Samuel’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
Bad news. The big swinging dicks of European soccer are back on their bullsh^t and apparently on the verge of trying to bring about one of the biggest changes in the game in decades – if not forever.
THE BASICS: Roughly a dozen of the “biggest” clubs in England, Italy and Spain have REPORTEDLY agreed in principle to form the “F^ck Soccer Get Money European Super League” (aka FSGMESL) as soon as 2022. It would be a “closed” league – meaning no promotion or relegation – that would essentially mimic American sports leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and even MLS.
WHY: Money. That’s it. That’s the whole entire reason. The big clubs think they can make more money if they can dispense with the trips to Burnley, Parma and Huesca, and instead sell broadcast companies and advertisers on games like Juventus versus Manchester United every weekend. And guess what… they are probably right – in the short term anyway.
WHO: The details on who has or has not agreed to the plan are a little murky but what is clear is that the jackass teams who are definitely in at the moment include:
- Inter Milan
- AC Milan
- Manchester United
- Real Madrid
- Atletico Madrid
Beyond those teams it gets a little murky. The other teams that would be expected to join are Manchester City, Bayern Munich and PSG. Some sources say that City may have agreed while others say no. Bayern and PSG appear to be straddling the fence at the moment (and may in fact be critics’ best hope of this thing not actually coming off – for the time being anyway).
WAIT, IS THIS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN: This has been a “discussion topic” for years so you can be forgiven for assuming that this is going to fade away like it has on previous occasions. This time feels different. The rumors are too plentiful, the “plans” are too concrete and "rival" organizations (FIFA, UEFA, Premier League, etc) sound a little too shook.. I really, really, really hope it does NOT happen but given all the smoke it is hard to imagine there not being fire, and the reason for the fire – many many many truckloads of money – make it harder and harder to imagine this not happening either now or in the not-too-distant future.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Welp, that is the multi-billion dollar/pound/euro question. The truth is I have no idea. Maybe it will come off seamlessly. The big clubs will break away and form the FSGMESL while the domestic leagues will get even better because all of a sudden more clubs actually have a shot at winning trophies so the added competition and parity will make it more interesting and everybody will live happily ever after. Or maybe “smaller-but-still-big clubs” – eg, Everton and Lester in England, Roma and Atalanta in Italy and Sevilla and Real Sociedad in Spain – will step in and become the new (relative) big swinging dicks and begin to dominate the respective domestic leagues. Or maybe FIFA will somehow prevent this from happening by banning all FSGMESL players from playing in the World Cup?
I have no idea.
What I do know is that European soccer is – while not perfect – brilliant. Promotion and relegation is great for fans. Promotion and relegation sucks for owners. And that is at the heart of this. The rich wanting to get richer – and not only that but wanting to blow up a beautiful thing (including the Champions League) in order to limit their risk.
Where things go from here remains to be seen. Maybe change will be smooth. Probably it won’t. Or maybe this will end up being just another bargaining chip that the big clubs use to take an ever-larger share of revenues away from the smaller clubs.
I’m really not sure. But then again it doesn’t matter what you and I think or want. This is about rich owners doing whatever they want.
F^ck soccer. Get money.
Champions League semifinals is back next week! Gotta enjoy the hell out of it…… while we still can!!
Thanks for reading you beauties!