December 02, 2003

Blatter wants 16-club leagues: due to "ailing finances, player fatigue and the appearance of doping in football". But G14 are obviously going to give him a fight. I'm not sure how this move could help finances (less games = profit???) or doping, but it would certainly might give some overpaid superstars a bit more time on the golf course. Any thoughts? I thought we could probably lose Man U, Arsenal, Chelski and Everton from the prem without too much trouble ...

posted by walrus to soccer at 08:39 AM - 26 comments

Why Everton? Ahh, must be another durn Liverpool supporter. But seriously, if the G14 are against it, I can't really see it happening.

posted by trox at 09:04 AM on December 02

He's right, there are too many games. He got it arseway up though. The solution is to reduce the amount of European games that teams play, not domestic games. A start would be to turn the Champions League back into a complete knockout competition and get rid of the group stage. The G14 wouldn't like this either, but I think most fans are bored of meaningless European group games. Oh, and in the spirit of MeFi 1. Reduce domestic games 2. Increase prices 3. ???????? 4. Profit

posted by squealy at 09:23 AM on December 02

I'm with squealy on this one: only the champions should get to play in the Champions league (you know it makes sense) and make it a proper knockout competition from the first phase. Drop the UEFA cup, or just make it for winners of national cups, but with the winner getting a CL place next year. Then open up bidding for TV rights for each league game, rather than for the whole package, but give a flat TV fee to the clubs for each game, which is the same for any game. Any surplus at the end of the season could go to the national team. This could increase the domestic TV take, and should level the playing field slightly on financial terms and also cut the number of games. Despite my joking above, I would have great sympathy for any four clubs which would have to take the drop with Blatters idea. I also think wage and transfer-fee capping is inevitable as the money paid for many players can no longer be recouped within the length of their contract.

posted by walrus at 09:37 AM on December 02

I don't know, I could see dropping EPL to 18 teams and changing CL to one match against each opponent in the group stage; that would cut seven games out of the year. But then again, Blatter wants this at least in part because of the world club tournament tha FIFA is pushing (and will take place in 2005, apparently). And what about the pre-season tours to America and Asia that many top clubs are making? All I can say is I want more games on American TV!!!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:18 AM on December 02

No way!! I want my games!!

posted by StarFucker at 11:43 AM on December 02

Champions League for champions would be a good first step. Two-leg knockout all the way (except for the final) would be fine, rather than a league + elimination format.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:47 AM on December 02

The bottom line is that anytime a representative of FIFA, UEFA or any of the top leagues/associations or clubs makes a comment regarding the 'good of the games' or quality of play you can be sure that they are only trying to protect their own interests. There is a lot of $$ to be made in world football and everyone wants to carve out a bigger slice of the pie for themselves.

posted by Seven at 12:10 PM on December 02

We should make the pie higher.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:31 PM on December 02

The bottom line is that anytime a representative of FIFA, UEFA or any of the top leagues/associations or clubs makes a comment regarding the 'good of the games' or quality of play you can be sure that they are only trying to protect their own interests You can also be sure they are talking absolute cobblers. Just take the opposite view to anything Blatter says and you will be alright.

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:32 PM on December 02

He's a Blattering idiot! Hahahaha.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:52 PM on December 02

talking absolute cobblers There you go again with your wacky Briticisms! But seriously, does Blatter get a percentage of the revenues for FIFA-sponsored events?

posted by billsaysthis at 06:23 PM on December 02

I've never understood the argument that the Champions League should be for domestic champions only. I want a European competition with all the best teams in it, and that implies more teams from the better leagues. After all, Holland, Spain and Russia will be at the European Champions, even though they didn't win their group. The status of the UEFA Cup needs to be looked at though. At the moment, nobody can really tell what the competition is supposed to be. It might make sense as a Champions League 2, with promotion and relegation between the two competitions, but that would concentrate power with the big clubs even more. A world club championship could work with several provisos: Firstly, Continental Championships should be only every 4 years. Secondly, no country should be allowed to compete in another confederation's championship. This would allow a competition to be run, every four years in a year immediately preceeding or following a world cup. If it happened, I'd also like to see stricter controls on player loanings. For the last competition, I think one of the clubs signed several players just for that tournament.

posted by salmacis at 02:46 AM on December 03

It's fairly straightforward Sal, it's called the "Champions" League, so it should be for champions of each league. Ironically just like it was before it was called the Champions League.

posted by squealy at 08:18 AM on December 03

I've never understood the argument that the Champions League should be for domestic champions only. ?!? WHAT?! Whats to understand?! Its as hypocritical as calling the American Baseball Championship the WORLD SERIES! The "best" teams will continue to be the best teams as long as they keep getting the fucking cash year after year for being in the god damn competition. If you give the domestic champions from all countries a chance to represent and stick with the format worldcup and i have been talking about, then you would actually HAVE the best teams from all the countries competing and eventually and it would be a great competition... As it is now, the fucking asshole brits, spaniards and italians are trying to keep all the Champions League money for themselves year after year...

posted by StarFucker at 11:14 AM on December 03

Yeah, we already have a Euro tourney for the motley crew of leftover non-champs. It's called the UEFA Cup. (And yes, I know it includes Liverpool. Sigh.) Hah! If we're going to dilute the significance of the Champions League, then don't call it the Champions League. Call it the crap-something-or-other-you-can-play-coz-you're-rich League.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:05 PM on December 03

Are you suggesting that, for instance, Finland's league champion deserves a spot in the CL ahead of the second place side from England or Spain? That sounds like nuts to me.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:29 PM on December 03


posted by worldcup2002 at 12:49 PM on December 03

btw, EPL tells Blatter to sod off.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:09 PM on December 03

Bill, old dude, the Finnish Champions are eligible, all countries who affiliate to EUFA are entitled to enter their champions. The beauty of knock out competitions is the potential for upset, kick out the small fry and all the romance goes. I wouldn't be against the setting up of a European league, for soulless moneygrabbing bastards like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Man Utd, and their odious fans, but the champions league, as it stands, is an insult and affront to delicate sensibilities everywhere. It just aint logical.

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:25 PM on December 03

Buddha, I want to see more good play, and seems to me that matching Real against Chelsea or Bayern Munich against AC Milan is more that than Finland's champion against anybody. In this day and age to demand semantic purity seems, well, veddy British and old fashioned. Where's that superleague the G14 were talking up in recent years?

posted by billsaysthis at 04:07 PM on December 03

Where's that superleague the G14 were talking up in recent years? But, I just don't think a Euro League is quite the moneyspinning idea the g14 think it is - attendances in the Champions League are pretty low usually (Man United excepted, cos they sell out every game) - some of the Italian teams barely get 20,000 for most champions league matches. And, in general, the best thing in sports is local rivalry and hatred. You rarely get that in European matches, cos of the lack of history between the teams (maybe the euro league would solve that, but only if the same teams play in it year in year out) Anyway, as I support Southend United, the champions league and the premier league seems all rather distant, and quite frankly, especially the last few seasons, pretty dull (Bayer Leverkusen excepted, who were gloriously, fantastically insane, improbable and exciting. Damn Real Madrid.)

posted by dng at 04:18 PM on December 03

dng, can a team get relegated out of Division 3??? And what's with that team nickname, Shrimpers? Still, if they did open a G14 league, with home and home against every other team every year, the hatredrivalry would come fast and easy.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:45 PM on December 03

two words - turkeys christmas No PL chairmen (outside the big 3) would vote for this for three reasons: - not many teams consistently finish well clear of 14th in the league, and therefore in a 16 team league would be in relegation fights each year, with the huge penelties that slipping up would mean. Though perhaps a premiership 2 with another 16 teams would dilute the dangers of relegation. - 20 teams = 19 home games, 16 teams = 15 home games - with the resulting loss of revenue - less fixtures = less TV appearences for the 'smaller' teams = less money

posted by Brettski at 03:12 AM on December 04

And to answer bill's queries; yes you can be relegated from Division 3 into the semi-pro Nationwide Conference. To be honest though, the difference between Div 3 and the Conference in terms of standards/finances is hardly massive anymore, so I don't think it's the disaster it used to be considered. I imagine they're called the Shrimpers because Southend is a seaside town and they fish/used to fish for shrimp there. Just a guess though.

posted by squealy at 04:32 AM on December 04

I imagine they're called the Shrimpers because Southend is a seaside town and they fish/used to fish for shrimp there. Just a guess though. Thats pretty much right. The thing is, Shrimpers is one of those nicknames that has only ever really been used by the media, and recently by the club itself for corporate reasons - its a nicely shit brand name, I suppose - but really our nickname is - the ultra dull - The Blues. Guess what colour kit we play in... Oh, and this is the local delicacy - basically, made the local way, its just shrimps in lard. Back on topic, Fifa facing legal threat from G14.

posted by dng at 11:20 AM on December 04

Now Blatter vs. G14 in a courtroom, that I would spring for on PPV!

posted by billsaysthis at 03:11 PM on December 04

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