A not-so-Super League
Thankfully, the European Super League, dreamt up by a dozen wealthy football club owners from across the continent, six of them from England, was strangled at birth.
Forget the money-grabbing greed of the proposition. The idea that you can select a group of six clubs at any given time and proclaim that, forever, they will remain as the elite of the sport, is for the birds.
Back in the day, five Lancashire clubs (if we include Bolton) were founder members of the English Football League. I’ll bet Accrington Stanley, Blackburn Rovers, Wanderers, Burnley, and Preston North End are rueing the day that they didn’t introduce a non-relegation clause when they formed the original league championship.
Truth is, had they done so, the league would never have developed into the fantastic product it became.
Unsporting culture and greed aside, the biggest problem with the ‘Super League’ was how boring it would have very quickly become.
As in Scotland, it would have been mostly dominated by two clubs, Man City and Barca, with Spurs and Arsenal battling it out each season for bottom place.
The reason the Premier League is such a popular product is that on any given day a Brighton can beat a Chelsea – and as Blackburn and more recently Leicester City have proved – we can all dream of our team winning it.
Hand wringing aside, I don’t anticipate any genuine punishment of football’s ‘superpowers’
Ultimately what this latest attack on the game’s integrity must lead to is much stronger regulation and governance of our national game.
If serious sanctions by way of fines and transfer embargos are not imposed on the clubs involved on the ‘dirty dozen’ then the likes of Bury and Wigan will have every right to feel aggrieved from the actions taken against them when they went outside of the rules.
Sadly, I’m not holding my breath. Hand wringing aside, I don’t anticipate any genuine punishment of football’s ‘superpowers’.
And that will inevitably result in some other project being suggested in the future that will have everything to do with cash and nowt to do with the good of the game.
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