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October 2020
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The Top 50 Clubs in the World League. But we don’t talk about it in England.

By Tony Attwood

A little while ago I reported on how much of Europe was discussing the admission by Uefa that it was unable to cope with match fixing and needed to engage outside help.   The story was in many European papers but not in the UK.  Indeed I wasn’t able to find any UK media talking about it at the time the story broke in Europe.  A few did pick it up in a very small way after we ran the piece but that was all.

The same was true when Switzerland changed its laws so that American officials could interrupt the Fifa congress and start arresting the multiplicity of corrupt old men.

Since then I have been wondering how often the UK media likes to go out on its own and simply ignore the mainstream stories that get the rest of Europe excited and instead just look inwards.   My suspicion is quite often, for the simple reason that it is a technique that helps the FA put their message across.

Clearly the FA has a close link with some media because it offers licences to show FA Cup matches and England games, so continuing the notion that those who get the rights must also obey other rules we might expect some such quid pro quo.

So it has turned out to be with what Europe is calling the Gianni Super League – the name given to the invention of Giovanni Infantino (known in some quarters as “Giannis”) of a super league made up of the 50 biggest clubs in the world.

And although the English media are not reporting this much Infantino is not being shy about matters, for this is not a rumour whispered in a smoke filled room late at night, this is in the open, as revealed with Infantino said…

“My vision is that we should have for example 50 clubs from all continents that have more or less on the same level If we want to develop football around the world – and that’s the mission of Fifa.”

This vision, the European press report, is what might be called a “global construct”, built with the help of Florentino Perez, the patron of Real Madrid.  It will be a competition played outside, above and beyond the national leagues.  It has been discussed and there have been rumours for years and years.  Now it is in the open – except if you live in England wherein it is possible no one has yet let it slip.

Of course this is not to say that the deal is about to be done.  The only European clubs that support Infantino openly are Real Madrid and AC Milan.  Elsewhere, overtly, there is scepticism, but there appear to be rumours everywhere that the scepticism is, in reality, a front – a bargaining chip from clubs that want to enter but which also want the whole project to be worth their while.

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But Infantino does have the final joker in the pack in his hand.  Because although there is resistance from fans, and scepticism from broadcasters that know they are going to have to pay ever more to get the rights to the games, there is an awareness that one issue drives each new wild and crazy Fifa scheme.  One thing that has ensured that despite every possible corruption scandal imaginable, Fifa is still there, still running the show.

And that one thing of course is finance.

Clubs may well show loyalty to their lesser brothers who are not fortunate enough to be in the 50 team league of two divisions.  Until the amount of money to be earned is mentioned.  And then suddenly, well maybe not.  They might do a few friendlies elsewhere, but primarily, it is playing in the World League that matters.

Clubs can be bought because directors are greedy, and will do anything for money.  And ultimately fans too want to be part of the big show.  No matter that the world has seen just how corrupt Fifa is, if the World League starts without English clubs, then so be it.  The English are, after all, the last to accept change and even then they try and do it their own way (VAR is the perfect example).

Given such views, and the ceaseless dreams of Infantino’s avarice, it is looking more and more that this notion is on the move.  Clubs and countries may not agree at first, but when others do join, and we are left out in the cold, as the money pot moves elsewhere, then, can you really imagine clubs owned by multi-billionaires not wanting to be part of the show?

11 comments to The Top 50 Clubs in the World League. But we don’t talk about it in England.

  • Chris

    @Tony,

    the fun thing is that this league would most probably represent the deathknell to the PL as we know it. Basically the traditionnal Top 6 teams would most probably get on board. Can’t imagine it being any different….

    This would mean the PL loses hundreds of millions and falls from its throne.

    Do you believe people at UEFA or FIFA are not aware of PIGMOB ? PL having so much money, they can’t really fight the issue. Once the gazillions of the PL are gone, the issue will be solved.

    If such a global league would come with a warranty of correct refereeing, I mean correct in the sense that referees are answerable for their calls and that transparency is key – like in the pro leagues in the US for example -, then, frankly, i could care less. Fine with me.

    There will always be local derbies, there will be ‘minor leagues’. So what….

    If it gets rid of the PIGMOB, that is ok. Maybe PL and PIGMOB are well aware of the power they will be losing, so the press has been asked to shut-up about it.

    But frankly, considering the way the world goes, I cannot see some sort of super league NOT coming into being. My guess is that UEFA may end up organising one, as a world wide league seems a bridge too far and clubs may be reluctant of Infantino’s power grab. What would be fun is a league with salary caps and a draft system as is the case in the NFL. Would make sure the positions are regularly re-shuffled and not allow a team with just money to buy trophies.

  • Mikey

    @ Chris

    As much as I don’t care for the concept of a World League, I have to say that my immediate reaction before reading your comment was identical i.e. if we can get some consistency out of referees and actually start to participate on a level playing field then it’s most welcome step in a positive direction.

    Irrespective of what you, me, Tony or any other fan wants though. It is, of course, all down to money. So what happens will happen whether we like it or not.

  • Gord

    OT: Liverpool named top team of 2019

    Actually they are wrong, PGMO is the top team of 2019. They won every game they “played”.

  • Gord

    OT: BT Sport running SciFi Feature

    Michael Oliver is the best referee in the EPL

  • omgarsenal

    The trend towards truly ¨International¨ leagues is present in every major sport, because;

    1) Supporters want to see the best against the best everytime,

    2) Too many national leagues are foregone conclusions for the title and rarely ever see a variance, ie: Real or Barca winning every year, Man.city, Bayern, PSG, Juventus etc. always being top or thereabouts,

    3) The WC, Europa and CL offer glimpses of what a true international competition offers,people want more,

    4) This level of competition requires experienced FIFA referees and assistants so the calibre and objectivity of the officials is likely to be very high,therefore a more level playing field,

    5) The potential revenues from media,broadcasting, match-day attendance and knock-on sales is enormous…..with a worldwide audience eager to see the best against the best every few weeks,

    6) The likelihood of match fixing is very high BUT the authorities will have a close eye on FIFA, the league’s administrators and hanger-ons and since all the crooks are in one place, the supervision can be more effective.

  • Menace

    The BBC have an article on VAR (https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/50944416 ) but as usual it does very little for Arsenal. The PGMOL are quoted as doing things Rileys way (cheating the sport) and different from everyone else. The fact that the referee does not check the on field screen before making his decision is crucial as it proves beyond doubt that the game is officiated outside the Laws of the Game.

    Beyond the fact that the officials choose when to ‘see’ fouls and card what they want, they also abdicate their authority to a fourth party without question. This abdication of authority means the game in the English Premier League is not Association Football but a new version of it made up by PGMOL and accepted by the FA.

    There is a case in law that could be taken up as a paying spectator, that the game is not as advertised and that a full refund should be made. This could impact the TV rights as well.

  • Gord

    OT: VAR – Clear and Obvious Error

    Mike Riley. Error, error. No Mike Riley near VAR!

    —-

    VAR looks at four key areas:
    _1. all goals scored;

    Is the goal against Arsenal? It stands. Is the goal by Arsenal? Let us look more closely.

    _2. penalty kicks, whether they’re awarded or not;

    Is the penalty against Arsenal? Give it. Is Arsenal to win
    a penalty? Can we find a way to void this?

    _3. direct red-card offences – not second yellow cards but straight reds;

    Is this a straight red against Arsenal? Give it. Is this a straight red of a team playing Arsenal? Can you find a way to justify it?

    _4. and any case of mistaken identity.

    Is the player in question an Arsenal player? Don’t worry about it, as it doesn’t matter if we punish the right or wrong Arsenal player. Is it against a team playing against Arsenal? Can we somehow push this onto an Arsenal player?

  • Chris

    @Menace,

    interesting point of view.

    Considering the facts, wonder if a crowdfunding campaign and a good lawyer interested in historical exposure could not wreak havoc into the nice little corrupt system that has been set-up….

  • Menace

    @Chris – one of the Universitys that specialise in Law may have a young graduate that would like to specialise in sports/ consumer law. First we need to find a lawyer that will take the case and then crowd fund. The lawyer concerned will get high profile exposure and the consequence will set an Untold classic precident.

  • Menace

    My email to the Premier League;

    The whole of the officiating system stinks of corrupt practice. Select officials without responsibility and unanswerable to anyone is not acceptable in sport. There is no control of the process by which selection occurs nor is there any fairness in appointment of diversity of personnel.

    Racism is an obvious aspect that comes to mind as there seem to be only whites used as officials as though no ethnics have qualification to officiate football.

    On field decisions are inconsistent and cards seem to be handed out to some teams more easily than others. The officiating appears to be blatantly and openly corrupt in their approach to the Laws of the Game with neither the FA or The Premier League doing anything to ensure correct interpretation of the Laws.

    The PGMOL are not fit for purpose and should be dismissed immediately as they are bringing the Game into disrepute, aided and abetted by the FA and The Premier League .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I would love to see some form of a super league , starting off in Europe .
    Whoever organises it , should have iron clad rules that cannot be changed to whims and fancies.
    It must be responsible and with strict enforcement of agreed upon set rules and conditions.
    No more crooked referees . Bye -bye you pieces of shit. No one in their right mind are ever going to hire you !
    I do hope that this comes to pass .