Sunday, July 5, 2009

European Super League Proposal
A Threat to Domestic Leagues

Back in the day, I had FIFA '99 for the PC (in fact, I think it's still loaded on my old Windows 98 SE machine somewhere). And in that game was a cool European Dream League option that allowed you to pick a team and play against 19 other of Europe's elite teams for continental supremacy.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, if he gets his way, is going to owe EA Sports some royalty fees.

Apparently Madrid's big spender wants a real-world version of the Dream League. He's proposing a 16-team European Super League that will pit the best against the best. He promises his scenario would not damage domestic competition. He's also saying that if UEFA doesn't sanction his idea, the Gang of 16 should secede from the union and form its own competition.

The Champions League, Perez says, doesn't always pit the best against the best, and that's what he wants. Perez knows damned well his idea, however, would slaughter Europe's domestic leagues. Why would Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich et. al. field their best teams on Sunday, knowing a gigundo match awaits on Wednesday with a guaranteed full house and big dollars awaiting on a Wednesday.

It's an intriguiging idea, but there are too many variables in the way that make it unfeasible. Players are already stretched thin between domestic, continental and international play that injuries and fatigue end up destroying the quality of play at the end of major tournaments. And what of the next tier below the Gang of 16, whomever that might be? First they cry about not getting into the elite league, then they'll cry for a B Division of the Super League, and soon enough UEFA would capitulate. The money would be too great and the lure too tempting. Pretty soon you'd have relegation between the divisions of the Super League and the Portuguese Liga, Ligue 1 and other smaller leagues would be long lost memories.

Perez needs to go away, sit on his fat wallet and hope to God he wins something with his Galacticos this season. If he does, maybe then he could succeed Platini as UEFA chief and impose his will as he chooses.

Until then, go play FIFA 99; it was pretty fun as I seem to recall.

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1 comment:

Fumas said...

It's all about money my friend, and the scary part is that a league like that might only be a few years away, whether obtained by separation or not.

I agree that it will hurt domestic competition, and that it also hurts competitions like a Euro Cup, and World Cup, where the players often arrive exhausted, injured and more injury prone as you have written.

These long seasons are hurting international competitions as it is.. as an example Man U played 66 official games last season, Chelsea 59, Barcelona 62, only to mention a few.

Do you believe Ronaldo played at 100% at last years Euro? If he had to have surgery immediately after the Euro, it's safe to assume he didn't.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to watch super match ups every wednesday, but I also love the charm of an underdog such as a rosenborg, or a shakhtar in the CL, it adds appeal of the CL.

BTW, EA's FIFA ruled back in the day, today they are a few years behind the PES series. ;)