ITV etc directly rather than ensure the survival of the English game at all levels. It's time England invoke national interest the way the French do with their cultural expection for restricting English language programming.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 3:00 PM  

  • the UEFA Cup?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 3:21 PM  

  • Yeah man! The bleedin' UEFA cup. They can rename it, but that's what it is.

    I take Chris' point that the threat to exact compensation may be just a shot across the bow for "silly internationals." But haven't we all heard, Pitdown Sam for one, moaning on and on about losing Okacha for a "silly" international when it turned out to be the African Nations Cup? OK, the clubs have a point when it's some Nike-outfitted contractual obligation that ensures that Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Adriano, and co have to jet out to Tokyo and miss a match. But how long until Jose's victim complex extends to whining about losing Drogba if the Ivoirians had the temerity to schedule a WC get together up that conflicted with the end of the Prem season? For that matter, Le Boss would be pissed too to lose Toure if we were still chasing Spurs for that last Champions League space.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 3:41 PM  

  • Are you talking about the club competition? The Uefa Cup? As in the old Inter-Cities Fairs Cup?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 4:07 PM  

  • Ooh good one this Steve (who I assume meant the European Championships, not UEFA Cup).
    I have to admit I dont want to see clubs charging national feds for players - for me the national game is still above the club - players prefer to win World Cups over Premierships. However Chris is right, France had some utterly hopeless games this year which were a real conflict. This stuff has to be cut down on. Steve is also right with manager moaning about legit games like the ANC. Dont know the solution there but both sides must compromise.

    As for the G14, I am sick of Arsenal's merchandising anyway and buy as little of their crap as possible. Their website is a joke, what used to be good football info is now an advert for anything from couches to credit cards. I dont want to see breakaway league, I dont want to see more Champions League games, the format is correct at the moment. They should leave it alone. A breakaway league would be less games !! Unless they ran it concurrent to the national leagues. Greedy bastards all of them. I watch Arsenal for the quality of football, the tradition (which wasnt always full of quality),for the locality and for the chance to slag off John and United. Screw the merchandising and corporate bigwigs behind it all - but I cant support Barnet.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 4:47 PM  

  • Oh yeah, that's right. I was foaming a bit at the mouth there. Yes, the European Championships. Right.

    I'm off for my rabies shot now.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 4:56 PM  

  • There's always Stenhousemuir. Can't see them joining the G14 anytime soon. Unless it's goats to spectator ratio.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 4:58 PM  

  • I have always been partial to Dunfermline...a good lad once gave me 2 of their kits!

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 4:59 PM  

  • Cool. Was confused because you mentioned the European Championships and the UEFA Cup.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:05 PM  

  • moaning Manc...

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 5:09 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:42 PM  

  • I just reminded myself of one of my favourite scenes from The Office:

    Gareth: You know when [Bruce Lee] is fighting Chuck Norris in “Enter the Dragon”?

    Simon the Computer Geek: No?

    Gareth: You not seen that?

    Simon: No?

    Gareth: Have you not??! I can’t…. that is a classic!

    Simon: No, I’ve not seen him fight Chuck Norris in “Enter the Dragon”, I’ve seen him fight Chuck Norris in “Way of the Dragon.”

    Gareth: Ah, that’s what I meant, that’s what I meant.

    Simon: Is it? Why did you say, have you seen him fight Chuck Norris in “Enter the Dragon?” He fights Bob Wall in both, but Norris is only in “Way of the Dragon”.

    Gareth: Yeah, I know, so when he’s fighting Chuck Norris–

    Simon: In what?

    Gareth: In “Way of the Dragon.”

    Simon: Correct. At last.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:45 PM  

  • The bottom line is television revenue. The model that works is the National Football League with its even distribution of tv revenue to all of its teams (and a salary cap that increases in relation to the tv contracts). The model that fails to work is that of Major League Baseball with super-teams like the NY Yankees and Atlanta Braves owning their own networks and receiving all of the advertising revenue (as opposed to small market teams like Milwaukee that must negotiate horrific deals just to be seen locally). There is no revenue sharing in baseball and the only semblance of normalcy is a phony "luxury tax" that teams like the Yankees gladly pay to acquire superstar-laden teams with enormous payrolls.

    It appears that the G14 want to forge their own MLB-style system, which of course compares favorably to the monarchies of Europe's own history! Let the serfs at Bristol City and Crewe suffer to serve the masters seems to be the mantra of the out-of-control giant clubs. Any sort of breakaway like this will destroy the allure for fans - good point above on less games - and condemn the sport to eventual ruin. Why? Well, it's simple economics: more and more dollars concentrated in fewer and fewer football hands. No trickle down. No transfer fees paid to small clubs (that keep those clubs operating for several years in the future). And tournaments like the FA Cup, with the excitement of David v. Goliath slayings, will be a thing of the past, too! Sad. Money always gets in the way of a good time.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 7:44 PM  

  • O Toole, I hate you - still i think its better to be the IT guy than Gareth so it could be worse.

    By Anonymous O Toole hating bastard, at 11:08 AM  

  • I didn't make that up. The guys name is Simon. Apparently he likes "drawrings" too.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 4:30 PM  

  • dfasdf

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 4:45 PM  

  • 1-0 to Johnno. Not bad. Not bad.

    By Blogger Patrick Devitt, at 9:49 PM  

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