So here we are – for the second time in a couple of days an Arsenal player has been injured playing in a pathetic pointless international. VP is out, and now Gibbs. Will it ever end?
So it seems an appropriate time to consider one of the two organisations that seek to destroy our enjoyment: UEFA.
Former Supporters Direct Chairman Brian Lomax has been appointed to UEFA’s new club financial control panel.
Lomax recently stepped down after four years as chair of the SD
organisation that advises fans on how to gain representation at board
level at their clubs across the UK and Europe – with groups in 14
countries across Europe.
The SD said, “The hope is that this committee is going to be one of the most important in European football, and for someone to be appointed from a background in the supporters’ trust movement is a fantastic vote of confidence in the movement from UEFA, and underlines their real commitment to serious engagement with supporters in general.”
According to the data collected by UEFA, 50% of the European clubs are making a loss.
The idea now is to implement a new series of ” FFP rules” which will aim to improve financial fairness and long term financial stability of club football – something that (and here I quote from the SD press release) “is a key a UEFA priority”.
With the new FFP rules UEFA wants to:
* Encourage clubs to compete within their revenues;
* Decrease pressure on player’s salaries and transfer fees and limit
* Encourage clubs’ long term investments (infrastructure, youth) to the
detriment of short term spending;
* Protect the sustainability of European club football as a whole
Now let us pause (and this is me writing here, not the SD), and look at UEFA and what it is and is not doing…
* Doing nothing to encourage clubs to compete with their revenues. There has been zero action in relation to Chelsea and Manchester City, who are both funded by people with obscene levels of wealth. There has been no action on the spending of Liverpool and Manchester United, whose debts are so overwhelming that neither can meet their obligations (Liverpool unable to pay back the banks, Man U unable to pay the interest due on their loans).
* Doing nothing to decrease or limit salaries or transfer fees
* Doing nothing to encourage clubs such as Arsenal which now has a 10 year history of investment in youth, and probably does more than any single club world-wide to locate the best young talent in the world and offer this talent the best training facilities in the world
* Doing nothing to protect the sustainability of European club football as a whole, in that by allowing existing rules to continue it has encouraged more and more clubs in the EPL to take on greater and greater debt in a desperate attempt to stay in the EPL. Likewise it has refused to investigate the financing of Real Madrid. Likewise it has not even moved over the fact that no one knows who owns Leeds United – except that it is someone in the Virgin Islands. Likewise it has done nothing regarding the ownership of Notts County or Portsmouth, nor the insane disregard in the UK of the fit and proper person’s rule.
Instead what UEFA is doing is this
a) Attempting to use nationalistic lines to define who may and may not play in certain teams on the unedifying grounds that a person is somehow different if he/she was born on one side of a border or another. They totally reject the notion that while it is right to protest that we are all the same irrespective of the colour of our skin, so we are all the same irrespective of which bit of the map we or our parents were born in.
b) Encouraging players to play more and more games including pointless friendlies between countries in which players can and are seriously injured
c) Encouraging the ever greater increase in the destruction of the environment by allowing teams to play pointless friendlies all over the world, and arranging international tournaments without any compensatory environmental programmes.
d) Encouraging the consumption of unsuitable food through liaison deals with burger making companies and chocolate snack companies – deals which are at the heart of all of their international tournaments.
e) Bringing the game into disrepute by allowing individuals who are materially involved in matches (such as SFA officials) call for one off interpretations of rules to the detriment of individual players such as Eduardo and their clubs.
f) Refusing to work to apply the same refereeing standards across the whole of country.
g) Undermining the rule of law within the EU by endlessly attempting to introduce anti-employment regulations which would fly in the face of the very fundamentals of the Union and would by-pass the elected officials who represent the wishes of the people in the largest democratic system in the world. Platini himself has openly opposed the law in the EU and separate laws within the United Kingdom by saying he wants to have rules that would stop Arsenal training non-English players.
h) Promote the insane 6+5 rule which again returns us to nationalistic regulations through which players who have no relationship with a country suddenly become counted as part of that country because they choose to do so for their own convenience. As this site has shown repeatedly, it is quite possible for someone who has never set foot in England, and whose parents and grandparents were not born or brought up in England, and in fact were not even resident at any time within the EU, to play for England.
I could go on, but I probably don’t have any readers left now anyway. Sorry – just a one-off. This whole UEFA thing annoys me a bit.
To answer my question – is there a chance of reform? Supporters Direct, I wish you every bit of luck. But you have what one might call, an uphill task.
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust: http://www.arsenaltrust.org/
MAKING THE ARSENAL: The novel that describes the foundation of the modern Arsenal 100 years ago is available through www.emiratesstadium.info and via Amazon. However Amazon appear to have sold out of their copies already, and are showing “waiting for stock” again. You can get quick delivery from the above link – and have the book signed by the author if you want. We have sent Amazon more stock – and if you are on their site, please do review the book because people read reviews.
WOOLWICH ARSENAL: The day to day activities – and the fight for survival – of our club 100 years ago, recorded on the daily blog: www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk (Incidentally, in answer to a point made on goal.com where they asked if it is right that a team in London should not even have an Englishman playing, let alone a Londoner, the answer is, this is how football started at the Arsenal. Woolwich Arsenal often played with no Englishmen in their team. You might not like it, but that’s how the system started – so all we are doing is maintaining a long and honorable tradition).
(c) Hamilton House Mailings plc 2009. This article may not be reprinted in whole or part without written permission of the copyright owners and full acknowledgment of the author and UNTOLD ARSENAL. All enquiries to Tony@Hamilton-House.com or call (during UK office hours) 01536 399 013.
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