Arsenal and the Americanisation of Football: an Unfashionable Opinion

Get ready for Soccerball

I have spent a good deal of the last two decades living in North America (the United States then Canada).

As an Arsenal supporter it meant a lot of early starts (particularly when I lived on the west coast of the US) and a lot of bunking off work in the middle of the day to catch the ‘evening’ games.

But thanks to the universal television coverage that’s now available I seldom missed a game while living abroad.

However, while Arsenal remained my one true sporting love I was quite happy to ‘go native’ and develop an interest in those peculiar sports that so excite the Americans (rounders; rugby with armour; netball for tall people etc).

When I lived in Los Angeles I enjoyed watching the LA Dodgers baseball team in their fine old stadium. Maintaining an interest in the NFL and attending Superbowl parties became a normal thing. Living in Canada I learned to love professional basketball and had a season ticket at the Toronto Raptors (returning to the UK the season before the Raptors became NBA champions) and occasionally watched the Bluejays play baseball. I was in the stadium when Toronto FC won the MLS championship in ‘soccer’ in 2017.

I love sport, so I loved all these experiences. But there is something very, very different about American sport when compared with our football. In some ways it is worse, but in other ways it is better (or at least better than the Premier League).

The big five professional North American leagues (the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS) are closed shops. No matter how badly a team performs it can never be relegated. In fact, in most sports it gets rewarded for being crap by getting first pick of the following year’s crop of talented youngsters.

This ‘draft’ system is very effective in the American context and allows a greater churn of success, with teams often having a great few years then sinking back down until they can slowly build and rise again. Salary caps and other spending restrictions help ensure that a few very rich teams are not allowed to dominate.

It’s very different to the way things operate in English footy, where a tiny number of clubs with megarich owners can win most of the prizes most of the time (yes, I know – Leicester City – but they are the exception that proves the rule).

In the English Premier League, since its inception in 1992, only seven different clubs have become champions (Man Utd, Blackburn, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Leicester, Liverpool). That’s seven clubs in 28 seasons (it will be seven in 29 in a few weeks’ time).

In that same period there have been 16 different Superbowl winners; 11 different NBA champions; 16 different winners of the World Series in baseball; and 15 winners of the Stanley Cup in the National Hockey League. In soccer, the MLS started in 1996 and in the 25 seasons since then, it has had 13 separate champions.

That churn is one of the good things about American sport. Supporters of every team can feel that they will have a chance of ‘going all the way’ one day and that the deck is not permanently stacked against them.

As I have mentioned, it is only made possible through a combination of spending restrictions and the use of a draft scheme (and the draft system itself can function only because college sport is so strictly regulated and organised in the US and is seen as a conveyor belt for sending talent into the pro leagues: there is no equivalent in this country).

All of which brings us to the bombshell announcement of plans for a European Super League and of Arsenal’s participation in this revolution.

Most fans have reacted furiously, of course, and it’s obvious to see why: the idea of a European league with no relegation for the founder clubs cuts against everything we have grown up knowing and loving about our national game.

But to play devil’s advocate for a moment, I can see why some of the ‘big’ clubs are keen on the idea. Long gone are the days when clubs were owned by local businessmen-made-good who were passionate about their team. It’s big corporate business now, with all the attendant soullessness, greed and corruption. 

And if you’re a big corporation and you are offered the chance of a gold-plated safety net that means your investment can never entirely collapse, then why wouldn’t you go for it? The idea that you could invest hundreds of millions of pounds into a club and see it end up in the Championship or worse must be horrifying to the super-rich owners. 

My instinct is to oppose the ESL for the very reason that the corporate owners want to embrace it: namely that it is a break with one of the most fundamental traditions of the game – the never-ending elevator of success and failure, with all teams having the chance to ride it to the summit or take it all the way down to the basement of non-league.

But my opposition is half-hearted because the elevator is broken anyway. It wasn’t in great shape before the formation of the Premier League (only nine different champions in the 28 years before the EPL, compared with the seven champions in the 28 years since); and it has been even worse in the EPL era.

When the football authorities allowed the super-rich to buy up football clubs without any restrictions on spending they ensured that all but a handful of clubs would ever be allowed to ride the ‘up’ elevator all the way to the top.

There was a brief period of optimism when it looked like UEFA was going to be serious about its Financial Fair Play regulations, but with clubs like Manchester City able to spend millions on the world’s best lawyers to justify their disregard of FFP it was always going to be a futile hope.

The restrictions still nominally apply but everyone knows they mean nothing.

In that light we can see the ESL as an inevitable continuation of what was begun with the formation of the EPL in 1992: big clubs moving ever closer to ensuring they could not fail financially.

It’s all a bit depressing, but it was depressing before yesterday’s announcement anyway.

I realise this won’t be a popular opinion, but a closed European Super League with no relegation but with strict spending regulations might be more enjoyable than what we currently have (although I say this without any idea of whether they are proposing such restrictions for the ESL. If they’re not, then forget it).

A league of teams with broadly equivalent budgets might make the game more exciting, might lead to more ‘churn’ and might feel less depressingly predictable than our current “which sugar daddy team will win the title this year?” approach.

There are other obvious downsides to the ESL, not least the killer blow it would deliver to the routine of the ‘away game’ for supporters. It would end up (again) similar to American sports where fans generally don’t travel to away games.

The formation of the ESL would be the final Americanisation of our beautiful game, but it’s the logical conclusion of where it has been heading for well over a generation.

RockyLives

63 Responses to Arsenal and the Americanisation of Football: an Unfashionable Opinion

  1. fatgingergooner says:

    Interesting thoughts Rocky, but it seems that the big clubs want to have their cake and eat it, because the idea seems to be that this is a European Competition due to be played midweek whilst the sides continue in their domestic competitions. So basically you will have 6 PL sides earning billions of pounds more than all the other sides in the league and therefore dominating the domestic competition. This pretty much guarantees the same top 6 in the PL every season and throws the future of the CL and EL into disarray. Who would qualify for the other European comps if the top 6 are already guaranteed a ESL spot? I just don’t see how the clubs can realistically continue in their domestic comps and I don’t see any way in which the domestic FA’s would agree to this. The only outcome can be a breakaway league as you’ve described above, but that kills every other competition.

  2. RockyLives says:

    Morning FGG

    The ESL – if I’m understanding it correctly – is not compatible with the existing domestic league competitions.

    Even if there’s a cobbled-together compromise for a few years it’s inevitably heading towards a European league that replaces domestic competition for the ‘big’ clubs.

  3. LBG says:

    The inevitable conclusion to the Americanisation of OUR beautiful game. No thanks, Rocky, would prefer to have pins stuck in my eyes!!
    What will happen to all those local Clubs with history? To the Wrexhams who dont care about anything else in their history other than beating Arsenal in the FA Cup. To Don Rodgers Swindon Town and glory at Wembley. To The Wimbledon, just returned to Plough Lane, but glorified for a victory over the Dippers.
    None of them, and by them I mean us, the spectators, expect to get to the top. All they want is pride in their Clubs name, and past, and simple enjoyment on a Saturday afternoon (Friday, Sunday, Monday or any other ungodly Sky or BT hour).

  4. RockyLives says:

    LBG
    Those teams will continue; the leagues will continue; but they will exist separately from the Corporate Club Cartel that is the ESL.

    Maybe it will lead to a rebirth of the real game. I live in Bath where the local team is Bath City FC, playing in the National League South. It will become more appealing to go there on a Saturday with maybe 1500 people rather than training it up to N5.

    What it will do to my relationship with/love of Arsenal I cannot tell at the moment.

  5. RockyLives says:

    In America I knew loads of people who disliked the pro leagues and were massively into college sport, be it football, basketball or baseball.

    They felt it was more honest and authentic.

  6. LBG says:

    Rocky
    On what basis do you think they will continue? Many of them are bankrupt now given the last two seasons. And do you believe there will be more trickle down money from the top of the tree?
    My background, as I have said before, is in teaching sport. Who do the youth have to look up to in football today? Paul Pogba and his £500,000 a week demands to sign a new contract, divers like Cascarino proposes today, and “professional” foulers like Pep encourages at Manshitty, referees intent to become Z celebrities with their VAR compatriots.
    If I was still teaching I would advocate rejecting football as a sport to encourage children to follow. Too many bad examples to influence.
    I used to say three groups run the World, the Bankers, the Pharmaceuticals and the Arms dealers. Think the Sports Owners are vying to be added to corrupt “elite”.

  7. RockyLives says:

    LBG
    The very creation of the ESL has the potential to lead to a rejuvenation of interest in the smaller clubs, including new financial support from their communities.

    Obviously there’s no guarantee, but it’s not as if the EPL has exactly been bending over backwards to help the struggling clubs.

  8. Pete the Thirst says:

    A brave opinion piece Rocky. You make an number of decent points.

    The European system is broken. The same clubs routinely reach the European Cup quarter finals. A lot of teams are in serious debt. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juve, Milan, Inter could be bankrupt of they don’t get a big cash injection. And here it comes.

    I doubt it will go ahead, but there will be big changes to the game at the top level.

    Just wait for the franchise moves that rip the souls out of American sport…

    Rocky as a former LA resident you would be familiar with the LA Dodgers previous residence in New York over 2 thousand miles away. Not easy to follow your team at ‘home’ from that distance. LA Lakers moved from Minneapolis; LA Rams from St Louis (Kroenke); LA Chargers from San Diego.

    NBA is a dull game. Watched a number of games in Dalas and one in Boston. Best part was the refreshment bar.

  9. Gööner In Exile says:

    So with some regret I have to agree in a lot of what you say. Some have asked what happens to the other 87 pro clubs and the non leagues. Well again if we follow American sports leads we have the Minors. The leagues where talented players not quite major level play in clubs owned by the bigger franchises. They play in small cities/towns where they don’t have a big franchise. Feeder clubs happen throughout most of Europe but have always been frowned upon in England.

    The collegiate system is also very good for both youngsters and the draft picks. However some Lebron James, for example, can just skip that if they are good enough.

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also I’m pretty sure NFL merchandise sales are split evenly regardless which team name is on the shirt?

  11. LBG says:

    Interesting that German teams who have more “shareholders” influencing their Clubs have not fully committed yet.
    What we need is to kick out American, Russian and Middle Eadtern owners and let hundreds of thousands of real supporters buy shares in THEIR Clubs.

  12. LB says:

    I defy anyone to find a better article in any publication today.

    Great read.

    I haven’t a clue how this one unfolds.

  13. LBG says:

    Still, Moaninho has gone and taken lots of Totteringham’s money. So all is not lost with the World!🤣

  14. LB says:

    Another massive payday. Very funny though.

  15. LB says:

    They must be very worried about season ticket sales next season

  16. GoonerB says:

    Hi Rocky. Not sure what to think about this. I agree with one of your main points that a closed shop league lacks something in its cutting edge. The knife edge emotions of success and failure. If you cant really ever fail then something is lost.

    My initial reaction is not great but then do I think the corrupt to their core FIFA and UEFA are that great? Not at all and they have needed challenging for a long while.

    I am far more worried about the impact on the domestic league than anything else. If it could be done while still allowing the domestic league to thrive then a compromise might be possible, but I can’t see it working really and am generally against it.

    Is it really an Americanisation though? Was your reference to that more linked to having a league that you cant be promoted or relegated from or to do with the owners driving this? Granted there are some American owners but the lead on it seems to be from Madrid and Juve.

    One thing of interest is that the big German clubs haven’t yet signed up for it. Are they now the shining light of decency or will they crumble and join suit?

    This could of course all backfire in the future on the breakaway clubs. There is no certainty that this ESL will be the most attractive further down the line. There are loads of remaining clubs in cities with large populations that could start a new top flight English league, and this could be replicated in Spain, Italy e.t.c.

    The power may shift back in a different direction in a few years and clubs that breakaway may be not allowed to rejoin the party.

    I may for instance start to prefer going to watch a game at Watford or West Ham. Will the next tier clubs start to pick up new fans in an exciting new league where everything is possible, and as that grows alongside other countries new leagues the joy of football is found there more.

    It could be a dangerous move for any breakaway club.

  17. gee says:

    so if it is all about money, how long before like Pete thirsty says that those clubs become franchised and relocate their bases to where the money is?

    Sounds like an idea straight of of wall street and city of london corporation.

  18. LBG says:

    GoonerB might fancy going to see a game at Watford or West Ham…….what, more than once?
    I might choose, as I’ve done before, to go and watch Crawley or Whyteleafe. The weather will have to be good, and I’ll soon realise they dont “move me” to go again.

  19. GoonerB says:

    LBG, I think many fans might switch allegiance. Our Arsenal may be consigned to something in the past that we once loved but now bears no resemblance to what we fell in love with, a distant figment of the imagination.

    The true joy may be with those clubs that remain and if the fans get back in the stadiums and the atmosphere returns a trio to Watford, WHU, Fulham QPR, Crystal Palace for the London based teams may feel more right. That could be replicated in the North West.

    The demand to go to these grounds may start to swell to the point that many if the next tier big clubs increase their capacity and all of a sudden you have new domestic leagues across Europe with new European places up for grabs in the older but now alternative European cup competitions.

    I am sure up front that the money will rest with the breakaway league but if the excitement dwindles so does the demand to watch while a new and old generation football fan may find their football fix elsewhere.

    I still think it could backfire after a few seasons on the likes of Arsenal. It could create a vacuum at the top end of newly shaped domestic leagues that breeds an exciting competitive situation that starts to overtake this closed shop thing.

    What feels like an exclusive protection may soon turn about face and feel like being left out or behind as the remaining members in football forge ahead without us. Just go through the names of the clubs in all the big European leagues that will be left out of this and you realise there are plenty if big traditional names left with a big fanbase that could swell further.

  20. Gööner In Exile says:

    FC United was formed in 2005 and started in the North West Counties League (Level 10 of the English football pyramid and did make it to Level 6 before being relegated back down to Level 7.

    I do wonder whether there would be the ambition for others to recreate, AFC Wimbledon is another prime example of fans taking action and saying no.

    The sad fact is that even if all current Season Ticket Holders were prepared to take a stand and create a new club I don’t think the club would blink, as in reality season ticket holders are not exactly good business. A day visitor to the Emirates will buy ticket, programme, get to ground early, spend money in the bars, restaurants, spend money in the club shop etc. A season ticket holder goes to their favourite pub rolls into their seat at 5 minutes to 3 and leaves on full time, may have had time to buy a programme on the cheap on the way out 🙂

    PS quite amused by Spud situation although they may now get a half decent manager, and they still have a relatively good squad that could be made to play football again.

  21. GoonerB says:

    Your right Rocky. On reading more it seems this is being driven by the American owners, at least at the EPL end of things.

    The more I hear about it the more I hate it. I actually do think I would abandon my support of Arsenal at this point and start again with a different local club.

    As GIE says they dont give a damn because they think we are insignificant but maybe if the majority of fans do shun the new league it could slowly suck the life out of this new league and there could be a knock on effect in a few seasons where it becomes the lesser desirable viewing spectacle and then the sponsorship money starts to go down.

  22. RockyLives says:

    Great comments all – excellent discussion.

    (Thank you LB 😳 )

    Imagine if next year’s (or any year’s) Premier League was to be run without Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and the Spuds…

    You’d have the remaining 14 teams (no relegations) plus the top six teams from the Championship (right now that would be Norwich, Watford, Swansea, Brentford, Bournemouth and Barnsley).

    Who would win the title? Leicester? Everton? Villa? Norwich? West Ham? Leeds? Wolves? Saints? Newcastle?

    It would be wide open and an absolutely fascinating campaign without the foregone conclusion of Liverpool, Chavs, Man City or ManUre buying the big prize.

  23. RockyLives says:

    Redders – where are you?

    I’d like to hear your take on this issue.

  24. JM says:

    https://thesuperleague.com/press.html

    Quote:
    “The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues. These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion (£8.62 billion) during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs.”

    Quote:
    “Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.”

    i.e. Each of the clubs from England, Italy and Spain will receive a one-off payment of €3.5 billion (£3.02 billion).

    Quote:
    “As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.”

  25. JM says:

    From the Swiss Ramble,

    Quote: “the 12 clubs that are signing in for the ESL have £5.6 billion of financial and transfer debt, (and if including others like amount owned to staff, tax authorities, suppliers and other creditors, a total of £7.4 billion.”

    Arsenal alone owns £372 million (total £405 million).

  26. omgarsenal says:

    Initially I was against the concept of a ” superleague” for a number of reasons Rocky mentioned and I even wrote an article for Untold Arsenal a few years back dissing the idea entirely. Rocky does an excellent anal;ysis of the advantages and disadvantages of such a league but here’s my take on the situation:

    1) It will create an “elite” of football clubs in Europe…one that already exists in principle but not in name.

    2) It will eventually hurt the local leagues but be a cash cow for EUFA and FIFA, and if there’s anything these two organizations adore, it’s money.

    3) It will increase the value of transfers significantly and of course the $$$ their agents will rake in, because elite league teams will try and outspend their adversaries to win this league.

    4) Arsenal’s approach to develop their youth and reserve players and also bring in established players will be subjected to a great deal of pressure as elite teams will try and pry away this talent with $$$$$$$ that AFC can’t match.

    5) It will help the women’s game because such an elite league will offer far greater exposure for the women’s game and greater player development options as well. Also women hopefully will be compensated more equitably for their participation?

    6) It might offer more financial stability for the elite clubs, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing however it will possibly increase the debt ratios as well and certainly encourage more investments from sugar-daddy owners who want to own a team in the elite league.

    There are so many issues about this, I feel like writing an article about as many of them as possible so we’ll see.

  27. GoonerB says:

    OMG, is there a guarantee that this so called £3.5 billion would be only allowed for the sole purpose if Arsenal football club?

    Do we think Stan will keep that solely in Arsenals coffers or use it as a general slush fund across his franchises?

    Even if he doesn’t directly tap into that money for purposes other than Arsenal could he not just use it as collateral to raise loans put on Arsenal to fund his other franchises.

    I don’t trust them one bit on this. There was an interesting bit on sky sports where they had info from a board member of one of the EPL 6 who said that they are only interested in themselves and nothing else despite all the fancy statements coming out. They obviously had to keep said person anonymous.

  28. LBG says:

    David Seaman
    ” maybe Levy didnt want Jose to win a trophy at Spurs!”
    No danger of that David, but, of course, that’s a record to be mighty proud of, so keep it up Daniel.

  29. Pete the Thirst says:

    Meet the new boss…same as the old boss…

    FIFA & UEFA are blatantly corrupt and have been for years. Taking the high moral ground is hilarious. We are months away from a World Cup being staged in the desert. I fully expect them to vote for a World Cup in Antarctica if they are paid enough.

    They can see the money slipping through their dirty little fingers and they’re scared stiff that their cushy little number is about to fall apart.

    None of the ESL, FIFA or UEFA are interested in the fans or the clubs. It is all about who controls the money.

  30. JM says:

    From Charles Watts, Arsenal correspondent (goal.com),

  31. Mike says:

    Great article Rocky. I live in the US also and have for 28 years. I would much rather watch Oklahoma (my son’s college) vs Texas “football” than any other professional sports event. Unfortunately that also extends to Arsenal these days. My 23 yr old son grew up during the best Arsenal years but neither of us are really up for it any more. We’d much rather play golf if I’m honest. Definitely watch OU games ahead of Arsenal. Since 2008, when we last had what I’d call a viable PL challenging team, my desire to watch Arsenal hadn’t waned that much until 3 or 4 years ago. That’s when I realised that Wenger wasn’t the problem, it’s money in football. ESL, PL, Champions league, it’s all about the same any more. We’re very unlikely to be competitive in any of them in the foreseeable future. That’s not my idea of fun. Wenger, Ferguson, Rickaard, (early) Pep, Klopp, even Benitez, Rogers, Ranieri and i’m sure a few others (probably even “Our ‘Arry) innovated and managed teams and got the best out of them. Mourinho was the first money manager, with all the rest of them following suit. Kudos Rocky for pointing out that the road was a dark one anyway, this is just the icing on the cake.

  32. LB says:

    “What more than once?” So true.

  33. RockyLives says:

    A friend just shared this message (not sure whether it’s genuine or not):

    “Just saw Lee Dixon at my physio and he says Super League a done deal. Everyone disgusted!”

  34. RA says:

    Indisposed at the mo’ — just had to get the energy to say to Rocky, you represent the elite Blog Super League Authors, year after year, and today’s Post is both wonderfully intellectual, and also beautifully written.

    Great responses too from the regulars, but don’t despair guys and gals, these things have a habit of sorting themselves out, because it is all about the money, and UEFA have plenty of that, and will cough up to maintain their control.

    Back next month, hopefully – me – not the money. 😁

  35. 1979Gunner says:

    It does smack of feathering your own nest, but a good % don’t see or have a problem with that.

    When these players are getting £350k/week I think football has already begun to lose it’s connection with the fundamentals of the game.

    Personally, it would take my humble little family 7 years to EARN the amount these players get.

    And Pogba wants £500k

  36. Aaron says:

    Rocky, well reasoned and valid points, however, it it just not how this will go down.

    So, long time Arsenal fan, think mid 70’s and an American, yes, not an oxymoron.

    First, I hate this idea!

    Second, free market capitalism unrestrained leaves the human population as slaves and an uninhabitable planet in the long run!

    The elites run and own everything in the USA, notice I did not say socialists, because is that not what the NFL is all about, along with being a monopoly. Also, let’s be clear, the big markets in the USA dominate the airwaves and playoff spots normally, whether it be the nbA, mlB, nhL, or nfL.

    This entire thing is a $ play and that is that.

    Give you the perfect equivalent for us AFC fans, think Detroit Lions in the NFL, last place or thereabouts every year, had an 0-16 season, should get 1st round picks to get us out of the landfill, but we have not won a playoff game in 25 years!! Think about that for a second, 25 years in a “meritocracy”. $h*t owners and management will never get us to the top level: sound familiar? Fleece the fans every single year without fail. I no longer watch the Lions….

    I do not know how to process this yet, change my focus to the MLS and inferior players, but still watch the game I love? Or just shut down futbol completely, or switch leagues to Bundesliga or Ligue One? Hmmm, not sure how I feel about that either.

    Each of these entities, fifa, uefa, fa, superleague are all pure scum, but if AFC does not go along, if this league goes through, it will die as being a premier club, 10 years gone by in reality, maybe a good thing actually, stay local, or championship league and play a game the fans and players love.
    Naw, that will never happen, stan the maN will take the $ and run, all the while “managing” our club into oblivion and anonymity!

    Lastly, bet everyone can’t wait for 105 commercials every match, vaR challenges, endless drama over what is a foul, goal, and offside. What a $h*testorm.

    Will spend more time surfing in the beautiful mornings and bird watching, which is just fine by me. Long live the titmouse:-)

  37. LBG says:

    “will spend more time surfing in the beautiful mornings and bird watching……”
    I’m with you Aaron, at least in spirit as even young bones couldnt surf, old bones just creak.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Aaron
    Good points. Even in a closed system (without relegation and with a draft to help the bottom teams rebuild) a badly run club will continue to do badly. The Lions are a case in point. In the NBA you could point to a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    The TV money means big sport is big business and will continue to be treated as a business by the owners.

    Surfing and bird watching are certainly better for your soul. I’ve never tried surfing. I was tempted to give it a go when I moved to LA but on my first visit to Santa Monica I took a walk along the pier and watched as an angler pulled in a six foot shark no more than 50 yards from the shore and not far from where I had just been playing in the sea with my (then) young kids. It rather put me off.

    Bird watching is more my style these days.

  39. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I hope the workload eases and we see you back here soon.

  40. Gööner In Exile says:

    It is interesting to see the response from fans on this, some have given up on football anyway, I don’t have the same love for it I once did. I watch Arsenal and rarely anyone else.

    I noticed the Madrid president has come out to say it is about the money, the fact that young fans are less interested and it needs something to rejuvenate, almost a last gasp attempt to save football.

    I think the debt story revealed above by Untold Arsenal is very key to this. Basically clubs/owners are starting to realise they have gambled on a never ending growing money tree, the pandemic has brought that into serious question.

    I am disappointed that Arsenal are in the 6 EPL teams, but riddle me this, if it was 5 and Spuds were in that 5 and we were not the club would probably be getting pelters, by the same token Spudders would probably feel the same if it was Arsenal in the 5 and not them.

    Really interesting to hear Millers reaction last night and Klopps. Lay off the players they are probably on the fans side, as they were fans once too.

  41. jjgsol says:

    Where is the money coming from?

    TV obviously.

    If the fans stop watching Sky and all the others, then the money won’t be there, because the advertisers won’t advertise if no one is watching.

    This is a disaster waiting to happen and, in the end, it will be in our hands.

    I, already watch the games on Sky reluctantly, but it would be easy for me to cancel my subscription and I doubt if I will miss it.

    Does anyone think that we or the scum would be anything other than cannon fodder for the others who will have the money to spend on ever increasingly overpaid players?

    If the teams get £3b to start off with, what are the chances of it being spent on improving the playing staff and, indeed, where will these new expensive players come from?

    IT is simply about money for the owners and the real fans will be left out in the cold.

    Will any player who does not make the grade be allowed back into mainstream football?

    The end is nigh

  42. GoonerB says:

    If I were a fan at a biggish club (i.e with a traditionally large fan base) that was not included in this how would I feel? If the German, French, Portuguese and Dutch leagues turn it down it leaves an awful lot of big and well followed teams remaining around Europe.

    Teams like West Ham, Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Leicester, Villa e.t.c., as well as teams in the Spanish and Italian leagues like Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Villarreal e.t.c.

    I think I would look at it as an opportunity to fill the vacuum left, to become the new big clubs of their own domestic leagues.

    Those clubs will always struggle to get to the top at present but in the absence of the 20 could fill the void and then these countries will have new big clubs playing in the ECL and EL.

    In a few years it may be that the 6 that left are not missed because we have been replaced at the top by those next tier clubs who are now regularly playing in Europe against other big teams, whose fan base is swelling and have increased their ground capacity.

    What then happens if the insular league of 20 starts to become boring and viewers prefer the old format with the void just filled by new teams? We will eventually be the losers potentially while our place has been permanently taken back in the EPL, ECL and EL with no way back into it.

    I think if I were a supporter of Everton or West Ham for instance I may see it as a chance and say to those that want to leave, ” gonon then, said off and dont come back, we will eventually be fine without you”.

  43. Aaron says:

    jjgsol,

    This steaming pile is going directly to streaming via amazoN, they are completely bypassing traditional media providers. They will cut off one’ nose (the leagues) noses to spite one’s face.

    When it goes through I will hope they lose their a$$es in the long run, as many on here have provided many reasons for falling interest.

    Rocky, you are right about the T-wolves, but for every team like that you have the Cubs, but wait they did win a title, it only took 71 years. Can you imagine being one of those fans that watched all those years:-(

  44. GoonerB says:

    Not gonon or even gonad but go on. Not said but sod. Hope that clarifies things

  45. GoonerB says:

    The 14 other EPL clubs have said that they will deal and talk with the 6 clubs but will not deal with certain individuals at these clubs. I can only think that this will be the owners including the Glazers, the Kroenkes and the Liverpool owners.

    It really is the time to push for Kroenke to sell up. Likely Dangote will want to step in and you do get the feeling his agenda is more about the football passion rather than the profit as he has enough money from his other interests.

    Could an outlandish plan even be hatched with full support of the Atsenal worldwide fanbase whereby Dangote sets up a new club called dial square and persuades all the current team and manager to cancel their contracts and take them up again with the new club.

    Get the EPL backing with this to immediately replace Kroenkes Arsenal in the EPL and the temporary use of Wembley and then wait for it to crumble around Stan till he is forced to sell the Emirates and Arsenal name back to the new regime at a reduced cost and with a bloody nose……I think I’ve maybe been watching too many movies like Wall street during lockdown.

  46. LBG says:

    GoonerB
    You’ve clarified everything for me, and I want some of your waccy baccy!

  47. Rasp says:

    Good on ya James …

  48. GoonerB says:

    It’s done, finished. Chelsea and City pull out and Woodwood steps down at Utd. Now how do Arsenal fans feel about Kroenke where the relationship wasn’t great even before this. Surely this is an untenable relationship now and the best thing is for Keoenke to sell up.

  49. Rasp says:

    Sadly Kroenke won’t sell GB. He’s already demonstrated he doesn’t give a shit about the supporters. We’re just a part of his sports portfolio of investments. Wouldn’t it be great if parliament passed a law restricting what owners can do with sports clubs

  50. LBG says:

    Kroenke will sell up if there is no money coming in and OUR Club are relegated. Kroenke will sell up if the players refuse to play and fans refuse to attend. Kroenke will sell up if Sky and BT pull out of all football on TV.
    Dont tell me they believe China and Sinapore can sustain football in our Country.

  51. Rasp says:

    LBG … consider how hard it has been for Newcastle to oust Ashley.

  52. Rasp says:

    It’s significant that two clubs not owned by Americans have pulled out. Totnum expected to attract an American buyer – hence the adaption to an American football pitch. It’s all about the yanks now. We look really poor over this, it will damage our reputation for years to come.

  53. LBG says:

    We dont need three strikes, Kroenke. We want you out now.

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can’t believe somehow Arsenal have let City and Chavs have some kind of moral high ground in pulling out.

    The difference is as Rasp points out non American owners, Abramovich never bought Chelsea as a wealth accumulator it was a toy and yes football was a passion of his. City’s owners are a bit different, again bottomless pockets and no leveraged debt on the ownership of the club apart from back to the owners for what they have spent. A bit of a play thing but also a way of increasing tourism to their neck of woods when the oil finally ran out.

    So who is left? Clubs that have either been bought with debt (us, Liverpool, United) or are in debt because they have tried to keep up with the oil funded clubs.

    Way to go, we’ve managed to let the two clubs most responsible for the state of football today become heroes by pulling out leaving us stranded hoping that others will eventually join.

    So what’s the plan then AFC Woolwich?

  55. Rasp says:

    So it’s all over …. for now! At least Arsenal was the only club to apologise. The paradox is that the so called big six have effectively damaged their bargaining power over future negotiations on tv rights.

  56. Rasp says:

    I fully expect the six teams to be booed by opposition supporters when fans are allowed back in stadiums. We have to ask who would want to buy a loss making business like Arsenal if Stan does want to sell.

  57. LBG says:

    Rasp
    Perhaps those billions of Chinese and far Eastern mad football followers who were going to follow a EFL! I certainly would never put money again into the pocket of the spawn of the Devil.

  58. Rasp says:

    I’m not sure the Chinese are good bedfellows either LBG. Some kind of fan consortium would be the best result but I’m not savvy enough to know how that would work.

  59. Rasp says:

  60. RockyLives says:

    New Post

  61. LBG says:

    Rasp
    I’m prepared to take Chinese fans money as part of an Arsenal Fan Consortium as long as “politicians” dont have any say in it other than assisting in the “removal” of the Kroenkes.

  62. Rasp says:

    Bravo Rocky. We should all remember that this farce has nothing to do with the players, the manager and 99% of those employed by Kroenke … but even so, I’m ashamed of our club. Kroenke will not be swayed by fan pressure, he’s already demonstrated that. The only way he will go is if he is offered a good deal.

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