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In Light of Recent Events

By Andrew Bulmer :  31/10/2007 :  Comments (23) :
If you allow, create and foster inequity and discrepancy in the application of and access to resources and opportunities in the systems, processes, structures and people in your organisation. You can hardly be surprised if inequity and discrepancy then manifests itself in those same systems, processes, structures and people. Indeed it would be akin to a miracle if they did not.

The F.A. and the English Premier League is currently almost a mirror of the above statement. From decision-making bodies to the distribution of monies, some are more equal than others. It isn?t hidden, it?s no secret. We have what is sold as a form of meritocracy, were the successful get rewarded with the resources to be more successful.

This might be all well and good, however as the original statement implies, it would be extremely naive to think that this increased wealth was only that.. an increase in wealth. Systems, processes, structures and people are all influenced by money... are they not ?... isn?t that the point of having it?

Sadly, conspiracy or not what we have witnessed with an alarmingly greater frequency is a manifestation of these inequities . This is what you might expect as the size of the inequities increase. It?s going to get worse if current thinking and behaviour continue.

In the specific case of the EPL/Uefa club football, until very recently, the major structural default was that four clubs had an opportunity to avail themselves to the resources offered, in the main by tv revenues, via the ?champions? league. This was a ?lifestyle? changing amount of wealth and exposure for those successful club brands. A resource to be cherished, fought for and protected.

Despite the ameliorating effects of the new EPL tv deal. the increasingly global marketplace means such exposure remains a glittering prize.

The major question then appears to be is this inequity a good or bad thing and for whom ? From Football in general as a sport in England, Britain and Europe. The large club to the pub team. The fan to the administrator. Who benefits and how ?

The current regime appears to be (in my case) terrifyingly similar to tory political doctrine. with trickle down theories mixed in with the merit ones mentioned earlier.

Ironically the sport administration which offers us possible solutions resides in the USA. American football appears to have identified the benefits of an equal playing field in all aspects of the running of the sport from team recruitment to on field adjudication the aim is for a fairness accuracy equity all ensuring a truly competitive sport one which the fans have faith in and are excited by. I refer specifically to the chances of one team beating another over a number of seasons here, I know some will feel that american football of itself is not particularly exciting. Its probably also worth pointing out that I don?t believe American football is perfect by any means.. this should not be a distraction to the main point.

Just a tiny few of but specific examples of benefits would be..

1) Greater use of technology (would Clattenburg have denied the penalty for Lescott having had the chance to watch it again?) Along with the rest of the interested world.

2) More adjudicators/greater powers. It?s about time the assistant referees lived up to their names.

3) Ability to recruit. By far the most difficult to solve. Salary caps, Youth investment and quotas etc have all been used successfully in Rugby League and other sports.

The fundamental issue once we agree that inequity exists is how much inequity do we believe is acceptable or even good for our sport and whether we should be trying to optimise our resources and systems to create a truly competitive sport where each team has an equal opportunity for success which will be based on its abilities as athletes and athletic stratagems as opposed to its ability to raise and maintain revenues and influence.

We currently have by design, conspiracy or otherwise a bent system, a sick puppy. Perhaps the chosen few have a plan which only includes themselves. Perhaps they are happy with winning every year to the exclusion of the excluded .

I have hope however this is clearly unsustainable in its present state. Platini and Blatter and Uefa are all making noises to this end . The battle has already started between the haves and the administrators.

Perhaps its time for the clubs like Everton to lead the way and be more vocal and public in its hopes and aspirations for football (please god lets hope its not a ?me too? philosophy) . Perhaps the time is coming for fans to say enough is enough . Before you ruin our sport and we watch administrators and referees win games ( we?re already there!).

We want to watch truly competitive fairly refereed games so we can go back to pub, schoolyard knockabout aggressive banter and loathing with at least the semblance of the thought that things will ?even themselves out over the season? because currently we know they will not.

Reader Comments

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Jimmy Daly
1   Posted 31/10/2007 at 16:52:34

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What did he say ??
hughie binns
2   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:00:54

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Dont know Jimmy,too many big words,stiill on the first paragraph
Pat Mustard
3   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:27:20

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He said - Money Talks.

Or as that nice Mr.Dylan said ’money doesn’t talk - it swears’.

Whichever way you look at the EPL, SKY and the FA have proved that nice Mr. Orwell right where some are more equal than others.

I could go on for ever but the milk needs delivering and the lady at number 43 is wearing the kit tonight!
Pat Mustard
4   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:33:13

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Make that the away kit!!
Louis Huglin
5   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:30:47

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He says ref’s aren’t good enough; too much power with the ref, the assistants need more input (and there should be more assistants), technology needs to be introduced, and UEFA/EPL is designed to make the rich richer. I think.
Chris Masey
6   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:56:13

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What??? Speak english man...I am truely much thicker than I thought, what a depressing and difficult read
Roy Masey
7   Posted 31/10/2007 at 18:26:16

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Chris - you definitely are not that thick - I didn’t understand a word of it - in fact, didn’t get past the first two paragraphs!
Let me know which train we’re getting on Saturday please? Dad.
Dave Roberts
8   Posted 31/10/2007 at 19:32:15

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I think what Andrew was basically saying is that the time has come for ’US’ to take back the game from the big boys and the money men...that the game is suffering as a result of the amount of money involved in it and that consequentially it would be very difficult to change the system because the system is basically corrupt. I agree with him. Did anybody see the Barca documentary last night? It was a fly on the wall thing and one recorded conversation involved a discussion between La Porta and a board member of some other Spanish club (Deportivo?) in which one said to the other...’the big clubs (G14) are discussing the setting up of a European league’! The response was faded out and although the documentary did not refer to the matter again it confirms my suspicions. The whole setup of the Champions League was always designed as a precursor to such a European League. Personally I can’t wait because I know it would be a disaster and would bankrupt the clubs who involved themselves in it. If we open a separate thread I would be happy to discuss my reasons for believing this. For now though, football NEEDS a financial catastrophe to encourage it back to it’s roots. Otherwise the game will slowly but surely die on the vine. Bring on the bankruptcies for me as only from the big name extinctions will the game begin to grow again as an integral part of ordinary people’s lives and culture, many of whom, in today’s game, can hardly afford a fucking ticket. I am not ordinarily a conspiracy theorist, but ask yourselves, why is it that the expected members of such a European League always seem to get the rub of the green in the EPL today? They are the money boys....it is their plan.... the FA and the EPL have much to gain financially, and we end up with Clattenburg, Poll et al! Think about it. I promise I am sober as I write this. I am convinced the game is as bent as fuck!
Derek Thomasd
9   Posted 01/11/2007 at 07:29:39

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Both Andrew Bulmer and Dave Roberts have arrived at more or less the same conclusion, by different paths.

And both are right, Football, or the EPL / CL version can’t go on like this for ever and will, hopefully crash and burn a la Hindenberg, I just hope we arn’t part of the ’Oh, the Humanity ’ quote.
Ken B
10   Posted 01/11/2007 at 10:01:40

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its a shame when bad things happen to good sentences isnt it?
chris taggart
11   Posted 01/11/2007 at 11:35:50

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I understood every word, its when you put them into sentances that i became confused.
Peter
12   Posted 01/11/2007 at 11:46:14

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MURGH!
Erin Kane
13   Posted 01/11/2007 at 13:00:58

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Got back home at 3AM this morning, and then up for "work" at 7AM. Can hardly keep my eyes open and the twelve black coffees are proving ineffective.

Apparently myself and other toffee supporters were victims of a robbery at Kenilworth Road last night.

£3-20 for a cheese salad roll. I dont know.

Good to see James vaughan get a run out ,and Tiny once more coming up with the goods when it was most needed. Into the last eight for the first time in 20 years i understand. Ironically the last time Luton did win it. The teams remaining look formidable to say the least,but lets show what were made of and go out and win it.

Then again,maybe i,m not getting enough sleep.
Lee Spargo
14   Posted 01/11/2007 at 13:58:46

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I think he’s made a point.

Dont slag the lad off just because your illiterate.
Lee Spargo
15   Posted 01/11/2007 at 14:10:24

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That’s supposed to be you’re by the way!

ha ha how ironic
David Parker
16   Posted 01/11/2007 at 14:01:44

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Great article Andrew I have been thinking this as well for quite a while now.

Don’t be put off writing another by people who I think are being a bit harsh on your choice of words/style of writing and not concentrating on the message which I think is spot on!
Guy Wilkinson
17   Posted 01/11/2007 at 14:38:17

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Good article, ignore the cro-magnon who didnt get past Peter and Jane book 2.

G14 is a cancer that Platini must smash.

Andrew Bulmer
18   Posted 01/11/2007 at 14:45:54

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Thanks for the responses, I was a bit worried about the wordy nature of the piece but as you can tell i’m an earnest sort and happen to believe this is the most important issue currently facing football. For for those of you for whom it was clearly too much I apologise, sympathise and forgive in turn. Whether you crave it or not.

Simply put I believe most of us will eventually lose interest in a sport that is uncompetitive and appears to be fixed in favour of a chosen few. I’m heartened that some of my fellow Evertonians and Platini et al appear have similar thoughts.
RichardFlaherty
19   Posted 01/11/2007 at 16:15:00

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Wheres all the comments on last nights performance? This club through to the quarter finals of one of english footballs major tournaments (better than the ZDS cup anyway)

Sure stubbs and neville may have not of had their greatest game,and the man who advertised John Smiths Bitter moved more than Jagielka did all night.

For that matter,so does John Lennon....
Josh Plug
20   Posted 01/11/2007 at 17:03:51

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I know this isn’t football related, but I can’t help it.


This guy’s either taking the piss, or has grave delusions of the strength of his vocabulary.



Ive rewritten your drivel. It retains some tiresome repetition and incoherence, plus a few dodgy assertations, but maybe this will help people who are nonplussed by your inability to write.

There is nothing cro-magnon about an aversion to pompous verbosity.

cheers

The F.A. and the English Premier League is currently full of inequality. The league appears to be a ?meritocracy? where results on the pitch are rewarded financially, thereby leading to more success. However, it is naïve to suppose that the financial rewards do not lead to influence elsewhere.

We know money influences, the question is ? do the rich clubs have influence where they should not?

Sadly, conspiracy or not, what we are witnessing increasingly is the rich getting richer and leaving the rest of us behind. Sadly, it?s going to get worse if current behaviour continues.

In the case of club football, until very recently the top four clubs entered the champions league and reaped its huge financial benefits ? tv revenues, exposure for their ?brand? etc. This was a prize worth fighting for.

Despite the new EPL tv deal which helps a wider range of clubs the increasingly global marketplace means (champions league football?) remains a glittering prize.

Is this inequity a good or bad thing and for whom? From grassroots to the top, who benefits and how ?

American football appears to have identified the benefits of an equal playing field in all aspects of the running of the sport - from transfers and ’trades’ to refereeing, the aim is for fairness and accuracy which ensures a truly competitive sport that fans have faith in. Despite American footballs shittness, the league still retains the excitement of being winnable by many more teams than the top 3 or 4 as in England.

Just a selection of my ideas for improving the situation:

1) Greater use of technology (would Clattenburg have denied the penalty for Lescott having had the chance to watch it again?)

2) More referees/greater powers. It?s about time the assistant referees lived up to their names.

3) Ability to recruit. By far the most difficult to solve. Salary caps, Youth investment and quotas etc have all been used successfully in Rugby League and other sports.

How much inequity do we believe is acceptable or even good for our sport? Should we be trying to create a truly competitive sport where each team has an equal opportunity for success based on its abilities and tactics as opposed to its ability to make cash?

At the moment, the system is corrupt. Perhaps the chosen few have a self-interested plan. Perhaps they are happy winning every year, at the expense of the excluded.

I hope this is not allowed to continue. Platini, Blatter and Uefa are all making noises to this end. The battle has already started between the ?haves? and the administrators.

It?s time for the clubs like Everton to lead the way and be more vocal about its hopes for football. The time has come for fans to say enough is enough. We won?t tolerate watching referees win games, and the ruining of our game!

We want to watch truly competitive fairly refereed games so we resume our banter and loathing with at least the semblance of belief that things will even themselves out over the season -because currently we know they do not.

footnotes

Administrations do not reside
What exactly is a system?
athletic stratagems ? I?m sure moyes prefers ?gentlemen, we are gathered here today to talk athletic stratagems? to ?lets talk tactics lads?
clubs don?t have lifestyles
Josh Plug
21   Posted 01/11/2007 at 17:03:51

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The F.A. and the English Premier League is currently full of inequality. The league appears to be a ?meritocracy? where results on the pitch are rewarded financially, thereby leading to more success. However, it is naïve to suppose that the financial rewards do not lead to influence elsewhere.

We know money influences, the question is ? do the rich clubs have influence where they should not?

Sadly, conspiracy or not, what we are witnessing increasingly is the rich getting richer and leaving the rest of us behind. Sadly, it?s going to get worse if current behaviour continues.

In the case of club football, until very recently the top four clubs entered the champions league and reaped its huge financial benefits ? tv revenues, exposure for their ?brand? etc. This was a prize worth fighting for.

Despite the new EPL tv deal which helps a wider range of clubs the increasingly global marketplace means (champions league football?) remains a glittering prize.

Is this inequity a good or bad thing and for whom? From Football in general as a sport in England, Britain and Europe. The large club to the pub team. The fan to the administrator. Who benefits and how ?

The current regime appears to be (in my case) terrifyingly similar to tory political doctrine. with trickle down theories mixed in with the merit ones mentioned earlier.

American football appears to have identified the benefits of an equal playing field in all aspects of the running of the sport - from team recruitment to refereeing, the aim is for fairness and accuracy which ensures a truly competitive sport that fans have faith in. Despite American footballs shittness, the league still retains the excitement of being winnable by many more teams than the top 3 or 4 as in England.

Justselection of my ideas for improving the situation:

1) Greater use of technology (would Clattenburg have denied the penalty for Lescott having had the chance to watch it again?)

2) More referees/greater powers. It?s about time the assistant referees lived up to their names.

3) Ability to recruit. By far the most difficult to solve. Salary caps, Youth investment and quotas etc have all been used successfully in Rugby League and other sports.

How much inequity do we believe is acceptable or even good for our sport? Should we be trying to create a truly competitive sport where each team has an equal opportunity for success based on its abilities and tactics as opposed to its ability to make cash?

At the moment, the system is corrupt. Perhaps the chosen few have a self-interested plan. Perhaps they are happy winning every year, at the expense of the excluded.

I hope this is not allowed to continue. Platini, Blatter and Uefa are all making noises to this end. The battle has already started between the ?haves? and the administrators.

It?s time for the clubs like Everton to lead the way and be more vocal about its hopes for football. The time has come for fans to say enough is enough. We won?t tolerate watching referees win games, and the ruining of our game!

We want to watch truly competitive fairly refereed games so we resume our banter and loathing with at least the semblance of belief that things will even themselves out over the season -because currently we know they do not.

Administrations do not reside
What exactly is a system?
athletic stratagems ? I?m sure moyes prefers ?gentlemen, we are gathered here today to talk athletic stratagems? to ?lets talk tactics lads?
clubs don?t have lifestyles
Mike Dolan
22   Posted 01/11/2007 at 23:35:19

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I totally agree with Andrew. For me it is uncomprehensable that one club can have a squad of of players 30% greater than their opponents. One of the main reasons for the disparity between ourselves and the Rich Four is that while we can give anyone a game with a complete squad they can give anyone a game with a depleted squad. It is fundamental unfair.
Andrew Bulmer
23   Posted 02/11/2007 at 15:31:24

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Josh, so good you said it twice eh !

I’d have preferred if you had included some intepretation of the inevitability of bent outcomes from bent inputs bit because that for me is most important.

Thanks anyway it was almost very kind of you.

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