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Fifa aims for greater control of football with new summer club competition

by Tony Attwood

It was only a few weeks ago that Arsène Wenger suggested that a European Super League was on the way.  In saying that he made the point that one way for the Premier League to respond might be to cut itself to 16 teams.

That would leave Manchester City as champions for as long as there is no revolution or war in the middle east, with six teams fighting for the other three Champions League spots and three teams going for the Europa.   The remaining ten would be involved in avoiding relegation.

The issue was not one that many people noticed, but it has raised its head in a different form as Gianni Infantino, the head of Fifa (almost wrote Mafia there, which of course I didn’t mean at all and would be completely wrong) set out his proposals for a Club World Cup to replace the existing proto Club World Cup.

The driving force as always is money, as it is being said that Fifa was offered a $25bn for a 12-year arrangement with a  Japanese-led consortium which also includes investors from the Middle East.  Just think of all that extra money floating around in small companies based in Switzerland and South America as people buy and sell the TV rights.

At present the Club World Cup is a seven-team event held at the end of each calendar year for the champions of each continent and the host nation’s league winner. It hardly gets noticed in the UK since our teams don’t normally participate, although if an English club looked like winning the Champs League it would cause havoc.  Most other countries have a winter break and can work around that.  Liverpool if they win this year could be a bit stretched come the turn of the year.

This new competition would fill up the one gap left in world-long football by being played in June and/or July every four years.  It would include 12 European teams, including both the Champions League finalists and Europa League winners from the previous four seasons.

Meanwhile there would be four places allocated to the Copa Libertadores winners along with a couple of places each for Africa, Asia and the North American region, one from the host and then one more, probably as the result of a play off which involves teams having three hours on the pitch for the home and away games and four days travelling across 12 time zones each way.

Infantino wants new events for two reasons.  One to take away interest in the continuing concern about where all the money goes, and the other because he needs a manifesto for his election next year.  So the “Global Nations League” brand is born.

According to some reports Infantino has already talked with Manchester United and Manchester City about the idea and is said to have offered them $94m each, for each tournament.   Real Madrid and Barcelona have been offered the same and put their hands out in welcome, since this extra money will all help make their league less and less competitive.  Not that it is competitive anyway.

At first Infantino tried to bully the Fifa Council into submission on the plan by saying there was just two months to make a decision.  That time frame has passed without a decision because of a lot of objection from the clubs not involved.  These clubs fear they will be see the rich list get richer and secure the championship of their leagues not just for a few years but for decades at a time.  Another nail in the coffin of competitiveness.

Some clubs have even worried about the extra matches for their players – a rare moment of concern – but there is also talk of expanding the squads so that the big clubs can hoover up more players for themselves and rotate them. Richard Scudamore said he didn’t like the plan but reckoned the deal was already done so he couldn’t do much about it.   That’s what people get for giving everything to Uefa and Fifa and never fighting back.

Only Uefa, now freed from the dominance of Infantino and his free flowing cash, have stood up against the plan as their football strategy council said that the members “unanimously expressed serious reservations about the process … and in particular the hasty timing and lack of concrete information”.

Infantino is said to be trying to push this through by the start of the World Cup in a few weeks.

 

And from the Arsenal History Society

 

 

7 comments to Fifa aims for greater control of football with new summer club competition

  • nicky

    The possibility of a Summer competition would surely add fire to the need for a winter break in the UK. 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I hope that Arsenal FC never qualifies for this tournament , or refrains from participating in it.

    Cannot wait for the new European league to start. Bye bye PIGMOB and sweet FA !
    And FIFA and UEFA .

  • nicky

    @BG,
    A new European league sounds good but who would run it?
    You’ve eliminated all the dead wood! 😉

  • U know who

    Dead wood, more like voodoo dolls.

    On Gigi

    “In Wojciech Szczesny, Juventus have an excellent goalkeeper, who also has 13 years less than me. Giorgio Chiellini is the perfect example of how a Juve captain should be.

    “He has always been a reference for me. I wish him all the best.”

    He was sent off for arguing with the English referee before stating Oliver had “a bin for a heart”.

    Legend 176 caps 5 world cups nobody is touching those records.

  • U know who

    I honestly like the current formats. Except a winter break and recovery times should be mandatory for player safety. And no too level league should have less than 20 teams, Germany are rated second, Bundesliga is very clean and quite tactical and teams all actually try and play football.

    If only you could take the best of the top league’s and add the influx of African talent in Ligue Uh!

    Let’s ask infantile?!?!

  • Gord

    WC

    World Football has a headline, “Youthful England Have to Believe”. Yes, they have to believe they will be back in England soon, dismissed after the first round again.

    ====

    Before the Real Madrid/Juventus game, did Oliver hear some executive suggest it would be better if Real Madrid were to win? Oh look, an opportunity to tilt the playing field. Not fit to referee for FIFA or UEFA. Heck, not fit to referee for EPL. Possibly fit to referee U6.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ nicky – 17/05/2018 at 10:53 am – As a dreamer , I would like to see a consortium of decent ‘white knights’ of considerable financial means banding together to invest in this purist endeavour to play football the beautiful way .

    As it should have always been played , and balls to all those crooked football associations and corrupt nations that have given legitimacy to these oafish clowns. Any footballer would be welcome to play , provided he turns back on international football.

    His only concern will be do his best on the pitch.He would have an equal share in the spoils and will not have the need to big himself up, nor promote himself via his agents or the media.

    And who do you think that I would like to be the commissioner of this new beautiful league ?

    If Kerry Packer could singlehandedly take on and thoroughly defeat that crappy archaic cricket establishment , I don’t see why some other modern day dreamers cannot achieve this .

    Pull the fucking rug from beneath all those ‘little Napoleons ‘, and watch the filthy , dirty rats scatter and abandon ship .

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