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Have They Ruined English Football?

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Have we let the Premier League go too far? I mean look at the power the players have in this league, they can dictate how much they get and get their agents a few bob as well. And it?s in every club, including our own...

Look at Steven Pienaar: he knows he is in demand and he knows it, he has asked for an extravagant wage for one very good season. Arteta has got his big contract after 5 years of commitment, loyalty and very good performances.

Look at the way Javier Mascherano forced his move to Barcelona, he refused to play for the club that have showed faith in him and made him to what he is today. In the German league they have a wage cap, and look how well they did in the World Cup; I know you could say they had a Pole and a Brazilian in their squad. But they had a youthful squad who had experience because the clubs put more money into their academies rather than big transfers.

I think English football has gone too far for a wage cap; look at Chelsea, Manchester City, United and possibly Liverpool ? they have at least 5 or 6 players on £100k a week or more. All this talk about budget cuts for schools, hospitals and schools... why don?t the clubs ask the players to take a cut for 6 months and use the savings to pay and the savings could go to community projects and stuff like that? But sadly footballers don?t think and neither do football clubs.

England will never win a major tournament because of the way the clubs are structured and the way they can do whatever they want. Every 2 years when there is a big hype about England and they flop, don?t blame Capello or the players ? blame the people who have let clubs spend their way to get success and then forgotten about young talent.
Jake Wilson, Liverpool     Posted 13/09/2010 at 20:35:44

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James Cadwaladr
1   Posted 14/09/2010 at 15:11:45

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All this talk about budget cuts for schools, hospitals and schools... why don?t the clubs ask the players to take a cut for 6 months and use the savings to pay and the savings could go to community projects and stuff like that? But sadly footballers don?t think and neither do football clubs.
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Some nice socialist ideology here but unfortunately The Premier League is probably the most capitalist organisation around.

We all know that the money in the Premier League is ridiculous but is served by market forces and at the end of the day it's a great product. Everything about it is from the quality of football, to football on Sky to conjecture in the tabloids.

Most of us have Sky Sports (if we don't, we want it) and most of us buy the papers or read their websites.

It isn't going to change, don't worry about it just enjoy it. It's great!
Brian Denton
2   Posted 14/09/2010 at 15:34:15

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Don't agree James - it's not great unless you think it's a good thing to have the same teams dominating year after because of the vicious money circle; unless you think it is a good thing to have the football agenda set by the people who run television (see this week's MOTD - the narrative had been decided - Everton took a battering rescued by 2 late goals - and the editing followed); unless you think it is a good thing that no team will ever win the Championship by virtue of good management rather than money, as in my day I have seen Burnley, Derby County, Forest etc win it; unless....oh sod it, we're light years away from agreeing on this.

I would say however that I neither have nor want Sky, contrary to your assertion that 'everyone' wants it. Also this football model is not guaranteed to last forever, however impossible it might seem to break at present.
David Barks
3   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:14:44

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The only way to change it is to use your wallet. Because I will guarantee you that the next thing coming is TV blackouts in the home teams media market for home games not sold out. The NFL in the US already has this. So people in a place like Jacksonville, which has been severely hit by the economic downturn, cannot afford to go waste any money on expensive tickets and parking (everybody has to drive in the US and parking alone will usually be around $25), especially to go see a time that is not very good. But because the game doesn't sell out, they can't watch it on TV either.

If fans in England don't want the same situation, with the notable difference being that the NFL does have salary caps and a last place team can win the league the following year, then they need to finally organize now. But supporters in England have gotten it all wrong. They play the supporters against eachother, so we all laugh at situations like those across the park with their protests of the American owners. And Chelsea probably laugh at the United fans protesting their American owners.

But you can only laugh for so long until it happens to you. I'm sure many of you laugh at Liverpool' situation, and laughed at Portsmouth as they crumbled. The supporters need to realize they are all in the same boat in the end. If the Liverpool supporters and the United supporters and Everton supporters and every other teams supporters came together to protest the current situation, by not going to matches and not buying merchandise for one season, you would see changes. The visual impact of season 10 stadiums empty each weekend would make headlines across the world.

But remember who you're really fighting. It's not the players, they're just taking the paycheck they can get. If you're anger is directed toward the players, then you're attacking the millionaires and favoring the billionaires. It's the billionaires who are the problem in football, just as they are the problem in the overall economy.

If the supporters put aside their differences for once this current set up could change. But I wouldn't hold my breath for that to happen.
James Cadwaladr
4   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:05:20

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Brian, I respect your sentiments and agree with some of them.

You seem to miss my point on this greatly. I am not intimating in the slightest that its a good thng that the same teams win year in year out.

There is a big difference between the creation of wealth / amount of money in The Premier League and the distribution of it.

MY point is that the amount of money in The Premier League is no bad thing. I would agree that the distribution of it should be different.

If you re-read my post you will see that I meant the coverage of football is great as is the quality.


TV creates the money, we all know that. And in essence it is the same of in any industry, if you pay fortunes for something you expect to be able to have it when you want it.

So it is no bad thing to have the TV men set the football agenda as you put it. Otherwise we would be back to seeing one game a week on The Big Match with Elton Welsby on Sunday afternoons from the start of October (remember when we didnt get any televised football until 6 weeks into the season?) and match of the day.

Reagrding your comments

see this week's MOTD - the narrative had been decided - Everton took a battering rescued by 2 late goals - and the editing followed);
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Thats a pretty true reflection of the game, we got battered second half so I really dont think that they could have said any different.

Ultimately I feel that the product on and off the pitch that we have got as a result of the money within football makes it far more consumer friendly and gives us more access.

I love football so much, almost as much as Everton. Take this next week from Saturday. I went to goodision, great time, really enjoyed watching Liverpool look shite against Birmingham on Sunday. I watched Stoke v Villa last night and thought it was a very enjoyable game, tonight I'll watch UTD v Rangers and flick between Spurs v Bremen, tomorrow the other english clubs, Thursday some Europa League and then head back to Goodison on Saturday.

Call me sad and tell me to get a life if you want but Everton have benefitted from The Premier League and without its inception we would not have the likes of Arterta, Pienaar, Yakubu (should start on Sat) et al at Goodison, nor would the top flight of football in this country without the premier league. I ove the fact that I can go to Goodision and have been able to see the likes of Bergkamp, Ronaldo, Arteta, Schmiecal, Ginola, Henry in the flesh. This is because of money in the premier league.

Finally being dyslexic I would much prefer watching the televised games I mention above this week on tele rather than reading a few colum inches the following morning.

Without Sky and The Premier League we would not have enjoyed half of what we have done in the past 17 years - be it players, their performances, tantrums, scandals, title challenges, relegation battles as it would not have had the same coverage.

I think its great and asides from distributing the money better (within football, not schools as it will never happen for the reason stated above) it should be left alone.

James Cadwaladr
5   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:33:41

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@ David #3

The only way to change it is to use your wallet. Because I will guarantee you that the next thing coming is TV blackouts in the home teams media market for home games not sold out. The NFL in the US already has this. So people in a place like Jacksonville, which has been severely hit by the economic downturn, cannot afford to go waste any money on expensive tickets and parking (everybody has to drive in the US and parking alone will usually be around $25), especially to go see a time that is not very good. But because the game doesn't sell out, they can't watch it on TV either.

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This will never happen in the UK and I will explain why. This, in the US is a directorate of the "franchsises" as they are called and is a business model that they use to try and drive footfall to the stadia for match day. The TV revenue in England outweighss that of gate receipts now so ultimately and wrongly clubs arent too fussed about the attendances, again as many clubs still do they will release false attendance records to HMRC anyhow for taxation purposes. English clubs will never order a TV black out for as it is not in their interests in the UK. I also think that each franchise can sell their own TV rights rather than a central deal which means they can have a blackout if they will get more money filling seats in the ground.

We have the sky deal done centrally by The Premier League so I ask you what is the benefit to The Premier League of having a blackout?? None!

There is, though, a similar "blackout" type agreement in place between clubs in England already but it is only in relation to an agreement between clubs regarding away match beambacks. The home team will only allow the away team to provide a beamback of the match to the away club's stadium if the away club has sold their ticket allocation. How this or something similar can be put into practice to consumers at home and the benefits to The Premier League, I am not really sure.
David Barks
6   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:53:13

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James,

The television blackout policy is an NFL policy, not of the teams. The teams effected lobbied for it to be removed last season, on a temporary basis due to the economy and the NFL refused. The teams have no say in the matter, the NFL decides.

Television revenue also makes up the vast majority of the income for the NFL. Stadium attendance is really of no consequence to the teams themselves or the NFL. It's mostly a P.R. stunt, so that half empty stadiums aren't shown on the television. Instead, what is seen is a last place team still selling 80,000+ tickets for a game. So the NFL can say, "see that, even our worst teams sell out. We are the biggest sport in America." And they are.

The Premier League will do a similar policy for exactly the same reason. They do not wish to have their matches shown all over the world with half the stadium empty. Doesn't look good, and that is what business cares most about, appearance. So it serves that purpose as well as squeezing every last GBP out of the pockets of the supporters. It will happen.
James Cadwaladr
7   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:02:56

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David, thanks forgetting me up to speed with the US TV deals. I still dont see how there is a benefit to the permier league though.

Football is defintately the biggest sport so I dont see how the premier league will need to say that about football in the UK.

I am sure that Sky would not allow blackouts so the PL have little choice in the matter.

Final question why havent the PL had blackouts for televised matches at Wigan and Blackburn already?

I dont think it will ever happen but I will look this thread up in the future and touch base with you if Im wrong.
David Barks
8   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:16:01

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James,

Just to try to clarify. The local game is blacked out. So what happens is that another game is put on in it's place. Which Sky will not care about, they still show the game, just not the local one. And you are exactly the type of fan they want to create more and that this system works for. In your own words:

"
James Cadwaladr
4 Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:05:20

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Brian, I respect your sentiments and agree with some of them.

You seem to miss my point on this greatly. I am not intimating in the slightest that its a good thng that the same teams win year in year out.

There is a big difference between the creation of wealth / amount of money in The Premier League and the distribution of it.

MY point is that the amount of money in The Premier League is no bad thing. I would agree that the distribution of it should be different.

If you re-read my post you will see that I meant the coverage of football is great as is the quality.


TV creates the money, we all know that. And in essence it is the same of in any industry, if you pay fortunes for something you expect to be able to have it when you want it.

So it is no bad thing to have the TV men set the football agenda as you put it. Otherwise we would be back to seeing one game a week on The Big Match with Elton Welsby on Sunday afternoons from the start of October (remember when we didnt get any televised football until 6 weeks into the season?) and match of the day.

Reagrding your comments

see this week's MOTD - the narrative had been decided - Everton took a battering rescued by 2 late goals - and the editing followed);
----------------------------------------------

Thats a pretty true reflection of the game, we got battered second half so I really dont think that they could have said any different.

Ultimately I feel that the product on and off the pitch that we have got as a result of the money within football makes it far more consumer friendly and gives us more access.

I love football so much, almost as much as Everton. Take this next week from Saturday. I went to goodision, great time, really enjoyed watching Liverpool look shite against Birmingham on Sunday. I watched Stoke v Villa last night and thought it was a very enjoyable game, tonight I'll watch UTD v Rangers and flick between Spurs v Bremen, tomorrow the other english clubs, Thursday some Europa League and then head back to Goodison on Saturday. "

So Everton doesn't sell out, Everton will not be available on the TV either anywhere near Liverpool. But the Manchester United game sold out, that's the one you're going to get. Football will be on the TV, Sky will show it, people like yourself will watch it. This is the future, I will guarantee it.
David Barks
9   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:20:45

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I don't know what happened with that copy and paste. I only copied the last paragraph of your post but it took the whole bloody thing. Can someone clean that up. Sorry.
James Cadwaladr
10   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:26:45

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Just to try to clarify. The local game is blacked out. So what happens is that another game is put on in it's place.

Makes a bit more sense now.
James Cadwaladr
11   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:30:54

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David, just to clarify. i dont get too watch 8 matches a week usually. The Mrs is away, hence the novelty.
David Barks
12   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:33:43

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James, Oh I know. Don't we all wish we could sit and watch all the games. That would be the life. I especially love those days that the In-Laws come over. The women go out and shop or get their nails done, whatever. I get the house to myself with the remote never leaving my side. The perfect weekend day.
James Cadwaladr
13   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:37:22

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Haha, I prefer it when Cruella goes away to my in laws for the weekend than the other way round.
Rob Wilkinson
14   Posted 14/09/2010 at 18:11:12

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After Saturday it's time to lay (the fuck) off Pienaar! He was our best performer working his socks off 4 the cause as he has in many other games over the period he has been @ everton he deserves to be paid around the same amount as Arteta not as much admittedly but come on sign him up NOW!
Christopher McCullough
15   Posted 14/09/2010 at 18:45:38

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#1 That 'trickle down' reinvestment strategy is very much a part of Conservative ideology.

It's a shame that only the extreme elite, comprising one local player every five years or so, are good enough to play for their local Premier League team. But those in love with the game will continue to play football at any level.
Larry Boner
16   Posted 14/09/2010 at 19:43:47

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Mr Cadwaladr, can I ask you how long you have been going to the game ?
Jon Cox
17   Posted 14/09/2010 at 19:58:54

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Guys we've had a little insight into the future. Here's what I think will be the future of English futty.

Between the Sky TV and the clubs, Sky give loads of dosh to the clubs. Added to that the clubs increase their seat prices year on year so as to be able to buy the best players. We, sadly are as yet in that league.

Therefore us and all the rest of the prem/league have to increase the seat prices just to try and keep up with the Chelsea, Man U, Arsenals etc..
This promotes a problem. If we and other club have to up our seat prices just to stay in touch with the big guys, then the question is how long financially can this carry on.

We only have to look at the housing market. So here we go.

Clubs now think that we'll just keep putting up seat prices. Fans say no! So now sky has a problem and that is less fans in the ground less atmosphere over the airwaves. Result boring football games and more to the point, less people subscribing to sky futty.

OOHHH big problem for sky. Sheeple down, revenue down every fuckin thing down.

Her's the future, Watch out you top four because one thing that i've learn't is that nothing stays the same.

So for me i'm happy that my football club is, on a board level, very, very astute in it's finances.

I feel sorry for Newcasle. But on this site when i've learned that they spit on us supporters at St.james's

Fuck 'em

COYB
Roberto Birquet
18   Posted 14/09/2010 at 21:12:34

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James Cadwaladr... Some nice socialist ideology here but unfortunately The Premier League is probably the most capitalist organisation around.
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Actually you could call it socialist, as the workers rather than the owners of capital (football clubs) get all the money. The opposite of capitalism; at least from a Marxist perspective.

On another economics point ypu make? there is a big difference between the creation of wealth / amount of money in The Premier League and the distribution of it?.. as we all know...TV creates the money.

James, I don't know that.. .truthfully there is no creation of wealth in football, just transfer payments from fans to: players, clubs, TV networks, advertisers, and those whose products are being advertised ? no-one thinks ads are free, do they? They are far more expensive than a BBC licence fee.
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On the Man U game, that's a pretty true reflection of the game, we got battered second half so I really don?t think that they could have said any different.

....er again, not for me. Actually the game I saw was we got battered in first 15-20 minutes of second half, after which we dominated in midfield making 4 or 5 good openings, two of which we took. I wondered if we?d have been able to dominate the last 20 or so minutes had Utd needed to score. Were we good at retaining the ball, or did they not care? I?m not sure. Everton at the moment, are nice possession football from a great looking midfield, but uncertain upfront and uncertain as fuck at the back.

It is a conundrum, how to find a business model to suit all, when most fans just choose winners (Man U etc), leading to little wish for a change from below, while upstairs they are riding the gravy train ? and care not a jot.
Erik Dols
19   Posted 14/09/2010 at 22:48:02

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"In the German league they have a wage cap"... Errrr... No, they don't. Franck Ribery earns 200K (in euro's) each week at Bayern Munich, Raúl 150K a week at Schalke, Van Nistelrooy 120K a week at Hamburg. See the pattern? Not only is there no salary cap, but the biggest wages go to foreigners as well.

Sadly, money is ruling football, but stop thinking everything is better in other countries. Germany always always always performs in the World Cup. From 1954 (which they won) onwards, they only failed to reach at least the quarter finals one time, in 1978. It has nothing to do with salary caps or whatever, they're just good. I hate to admit it but it's the truth. You can blame the Premier League for a lot of things, but not for the English World Cup record, that's just silly.
Eugene Ruane
20   Posted 14/09/2010 at 23:30:49

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Wonder what would happen if Fifa/uefa DID introduce a salary cap - say a max of 80 grand a week. I'd love to see players told "It's 32,000 a week - take the money or spend the rest of your days hanging around outside the fucking chippy".
Roy Coyne
21   Posted 15/09/2010 at 00:58:45

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All that woud happen is we would have a new version of money in the boot, probably offshore accounts now.
James Flynn
22   Posted 15/09/2010 at 01:09:15

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English football isn't ruined. It's at the height of its power; global popularity unmatched. Add global interest in La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga together. Chicken feed compared to the EPL. Chicken feed.

From this side of the pond, where we've had big spending for decades, what's happening in the EPL is normal. One may not like it, but it's routine business.

I can give so many examples, if anyone's asking, but having a successful franchise still boils down to if the club is well-managed from the top.

I've mentioned in other threads similar to this one that what Chelsea has done has skewed perception of money's impact. Yes, the owner threw the bucks around, but it must be apparent that the money was thrown in the right directions on the right players. Hence Chelsea's position for these last years despite managers coming and going (very telling).

DM has done well despite lacking such funding. Man City, Alton Vista? I'm listening.

As we know over here in the big bucks era, it comes down to a well-managed franchise. Indisputedly, money has its place. No question. But it still must be well-spent and the team has to be well-run.
Chris James
23   Posted 15/09/2010 at 08:51:46

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A cracking discussion this, reminds me why ToffeeWeb is such a good site.

Personally, I fall very strongly into the 'it's gone way too far, the Premier League is ruining football' camp. Ultimately all arguments about how successful the EPL has been run as a business are fundamentally flawed, because:

1) The vast majority of the clubs (who the EPL represent and supposedly work on behalf of) are running at a loss and have massive debts, one went into liquidation last year and now even the biggest/most successful (i.e. Liverpool and Man Utd) are under serious financial pressure thanks to leveraged buyouts.

2) The business model is absolute madness and un-matched in any other environment that I can think of, ie:

i) There's an almost total reliance on one revenue stream (TV money far outweighs everything bar player transfers), that's effectively predicated on just one client, who has unsurprisingly established a monopoly and can effectively call the shots.

ii) the 'businesses' pay c.30% of their staff 60-100%+ of their income (that's income, not profit and that's only a percentage of their overall running costs) and then allow these staff to effectively breach these contracts whenever they feel like it.

3) The level of genuine competition (and the ability to compete) is limited to a very small elite (ie, only 2 teams able to win the league in recent years and unlikely to change) and the only conceivable way to challenge this elite is with excessive (and almost certainly unrecoupable) investment - Chelsea, Man City.

This has been so ingrained and accepted within the sport that all concerned (media, clubs and fans) have accepted that the 'REAL' victory is a top 4 position and a chance to appear in the group stages of the CL, probably as a makeweight.

I could go on, but my ultimate contention is that the Premier League (not entirely unlike those in control of the investment banking world) has become an enabler of bad and destructive practise, has sold out sport for financial gain and worse still has failed to realise that gain for anyone but the footballers and their agents (who incidentally are in my view serve no beneficial purpose and are nothing but parasites on the game).

Premiership players are vastly overpaid by any measure you can consider, their financial success is not a realistic reflection of either the value of their skills to society, of wealth creation potential (other than for agents and WAGS), of their example as role models, of their requirement to trade or, most crucially, the profit of their employers (most of the clubs are steadily going bust). They (and the EPL) are living in a short-term bubble and like all bubbles (housing, stocks) it will eventually burst to the detriment of many.

This isn't to say I necessarily blame them though, there are very few of us who would turn down a pay increase if it could be easily secured.
No, I blame the stewards of the game ? namely the owners of the clubs and ultimately those who run the competitions, ie, the Premier League and Uefa/Fifa for enabling, allowing and in fact encouraging this practise.

The good thing is that despite what many fans may think, football supporters DO have the ultimate power. If fans stop going to games, buying merchandise or most importantly, subscribing to Sky packages then the bubble is going to burst pretty bloody quickly.

The rise of fan-run clubs and the start from scratch grass-roots like AFC Wimbledon are a positive sign as are the beginnings of people in the game speaking out against the status quo (see various Blackpool staff), as are the latest regulations put in place by Platini's UEFA (the only organisation who seems interested in actually looking at the problems), but there's a helluva lot more that needs to be done.

My humble suggestion would be to fix a figure or % of outlay on players for each club in terms of wages and fees - this wouldn't then restrict the right to trade of individuals as the clubs could spooge all their cash on one prima donna if they like but it would be at the detriment of the rest of their squad. Ultimately the overall effect would be to lower and stabilise wages.

Naturally this would lead to a short-term exodus of some talent, but I actually don't think that's a bad thing in the bigger scheme and would arguably help the English game (Brit players don't seem to do that well abroad), crucially it should provide for a much more open and compelling competition and a business model that is actually sustainable.

Matthew Lovekin
24   Posted 15/09/2010 at 10:20:19

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Jake, you are right on a number of things. Yes the Premier League has become this monster that has been created, and has ruined the national league and definately the national side. The last consistenly decent England team was under Bobby Robson, coincidently just before the Premier League was created.

It's not the players fault they are earning huge wages. If you were offered £100k per week, would you turn it down? Especially for a lower wage like £50k per week? Hell no! Would you take a 50% pay cut at work for doing the same job? It's not even the Chairman's fault, they are just going along with market demand. Kenwright paid Arteta £75k per week to keep him. If we don't pay a player what they can earn elsewhere, they will leave, probably like Pienaar will. Of course the Chairman can say no, but then that club won't have any decent players!

It's the system that's wrong and that's difficult to change. A wage cap is a good idea, but not for each individual player. Now squads are limited to 25 players, the wage cap should be for the squad as a whole. For example, each club is allowed to spend £1m a week on wages. It's down to the club how they spend it, but that's the total spend on wages over 25 players. Alternatively, each club has a wage cap for the squad depending on their income, e.g. 50% of their income can be spent on wages. This is will keep clubs solvent, but the clubs earning more can simply spend more.

This would be difficult to put in place as it needs to be a universal idea. The FA and PL would probably admit to it being a good idea but it would put English clubs at a disadvantage to foreign clubs who could carry on spending.

The system is wrong, but UEFA if not FIFA need to enforce it all at once.
Brian Denton
25   Posted 15/09/2010 at 10:26:00

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Good post Chris. Obviously some will say that for most people a 'good post' is one that agrees with their judgement and prejudices. Still, just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.......
Jason Lam
26   Posted 15/09/2010 at 10:50:45

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FFS why are people comparing the closed US system to the Rest of The World.

The US don't do relegation.

We don't do Draft System.

Secondly, don't look to footie to solve society's problems. You've already got overpaid underworked people to do that.

Leave Arteta and co alone. COYB

Brian Denton
27   Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:00:08

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Jason, ain't looking to footie to resolve society's problems, but I am looking to footie to resolve footie's problems, if that's ok by you !

By the way, if things carry on this way, it's only a matter of time before the Premiership does away with relegation. I've already seen a few articles by people of an investment (rather than a football) mind expressing amazement that the situation is allowed whereby a 'brand' can be put in catastrophic peril by the existence of relegation........
Dave Lynch
28   Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:17:43

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David Barks is spot on.
The media have sold supporters a lie and it has been swallowed hook line and sinker.
Without fans the game is finished as a spectacle, supporters hold all the cards and if they only realised it could make massive changes in the way the game is run.
Sky's dictation of kick off times is one that could be stopped in a heartbeat, if fans stopped turning up for the idiotic times and days they set for these games then it would all change.
Erik Dols
29   Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:58:29

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Brian Denton, UEFA rules currently oblige that some sort of relegation/promotion is in place. In theory, "closing" the Premier League would result in English clubs being banned from Champions League or Europa League football.

Now obviously the rules will probably just change when the PL would decide to abandon relegation, just wanted to make the point that at this moment, getting rid of relegation would be against UEFA-rules...
James Cadwaladr
30   Posted 15/09/2010 at 12:32:14

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Larry, 26 years.
Craig Walker
31   Posted 15/09/2010 at 13:01:50

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Love football, hate footballers (mainly).

Agents in particular are ruining the game. How many times have we seen a player at Goodison have one decent season and then their agent convinces them to look for a club with bigger ambitions? Before you know it, they're kissing the badge of some other club simply because they pay higher wages.

Most of 'em can't even behave off the pitch for their 60k+ a week.

Makes me sick. I try and not think about it too much.

Michael Brien
32   Posted 15/09/2010 at 12:50:57

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The top 3 highest average attendances are 1) The NFL 2) The AFL and 3) The Bundesliga. So despite all these "A" list foreign superstars and all the millions sloshing about in the Premier League the average attendances are higher in Germany. Looking at Borussia Dortmund for example - a team that wasn't one of the title challengers last year still had a bigger average attendance than Manchester United.
There may not be a salary cap in Germany - but over there the game does not yet appear to have become swallowed up by the "business ethic" that appears to be prevalent here. It costs about £18 to get into a match at my nearest League team - Lincoln City - who are in League 2 or the 4th tier. For the same price you can get into several of the top German clubs. The game over there seems to retain quite strong links with the fans - something that the game over here is gradually losing. And I put the blame for that with the Premier League.
The fact that a club like Chester City can go under due to a debt less than the average Premier League player's wage says it all. Thanks to the advent of the Premier League - the rich clubs have got richer and the poor clubs have got poorer. The whole reason for the "breakway" from the Football League in 1991/92 was to do with the shareout of the money - it was nothing to do with any footballing reasons. The Premier League was born out of greed and unless there are changes it is greed that will be its downfall.

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