-0-“Soccer’s Global Crisis”
In a country that loves watching the World Cup, the USA, this soccer story out of Europe is hard to grasp, what happened with 9-top teams who tried to break away to form the Euro Super League.
Let me put this in plain English for fans stateside.
What would happen if the Yankees-Dodgers-Mets-Red Sox-Cubs-Cardinals and Giants, among a few others, attempted to leave the American and National League to form their own league to play?
What would happen if the Cowboys-Patriots-Rams-Chiefs-Saints-Packers-Giants-Jets-Miami all packed up and left the NFL, to form their own pro football league?
That is what happened for a 48-hour span in Europe two weeks ago.
The creme-de-la-creme of European football, formed a cartel to break away from their leagues.
It included English powers Manchester City-Manchester United-Chelsea-Hot Spur-Arsenal and Liverpool, announcing they would be founders in the Euro Super League.
They then lured Juventus-AC Milan and Inter-Milan from Italy, plus Atletico-Real Madrid and FC-Barcelona from Spain, plus Paris St-Germain of France.
All the big powers walking away from nearly 100-years affiliations with their leagues, to take part in a 6B-financed league to play each other in season long games.
The deal comes with massive TV rights, guaranteed ticket sales, and international marketing rights to play games abroad.
Each of the teams is legendary. They drive the financial pool that funds all the other smaller teams in the leagues they play in. In essence they were tired of paying the bills for all those who cannot; don’t compete well; don’t draw big crowds; nor TV ratings.
It was met with a monstrous response, all negative within 48-hours.
Legendary coaches condemned saying it would destroy the Champions League, the international competition for each of those powers.
It would financially kill off the leagues that were left behind. it would have a devastating effect of every feeder league in each country.
Fans rioted, storming the gates at Chelsea’s practice facility, doing damage to the building. Fans rioted cancelling a Manchester United-Liverpool EPL-games.
The TV networks renounced the teams and threatened to cancel their contracts.
The EPL, and UEFA responded quickly. Threatening to ban the teams from revenue sharing, ban them from the Champions League, and possibly ban the players who left, from playing for their countries in the every 4th year World Cup, the global event of the sport.
The 6-teams in England caved in, renouncing their deal. So did some of the other global powers.
But there are sanctions. The EPL and UEFA just fined each of the 6-teams in England 15M apiece for breaching their current contracts with the attempted breakaway. They will forefeit 5% of their shared revenue next season. The executives of each of the six franchises were removed from influential spots on key EPL committees.
And they were forced to agree to new documents that could lead to 50-to-100M fines for future conduct violations.
Juventus, Barcelona and Madrid have yet to agree to the penalties, and are still holding out hope a new league can be formed.
It’s bitter, it’s far from over, but the Yankees and Cowboys of pro soccer in Europe won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Pro soccer fans in England, who have spent the last years railing against the invasion of Malcom Glazer (Tampa)..Stan Kroenke (Rams)..Shad Khan (Jaguars)…and John Henry (Red Sox) as owners of EPL teams, set that anger aside to create two weeks of universal hate against all the super powers for their money grab the teams attempted to pull off.
Silly me to spend time worrying about Lionel Messi…Paul Pogboa or Coach Jose Mourinho, people always under the spotlight.
This was quite a story for 48-hours…soccer’s catastrophe on the brink.
A real global crisis, averted, for the time being.