Football is in the grip of the biggest ever takeover, while Arsenal’s debts are growing



A word of warning: stop massacring soccer!

And so it goes on: Le Matin in Switzerland has launched a wholehearted attack on Fifa.  Not the sort of thing you read in England, but it is big in Europe.

But because you may have missed it, here is what Le Matin and the media in much of the rest of Europe is saying.

The attack is on the notion of the world cup every two years, and this is running full time in much of the European media with Le Matin saying, “With the support of a few accomplices, Gianni Infantino has made this his sad futuristic nonsensical project with a World Cup, organized every two years.”

The argument from those who have seen Infantino’s presentations is that they have one purpose only, “to bamboozle his audience.”

The paper continues, “To get his reform through – and to make it easier to swallow the golden pill – Blatter’s successor did not come alone. He revealed the conclusions of a study by the American firm Nielsen (very opportunely commissioned by Fifa) according to which the organization of a World Cup played in even-numbered years would ensure additional revenues of 4.1 billion francs [£3.32bn]. That’s a lot of money to give back to the 211 federations – in the final count, each of them would receive a fortune of some 18 million francs spread over four years.”

And where will this money go?   First, to Fifa, of course.  Second to the national associations – in the case of England, the FA, 

Now in June 2020 the FA announced plans to prepare for a £300m loss over a four-year period to 2024, “in order to prudently support the English game through the pandemic.”

And Fifa knows it can’t get any support from the clubs in Europe, as the site SQAF published a list of the debts of football clubs in Europe

Position Club Debt
1 Tottenham £1.2 billion
2 Barcelona £1 billion
3 Atletico Madrid £804 million
4 Manchester United £771 million
5 Inter Milan £757 million
6 Juventus £752 million
7 Real Madrid £651 million
8 Arsenal £405 million
9 Liverpool £386 million
10 Everton £353 million

Arsenal have suffered because of poor European results (going out of the Europa league in the round of 32 in 2020 and not qualifying this season.  Meanwhile transfer costs have risen dramatically while stadium revenue (which accounts for almost half Arsenal’s income (more than any other club) has dropped dramatically because of the pandemic).  But at the behest of some fans and most journalists, the club has kept on spending on players.

Meanwhile Fifa reported in its 2018 report that “FIFA’s revenue reached a new high of £4.79 billion, of which 83% was delivered by the 2018 World Cup.” 

So Fifa is making the billions out of the world cup, while many of the clubs that feed players into the Fifa machine are in serious debt.  

Next Fifa offers to give the clubs lots more money – double the money in fact – as long as they agree to the twice yearly world cup, and the abandonment of the continent wide competitions that currently run every four years in between world cups.

So the Euros go, because in between the World Cup every two years there has to be at least 18 months of knock out games to determine who is to play in the world cup.

This is the perversity of a system based on profit alone.   Fifa has no interest in the health of players, their only concern is money and power.  Hence the takeover of the African continental, national, and club competitions, with Fifa now controlling all of that through its nominees, including the prize money, regulations, and media rights to those competitions. CAF, let us not forget, is the biggest of the six continental confederations of FIFA.

Fifa also makes no mention of how its move to taking total control of international football would affect anything else, but fairly obviously what it would next want to do is take over the Champions League and the Euros to ensure that they dovetail within its “every two years” project.

In short the simple plan is to give Fifa total control over all world football, including club matches and international competitions.  The prize it is offering to regularly indebted football associations, is more money, which certain the English FA desperately need.

The problem beyond that as we have repeatedly seen is that the FA is incompetent in the extreme.  Just look at the recent rioting at Wembley where the FA were utterly out of their depth.  Just look at the inability of the England team to win international competitions.  We have won one – the 1966 world cup.  Italy has won four titles.   2006, 1982, 1938, 1934.  The population of Italy is 59.5 million.  The population of England is 55.9 million.  So two countries of about the same size, both keen on football, one winning the world up four times, and one winning it once.

Or take the Euros.  Italy has won them twice (1968 and 2020) England not at all.

And why?   Well, one could start with the Football Association – an organisation so incompetent that even the Charities Commission had to tell them to stop calling their competition the Charity Shield, because the FA could not properly account for what money (if any at all) went to charity!  

And the FA still hasn’t paid for the rebuilding of Wembley – and that work ended 14 years ago!  The FA is beyond doubt putty in Fifa’s hands.

The slavery files & the FA

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