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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Euro Super League... and EFC

 47 Comments: First  |  Last

It has suddenly struck me that a Euro Super-League is now inevitable. Throughout Europe there is a massive divide between the haves and have-nots (money). Money totally talks. Fifa's and Blatter's problems (I can't think of a suitable way of describing them without being obscene) actually gives an opportunity for Uefa (thinly disguised as the big clubs) to force changes in the power base.

KH Ruminniger has started the campaign, which I believe ultimatey will end up with the all powerfull superleague with money driving everything. Sky et al would certainly follow with all the best players. Where does that leave EFC?

At the moment there is no way we would be included and there is no realistic way this will change. So what will be left is a weakened domestic league which we could do quite well in.

Is this a proposition a good or bad thing?

Tim O'Connell, Birmingham     Posted 28/07/2011 at 20:53:13

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Ray Robinson
1   Posted 28/07/2011 at 23:29:37

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Let the top 5 or 6 f*ck off to the European Super League. Football is about tribalism. I love following Everton to English outposts but only a handful of privileged supporters will be able to afford regular home ties at exorbitant prices against Real Madrid, Barcelona etc and even less to travel regularly to far flung venues. Televised football ignores paying spectators (and hence atmosphere) at its peril.
Steve Abraham
2   Posted 28/07/2011 at 23:45:47

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It's been talked about for years. I can't see it happening to be honest. Too many obstacles. eg cost of travel for teams between countries, loss of travelling support. Also fans would get bored after a while playing the same teams 4 times a year. A bit like the SPL
Hugh Jorgan
3   Posted 28/07/2011 at 23:45:35

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Doubt this will happen in the next ten years. The legal challenge and the counter challenge not mention the appeals by FIFA and the clubs would take years to iron out. It would put football into the disaray that no one wants.

If it did happen, there would be no place for Everton and we would see the slow demise of the club. Young people in the city would support Liverpool as the only representative of the city in the European competition, not immediately but gradually. All the TV money would focus on the Euro competition leaving the rest to scrap over peanuts.

Hope it never comes to that
Bern Ashe
4   Posted 29/07/2011 at 00:33:35

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I seem to remember cricket was theatened by Kerry Packer in some way years ago.
The cricket authorities realising that they couldn't anybody forming their own competion said
"Fine, do it then. But any players are banned from representing our competitions for life, including internationals."
So off a few went, got the bans, and the whole thing was shortlived, eventually folding.
The bans I seem to remember though were lifted later for the "better" players in order to play in internationals. Now why does that last bit not surprise anyone?
John Maxwell
5   Posted 29/07/2011 at 01:09:04

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It'll be great, we'll win the league every year !
John Clarke
6   Posted 29/07/2011 at 05:36:33

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Er! Would the top four get into Europe?
Paul Gladwell
7   Posted 29/07/2011 at 06:52:21

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Hugh, young kids in the city and surrounding areas have chosen them for years mate, its generally those with blue familes that follow the tradition, all these kids with none football loving dads choose the easy route.
Anthony Hughes
8   Posted 29/07/2011 at 07:40:19

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Agree Paul, we're born into Everton, alternatively as you say those without any football in their blood tend to latch onto the redshite.
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 29/07/2011 at 08:17:43

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Look at it this way, if the breakaway league happens it will take the Sky television rights with it and a very large chunk of our income. Remove that and the club can't meet it's debt servicing requirements. The last 12 years have shown the board have no acumen in developing other income routes so this would be pretty terminal to us and quite rapidly

The so called governing bodies have little power as it is, for all their chest puffing and bilious crowing without the high profile football teams and tournaments they are pretty much redundant and their gracy train would grind to a halt.
Danny Biddle
10   Posted 29/07/2011 at 08:31:09

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@ray #1

Most of the rest of Europe dont have a strong away following within their own country, so travel to away games wouldn't bother them at all.

If this "breakaway league" was to happen, wonder if it'll be like the franchises in US where there is no relegation or promotion and teams moving round the continent following owners/money. Or, would they have some sort of promotion/relegation (which the teams wouldn't want), with the lowest placed English team in the Euro league playing the winners of the domestic competition in a cup final type of game?

Thinking about it, do we actually care?
Al Reddish
11   Posted 29/07/2011 at 08:52:43

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I agree with Bern @ 4. If the players are not playing for none FIFA registered clubs, ban the players from the internationals. No world cup would soon turn some of their heads. Also put a wage cap on all clubs not in the new Super League, and when it all goes tits up cuz the likes of the Shite have got themselves deep in debt, either let them fold or they re apply to the proper Leagues and start at the very bottom of Division 2.
Tony J Williams
12   Posted 29/07/2011 at 09:05:19

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Will never happen.
Peter Laing
13   Posted 29/07/2011 at 09:08:30

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My opinion is let them have it, we can then begin to return to some form of normality and sembelance in terms of the beautiful game. At the moment it has been hijacked as a plaything, showpiece or toy for the super rich. The transfers and wages are becoming obscene, the average fan being priced out of the game and treated like a second rate comodity - after all it's all about the tv revenue. In recent years I have become both alienated and disolusioned with football, after all is it still a sport and how fair and competitive is the current spectacle ?
Sur Jo
14   Posted 29/07/2011 at 09:11:41

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It is not going to happen. With leagues all across the continent, you have champions from every league, which in turn, makes the Champions League the way it is.

If you form a Super League then all the elite teams will be concentrated in the same league, and that will mean sure death for clubs from Germany, France, Turkey, Portugal and the likes as they will always be outside of the top 4 or 6 of the Super League. That would mean bad business as Germans, Portuguese, French etc. will not appreciate the Super League...

However, I wish the Super League would have come into being. We would have had a break from the Top 4 or 6 and since we are the best outside that group, we would have been the champion of the domestic league.
Matthew Lovekin
15   Posted 29/07/2011 at 09:07:12

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It's likely to happen unless FIFA give in to a major overhaul of at least European if not World football.

Basically the top 197 clubs in Europe (yes that includes Everton) have a contract with FIFA to play in UEFA run competitions until 2014. Realistically that is not that far away and the top European clubs are starting to plan a breakaway from the corrupt Blatter.

I can honestly see it happening in 2014 and wrote a piece on ToffeeWeb a couple of years ago (titled European Super League) unless Blatter dramatically changes the way FIFA is run.

The real question is where does this leave Everton?
Trevor Mackie
16   Posted 29/07/2011 at 08:48:49

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I don't know about other countries but the indignation here from the "dross" would be immense.
The words "traitors", "scum" etc would trail the shirts of clubs involved as a collective two fingers from the great majority would rise.
The spurned remnants would be galvanised to work together for their own protection and I believe a great opportunity to level the playing field and improve football generally would be taken.
Of course this has been raised before, the replacement of the "European Cup" by the tedium of the "Champions League" has revealed many problems - not only logistics but the lack of real rivalry with some appalling games.
The enthusiasts are the "money men" not stalwart fans of the clubs involved, they know the risk of a "no return" move to Europe. If Everton were invited I'd vote "no chance".

Previous soundings have received a nervous "oh really" from stalwart fans of clubs involved. The present Champions League doesn't set the heart racing
Liam Reilly
17   Posted 29/07/2011 at 09:19:56

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Football evolves just like anything else, though I think this would be a difficult step to implement.

It could possibly begin with a mini-league between countries with less attractive leagues; the Dutch, Austrian, the Baltic?s or even the Scots and the Irish, because that would elevate these leagues to higher more professional standard and likely increase revenue.

This model would surely be watched closely by the major leagues and some form of European League would follow, but it's a long way away.
Chris Matheson
18   Posted 29/07/2011 at 09:54:30

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This could go two ways, depending on how the football "authorities" play it.

As Ray says in No 1, we can let them fuck off, and if FIFA, UEFA, the FA etc stay firm, then their players would be excluded from international matches, they could not enter the domestic cups etc. I agree that after a while their supporters would lose interest.

More dangerous would be a weak FIFA/UEFA/FA who, seduced by the money arguments, would allow the breakaway and try to incorporate it into their structures. This would further siphon cash out of the rest of the game and act as a magnet for the top players, so exacerbating many times the problems we have now.

Even worse would be a scenario where the clubs were allowed to enter a second-string team in the domestic leagues, or simply remain in them at the same time. Again the current situation only many many times worse.

I like Michel Platini and I think he has tried to take on the imbalance in financial strength. But FIFA has no credibility, UEFA is not strong enough and our own FA is too concerned about the money. I think this will happen.

And as for Everton? We missed the train at the start of the PL (which, let's not forget, our own stupid board at the time helped drive to creation); we missed the boat on the Champions League. We are nowhere on this matter. It will indeed be disastrous for us.
Anthony Hughes
19   Posted 29/07/2011 at 10:04:42

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If there was to be a Super League would we not want to be in it? If the top four or five clubs from our country were there what does that leave us with? What if we did have a good chance of winning the league of also rans and leftovers.Where is the kudos in that? We would have even less chance of attracting new owners/investment, we wouldn't get to experience the world's best players in our leftovers league. As it's been said the television money and sponsorship would quickly drain away towards this Super League.
If we're not in it then it will be the death of our club.
Eric Myles
20   Posted 29/07/2011 at 11:15:04

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The report I read (on BBC website) mentions Everton as one of the 10 Premier League Clubs that would probably be in the Super League.
Shaun Brennan
21   Posted 29/07/2011 at 11:49:22

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a super league would be shite.

Liam Reilly
22   Posted 29/07/2011 at 12:11:19

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Eric #20
Paraphrasing but "10 premier league teams in the super league"

I doubt that mate, the league would consist of maybe 16-18 teams and they would likely be made up of the Forbes top 20, which Everton is not a member of and not likely to be, any time soon.

Unless of course there is a tiered divisional set-up where we'll be undoubtedly in Division 2
Steve Collins
23   Posted 29/07/2011 at 12:20:29

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The super league would no doubt be made up of the members of the g18 or g19 as they may be called now.

The group created by the so called elite clubs.

If they were to ever breakaway it would destroy football as we know.

FIFA would ban anyone involved which would include representing their countries in anyway.

Which would in turn destroy the world cup etc...

I have always felt that its no more than a threat by the g18 group to get what they want. Notice how it has been risen again immediately after the FIFA elections.

If they were to remove platini from UEFA and Blatter from FIFA im sure these guys would be happier.
Chris Matheson
24   Posted 29/07/2011 at 12:21:16

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I would not want to be in a Euro Super League, and I wonder if any fans of other clubs would really want it. As Ray said in 1, we are a tribal bunch and that would be lost in a Euro super league. Which is why I think these clubs will try to force a best-of-both-worlds policy and keep a foot in both domestic and Euro-super camps.

I sometimes wonder if the best thing that could happen would be for the Rich 5 to buzz off, get barred from all othe other competitions , and leave the rest of us to get on with it here.
Norman Merrill
25   Posted 29/07/2011 at 12:29:15

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I dont know about super league, it will take super supporters?
The cost of flying to all destinations Super, and cost of tickets etc etc.
And with half the Euro Country's nearly bankrupt, having to be bailed out, I just cannot see it happening.
Michael Lynch
26   Posted 29/07/2011 at 12:28:25

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Let it happen and see how long it lasts. The real fans of any club involved would surely be furious. The gloryhunters would be made up but then again the majority of them are idiots who's opinion does'nt count anyway. I imagine alot of fans groups would end up forming splinter clubs like the mancs did with FC United. Im not worried about this whatsoever.
Shaun Kinnair
27   Posted 29/07/2011 at 12:53:22

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Ian Turner to Preston we have one spare keeper in Mucha. Cutting the wage bill even further.
Liam Reilly
28   Posted 29/07/2011 at 13:20:09

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Here's a thought.

Supposed United, Chelsea, Arsenal, City and the Shite did abandon the PL and maybe even Tottenham, I would wager that our illustrious leaders would contrive to royally fuck up the remaining league and still finish mid-table?

We are Everton after all.
Steve Smith
29   Posted 29/07/2011 at 13:34:39

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The proposal of a European super league might appeal to greedy club owners {as if they haven't got enough money} but will ultimately die, only a few games would be sell outs and very few of those would be stadiums full of genuine supporters of both sides, The appeal of the Premier league to Sky audiences and audiences worldwide, is the the stadiums are generally full-ish and have a partisan atmosphere, watching games take part in empty stadiums doesn't appeal to tv companies, and even less so to supporters unless you actually support that particular team.
Chris Butler
30   Posted 29/07/2011 at 14:56:23

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I agree with it and have long supported it. I'm sick of the corruption and bias to certain clubs like United and Liverpool. The league has become dull and boring, look how shit United and Chelsea were last season yet they finish where they do. We do effectively have a Euro Super League anyway nowadays. I think a good idea would be to have the team that finishes 1st should get promoted. Anyway the Uefa Cup would still continue regardless.
Dennis Stevens
31   Posted 29/07/2011 at 16:38:55

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Surely being dominant in your domestic league is the bread & butter existence for these clubs & european football is the jam on top. It's all based on the big fish from their respective pools playing each other in a 'super'-pool. A euro-league means that a lot of big clubs will suddenly become also-rans against other big clubs & won't have any domestic success to maintain their status. It ain't ever going to happen 'coz it don't make financial sense to do it.
Jon Cox
32   Posted 29/07/2011 at 19:44:44

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Steve (29) correct. I've said this many moons ago but i'll repeat it. This is to do with either a super league (EU) or our own domestic.

In the next few years as the economy sprals into a black hole fewer a fewer people will have the disposable income with which they will be able to buy tickets. This will without doubt upset the TV merchants.

So, with grounds becomming more and more empty, no atmosphere will be generated to the viewers sat at home. Therfore people at home will eventually switch over and check out the amazing all afternoon BB effin C syncronized swimming trials. OH, problem for the footy execs and how to solve.

Of course Jeremy has it all worked out.

We just cut or copy and paste the full stadii bit. Tarquin in the sound dept will add the sound (crowd noise) fx and the fuckin world will be fooled yet again.

This shite, by the way has already happened. Hockey. As in Hockey it would be very foolish for the TV dicks to go down this road and treat us like fools.

Having said all that, they, useless twats that they are will still try it,

You heard it on TW first.


PS the day my Everton wear a ring of yellow stars on a blue background will be the day that i'm one ex EFC supporter !
Craig Harrison
33   Posted 30/07/2011 at 05:34:16

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It will never happen for the simple reason there wouldn't be enough trophies to be won. At the moment clubs like Real, Barca, Manure, Cheski Milan etc all win their domestic competitions then compete In Europe. Glory hunting fans latch onto this. If it was a Super League with one or two cup competitions, only one or two of the teams would win. The other clubs would loose fans which = money.
Chris Matheson
34   Posted 30/07/2011 at 08:40:13

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Craig, that's why I have said they will try to keep a foot in both camps, current domestic and new Euro-super. And with their financial and political clout, and the craven lack of bottle of the other clubs, they will most likely get away with it.
David Hallwood
35   Posted 30/07/2011 at 10:05:59

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Yes I got dem ol' two weeks before kick off nuttin to talk about blues
Ernie Baywood
36   Posted 30/07/2011 at 12:27:04

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People act like this isn't happening.

Straight knockout
One group stage
Two group stages

Salami tactics - slice by slice. The Premier League isn't the big prize for these teams now, it's just the formailty they have to go through to get to the real stuff.

Personally I hate Euro football. It's dull as fuck nowadays. No contrasting styles, exotic players, they're all playing the same boring style.

And I don't care whether we're playing against Manchester Utd. Let them eventually fuck off and I'll cheer the rest of us competing in a domestic league.
Michael Brien
37   Posted 30/07/2011 at 12:08:01

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So a European Super League - the top 14 or 16 Eurpean clubs - sounds good doesn't it.?But Craig #33 has a valid point I think.

And consider this what do you think the attendance would be for Manchester United v Bayern Munich would be if say they were 8th & 9th ? What would the TV interest be ? As Craig says there wouldn't be enough trophies. They can't all be winners can they ? And if you had a European Super League - somebody would finish bottom of the League wouldn't they? Quite possibly it would be a big name club that wouldn't be used to struggling. Let's see if Old Trafford, The Emirates, Stamford Bridge etc would be full every match if the home club was out of contention or even struggling.

I doubt whether the plight of Rushden & Diamonds and Wrexham or before them Chester City attracted much interest to the mega rich clubs in the Premier League.But it should do - as they say a chain is as strong as its weakest link. The likes of Man United and Chelsea think that they don't need the other clubs - but I think they would be wise to reconsider.

The "Sky Boom" is just that ;a boom that can't last, that has very little solid foundation. Sooner or later the Sky TV Barons will cosy up to whatever the next " big thing " in sport is. Football has all but sold it's soul to Sky and the promises of untold riches. Let's see how they fare when the going gets tougher in the worsening World Financial situation. Let's see how good a partner Sky TV proves to be - no doubt their loyalty will prove to be shallow.

Over the last 10 years the FA Cup has diminished in importance thanks to the "bigging up" of the Champions League. The likes of Man United will give a greater priority to a group match in the CL rather than an FA Cup match - even a meaningless group game - and there are many of them. Do you really think that if Man United finished 6th they wouldn't get in to the Champions League. There would be some rule change that allowed in former winners, something like that.

If they want to go and form such a so called Super League, I say let them do so. I would give it 5 years to last, Chelsea v Barcelona sounds appealing and special - but every season ? No it would soon lose it's " glamour". I like profiteroles - but if I had them for pudding every day I would soon grow tired of them.

The European Cup was special - but the Champions League Format is fast destroying that, as I said to play Barcelona/Real Madrid/Ajax/Bayern Munich etc is special but when you play them twice every year it begins to lose it's uniqueness. Maybe there was some truth in what Marx said about Capitalism - it contains within it the seeds of its own destruction - the same applies I think to a Eurpean Super League.
Michael Brien
38   Posted 30/07/2011 at 12:36:04

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Or even a European Super League !!!
And that's Weight Watchers Profiteroles for me now !!!!!! ( And certainly not evey day !!!)
Brian Waring
39   Posted 30/07/2011 at 12:54:26

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It would be devestating for the premier league and the other teams if the Mancs, Chelsea, Arsenal, the shite etc were to go to a super league.

The prem would just become like the Belgian league, dutch league etc, average.

Eugene Ruane
40   Posted 30/07/2011 at 13:46:11

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Brian Waring (39) - In my opinion, the PL IS shite. Seriously, I don't buy any of that Sky propaganda about the EPL being "the most competitive..etc". What exactly is good or competitive about a league (ANY league) that only a handful of teams can win? Fact is Everton and most other teams in the PL CAN'T win it, which makes the whole thing unfair and kind of pointless. I'd be happy to go Michael Briens 'let 'em get on with it' (37). In fact I'd buy into anything that put an end to groundhog day.
Brian Waring
41   Posted 30/07/2011 at 14:10:34

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I agree Eugene on all the shite hype about the prem.

In this day and age though, its all about the money and the glamerous side of it, and if, say the top 6 from last season went, so would all the cash for the not so well off clubs. All the better players would go also, IMO attendances would drop.

If the top 6 went, couldn't it still be groundhog day, wouldn't the better clubs still left, just take over the mantle, and keep winning everything?

Take out the top 6 from last season, your left with us, Wigan, Stoke, WBA, Q,P,R , Swansea, Norwich, Wolves, Blackburn, Fulham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Villa and Bolton. Seriously, you would be left with maybe 3 - 4 teams who could win everything. Wouldn't it again, become unfair and pointless, and therefore, groundhog day?
Michael Brien
42   Posted 30/07/2011 at 20:04:17

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Brian- there might be a big hype about a European Super League and all the usual " razzamataz". But I honestly think it would be short lived. It might be very hard for Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool to accept, they may not even acknowledge the fact - but it is a FACT - the game of Football is bigger than those clubs.

History tells us that only 6 years after winning the European Cup a ceratin Manchester United were relegated. Only this year the biggest club in Argentina ( apologies to Boca Juniors) River Plate were relegated. The so called "Sky 4 or is it 5" would be wise to show a little humility. A European Super League would fail in the long run - as I said let's see if Old Trafford is full to capacity if they are out of contention or struggling at the wrong end of the table. Even in a ESL they can't all win the title can they ? Somebody would have to finish bottom.

And as regards the better players - well look at Manchester City - 3 years ago it was Robinho who was the "lead superstar" - then it was Tevez and Adebayor - now the lad they have just signed for £38M. They can only play 11 and most players would rather be playing no matter how good the money is - Parker and Sidwell looked to be onto a good thing when they joined Chelsea - but the move messed up both their careers.

And as regards 3 or 4 teams dominating in a League minus the Sky 5- personally I think there would be more than just 3 or 4 teams in contention. As I said the game is bigger than the "Sky 5" - and if they want to leave and join a Eurpean Super League- then good riddance to them. Watch them come back within 5 years with their tails between their legs!!!!
Michael Brien
43   Posted 30/07/2011 at 20:24:05

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Brian - the Bundesliga in Germany has the highest average attendance of any major European League. They do not have many so called international/world class superstars/big names. I would reckon that they have less big names superstars than the Premier League, La Liga in Spain or Italy's Serie A. Yet the Bundesliga has a higher average attendance - doesn't that tell you something? Namely that the game is bigger than all of the superstar players.
Brian Waring
44   Posted 31/07/2011 at 09:44:21

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Michael, the game is bigger than all the superstar players, but it is mainly all the top clubs in their respective leagues that have the superstar players. Take away the top teams, you take away the players that draw the crowds, especially new supporters.

The clubs below the top 5, I can imagine their highest gate is when they play any of the top 5, therefore bringing in more cash.

Sky would quickly jump ship, so we would end up with an average league, and a poor one fianancially. Without the cash, how would the teams with huge debt survive? Could we continue to pay Arteta, Moyes and the other high earners huge salaries?

I struggled to come up with more than 4 teams who would 'genuinely' have a chance to win the league without the top 5.

One thing I would agree on, is good riddance if they decided to walk away.
Brian Waring
45   Posted 31/07/2011 at 10:42:42

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It shows how much pull the top clubs have, when a friendly between Man Utd and Barcelona in Washington DC can draw a crowd of 82,000, this in a country where football is way, way down on their sporting list.
Michael Kenrick
46   Posted 31/07/2011 at 16:17:51

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Brian, it puts our pathetic pre-season attendances in the US into context, that's for sure. But the yanks do turn out for the big games ? the best attended World Cup is still 1994, held where???

The British mindset that "soccer" is not a major sport for a substantial portion of people in the US is about 20 years behind the times. A whole generation played the game through high school and college, combined with more than a generation of European and Latino immigrants who are much more determined to be true to their roots rather than adopt throwball, netball and rounders.

It's just that our level of appeal is way down there somewhere, with zero marketing of the Howard & Donovan factor providing zero leverage for us with yer average Joe Public on Main Street.
Robert Daniels
47   Posted 07/08/2011 at 06:57:30

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Apparently, Bill Kenwright's new West End production, is called.....

Pack of lies!

You couldn't make it up, could you?

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