Greed, Greed, Greed and yet more Greed - When Will It Stop

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Smudger, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Can you imagine Bayern Munich withdrawing from the Bundesliga, Germany's national football league, and only playing away games in places like Barcelona and Madrid from now on? Can you picture a battle for the German league championship without the best players and best teams? Is it conceivable that the country's most successful team is involved in the planning of a European "Super League," and perhaps even exploring whether it can withhold its players from the German national team? Completely implausible, right?

    Wrong. In 2016, FC Bayern spent months forging its plan for a Super League with the most powerful and the richest football clubs in Europe. They managed to keep under wraps just how meticulously they were pursuing an elite league for quite some time, but now the secret's out. Confidential documents show that many top clubs are still pursuing plans for a Super League.

    Starting today, DER SPIEGEL, in cooperation with 14 other European news organizations, will publish a series of disclosures about the "dirty deals" of the football world. Dozens of articles will dive deep into the business of European football -- a billion-euro industry. German public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) also participated in the project and will air a 60-minute (German language) documentary on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 21:45 p.m.

    The revelations are based on data from the Football Leaks platform, which made the information available exclusively to DER SPIEGEL for evaluation. The newsmagazine then shared it with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) network and with NDR. It is the biggest leak ever reported on by investigative journalists, and the results of that work lay bare the inner-workings of a corrupt industry.


    Representatives of the football sector reject the charge they are doing football fans a disservice. Indeed, they continue to speak publicly about transparency, fairness and common values. But in the end, their values seem to be more focused on money than morals.

    What does FC Bayern Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have to say about those much-described values? The same Rummenigge who, in a memorable press conference on Oct. 19, invoked the first article of the German constitution to demand "respect" for veteran football players. Rummenigge, the Football Leaks documents show, was instrumental in the preparation of a revolution against UEFA by the largest European clubs. And he did so while keeping it secret from the European Club Association (ECA), which represents the interests of more than 200 European clubs, despite being chairman of that organization. This week, the investigative series reveals:
    • that FC Bayern Munich checked whether and how it could leave the Bundesliga to join a European "Super League;"
    • that FC Bayern explored its legal options for withdrawing its players from the German national team;
    • that Rummenigge's closest confidante negotiated a reform with the football association UEFA, which has made rich clubs even richer and competition in Europe even more unfair;
    • that at the same time, the Bavarians made plans to reverse this very reform;
    • that Bayern Munich, together with 15 other leading European clubs, appears on a draft of a "binding term sheet," which foresees the creation of a European Super League;
    • and that this term sheet, according to a draft, is intended to be signed in November 2018.
    The investigative reports are protected under Article 5 of the German constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press. Here you can read the full story about Rummenigge's surreptitious efforts.

    The around 80 journalists who sifted through and evaluated the Football Leaks trove describe a football industry at a crossroads. After years of corruption scandals and power struggles, the sport's functionaries have weakened themselves to such a degree they must now fear being swept away entirely. The top clubs are in the midst of a major power grab. If they succeed, it will be the end of the football world as we know it. A private league geared toward the rich would ultimately siphon money away from national competitions and the best players would switch to the Super League. Clubs around Europe with lower profiles, such as Mainz 05, FC Valencia or Benfica Lissabon would fade into insignificance.

    And what about the football associations? For years, they have posed as responsible guardians of the rules and transparent governments of the sport. UEFA has imposed strict rules on clubs to restore financial competitiveness between smaller and larger clubs. And FIFA, the global football organization? It has promised a fresh start following the scandals surrounding its former president, Sepp Blatter. It insisted it would reform itself and move past the days of corruption and cronyism once and for all.

    But that was all a false front. The investigation shows how the most powerful man in football, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, secretly obstructed and torpedoed the work of his own regulators.

    The Football Leaks documents reveal how he:

    • did favors for a friend, a senior public prosecutor, who returned the favor;
    • interfered with the drafting of a new code of ethics and watered it down;
    • championed a $25 million project, known as "Trophy," even though as president he wasn't supposed to be involved in the operational business;
    • exerted pressure internally so that money was paid in advance to associations in violation of rules;
    • and protected submissive subordinates and fired critics.
    Here is the full story about Infantino's "work" at FIFA.

    DER SPIEGEL and the EIC describe in meticulous detail how Infantino, as then-secretary general of UEFA, thwarted his own organization's investigators in order to take the side of the clubs Manchester City (ManCity) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), both owned by emirates in the Gulf.

    Both clubs are blatantly controlled by authoritarian governments of super-rich Gulf states. Thousands of pages of Football Leaks documents prove:

    • ManCity and PSG systematically violated FIFA's financial fair play rules for years;
    • Infantino, as UEFA general secretary, buckled under pressure from Abu Dhabi and Qatar and allowed the clubs from Manchester and Paris to operate with virtual impunity;
    • UEFA meted out only mild punishments to the two clubs and did not expel either of them from the Champions League as it did with smaller clubs;
    • Infantino -- despite an obligation to strict neutrality -- secretly met for negotiations with club bosses from Paris and Manchester;
    • he fed internal association info to the clubs and cleared the way for "settlements," although he was not authorized to do so;
    • that he thus systematically undermined UEFA's own oversight procedures and bodies.
    In other words: Infantino trampled the values of the sport. Here is the in-depth feature on his activities.

    The revelations that DER SPIEGEL and the European Investigative Collaborations network are now publishing affect anyone who provides the football industry with money, whether it 5 euros a month for Eurosport broadcasts, 10 euros for Dazn, 30 euros for Sky, 50 euros for a seat in a stadium or 90 euros for their favorite team's jersey. The money from marketing deals and TV broadcasts -- not to mention injections of state money -- have attracted shady characters who negotiate horrendous commissions for themselves while being shrouded by confidential contracts. Football Leaks will pull back the curtain on many of them.

    The revelations of the coming weeks will also show the unvarnished face of "football capitalism," which in many ways is not unlike a debt-financed speculative bubble. It spreads all the way to developing countries to secure underage talent and bet on their careers like one would bet on the stock market.

    The reports of the coming weeks will also reveal the positive doping tests of a multiple Champions League winner as well as the tax avoidance models of some Premier League titans.

    Bayern have ruined German football. Now they along with several other clubs are trying to push this Super League through. Not based on merit but purely on how much income can be generated with no chance of promotion or relegation.

    It has received an overwhelmingly negative response from fans of the so called founder clubs but these clubs are looking to a global market. Perhaps it is all a bargaining ploy for these clubs who have rendered domestic competitions worthless, turned the CL into effectively a closed shop to gain more money from UEFA.

    If it did go ahead and fell on it's backside those clubs should be forced to enter the respective national pyramids at the very bottom. The British government has already revealed it's opposition to this sort of plan. Perhaps if teams like Bayern did not hoover up all the best players from other clubs and the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid had a fair TV deal in Spain they could actually enjoy the meaning of competitive football.

    What is also very disturbing is the links Infantino has had in manipulating decisions to allow the Gulf funded teams to bypass FFP while hitting other clubs like Roma and those in eastern Europe with sanctions. One rule for some another for the rest. Not to mention once more the shady deals in the background to send the World Cup to Qatar in 2022. Step up would be Napoleon Bonaparte Sarkozy and his buffooned friend Platini. Infantino is just as bad as Blatter.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  2. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    No wonder they want a European Super league so these clubs can then do what they like..
  3. Aberystwyth_Hornet

    Aberystwyth_Hornet Squad Player

    It'll be interesting how they select teams, if it's based on current success massive clubs like Leeds and Forest will have to accept they can never be big again. But joking aside who would be from UK?
    I'd suggest one of the top 4 from each city so based on attendance as well as recent and historic success Arsenal, United and Liverpool. Though I imagine it's the plastic clubs chelski and citeh pushing for this type of league
  4. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Cheery reading!
  5. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Pretty much those teams you mention really with Real Madrid and Barca getting the biggest splice of the pie so to speak.

    UEFA and FIFA aren't happy about this and threaten to ban players from the World Cup and Euro Championships!

    But doubt their sponsors would allow that - a World Cup without the best in the world...
  6. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    It is sad what money had done to the ideals of sport at the top levels. It's all about making more money and more of it. As if they don't have enough of it to put into the pockets of average players, agents and other nefarious characters. There is already an over saturation of the market but we have to put up with Nations Leagues, new World Club Leagues and other Infantino schemes which are no doubt are aimed at enriching a select few. Such ideas miss the point football was all about. A sense of locality and community replaced by an entertainment brand for fans who are never likely in their whole lifetime to attend a home match.

    It's all about as in much of life making the rich richer and the poor poorer. After all we still have the so called big six moaning that they should earn more of the PL cake because they attract more viewers globally. The PL success is down to their branding and thats what football is now. Branding and entertainment. Many idiots around the world would be happy to see a few superclubs packed with stars playing a live action version of FUT.

    The whole idea would kill football and have enormous ructions on every level from the international stage to the lowest. Players unable to play for national sides due to being barred by continental associations, clubs not bothering anymore to develop players as what is the point for devalued competitions. The model has been tried with ice hockey.

    The Russian KHL has included teams like Jokerit Helsinki and Slovan Bratislava. Initially it was embraced by fans of those clubs as exciting. Now very few travel to away games given that they can be in the middle of Siberia ie Omsk and they miss the local rivalries they used to have and not mentioning that from being powerhouses in their national leagues they cannot compete for instance with SKA St.Petersburg or Kazan. Crowds have declined substantially. The issue with football is no doubt these clubs would be looking to negotiate deals themselves and tap into the huge audiences in China, India and growing viewers in South America for their own benefit to enrich themselves further.
  7. Guy

    Guy Squad Player

    A disgrace on every level

    I,m old school and much preferred days of European cup, uefa cup and cup winners cup.
    Who really cares about much of the qualifying stages of the champions League and anything about the Europa League?

    Can,t imagine fans of the so called elite wanting to play foreign clubs all the time. what about ticket prices, no doubt these would go up and who would want to support their team away from home once the novelty has worn off?
  8. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    The fact that Arsenal are one of the teams driving this despite winning one minor European trophy of note in their entire history speaks volumes of why this is being proposed.

    Let them all go. If these teams think that the casual Champions League fans will follow them, then they are horribly mistaken. I'd not miss any of the teams that have been mentioned in the Premier League.

    It'll be a complete disaster, especially when all the clubs that currently win their divisions realise that they can't win every year, like they do now, it'll slump both in terms viewing figures and financially. The clubs will be begging their national leagues to take them back and I'd hope that they'd be told to go **** themselves.
    wfcmoog, FromDiv4 and Cthulhu like this.
  9. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    But only if they have relegation/promotion to/from the SuperDuper league - the lowest placed "national" side has to go - imagine the fury if "our" teams are the top six in the table and the sixth had to go...
  10. NemoNemo

    NemoNemo First Year Pro

    It’s weird really because coming bottom of this super league could have damaging effects on a team such as recruitment of players, huge investment in failure, bad atmosphere, etc, and it could very well happen to anyone. It’s a bit like a player leaving a club where he is biggest fish in the pond happy as Larry to being a bit part squad player at a bigger club on more money but depressed and stagnating your career. The grass ain’t always greener but the money always is
  11. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Spot on. The key is to make it crystal clear that you have to rejoin your national league at the bottom of the pyramid. Make it clear to them what they are risking. Pretty sure the football associations will be cowards though.
  12. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

  13. a19tgg

    a19tgg Reservist

    If their is relegation how would it work, what if all the British clubs finish top half, but the lowest placed team is relegated back to the league? Or would it just be the bottom three clubs regardless of nation?

    If it was the latter then conceivably it could take years and years to qualify for it, what would the prize be for finishing top of the remaining premier league? Qualification for a watered down champions league?

    If there is no relegation, then that would just be pathetic.
  14. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

  15. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

  16. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    There will be no relegation because the sh*t Milan clubs know they’ll be kicked out of their own utopia instantly before failing to requalify by finishing below Fiorentina, Lazio and Roma. They are utterly useless over many seasons.
  17. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

  18. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    The fact that a club can win the Champions League without being champions tells you all you need to know about modern football.
  19. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    I think it says more about the misleading name of the tournament rather than the state of modern football.
    wfc4ever and Keighley like this.
  20. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    The original name of the European cup would be more suited!!

    Mind you in rugby they call their version the Championship cup too ..
  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There is but given the revenue the PL drags into the country I would expect something going on behind the scenes. Given the role football has in the UK I am sure some MP's would speak out about it in Parliament as well. It certainly does not stop the FIFA bigwigs from fraternizing with politicians especially those of a rather shady character .
    Bwood_Horn likes this.
  22. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

    As others have said.
    Let Chelsea and City etc go and do it. Good riddance.

    You lose any local rivalries.
    Itll get boring.
    Barca ( and maybe real, Bayern will win every year)

    Perpetual away games in Europe all the time forever. Who is going to go and travel to that.
    price out, by travel alone, the average man.

    No Manchester derby
    No London derbies.

    chuck them out, don't let them back unless they come through non-league
  23. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    I think we should have a referendum now, before any details are known. European league - In or out. Then stick with the decision no matter how close and irrespective of whether the facts and details change or rules are broken in electioneering.
  24. And if the decision is Out, the Big Six behind it all can then relocate to Dublin or Amsterdam, or wherever takes their fancy - and their fans can live with every match being an away match.

    Come to think of it, that's life for most ManUre fans anyway...
  25. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    I think a super league made up of the big clubs carries no where near the potential prestige, nor makes the same sense, it would have 15-20 years ago. Football is completely saturated and over-exposed now. I don't think the grass is greener if they all club together. Their games will end up on PPV type television with low audience numbers, there will be no great drama or history behind it and I expect some of the lesser lights will come crawling back after a few years.

    That said, I'm not convinced these sorts of things are ever more than negotiating tactics by the big clubs. Take the Premier League - the big 6 can't get their own way on distribution of tv revenue, which they want tilted more towards them, because it needs 14 clubs to vote for a rule change. You might get 1 or 2 suck ups or dreamers going for it but most won't. But if they threaten to take their ball home and withdraw altogether I expect they think they can get their own way without ever having to carry the threat through.

    I hope everyone else just faces them down and dares them to leave. Obviously they'd have to resign from the league and forfeit participation in any national league or competition. I think it'd be hilarious watching them all think they've ascended to a higher plain of existence when actually they've drifted into insignificance.
    HappyHornet24, Jumbolina and Cthulhu like this.
  26. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    Havent they been pushing the European super league for decades? The Champions LEAGUE as it's called now.

    I know it would be a different scenario if there was to be a break away.. but it shouldn't come as any great shock.
  27. FromDiv4

    FromDiv4 Reservist

    I thought the champions league was a change made to satisfy the teams who wanted to break away. It seems they are still not happy.

    Time to call their bluff, propose a return to the original European competitions (straight knock out), if they don’t like it leave.

    I am tired of the whole football structure being set up for the benefit of a hand full of teams.
    Cthulhu likes this.
  28. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Somebody ITK once let slip that the entire sky operation was built on the clubs, pubs and societies who have the "Guinness Glass" subscriptions - "Joe and Jane" public's purchase of sky packages really doesn't matter "much" to the bottom line.

    I can honestly imagine the SuperDuper league going to Facebook (or the next Facebook) and being shown for nowt "just" full access to your data, buying habits during the match (Pizza/Beer deliveries), choosing adverts, "quizzes" and in-play gambling...
  29. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Also the money they crave is not real. So they would increase their TV revenue to £300m, let's say, but then, just to be able to compete in this Super League, you'd need to spend that and more. There's no more net profit, no more players than there are now, just increased prices and higher wages for a very select few.

    The only people who I can see actually benefiting are the very elite players at the very top clubs, who could probably earn even more than they do now. As long as they don't drop out of the elite.
  30. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

  31. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    I see Martin Samuel has come out in defence of Man City....yet he thinks we are bad for English football (or did) just because we brought a few overseas players?

    Ah I forgot - we are little old Watford who aren't supposed to be the in the Premier league and should only exist to help the big boys buy young players from us which Man City did of course!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    Smudger likes this.
  32. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The guy is probably on the gravy train. No doubt pampered to the nines at the Etihad. This however makes for sinister reading. How Manchester City managed to subvert the FFP rules by increasing sponsorship payments disguised as income when they are actually just monies from the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.

    I think PL clubs should consider taking action against Manchester City. It is quite amusing to see fans of that club who would be nothing more than a middling PL club at best without the riches bestowed upon them trying to defend themselves. Hitting out at Manchester United and their offshore accounts while United fans and they do have a point in this case point at the petrodollars. The same applies to PSG.

    Infantino is without a doubt as shady a character as Blatter. These money mad administrators have no real connection to football at all.
    wfc4ever likes this.
  33. Timbers

    Timbers Apeman

    The Champions League it pretty much finished anyway nowadays on TV, I didn't even know there was any on this eve until I clicked on the BBC homepage when I got in from work and what is with the 5.55KO? Asian markets?

    BT viewing figures are awful, there is a lot of talk that when the next TV deal comes round, they will not bid for it as the price is too much. They have even joined up with SKY to allow SKY to sell BT Sport for them through in the next few months as opposed to buying through BT as they need the subscribers so much. The major teams are just doing this to get a bigger share of the TV money (I can see a champion, champions league being set up instead, which is basically the old European Cup), who wants to see AC Milan v Bayern in a half empty stadium 4 times a season? The recent Croatia v England game showed how much fans add to the TV spectacle, these Super League games will just be full of your prawn sandwich brigades, no atmosphere and little TV revenue after a few seasons.
  34. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    1755ko is apparently a mix of appealing to the Asian market and the idea that European viewers will essentially be able to watch two games instead of one.

    The next tv deal isn't due until 2021/22. BT actually bid and won the exclusive rights again only last year. Bar the odd free to air morsel its all behind their paywall. It's bonkers.
  35. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    The way the EPL tv monies are divvied up are iniquitous.

    The unattractive, weaker teams are hugely over remunerated.

    Product theft is rampant. Watching illegal streams is now a global hobby. As if half the people in the country went to a supermarket at 3pm on a Saturday & grabbed a free basket’s worth.

    The big teams are being short changed.

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