THE FUTURE……………..Don McMahon
In my most recent post on Untold Arsenal, I briefly outlined and proposed a series of actions which could help bring Football into the 21st century. I will now attempt to elucidate how I know they could be applied practically speaking :
- My first proposal was that a draft system be created and administered by FIFA in which the world’s best young players would be drafted by the weakest clubs in their division. (Already very successfully used by the NHL and NFL).
Basically it could work like this. The top 400-500 (or more) youth players worldwide would have their names entered into a draft list, and every professional league worldwide would be given the opportunity to pick a player, based on his(her?) draft rank, with the weakest teams in each league going first.
The weakest teams could, at will, trade or sell their draft choice to a stronger team, but only from their league, in exchange for another adult player or cash, or even other draft picks who are lower down the pecking order. This could also work for adult professional players.
- My second proposal was for the creation of a salary cap, again enforced by FIFA, which would ensure that insane amounts from a clubs budget don’t go to just one or two individuals. (Already used by the NHL and NFL and NBA).
Here we would have a maximum % of the Clubs revenue being allocated to salaries and a limit to the maximum any one player could earn at ANY club worldwide. Other compensation (advert $, PR appearances, book sales etc.) would NOT be calculated in this cap.
- Proposal number three would have a requirement that a majority owner provides up to 25% of shares in the Club to its supporters in order for his or her Club to play in a professional league.
These could be NON voting shares in order to prevent a hostile takeover by a third party. It could also allow for a supporters’ representative(s) to be on the Board of the Club in a non-voting capacity.
- My next proposal was that there be a requirement that every professional Club provide a minimum of 2 FA certified coaches and 2 referee candidates to their local amateur league(s).
These need NOT be active players or manager but could be Ex-players, supporters who are not currently coaches or referees, or even from another club who has an excess of volunteers.
- Another idea was that 5% of the annual net profits for EPL teams be set aside for the development of local football clubs, coaches and referees, including infrastructure and development needs.
When I say local football clubs, they WOULD NOT be affiliated in any way with the Club itself. They could be at any level as long as they were 100% amateur and registered members of the FA and their local Football league/Association, in good standing
- My favourite idea was that the FA be disbanded and replaced by a democratically elected Football Development corporation whose principal objective would be to promote and develop the Game in England.
Candidates would be nominated from a pool of current professional Football managers, retired players and former administrators, as well as a few from among the supporters of professional Clubs and administrators of amateur football.
Their responsibilities would include (among others) applying proper and fit criteria to professional club ownership, fields and services growth and development for amateur Football in the entire country, officials whether amateur or professional including appointments and professional referee selection, assessment and training, but NOT referee discipline and the application of any FIFA/EUFA regulations and decisions. The FDC would work hand in hand with the review Board.
- My second to last proposal was the creation of an independent “ dubious” calls review Board administered by the sports minister with the express objective of reviewing suspicious or poor Football officiating at all levels.
Its aegis would extend to amateur and professional levels and would NOT be punitive (unless illegal activity was detected) but rather remedial and educational. Should any hint of illegal or corrupt practices at the professional level be uncovered, they would immediately place the file in the hands of
- Finally that the FFP implementation and authority be invested directly in the EU and that their legal departments be mandated with the task of overseeing all transactions in professional football, both at the youth and adult level.
This impartial, non-football mandate would ensure that political pressure could be effectively avoided and at the same time a stringent but fair application of the FFP rules was assured. It would also ensure transparency and accountability as every member nation of the EU would have equal representation and opportunity to follow any implementation issues.
I have a few ideas about a European super-league and a real World Club competition modelled on the current CL but that will need to wait for another time. Please let me know your ideas but politely as always.
Anniversary of the day
- 20 July 1998: Uefa approved Arsenal’s application to stage Champions League games at Wembley. The move allowed over twice as many people to see the games as would be possible at Highbury, and provided proof that the club could draw in enough support to fill the imagined new stadium.
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