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Gazidis says Arsenal could join breakaway league.

It looks like the insanity and greed of those who run football (in terms of the leagues and associations) is starting to impact on the real centres of football: the clubs.

Of course the clubs are not all sweet darlings themselves – and we spend much of our time here debating the lunatic actions of Manchester United and Liverpool in terms of club management.

But now maybe, at last, the backlash has begun.

There have been rumblings in Scotland for years.  Celtic have said their situation is so dire they would join Division 4 of the Football League just to get out of the SPL, while Rangers (who from my limited amount of Scottish football knowledge appear to be as bust as some English clubs) say that they will be out of the SPL within 10 years.

That’s the background rumble.  But now there’s something more.  The big players – the clubs that get through the group stages of the Champs League most years, they are saying that they will break away.

It came about because of a typical FIFA piece of gibberish spouted from one of its infinite number of “vice presidents”.  This time it was for a maximum wage – the thing that footballers spent years fighting – and something that our old friend Henry Norris was against.

FIFA often talk these days about level playing fields, and this time Jack Warner announced that it could only be gained through the maximum wage.

Of course the rule at FIFA is that when you have made one stupid statement you should not leave it there.  He also called for player quotas based on the FIFA nationality rules (such as where your grandmother was born) and for money to be paid by clubs to the country of origin of players (country of origin of course being different from the country you might play for).

This is typical FIFA speak, but clearly Arsenal and others have had enough.   Ivan Gazidis told a Guardian reporter that “the current peace accord under which European football is operating would be broken if heavy regulation is introduced.”

The article was tucked away in the depths of the paper’s web site – and yes I know that the Guardian is written by journalists and thus suspect.  But this particular journalist tends to write stories that are real – he misses out stories that don’t fit his view of the world, but the one’s he covers always have the ring of truth.

Mr Gazidis’ comments were seemingly backed up elsewhere – a spokesman from AC Milan was quoted along similar lines.  So it does look like the fact that under the surface the old grouping of football’s major clubs still exists, and Arsenal is right in there with them.

The benefit of a Mega League is more than apparent this weekend.  No internationals.  No more stealing Theo and then injuring him while sitting him on the bench, returning him to the club to make him better, letting him play 20 minutes and then taking him away again to injure him once more.

No more destroying of Arshavin, letting us do the repair work, and then just as he delivers one fine performance, sending him off to the Russian/German front line.

We would, at last, be able to see much of our first team without the horrors of pathetic, childish, pointless friendlies the week before our league starts.

And we would escape the Terror of Triesman and his cronies and the whole crazed fit and proper person business.

A league of the top clubs in Europe could be utterly brilliant – a mix of styles and approaches, with no more “team bus parking” teams.  Why should we not have Real Madrid, Barca, Inter and the like in our league?   Of course it means we don’t get to play the Tiny Totts, but we could always have a reserve league, operating a bit like Diddly Cup, so our kiddies could play their first team a couple of times a year.

Meanwhile, back in the past, there’s the story of the first piece of evidence found which led to the view that Arsenal’s history of 100 years ago, as commonly written in most text books, is simply not true.   As usual it is on www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

25 comments to Gazidis says Arsenal could join breakaway league.

  • jazbo

    Sounds like a good idea to me, it makes my blood boil to have our season messed up by stupid international 2 week breaks and the so called friendlies that always mean our top players are coming back injured or too knackard to play and important league match.

    A mega league would also give us the oppertunity to see the games we realy want to see, like Arsenal V Real or Inter Milan, or one the big German teams, the Emirates would be a a real bear pit for those fans from Europe who came to support their teams and vice versa, no more Bolton’s and Blackburns or Hull City no more fat Sam and his park the bus and kick lumps out of good playes tactics.

    So lets not wait another ten years for the best thing to happen to football since it became a proffesional buisness.

    Bring it on the sooner the better!!!

  • anup

    very nice article tony…

  • jazbo

    Off topic but it seems that Arsenal TV rights have been taken up by
    MP & Silva an international sports media Company who also have the rights to Aston Villa, Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan.
    For more information the link is below.

    http://www.eufootball.biz/Television/7626-arsenal_tv_rights_mp_silva.html

  • diceman1984

    I don’t know…..

    To me, it’d be good to see those big games all the time but I like the league just the way it is. It is great that in the future it can happen but it’s so great that the league that we’re in produce some spectacular games……sometimes a West Ham vs. Sunderland is much more fun than Inter vs. Barca (as I saw how boring it was a few weeks back).

    It’s nice though that we’re one of the big clubs and are always welcomed when considering BIG teams in Europe……and it’s Wenger who has done that for us since he took charge.

  • walter

    Well I would have a problem with that mega league at first.
    I really hate the Blackburn and Bolton approach but on the other hand…. how sweet it is when we destroy them on the pitch…

    And I really do think that most of those players will still play for their countrys as well. As long as Fifa organises a world cup, the best players will like to win and play it.
    I really think it would be a better option to stop organising and playing world- and European cup and play in the PL and the CL with Arsenal.
    But this would mean that Fifa and uefa put themselves to an end and I don’t see that happening.

  • The Super League would work as long as Moaninho’s banned from it. Otherwise he’ll introduce his “shit-on-a-stick” brand of football, and ruin the whole brand.

  • Frichie

    Only issue I would forsee is, who the f*** could afford to travel to away games…but then again The Super 14 rugby is a great format of NZ,Aus and SA teams, so i dont think it would be a complete failure.

  • Lud Vic

    I can’t see this happening any time soon without a major shake up of footballs governing bodies.

    What we should do in the mean time to avoid these terribly timed international break(my heart)s
    Is play a qualification tournament during closed season. Get it all done and dusted in the course of 2 weeks.
    I for one would get quite exited to have that much football played in a short space of time. Gives a much better idea of who can handle the pressure instead of 2 years of protracted playoff’s in the middle of no where only to qualify and then get knocked out by Portugal in the semi’s just when the heat is turned up (well maybe not this time ha ha ha ha!!!)

  • lordgunner

    jazbo absoluty rubbish

    i really don’t want this super league.people who think you will be watching great matches because all big team playing you are killing yourself.watch champions league game and only few are worth watching.and some of this big team have to finish bottom of this “super league”, do you think supporters will accept that on the long run…..no of course.
    football is not about the big team only ,i love watching small team beating the best , that’s why football is great.
    and what about team who come from smaller league or other division, what s the point building a squad if this big team leave
    And more, who s gone be selected to play this league .too many question to let this to happen.i m against and hope it never happened

    as for international friendly just a quote from Aimee Jacquet(french coach euro96/WC98): we were world champion of friendly match now we are world cup winner.
    anyway it seem most complain come from English club.i m not a fan of them but they have been here for a long time l, live with it. if you dont like international match dont buy good players

  • walter

    sorry to go off topic, but are you also living in a boring world these days.
    JC, whatever happens to football and mega or minor leagues as long as Arsenal exist I don’t give a …. whatever.
    As long as I can see the games on my tv or on my pc life is good. My football live that is.
    So I will follow the Arsenal where ever they go, mega league or not. If I like it or not there always will be only one team in London for me.
    Just let me know in time. 😉

    Would like to agree on the poster, Frichie, that said how we would pay all the travelling. Will it become a rich mans game then ?
    Will, Jan met de pet (dutch expression – Joe with the cap – Tony should have a clue what I mean), be left outside the stadiums in that case ?

  • stuartlondon

    An Arsenal First Team comprising our most accomplished and experienced players, playing in the Super League, and an Arsenal Second Team comprising our most talented academy players, playing in the EPL, perhaps?

    It could solve the problem of how to provide our talented younger players with opportunities to play meaningful football, until they are ready to graduate to full time first team duties.

    We would still have access to entertaining home matches, with all the traditional rivalries preserved, played by a young team whose members were ambitious to prove themselves and progress to the Super League. It might also increase income to the club.

    As for travel costs, it is no more expensive to travel to parts of Europe than to many locations in the UK. But the Super League away matches would need to be scheduled for weekends to avoid the necessity to take time off work.

    Could such an arrangement work?

  • LRV

    FIFA & UEFA need to be cleaned up. There are far too many corrupt lunatics and greedy bastards in that fold to render any sensible tournament organised by those bodies ineffectual. They are constantly meddling in lopsided ways. The FA models itself along the lines of those two, which renders it valueless.

    Honesty and transparency is urgently required. A review of their rules is also urgently required. One such review that will benefit all clubs is that “Each country’s FA shall pay all rehabilitation costs, including wages, of any player who gets injured while representing them in any tournament for the entire duration of the rehabilitation.” This will ensure that FA will take carefull considerations before (a) calling up players for needless friendlies; (b) carelessly using unfit players (who are not 100% fit), especially when they miss matches for their clubs. FAs will also no longer be able to ignominously dump expensive players injured while in their care on the clubs.

    As for the Arsenal TV rights, I am absolutely livid that while Chelsea, Man-IOU and even Liverpolock can successfully run their club TV channels here in the UK, my Arsenal condemns our vast supporters to staying glued to a computer monitor to watch anything Arsenal. This is not good enough at all. So what’s the point of me even looking at a TV right that does not include the UK? Shouldn’t charity begin at home? Bolocks!

  • I have a feeling, LRV, that Arsenal did a deal directly with Setanta, and so the station folded when they folded, whereas other clubs did their own individual deals with TV production units.

    Of course we’d all like to see the station up and running again, but I wonder just how much it cost to run that site. There was no income to speak of, the same old ads running all the time… and it was given away free with Setanta.

    I am sure the same is true of the Liverpool site, but then they will waste money on anything without thought.

    Meanwhile, new article up on http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk reflecting on a curious time when the club played a goalkeeper so injured he couldn’t bend down, and when one player made his one and only appearance for the club, and was never seen again.

  • Gooner1

    An Arsenal First Team comprising our most accomplished and experienced players, OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS

    This post was originally written by StuartLondon and copied by Gooner1 – exactly the sort of thing we try to stop.

  • Adam Smith

    Is there a mistake on here.two identical posts by two different posters !!!

    Anyway,I don’t see that as a solution.It would mean having upwards of a pool of 18 players for each league and both would be hard fought league.

    Tony has a unique blog,and I am sure puts in a lot of work on a daily basis and IMO there are far too many Arsenal Blogs many with little or no comment, yet I fully understand that the number of visits a site achieves is the main thing that the owner looks for.Tony gave some remarkable figures the other day, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if some of the other sites were monitored and approved before they are allowed to publish.It won’t happen,but it would eliminate some of the dross one reads.

  • tony

    i think thats a really bad idea. i thought tony was all for creating a level playing field for all clubs in the right manner. a super league will be at a disadvantage to those clubs not as big a your real madrids and barca’s . its interesting as it is now because you have surprises a few times like when porto won the cl. what needs to be done to make it more interesting is to seed teams according to their positions in their local leagues instead using those uefa coefficients. so for example vfl wolfsburg who were champions in germany is seeded higher than arsenal who were 4th in the epl. that way we get to see more interesting matches instead of the usual chelsea vs porto we’ve been seeing for the past god knows how many years

  • Adam Smith

    I think the whole Champions League is a farce.Two years ago Liverpool came forth and had to play a third qualifying round against the Belgian champions,Standard liege(which they were fortunate to win.) I understand perfectly that the group stages generate more revenue,but to me it should just be a straight knockout tournament,and the Europa Cup should be for the teams that do not get into the CL.At the moment it is possible to get two bites of the cherry, if one fails in the pre qualifying of the CL

    in a nutshell,we play too much football.

  • Marc

    While I would dearly love to see Blatter & Platini suffer slow agonising deaths I do not want to see a European Super League. I enjoy the banter on a Monday morning after we’ve played the Spud’s or West Ham, I love the CL matches but both are important. The real solution is a breakaway series of leagues, you could have the English Spanish, Italian, German or whomever super leagues then playing in a format similar to the CL. This would give us the best of both worlds. You also have to consider that many players dream of playing for their country and see it has a huge honour, if we had a series of leagues all working together we could deal with UEFA and FIFA from a much stronger position, no more pointless friendly’s, no more cup finals with 20,000 fans from each team and 40,000 corporate seats, if Africa want to hold the ACN they will do it to suit our calendar not theirs. We might then just see football run correctly and for the fans not the arseholes in suits.

  • sebjob

    like Frichie says; who can afford this of the supporters? This is said to be one of the reasons why soccer as they call it has never cached on in the US. The travel distances will be too long, ticket prices expensive with travels. A playoff format from the premier version would in case be the only way. Then of course the premier league would only be a formality, as the teams would be more likely to play there with second string teams due to issues of fatigue and television revenue. It would be the death of most national leagues elsewhere, or the opposite with supporters seeking places they can actually afford as local leagues or other sport avenues. The English league has its success based on the large supporter base and their local affiliation, loosing that to commercial success is a big gamble

  • sebjob

    how many supporters can already not afford to attend matches at the emirates? how has this affected the format of the arrangements, atmosphere etc.?

  • wonderinggoon

    Seeing as this is an older topic I doubt I’ll get an answer, but I’ll ask it anyway.

    @Marc: Why would the ACN be held accordingly to our calendar instead of theirs?

  • Marc

    wonderinggoon – So we don’t have players buggering off for 6 weeks in the middle of the season. If the ACN was held in the summer i.e. close season it wouldn’t be a problem.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Fifa ,Uefa and some of the smaller associations are often run by morons –
    they come up with silly ideas without much merit and then backtrack when
    the big boys complain.There had better be more consultations with big clubs
    before major changes are made ,or else there will be breakaway leagues –
    both domestic and regional.
    For now lets just finetune certain areas to make it aggreeable to all.I still love to see Goliath being beaten by David.A very good post Tony.

  • GodWoreTen

    I’m not too sure about this Tony, which is surprising as I usually find your views and those of (most of) this little Community of Gooners matches mine.
    FIFA and UEFA are corrupt. Yes. The FA is corrupt. Yes. The administration of the EPL is corrupt. Yes.
    But what would happen if a breakaway super league was formed? Who would administer that? The Clubs themselves? Represented by their owners, or in the Case of Real Mad / Bartha , their Presidents.
    A Super League run by some of the football world’s most secretive (our own board), incompetent (e.g. Hicks & Gillet) or corrupt (everyone else but especially all the Italian Clubs – just look at Berlusconi) people around…
    Not looking too good I think.
    And, and this clinches it for me, when the fixtures are announced what is the ONE game we all scan for? Yes of course the Tiny Totts at the Ems. I wouldn’t give up our annual celebration of St Totteringham’s Day either. Yet the TTs won’t be in the Super League, or anything else that is Super.
    Roll on Halloween!

  • wonderinggoon

    @Marc: Thanks for replying. I meant to ask why they would run the cup accordingly to our calendar when it is their cup and ‘their’ players. It’s just your other wishes I agree with and are my wishes as well, they make sense to me even when in reality they are as unlikely to happen in the near future as your last point about ACN timing which baffled me. I suppose idealistically that’s the reason why FIFA exists to begin with. Not so that other countries and leagues and cups play accordingly to our calendar, but to organize a new, better schedule to accommodate us all where every parties should be prepared to make some adjustments and gain shared benefits off it. Mission Impossible.