Can the Premier League be saved?
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What we now have is a sovereign wealth fund owning not just six clubs in the Champions League which was a worry a while back, but also the threat of it owning six clubs in the Premier League.
And we know, and as the recent events concerning LIV Golf and the PGA tour, and their ultimate merger, oil state sheikdoms will always dominate the money will always win simply because they ultimately have totally unimaginable amounts of money.
As Manchester City chairman and managing director of Mubadala Investment Company, and member of the executive council of Abu Dhabi, and chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of that kingdom), Khaldoon al Mubarak once told Gianni Infantino, he “would rather spend 30 million on the 50 best lawyers in the world to sue Uefa for the next 10 years” than accept sanctions by Uefa.
Uefa could of course have seen that as an unacceptable threat and kicked Khaldoon al Mubarak out of football. But no, it bent the knee, as everyone else has done, and the notion that Fifa and Uefa hold power was shown to be a myth. There is one last fighter standing: the Premier League which is taking on Manchester City. Whoever wins that fight, changes the world.
But for the moment, clubs not owned by Khaldoon al Mubarak and the rest are now just pawns in the game, although of course power could be regained simply by all the Premier League clubs except Manchester City and Newcastle United resigning from the league, and forming their own league.
Uefa, now utterly under the heel of the sovereign wealth funds, could kick the clubs out, and they could then form their own league and their own international body, without this insane imbalance caused by the takeover of football by oil rich dictators.
Now I know that such a move sounds a bit dramatic, but it could happen, and we could call it, what… oh, I don’t know. Super League or something like that.
And just because it has already been tried and the media succumbed to the PR and pressure of the sheiks to announce to fans that it was a “bad thing” that doesn’t mean it can’t be tried again. Because otherwise Rothmans might as well print an annual analysis not of the past season in England but for next year, the year after and the year after.
There is actually a little bit of hope as the Independent has been told “that there is growing unease within the European Union about the influence of states and private equity funds. That is where government backing could be sparked.”
Of course, the UK is no longer part of the EU, having instead in footballing terms at least, thrown its lot in with the sheiks takeover.
But we should be aware that Saudi Arabian politicians know exactly how voting blocs work. They’ve been befriending countries like Greece, Egypt and currently (according to stories) Uruguay in order to create the “decade of Saudi Arabia” although if Qatar buy Manchester United then it could be the decade of Qatar instead. Or the century of middle eastern football.
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