By Tony Attwood
Fifa as we know, wants to own everything. And by “own” I mean that 100%. Fifa wants total control of all incoming money both the legal (a minor part of the operation) and the illegal (the bribes, the fraud, the re-selling, the executive jet flights across the world…)
But now suddenly out of nowhere up pops two Uefa events that challenge the corrupt world body’s attempt to gather the entire GDP of the universe and circulate it amongst the cronies – the champions league and Europa Cup play offs. Helped not only by the sense of dislocation from football most of us are feeling, but also by the fact that the matches really are rather entertaining.
Eight goals going in against Barcelona… well Untold has been telling anyone who wanted to listen since Barcelona city went into lockdown that the club was in really big trouble. From the moment the museum shut, the alarm bells were ringing, and now the bell tolls (if you get my drift).
Olympique Lyonnais knocking in three against the mutli-trillionaires of Manchester City whose supporters (or at least the ones writing to this site) claimed that the CAS ruling meant the club had done nothing wrong and was free to keep spending anything it wanted as a result.
And even Uefa, which in terms of its fight against Manchester City moved at the speed of a slug having a restful afternoon after eating a fine feast of plants, lichens, mushrooms, and a side dish of carrion, is waking up and thinking, maybe, with Fifa in utter turmoil, we’ve got a chance here. If we can just remember where we put the mobile phone…
Of course there are some who are saying that Fifa will be emboldened by Uefa’s success with the play offs and will push ahead with its own Club World Cup – which is due to take place next year in China. The idea is that 24 of the biggest and most corrupt clubs from around the world will play a mini-league series and then a knock out semi-final and final.
The point of the Fifa idea is that there are still a few weeks in the year occasionally when players are not playing, and such slothfulness cannot be allowed to continue while there is money that can be slipped into the pockets of senior executives.
The TV money alone is said to be in the tens of billions of dollars and that is before we start counting the bribes and backhanders which will decide who wins the contracts. (Who wins the cup doesn’t matter; the contract is everything).
And there are already suggestions that Gianni Infantino could appeal to Uefa to come to his rescue rather than (as seems to be happening at the moment) Uefa standing back and enjoying the show of him and his Swiss pals from the local Canton being taken apart by the legal inquisitors with reference to his dubious past activities. One deal being mentioned is Fifa agrees to give Uefa a free run with summer tournaments, in return for Uefa testifying on Infantino’s behalf.
If not, the Fifa ploy would be to dangle the notion of the Club World Cup in front of the major Leagues (including of course the Premier League) and promise that all the money would go to the clubs and their leagues, with just a few percent being taken by Fifa.
Let us run it and we’ll make you rich, is their cry. Leave it to Uefa (which of course is far less rich – and far less corrupt than Fifa but very very very very slow in doing stuff), and they will do that strange, weird, spooky “democratic” thing and spread the money around a bit. A couple of million dollars to each Premier League club to do with as they wish? Why not, that’s Fifa’s way. Always so generous. And here’s the bank account details for your donation to the widows and orphans fund.
And what would Uefa do if they got a regular summer tournament, cry these wonderful people from Fifa? Why, they’ll start wasting it on community football (whatever that is) and those pesky little lower leagues. And the widows and orphans. Who needs them?
But the question of “who needs real live football with real live people in the ground?” is a good one given that the government in England has just given the green light for football below the National League to resume with spectators this coming season.
That means that my local club, Corby Town, who reside in the Southern League Division One (Central) can open the gates and take some money. Corby were third in their League when the season was abandoned. The average gate is around 400 – which alongside the burger and beer sales is their prime form of income. A few quid from the local store in sponsorship money, but that’s about it.
I shall be popping along of course, and although it is none of my business how you spend your spare time, I do hope you might consider going to see your local club when there is no PL footbal to see. We do need these clubs and supporting your local team does mean you will be able to go and see some live football – irrespective of what Arsenal decide to do in terms of letting us in.
Meanwhile Arsenal play in the Charity Shield at 4.30pm on 29 August. In the UK it is on the appallingly awful BT Sprout, so the panel will be six Liverpudlians and a cocker spaniel; the dog representing Arsenal views on the grounds that cocker sounds a bit like cockney.
- The Women’s Champions League – Arsenal’s squad
- Women’s Champions League conclusion 2020 – a preview
- After City Group and Red Bull now a third group: it’s the future of football
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP