By Tony Attwood
Superleague is dead. Messrs Kronke, Abramovich, Levy, Mansour, Glazer, Henry have been shown to be total and utter prats of the first order. Their stock as businessmen will now have reached to somewhere around minus 50 on a scale of 1 to 5. So now we have a question: what will this scurrilous bunch of ne’re-do-wells come up with next? These guys who own and still control the clubs, these who do not lose ever, and who will never stop in the quest for more money and more power and above all find defeat unacceptable. People who have everything always want more.
So really, what will they do?
First, they will sack a few people who have failed to deliver on their demands. Then they will instruct the minions to come up with another scheme with the caveat that, “This time it had better work.”
There is also every chance that they will seek revenge on the media and the supporters who turned against them.
To give a clue as to how these people operate, we might cast our mind back to the notorious John Henry case in which Arsenal put in a bid for Suarez from Liverpool at just over the player’s release clause price. Henry then did his infamous “what are they smoking at Arsenal?” jibe, and carried the media with him in the story that that there was no £40m release clause.
After that he went to a sports conference in the US where he openly admitted there was a release clause, and Arsenal had met it, and he had denied it, knowing the media would accept every word he said because the European media were stupid and never checked anything. Much of what has just happened is the media getting its revenge.
We might also remember the Kroenke case in which he moved his American club from St Louis to Los Angeles – you might recall we reported on that as a warning about Kroenke behaviour as well.
This time he and Henry have tried to set up a league of their own. And what this has told the English footballing authorities is that their rules and laws are nowhere near strong enough to protect the heart and soul of football.
There really ought to be rules which say that clubs cannot set up their own competition without the agreement of all the other clubs, and also can’t move grounds without permission. Otherwise who knows… Arsenal moved to the US? Under the present rules there is nothing to stop that. The only thing the rules demand is that the ground meets the standards laid down by the League, by the local authorities and by the local health and safety standards inspectorate.
And what else? A doubling of the seat prices to compensate for the loss of the Super League? Quite possibly. Kroenke’s revenge is likely to know no bounds.
The big losers and the clubs in the biggest danger are those whose finances are not stable. Chelsea and Manchester City didn’t need the money – they were just going to be there because it was the big boys playground. Manchester United still have their huge debts caused by the Glazer takeover, but they earn enough to cover those costs.
But Tottenham were banking on this to get them out of their financial hole and the owners of Liverpool and Arsenal demand profit – that is their only motive. These three are not going to let this rest.
So what now? Klopp has learned what his employers are really like, and will, I suspect walk away to work for someone more in touch with reality – for most if not all of this fiasco Liverpool made no mention of the affair on their website.
Chelsea and Manchester City sail on regardless, content with their unlimited funds, and the knowledge that the press will always give them (and Liverpool) a soft time no matter what rules they break (remember both Chelsea and Liverpool have been found guilty of breaking rules concerning children… no one seems to worry.) They also know that any fine or suspension they are given for youth or financial issues will be chopped to bits by the Court for Arbitration in Sport.
But there are still financial problems lurking throughout football. Barcelona is teetering on the edge of financial collapse. Tottenham appears to be in real financial trouble/ The Premier League seems to be entering a phase in which Manchester City follows the Bayern Munich style of winning the league year after year.
The days when Arsenal could come 20th out of 22 one season and second the next, or 14th one season and then winners the next (both during Chapman’s era) have long gone. After the excitement of the last few days, it is a bit depressing to find that Kroenke still owns our club, the grounds are still empty, and we’re still ninth in the league.
The proof that something is seriously wrong with football refereeing and reporting
- How even a serious science magazine has used fake data on football
- Someone is trying to fake football stats – and doing it rather well,
- Crowdless stadia stats reveal fallacy of PGMO claims
- Proving unconscious bias by referees
- How clubs manipulate referees through their tactics
- Referees are not 98% accurate but only 75% accurate
The Arsenal video collection: free
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- The Women’s Super League – Opening day Sunday 01 October
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