The English Football Association have revealed plans under discussion with European football's governing body designed to limit the number of different clubs who can play in the Continent's elite tournament by basing qualification on four-year rolling performance in their domestic league.
It would mean that from 2024 onwards clubs like Everton would need to finish in the top four of the Premier League on a consistent basis in order to qualify for the Champions League, win the title outright or reach the semi-finals of an expanded 32-team Europa League.
Entry into the Europa League would be based on reaching the semi-finals of the forthcoming Europa Conference League or via domestic league position as usual.
The FA indicated in a statement that these proposals are not final and that they would continue to "work with all stakeholders to reach an acceptable position," but, tacitly at least, there appears to be broad agreement with the notion of protecting the revenue streams of Europe's biggest clubs:
“The aim of this proposal is to drive increased revenue opportunities, protect elite European club revenue streams, and meet the demands of a growing, international audience; however it would result in additional matches for English club (eight additional match days) in an already heavily-congested schedule, and would reduce the competition for a ‘top four' finish in the Premier League, which has become a key feature among the ‘big six' English clubs.
While the planned shake-up would appear to diminish the prospects of a breakaway European Super League, they represent significant steps towards closing the door to "smaller" clubs and ensuring that the current clubs enjoying dominance in the Continent's biggest leagues will continue to be represented in the Champions League on a regular basis.
It also increases the pressure on clubs like Everton to escalate their attempts to crack the top four and establish a foothold among the domestic elite, something that remains a key goal under owner Farhad Moshiri, Director of Football Marcel Brands and manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Reader Comments (157)
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1 Posted 28/04/2020 at 19:55:46
2 Posted 28/04/2020 at 20:49:51
Every day, Im getting a bit more disgusted with the sport I love. I was listening to Carragher saying just the other day that they have got to finish the league, for its integrity... Honestly, this is whilst thousands of people are dying every week, right now? Get a grip, Jamie!!
3 Posted 28/04/2020 at 21:01:09
Why push it? Well I guess we know why, but isn't time Uefa showed some leadership? Unlikely but eventually similarly in the domestic arena countries will realize it's not a good idea, withdraw and force Uefa into a corner.
4 Posted 28/04/2020 at 22:04:36
5 Posted 28/04/2020 at 22:19:37
6 Posted 28/04/2020 at 22:26:56
It won't stop them but every football fan will know it's wrong, including the fans of clubs who vote for it.
7 Posted 28/04/2020 at 22:38:21
Man City 4/4
Man Utd 1/4
Only two ever presents in Man City and Spurs; Man Utd and Arsenal are fucked. Maybe they will tweak the rules a bit to allow them in?
What will happen to FFP? If we're basically banned from Europe, we may as well spend what we like and win the Premier League every year. Same with Newcastle after their takeover.
8 Posted 28/04/2020 at 22:49:49
Long time in the making, which means collusion and concealment has been the order of the day..?
Or rapidly patched together in the 'wake' (and there has been 126,000+ of those in Europe alone) of the ongoing CV-19 crisis..?
Either way, it stinks.
This could be the death knell of many a club. It could also seriously backfire as it is, IMO, a backdoor way of introducing a European Super League which remains under the auspices of UEFA without a feared breakaway movement from the 'elite'.
I firmly believe a closed European Super League will never replace the attraction of the parochial national leagues.
National associations need to be strong and declare if something like this comes to pass, choose: stay loyal to your national league, or take your ball and play with your continental buddies with no option of returning to the fold.
Ultimately, it could also shake the tree of global football's administrative system. The very future of international football could be under threat as a European elite group mop up the world's most talented players and start refusing to release them for FIFA's international football or regional competitions.
This will stir up many a storm. It's good that it's out in the open too. 'Cos it's going to be 4-5 clubs versus the rest.
Let battle commence!
9 Posted 28/04/2020 at 22:50:18
The new competition will ensure teams like us get trapped in a spiral of 3rd rate European football whilst the so-called global teams cream the money and take any player who's decent. Is there any point in even playing if this is the case?
Let's see how those loveable reds react to this. Will they stand shoulder to shoulder with us cos they're always on crusades to save football, "Twenty's Plenty", "Football's nothing without fans" etc, etc... $$hhhh!!!
10 Posted 28/04/2020 at 23:02:35
It'll become boring and predictable and as such less appealing to the masses.
11 Posted 28/04/2020 at 23:29:00
12 Posted 28/04/2020 at 23:48:17
13 Posted 29/04/2020 at 00:14:00
There would also be outrage if a team finished 4th and they had to miss out on Champions League football due to it being their first time. Clubs will veto this – and the ones who don't can get on with it and leave the Premier League.
14 Posted 29/04/2020 at 00:39:32
15 Posted 29/04/2020 at 01:11:05
The consistent teams will be the wealthiest – practically a closed shop. This will ensure they stay wealthy. If this is allowed to happen, those consistently outside the top 4 -6, should vote to expel the top 4/6 if they agree to it.
The split in football is surely a step nearer. Money will talk and the ruination of the people's game will be complete.
Another left-field plan could be the 14 joining the SPL – now that I would love to see.
16 Posted 29/04/2020 at 01:44:27
Five words, that all you need to read from their announcement.
Tell em to fuck off and do it then, call their bluff... even if it means going back, cap in hand, to the old First Division. If they'll even have us after we shit on them before.
The Lunatics truely are in charge of the asylum.
17 Posted 29/04/2020 at 04:29:48
18 Posted 29/04/2020 at 05:04:54
19 Posted 29/04/2020 at 06:46:01
Any Premier League club that goes for this should be expelled from the league. But, if the league hasn't got the balls to do it, then ever opponent should refuse to play them as what would be the point of gaining points if it didn't matter anymore?
I really hope that football gets cleaned up and gets back to reality after this virus as, to be honest, I hate the way the game has gone, with out-of-touch players and corruption everywhere. I don't miss that side of it at all.
20 Posted 29/04/2020 at 07:15:24
21 Posted 29/04/2020 at 07:39:22
22 Posted 29/04/2020 at 08:09:47
That clearly meant in Spain, either Barcelona or Real could miss out. In Italy, anyone from Juventus to either of the Milan teams. In Germany, Bayern. That obviously wasn't appropriate for the Uefa barons, hence the current format so that, short of the odd disastrous season, those elite clubs are pretty much in the Champions League just about every season.
This is just a further step to consolidate that grip and effectively turn it into a closed shop European Super League that they dream of.
23 Posted 29/04/2020 at 08:12:10
We only keep going now because every dog has its day and can 'do a Leicester'. Probably the worst thing that could happen to a sport that loses integrity more and more as the money gets out of control.
24 Posted 29/04/2020 at 08:56:57
I suggest if this happens, no one should watch any of these "Champions League"* games. Boycott them until they realise what a horrible evil plan it was.
* Remember when the Champions League was only for the actual champions of each league. Football was in a much better place back then.
25 Posted 29/04/2020 at 08:59:10
26 Posted 29/04/2020 at 09:00:32
There must be a big doubt whether any European competition will be possible for at least 12 months so where will that leave their revenue streams? In deep poo poo!!!!
27 Posted 29/04/2020 at 09:07:49
I think for the Premier League, and Champions League alike, a super league would be good. Barcelona, Man City, Juventus, PSG and Bayern win their leagues. To make it work, smaller countries would have to be involved too, so let's say cup winners from 10 leauges, playing each other 2 or 3 times, for support or affordability as they will be flying all over Europe. Premier League winners and First Division winners will not compete in their next seasons and this will stop teams from winning it twice on the run and give other teams a chance to get in.
Possibly give the option to runners-up to see if they'd rather get into the Europa League or the Champions League. Depending on what they do, 4 or 5 will have to come up and down to replace the missing teams, as well as your standard 3. This way, Man City will not be in the Premier League, so there will be a new winner the next season, but they can still compete in their domestic cups and the Champions League.
Not accurate and probably won't happen but I am hopeful it at least makes sense... hahaha!
28 Posted 29/04/2020 at 09:18:51
Essentially, as everyone knows, Uefa's only interest is their power base and the 'elite' clubs. Fans generally are an irritating necessity.
29 Posted 29/04/2020 at 09:36:17
This virus will dictate that by, next year sometime we will have our pre-Sky football back and on an even playing field... giving the Blue Boys a real chance to rise again. Stay safe. Null and void.
30 Posted 29/04/2020 at 09:48:29
In other words, for the elite clubs, it has most of the benefits of a breakaway super league (protecting the current position of the elite clubs, through a largely closed shop) with none of the disadvantages of a breakaway super league?
31 Posted 29/04/2020 at 09:56:10
Personally, I don't think the Champions League or a European league is worth the paper it's written on, 18 teams from around Europe, it would flop.
The lure of the domestic titles is the key... the future is not a super league.
32 Posted 29/04/2020 at 10:02:06
I haven't watched a Champions League game for years as I can't stand the cheating; I can't see that changing any time soon.
33 Posted 29/04/2020 at 10:02:09
Your post has made my head spin!! Think there may be a job for you at Uefa. The logistics of what you're suggesting would keep that organisation busy for the next 5years, I think.
So the reward for winning your domestic league is you get exiled to play teams from not just Spain and Italy but Norway and Greece? Sounds great for the travelling fans that doesn't it. Maybe I misunderstood your post, there was a lot to misunderstand.
34 Posted 29/04/2020 at 10:20:26
I agree with Christine 28. trouble is though, I don't think the FA etc have the balls to insist these clubs start from the bottom (if they did come back). They too would see £££ signs and not want to miss out on their money-making.
Personally, I'd tell them to feck off. After a while, there would be no away fans in any European Super League – who could afford to travel abroad every 2 weeks? But, these super-rich clubs would just cry 'Human Rights.... Violation of Trade' or some such and use their slimy lawyers to guarantee them a place back at the top of the fold. Bastards.
36 Posted 29/04/2020 at 10:45:45
I would love to see the next crop of 4/5 teams from the national leagues playing each other in the secondary competition. I would love to see the national cup winners have the opportunity to play their counterparts in Europe.
Oh wait... we've already had that and it was scrapped because greedy money men wanted more. This is not about football or fans, it is all the eurodollar.
37 Posted 29/04/2020 at 11:10:28
38 Posted 29/04/2020 at 11:10:37
Thanks for your reply, sorry for my sarcasm, mate, but, as you say yourself, there was a lot going on with your post there.
I personally wouldn't change anything about the Champions League as it stands now, if I'm being honest.
The Europa League has unfortunately become a bit of a sideshow, It doesn't need to be, I think, if slimmed down it could be more attractive; playing the final in places like Azerbaijan doesn't help.
Saying that, I would love Everton to win it.
39 Posted 29/04/2020 at 11:36:08
This proposal together with FFP is designed to keep the top four the same every year and make it impossible for any team to break that monopoly.
If the rest break away, they would take the vast majority of fans with them as the top four would be despised by everyone apart from their own fans who would soon lose interest.
What a despicable shower those clubs are.
40 Posted 29/04/2020 at 11:48:03
Personally, I would love a return to all clubs belonging to the Football League with a more equitable distribution of funds across all four divisions. The current inequity in football mirrors the chasm of wealth distribution in society, just as we are finding out right now: the key workers are those much-maligned public servants who often earn a pittance, not fucking social media influencers, hedge fund managers etc.
Similarly in football the RS, Man Utd etc are fucked without the less fashionable and marketable clubs in all divisions. It's these clubs that provide the passion, tradition, surprises and heart that football needs, in that sense they are the key clubs – not the so-called top 6.
The Champions League is an awfully boring competition in my opinion, it's already a closed shop and I rarely watch it. Whilst it may attract audiences across the globe, it's the domestic competitions that are the cash cow because it has the elements of surprise and passion from fans.
41 Posted 29/04/2020 at 11:52:02
Of course these proposals came prior to the pandemic, but it does show that the 'big' clubs want to have guaranteed European football and therefore guaranteed lucrative TV money.
Everton are a club which is ambitious and has some financial backing but I fear that the club has missed the boat and this may have been the 'window of opportunity' that Moshiri was talking about a few years ago. I don't think Evertonians want the club to be part of a closed shop, and I echo that, but, if Everton FC aren't able to clamber aboard this particular distasteful project, what will be the future for our club and the proposed new stadium?
42 Posted 29/04/2020 at 12:05:06
Problem for me is the sheer amount of £££ they have/will get and also, the fair-weather fans and/or the Sky Darling fans around the world. As long as they stump up for it through telly subscription, merchandise etc, then I can see it happening. At least for a while. Besides, the meejah just love the so-called elite clubs anyway. Everyone else is simply there to make up the fixture lists.
43 Posted 29/04/2020 at 12:18:13
Dave @36, A breakaway of sorts would make a lot of sense. Keep our domestic leagues, and banish the teams who want to stay under the Uefa flag, and then create another European Cup & League, to be played on the same nights as the other competition?
Force them to break away, by pushing them out, especially if they are found to have been behind this new plan from the beginning.
44 Posted 29/04/2020 at 12:22:04
Agreed. As an Evertonian, I don't want us to become a brand/franchise like the Sky meeja darlings now are. But, unfortunately, to be at the top table probably means just that. £££ driven (far more so than ever before); top rank sport is already far down that path. To a lesser extent, rugby (talk of a part privately owned/sponsored ring-fenced Premiership) and cricket (The Hundred franchise probably a back-door way to replace traditional counties) are following suit.
I too hope that, when (if?) the bubble finally bursts, we can get back to a more level playing field. Yes, some clubs will be bigger than others, but not like the behemoths we have now (since Sky re-invented the game).
45 Posted 29/04/2020 at 12:51:03
It would also iron out performance cycles for the richest clubs and you can bet that dropping back down won't be on one season's performance in the Champions League. It is a formula for performing showbiz type football, in my opinion.
I would rather follow Everton in the Championship than follow such crap.
46 Posted 29/04/2020 at 13:06:43
I just want to watch Everton – I don't care who against (preferably the other Premier League teams) and definitely against any European team in any European competition.
We all know and knew this was going to happen. Like someone said earlier, it's up to National associations to fight it.
47 Posted 29/04/2020 at 13:54:17
Okay for the time being, the usual suspects will qualify each season for now; they normally do anyway, but other teams can finally outspend the big boys without fear of breaching FFP rules.
I do not agree with their formula, but they could be cutting off their nose to spite their face; this could come back to bite them on the arse.
48 Posted 29/04/2020 at 14:25:29
Shows the machinations that go on behind the scenes by the elite clubs who feel self-entitled. It will make it an even more closed shop.
They are an anti-competitive disgrace. Any football fan from any background should see this as catastrophically damaging to fairness and to the sport itself.
49 Posted 29/04/2020 at 14:52:56
Let them have their Super League; they'll be back in 3-4 years when they finally realise that it's doomed to fail. They'll soon test the loyalty and passion of the Domestic League supporters.
It's crying shame that Football today is unrecognisable from the game I grew up devoted to.
50 Posted 29/04/2020 at 16:21:18
51 Posted 29/04/2020 at 16:56:56
Therefore, supposing that in this given season we're in 9th place, and therefore I'll be interested in the game between 6th & 4th etc; also, as a football consumer, I will also have an eye on the relegation battle.
Now let's look at a super league: given that, in any league in any sport, there will always be 2, 3 or possibly 4 title contenders, supposing there's 20 teams in the super league and we're in January, there will be 15 of those teams with no chance of winning the league. There's obviously no European spot or relegation... what would be my motivation as a consumer to watch a match between Anderlecht vs Napoli (for example) in what would effectively be a friendly? And the majority of the fixtures would be just that.
If they're proposing for the ‘elite' teams to stay in their respective national leagues and come out to play in the closed shop challenge trophy, the FA and other national bodies would need to grow a collective pair and tell Uefa to fuck right off in 6-8 different languages.
This is yet another example of an industry eating itself; it wasn't too long ago that ‘elite' Man City were in the 3rd division (or whatever they call it). A short-sighted, greedy footballing death rattle.
52 Posted 29/04/2020 at 17:20:23
A bit like not being able to give up going to Goodison – no matter what is served up in front of us and how much our hopes are consistently killed. "It's the hope that kills you" as they say.
53 Posted 29/04/2020 at 17:27:20
What has surprised me is that I thought the lockdown would lead to terrible withdrawal symptoms from my weekly football fix, but I am finding that, although I do desperately miss Everton, I can see much more clearly that the Premier League, Uefa, and the rest are mainly run by greedy moneymen who can go and hang themselves as far as I am concerned.
So I also would welcome the so-called big clubs leaving us to go into an elite European league of some sort, with no real change in the member clubs from year to year. I think it would lose its appeal fairly quickly, and we could get on with a new competitive English league.
If that also meant that I could cancel my Sky, BT and Prime subscriptions, and instead pay only for an upgraded Everton TV sub to see all our games, then I would be happier than I have been since 1987.
54 Posted 29/04/2020 at 17:42:37
55 Posted 29/04/2020 at 18:40:11
If we had been playing in the stadium for the past 15 years, we would be in a different place now with a different image.
56 Posted 29/04/2020 at 18:40:24
Uefa might as well just award the European Cup to Real Madrid 5 out of every 10 years and rotate it between Bayern, Liverpool, Barca, Juve and Man Utd the other 5, because, you know, "history" and "tradition" in the competition across whatever arbitrary timeframe you wish to pluck from the ether to justify excluding everyone else.
57 Posted 29/04/2020 at 18:41:58
Of course, If a promotion & relegation scenario was introduced, then fair enough I suppose, they would have to be let back into their respective league. So, for example, the bottom two in the Super League were from Spain and Germany, then the winners of the top division in those two countries would gain entrance into the Super League.
Somehow, though, I doubt that promotion & relegation would be part of the greedy bastards' thinking.
58 Posted 29/04/2020 at 19:15:09
No doubt some bean counter with no clue of football will sanction some trial in a future preseason, and the path is set.
God help the game of football if this happens.
59 Posted 29/04/2020 at 19:35:04
While it may not affect the Premier League money grabbers, there are other countries that command a degree of pride from their players. Imagine Barcelona with no Catalans in the team. The fans would leave in their thousands.
60 Posted 29/04/2020 at 20:56:37
I will find it very easy to forget that they exist; if their corrupt and greedy project fails, maybe they really won't.
61 Posted 29/04/2020 at 21:06:32
Much of the attraction to sport is the Cinderella-Story team. Everyone loves a Leicester run, some plucky little team (!) making a run at Champions League qualification. If Uefa do this, it's like sucking all the fun out of watching.
Forget about Everton for a second. Imagine if Wolves made it into the Top 4? Hell, I'd root for them like mad if we weren't in it. What about the amazing Leicester City title and their Euro exploits the next season after they inexplicably won the title? So much fun to watch!
Why in the hell do Uefa give a shit about the big clubs' revenue streams? Who cares! If one of the big clubs fall out (AC Milan, Everton, pick a Dutch side, Celtic who have big Clubs and don't participate [regularly] but keep the dream alive) of regular Champions League play, someone gladly steps in and takes their place.
This is so fucking monumentally stupid, it can't be logically defended. Four-year rolling basis is just boring and gives clubs around the world very little motivation to really have a go at reaching the summit.
It's just plain dumb. And it's so disgustingly ivory-tower, superiority complex puke-inducing.
Soccer isn't about the elite. It's about having a sport, deigned by The Almighty, where anyone, anywhere, can play and succeed. All you need is something even resembling a ball and you're off. You don't even need shoes for fuck's sake!! Talk about absolutely ruining a sport. The world is fucking nuts, I swear.
62 Posted 29/04/2020 at 21:23:13
They really haven't featured in the Champions League for quite a few years. But they keep the dream alive, year-in & year-out.
Uefa shouldn't be allowed to kill the dream for clubs like:
Manchester United 😂
Name a Dutch Side FC
Atalanta (the one not in Georgia)
Any team in a smaller league I've forgotten
Criminal. Absolutely criminal.
Rant over. Have a nice day. Wash your hands.
63 Posted 29/04/2020 at 21:24:14
We will have The Catalans, the Reds, Bayern, The Tower, The Devils, Old Ladies, and any other franchise names you can think of. Then, when it is realised that, apart from the Lilywhites, there are no teams in London, the Amsterdam Cloggers move to a new stadium in West London and call themselves the Shepherd's Bush Cloggers because there is more money to be made.
And then Mr Moshiri buys out the Milan Nerazzuri and they become the Merseyside Nerazzuri and play in an 85,000 capacity Bramley-Moore Stadium.
64 Posted 29/04/2020 at 21:26:34
Leave the screwed up sports landscape to us Yanks! We'll live with it. Don't let it pollute world football / European football!
65 Posted 29/04/2020 at 21:33:00
Another reason to be turned off football as if one was needed.
66 Posted 29/04/2020 at 21:33:06
67 Posted 29/04/2020 at 22:15:41
Anyway, top-flight football really is pissing me off every passing day – it's a parasite on society.
68 Posted 29/04/2020 at 22:19:16
I like the idea of local basic rivalry. Where top four is not the holy grail, where our league is not a magnet for money-grabbing hired hands.
Let them go, but make it clear that they will never, ever return. What a chance to get the game we love back and stop paying nonentities like Kean, Niasse, etc, money that – in the current climate – is a fucking obscenity.
69 Posted 30/04/2020 at 00:53:47
Can you see the Premier League allowing this to happen – a devaluation of their prized asset???
71 Posted 30/04/2020 at 05:25:57
Yes. I couldn't agree more. If you're gone, then be gone.
I've seen comments about his on various news articles, websites etc saying if the vampire clubs need to come back, they can start in the bottom division. I'm sorry but, in my opinion, there should be no return option if this super league falls through!
73 Posted 30/04/2020 at 09:04:55
This is a precursor for a Euro league. It seems absurd that it should be mooted in the current health crisis. It all smacks of corruption. They have also got it completely wrong. Who wants to watch the same clubs playing each other? It gets boring.
It is the unpredictability of football (like Leicester winning the title) that makes it such a great game. The more they build-in measures to keep their favourites involved (like Champions League losers dropping into the Europa League) the less exciting is the result.
I would rather the so-called top 4 just fucked-off to a Euro Super League and we got a few teams up from the Championship. We would soon forget the others.
74 Posted 30/04/2020 at 10:17:09
I don't think they will just throw away an important revenue stream and massive financial safety net. They will want to maximise both streams, and will much more likely lobby to change the rules to best achieve that.
It's the anti-competitive rule changes that clubs need watch out for. They will come in all shapes and forms, is VAR one? Clubs like ours just outside the elite need to be on their guard.
Especially as clubs who will never get there may be indirectly financially courted by the elite to vote alongside them.
75 Posted 30/04/2020 at 10:19:23
An 18-team league, and one knockout cup competition. They play 34 league games, and those who get knocked out of the cup in the first round would play a maximum 35 games a season.
Away support would be non-existent, apart from playing a team from your own country. Nobody could afford to travel abroad every other week.
So yeah, bring it on!! Once you're gone, you're gone. No coming back and we wouldn't want you back.
See ya, Adios, Au Revoir, Arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen!!
76 Posted 30/04/2020 at 10:43:10
Yes, we've lost Newton Heath, Woolwich Arsenal, Small Heath, and a couple of others I'd have to ask John MacFarlane Snr to name for me, so I know it's possible we can move past changed names, I suppose... but it would be another massive and intolerable erosion of our historicity for me.
Oh, I was thrown a bit by your count of US teams... 32?
I think there are 26 MLS teams (3 of them are in Canada), but they keep expanding, so who knows? And the names you mentioned are USL teams (their Division II), where there should be 35 more by my count for the 2020 season. Sorry to be the pedant.
This totally bizarre thing about US sport is how a team will up sticks and move 'the franchise' to an entirely different city... blew my mind when they first explained it to me, asking why I didn't follow the Seattle Sounders now I lived in the Pacific Northwest? That's a whole other ethos too — you 'root' for your local team in your newly adopted home – not the one you grew up with thousands of miles away.
In the Great USA, Tradition is for the birds.
77 Posted 30/04/2020 at 11:07:38
78 Posted 30/04/2020 at 11:12:42
How do you reckon that? Surely the whole point of Moshiri investing in Everton FC was to enable it to challenge the existing elite both domestically and on the continent.
From that perspective, anything which inhibits the progress of the club does impact Everton FC – even if our own efforts have failed to accomplish what was hoped for.
79 Posted 30/04/2020 at 11:36:57
80 Posted 30/04/2020 at 13:16:54
It would affect football as you know it indelibly. It would turn football as we know it upside down, so yes, it would affect Everton.
It is, as many posters have pointed out, the greedy plans of a self-serving cartel, absolutely against the ethos of sport and fair play.
It should be strongly opposed by anyone with a semblance of care for professional football.
81 Posted 30/04/2020 at 14:55:47
In the NFL they brought out a rule that "sports team" should be limited to their preferred franchise ownership model. So there would probably never be any place for a future community, fan ownership model.
This plan relegates those who have an interest in the game to consumers rather than fans.
82 Posted 30/04/2020 at 15:25:38
My love of Everton is also becoming a bit weird. I don't really expect us to achieve anything yet I get excited when we win and disappointed when we lose. Affects my whole week. I spend half my life watching, reading or writing about games that are, in effect, inconsequential.
If this change were to come in, I'm not sure how it would impact us. Does it just takes away the 'one day maybe...' bit of hope? Surely that's gone already?
83 Posted 30/04/2020 at 16:06:11
you 'root' for your local team in your newly adopted home – not the one you grew up with thousands of miles away.
That's not entirely true. "Real" fans, like myself I'd boldly state, don't drop their allegiances due to relocation. I'm a Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins fan who was born in Boston but now lives in FL. I did "pull a Yank" and at the age of 18 became a Green Bay Packer fan having moved to the Great White North of Wisconsin. But I've then not rooted for another NFL team for 32 years, and never will.
Mike Gaynes is a Cubs fan. There's countless other examples.
The horde does bandwagon jump, and for those of us that take our sports seriously and akin to marriage, it's disgusting. So overall, you're correct in that Americans bandwagon jump like crazy. And yes, it is disgusting. Did I mention it's disgusting?
But be careful not to paint too broad a brush in a country of 362 million people. Some of us live through the good and bad, and are as loyal as a German Shepard (and as fierce, too).
People in and around Jacksonville often say to me, "You're not a Jags fan?" My immediate response is a simple one, brief which is a miracle for me, and to the point. "No way."
84 Posted 30/04/2020 at 16:25:33
Jamie, my brothers-in-law roots for a new Premier League team every season. It's absolutely disgusting, and I refuse to talk to him about anything related to football. He is from WNY though and is a Bills fan, so that might have something to do with it.
85 Posted 30/04/2020 at 16:41:46
Kristian - stay the course and refuse to talk to your brother-in-law, that's ridiculous. How can you possibly have a team every year? There's zero emotional attachment. It's just dumb.
The Bills will win the AFC East this year, so buckle up for that brother-in-law to be just an unlivable nightmare. 😂
86 Posted 30/04/2020 at 16:46:29
You poor bastard. I just re-read.
BrotherS-in-law. Plural. That's awful. I'll keep you in my prayers. 😉
87 Posted 30/04/2020 at 16:49:50
A top flight league without Liverpool would be perfect. So let the 4 clubs go and the rest of us can have a fair non-corrupt league!
88 Posted 30/04/2020 at 16:50:15
Our teams no longer belong to us, they belong to the world and the media. It's a sad state of affairs but money and lust for power and greed have driven associations, clubs and players to extract every ounce of income they can.
How many players play for the hell of it anymore? It has now become a case of who has got the best and latest bit of bling. So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. What's new?
What do agents and the likes of Gordon Taylor bring to the game at vastly increased income for themselves. Even a pandemic hasn't managed to create more prudence or caring.
It is hard to see this situation changing... in fact, if this proposed monopoly is allowed to go ahead, I think I will resort to watching the kids play in the park – that is those that are not swept up into the academies.
Oh for some commonsense and decency.
89 Posted 30/04/2020 at 17:11:40
Tongue in cheek by the way!! I spend a lot of time in the States, so have followed the discussion!!
We live in a much more transient world now but I don't buy the supporting the team in the area you now live rather than where you were born thread above.
I was born in Liverpool. My family come from Liverpool and many still live there. I spent time abroad as a child due to my father being in the Army and I followed suit, living & serving in many parts of the globe for long periods.
I eventually settled the family in London but I still support Everton because I always have done, just as my son, who has spent his childhood in Italy, Northern Ireland and the majority of it in London.
We don't support Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal or our closest geographical team, Watford. We support Everton because of the roots, the family connections and the subsequent emotional connection.
90 Posted 30/04/2020 at 18:36:55
Haha. Did Belichick just quit?
91 Posted 30/04/2020 at 19:59:01
As a few comments have shown, an awful lot of us couldn't care less about European football if Everton aren't involved (I'm not sure I have ever watched a "Champions" League match) and my only interest is enjoying seeing the RS result when they've lost. I have no idea (or interest) who won it last year or in any previous year.
The results of PSG vs Barcelona or Bayern Munich vs Rotivator Volgograd is as interesting to me as any US men's netball match when the New York Glanduar Cases beat the Washington Steroid Users 234-212.
I have some inklings that the manner in which the players, clubs and game administration have behaved in the past few weeks might just be the end of this game as we know it.
92 Posted 30/04/2020 at 22:03:28
Very good! I, too, wasn't the biggest "Jags" fan.
Interesting story. Keep the Blue faith. And clearly I'm with you 100% on the rooting for your local team just because you moved there issue! It's garbage. Anyone I know that changes teams like they do boxers, I don't trust 'em. Expedient people have no loyalty; they are castles built on sand.
Belichick without Brady? Bills are totally on the rise and a good team. Bills for me. Watch out for the Tom-pa Bay Bucs too.
93 Posted 01/05/2020 at 03:41:25
I hope the PFAs in every European country urge their members not to participate because it goes against everything football was meant to be about. Competition and the chance of glory.
Also, all football fans should organise to boycott it. Unless of course there are fans who don't want real competition – just the chance to say, "We're in it – you're not!" Mmm... I wonder who they may be?
94 Posted 01/05/2020 at 03:47:10
95 Posted 01/05/2020 at 06:28:42
96 Posted 01/05/2020 at 09:51:58
97 Posted 01/05/2020 at 11:32:35
98 Posted 01/05/2020 at 12:02:02
I had the misfortune to tune into CNN yesterday and, lo and behold, they had a feature on the lovable neighbours for no apparent reason. Then, later in the evening, they had a piece on the players and how they were helping out in the community in these perilous times.
By the way, I've heard how Trump constantly castigates CNN and, although I'm far from a fan of Trump, I have to agree it's more akin to a fanzine channel than a news outlet. Do FSG have shares in CNN?
As for the neighbours being omnipresent on any and every media outlet, I can only assume that they have a major advertising company such as Saachi and Saachi involved in promoting their brand.
99 Posted 01/05/2020 at 12:45:05
100 Posted 01/05/2020 at 13:12:10
101 Posted 01/05/2020 at 14:17:49
The 32 “football teams” he's talking about are NFL.
102 Posted 01/05/2020 at 14:19:32
They have been reminded by loads of other people about their history of bad deeds, so maybe the tide is turning against them at last. That's only the public though, the media will still fawn all over them
103 Posted 01/05/2020 at 14:56:41
Writing on the wall... only a matter of time.
104 Posted 01/05/2020 at 15:15:26
The Hundred has had to be postponed to next season. We've effectively moved from 60 overs to 55 to 50 (where we've just won the World Cup) to 40 to 20-over games to a 100-ball game, all part of shortening the game on an ongoing basis and squeezing out traditional cricket, and ultimately test matches. Television rights are part of this.
Another crass example of Sports Administrators knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.
If this trend continues, all we'll be left with will be the toss-up. But it will be televised!
105 Posted 01/05/2020 at 15:52:16
106 Posted 01/05/2020 at 15:53:45
Chris (#104); Just a point, the 40-over game, the John Player League, came first and was played on Sundays between county sides.
107 Posted 01/05/2020 at 16:01:27
108 Posted 01/05/2020 at 16:30:46
Like Half Man Half Biscuit, as a kid, I found some of the team names fascinating and still memorable. Worth a read if you get a chance.
109 Posted 01/05/2020 at 16:50:58
What a fabulous team: Puskas, Hidekguti, Koscis, Grosics and others whose names I have now forgotten – well it's 67 years ago!
Wonderful to watch but sadly the momentum fell away eventually and they have never risen to the same heights since those years of the late fifties.
110 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:17:02
And the players looked like they enjoyed showing off shots they wouldn't think of playing in Test or County games. I remember Barry Richards, the South African opening bat, backing off to cut a ball and the bowler, seeing him move, bowled it 2 foot outside leg stump. He still cut it for four and it hit the fence before a fielder had moved, and all Arlott could say was, "Well, did you see that?"
Enjoyment in sport, whatever happened to that?
111 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:33:26
112 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:34:26
Yes, it seems a long way away now. I remember one game when it was stopped for rain, and they just let Arlott loose in the club museum for 30 minutes or so. He just went from display to display and talked about each one, its history and significance, completely extemporised and riveting.
I always thought he had the dream job for me. Cricket writer, Wine writer, travelling the world doing both. BBC Radio Poetry Correspondent, introduced Dylan Thomas to the BBC. Pipeman of the year and President of the Professional Cricketers Association, mentor of Basil D'Oliveira. A poet too.
Still envious now.
113 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:41:10
Jamie #83, thanks for the callout (go Cubbies!), but I disagree to a significant extent. I really do think most US sports fans are like you and me -- they establish their pro and college allegiances early in life and stay with them forever. Only the most casual bounce from one team to another based on moving to a new geography (or marrying a fan of another team).
The "bandwagon jumpers" drive me crazy too, but I define them differently. They're the ones who swarm out of the woodwork like roaches when the local team suddenly gets good, and then swear they were big fans all along. San Francisco fans are the worst -- I've seen it with the 49ers, the A's, the Giants and now the Warriors, teams that played for decades in front of vast tracts of empty seats before they became champions. Bay Area fans are better "hoppers" than kangaroos.
114 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:41:56
115 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:46:32
"...the South African opening bat, backing off to cut a ball and the bowler, seeing him move, bowled it 2 foot outside leg stump. He still cut it for four and it hit the fence before a fielder had moved..."
I understood exactly none of that.
There are four things my brain will never, ever comprehend -- quantum mechanics, string theory, the Mandarin alphabet, and cricket.
116 Posted 01/05/2020 at 17:50:22
Some really funny stories about Harry Pilling, who sounded a bit of a savage. About 5ft 3 but a hell of a batsman on his day.
117 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:03:55
That game changed the English way of playing, players and managers started thinking of different methods of playing the game but not in time to stop Hungary battering England 7-1 in Budapest a few months after that 6-3 hiding.
118 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:11:19
119 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:14:12
Chris, we could talk all night like this but I'll leave you with the thought that at least I had two games on the SCG and in one of them, my first over after lunch was a wicket maiden and the Umpire as he handed me my cap and sweater said, "Good over, Alan".
As usual, I thought, yeah from an Umpire and then I remembered he used to open the bowling for NSW and the week before from the same end he was standing with Dennis Lillee running in during an Ashes Test, but it mattered not the least.
120 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:20:03
Life is full of surprises.
121 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:28:45
I always thought the same of Peter Wilson writing about boxing and tennis for the Daily Mirror. If you never saw the actual fight or tennis match, reading Peter's description, it felt like you were in the ring with the boxers or on the court with the tennis players.
122 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:36:00
123 Posted 01/05/2020 at 18:44:41
124 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:05:03
125 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:05:16
126 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:15:57
In a semi-final played at Old Trafford, and Lancashire needing 20-odd runs in the final over to win, when I think it was David Hughes who came out to bat at around 8:45pm. With no floodlights back then, it must have been really difficult as a batsmen to pick up sight of the ball.
David Hughes scored the required runs to reach the final, and the field was invaded by thousands. Lancashire had a great one-day team back in the '70s, winning the Gillette Cup three years on the spin.
127 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:19:19
I'm impressed and jealous. It's something to cherish.
Dave, Arlott never played cricket at first-class level, but it appealed to the poet in him. He also loved cricketers, because he reckoned they played a tough sport fairly and hard, without much recompense or recognition for the most part.
He said he could only remember two cricketers he disliked. It's why they made him the president of their union. He thought they had a generosity of spirit by and large.
His writing in The Guardian made him a brilliant successor to Cardus.
128 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:20:04
The great Richie Benaud for me the best cricket commentator of them all, while John Arlott with his West Country accent described things beautifully. The fact that Benaud had not only played at the highest level but also captained Australia gave him greater insight than the others.
Peter Allis, the voice of golf for decades, with a great wit in conjunction with great knowledge, having played the game at the highest level, including playing in Ryder Cup games. I always remember his quote about "Isn't it wonderful how a piece of string can keep 40,000 fans under control?"
Also, I can't forget the brilliant Kenneth Wolstenholme, for my money still the best football commentator. I can't think of another football commentator who, when some supporters ran on the pitch, would have used his line which is now world famous: "They think it's all over... it is now!"
A name that slips my mind was the BBC tennis comentator, really great cut-glass accent – he was perfect for tennis, no doubt it will come to me later. Then who could forget Kent Walton commentating on Wrestling.
I am sure there are many more specialist commentators I haven't mentioned but I am sure my fellow posters on here will remind me.
129 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:25:33
It was, of course, Dan Maskell.
130 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:27:26
131 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:37:13
I remember that I watched it with my dad. When Hughes came out to bat, he complained to the umpire about the light. The umpire said "David, what's that up there?"
Hughes said "It's he moon."
The umpire said "How far do you want to see?"
132 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:48:36
Four-minute highlights of that memorable Lankie win in the Gillete Cup.
How times change! In commentary, it mentions that Lancs needed 27 off 7 overs – a big ask in those days – before Hughes slogged nearly all of them off one over.
There was a full moon beaming over the ground that night and when Hughes asked one of the umpires shouldn't they go off for bad light, was brusquely told:
"You can see the Moon, can't yer? How far do you want to see?"
I remember laughing at the time how the kids kept pushing in the boundary ropes to help Lancs.
And if I recall rightly, it was unprecedented for the BBC to interrupt their schedule, but I'm sure they delayed the start of that evening's BBC News to show the dramatic finale live.
133 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:50:05
He didn't get a bat on it all the over, and was turned inside out, both sides of the bat.
Arlott: "That was an interesting over. Splendid bowling."
"Yet another example of Mann's inhumanity to Mann."
134 Posted 01/05/2020 at 19:55:12
Glendenning also did the radio commentaries of the FA Cup Finals after the war for a number of years.
135 Posted 02/05/2020 at 06:18:40
It was also the day the other semi-final had been washed out and that was to have been the broadcast game so the Lancs game had only Jim Laker who commentated the whole game on his own. They even had the pavilion lights on at the end.
Brian (#128); Not to forget Bill Maclaren's classic, "As the whistle blows for No Side." And my favourite cock-up was Whispering Ted Lowe who did the snooker. It was not long after colour TV had been introduced and Ted said, "For those of you without colour TV, the blue ball is the one behind the green."
136 Posted 02/05/2020 at 06:53:21
I always disliked Boycott as a cricketer, as most of his team mates did apparently, but I think he's a wonderful commentator on the game.
137 Posted 02/05/2020 at 07:04:02
138 Posted 02/05/2020 at 07:30:37
Remember to the tune of The Dambusters; "We all hate Leeds and Leeds and Leeds and...".
And don't you dare start the one about, "My Dad shot all the rhinos in Leeds..."
Unfortunately, I drink with a couple of Kiwis and a Zulu so they keep me advised who's who between races. Truth be known, I never liked Liverpool City becoming Huyton then Runcorn and I can't think of any franchisees who'd have moved to those high rolling centres.
139 Posted 02/05/2020 at 08:50:34
140 Posted 02/05/2020 at 09:21:32
He was doing the actual stage where the big pile-up occured in 1967. Just before the 'off', he was checking his runners and riders (Kursall Lad, Rondeto, Red Alligator – names that I still remember as soon as he mentioned them) and found one he couldn't recognise. In the end, it bugged him that much, he had to go over and ask the jockey who he was riding.
"Foinavon" he replied...
"But you're down as green?"
"No," said the jockey, "the owner changed it just before, thought it was unlucky."
Michael O'Hehir said he was glad he did, as he was the BBCs man on the spot when it all went to custard at the fence after Beechers. The embarrassment of not knowing the horse's name on live TV would've followed him to the grave.
Another voice of the sport was cycling's Phil Liggett.
I still contend that Wolstenholme's "Some people are on the pitch, they think its all over... It is now!" line, is one of, if not The greatest ever unscripted speechs in the English language. Up there with "Oh the humanity!"
141 Posted 02/05/2020 at 10:29:53
142 Posted 02/05/2020 at 11:11:54
Liverpool Stanley... weren't they the speedway team? My brother took me to watch them a few times, the only English speedway rider I can remember was Peter Craven... would that be right?
143 Posted 02/05/2020 at 11:16:29
Does anyone recall Chris Tavare scoring 18 between lunch and tea? Proper cricket.
144 Posted 02/05/2020 at 11:25:05
Mind you, I'm not keen on Union these days as it seems a version of League, go for a run and when tackled the two blokes following stand over you as you stretch out behind with ball in hand, much like League's play the ball when tackled.
Where did Liverpool Stanley play? Knotty Ash comes to mind for some reason.
145 Posted 02/05/2020 at 11:34:12
And while they still stop for Lunch and Tea, gone is the rest day... what good times and happens in no other sport, even if you get a round in at every other end in Bowls.
146 Posted 02/05/2020 at 11:42:50
I fairness I could watch overs of Derek Underwood bowling to Boycott on a damp pitch with the ball not getting off the square. 2 craftsmen in a real battle of wits.
I've read that the bloke who was most responsible for increasing the run rate was Adam Gilchrist, coming in at number 7 and giving it some beans.
Uncovered pitches! I wonder how that would go down these days.
Lancashire used to have a wicketkeeper called Geoff Clayton, and he blocked out a Gillette Cup match once in protest at the opposition, Sussex I think, putting all their fielders on the boundary.
Sussex were captained by Ted Dexter, who got a really bad press in Peter Cook's autobiography.
147 Posted 02/05/2020 at 12:10:52
The only excitement Tavare gave to the game was the Test when Border and Jeff Thomson very nearly pulled off the 93 (I think) run chase for the last wicket. I think they needed 3 to win and Thomson edged one to Tavare at 2nd slip. It went through his hands just over head height and Miller ran behind him to complete the catch.
I do seem to recall reading an article that stated that his County record was quite the opposite. Mind you, a few more Boycotts and David(?) Steele's and they wouldn't have lost quite as many Tests, something you'd have appreciated if you were in Oz during the Mike Denness tour in the '70s.
Boycott was a strange one as his early career he was quite free-scoring. Tony Davies once told the story about the MCC playing a one-day friendly during a stopover in Hong Kong. Davies won the toss and elected to bat. Only a couple of overs from the local trundlers and they started walking off. Davies ran out asking what was happening and was told that Boycott had appealed against the light. Davies asked him what he thought he was doing and Boycott replied, "You don't know what it is like to be great."
148 Posted 02/05/2020 at 12:35:36
I remember from reading Botham's and Gower's autobiographies how they would try to get Boycott run out when they were at the wicket with him, so England would have a chance of winning the game.
The thinking was that Boycott played for himself and his stats, not for the good of the team.
There's a story about playing against an Indian spin bowler and Boycott saying he could spot his googly, but he wouldn't tell his teammates how to spot it.
149 Posted 02/05/2020 at 12:40:29
Yes it was David Steele. Described by a well known Mirror journalist, coming out to bat against the West Indies, as being like a bank clerk going to war. I don't think it was Frank McGhee, but someone pretty well regarded at the time.
Yes, I've read that Boycott is not a popular character at all, and fairly unpleasant. I'd always thought it was because he came from Yorkshire!
I read a story by Henry Blofeld, about the tribulations of following a cricket tour of India, and the scourge of Delhi Belly.
He and a couple of his colleagues had been all over the place looking for something milder that wouldn't afflict them. They eventually found something milder which they called The Boycott Curry, on the basis that, although it would be slower and take longer, the runs would eventually come.
Aah, that public school humour!
150 Posted 02/05/2020 at 13:06:02
Things like the introduction of helmets for batsmen, “If he's too thick to duck then he shouldn't be at the crease.”
151 Posted 02/05/2020 at 13:14:58
Much to the dismay of his teammates, Tony Greig took great delight in winding up Lillee and Thompson. A late friend who kept wicket for Ireland back then, helped out at a practice session in London. He said the pace of Thompson was terrifying, clearing the boundary with a bouncer.
One of my favourite stories concerned the bias of local umpires in the warm-up games. Apparently, after three plumb LBW appeals were denied, the bowler (might have been Geoff Arnold) sent the stumps into the air with a yorker. The umpire turned to him and remarked "You nearly had him that time son".
152 Posted 02/05/2020 at 15:55:01
During that tour, Tony Greig got Dennis Lillee, who was the last man, out with a bouncer and, as they were walking off, Amiss said to Greig, "I don't mind you getting him out but did you have to bloody upset him as well?"
If you want a good cricketing laugh, try Fred Truman's LP, The Umpire Strikes Back, especially the story of Alf Gover on the 1933(?) tour of India.
153 Posted 03/05/2020 at 06:09:19
With all due respect. Any Americans on this site will agree. We so, so appreciate your love of cricket. But from our perspective we have our baseball. So we don't, and won't ever, care about your cricket.
But we respect your love of cricket because it entirely equates to our love of baseball.
154 Posted 03/05/2020 at 06:43:07
155 Posted 03/05/2020 at 07:43:03
156 Posted 03/05/2020 at 14:35:42
157 Posted 03/05/2020 at 14:44:30
Just one more?
Following on from the Delhi Belly story, on the same tour, at breakfast, the Times correspondent, looking pale and wan, confided that hed broken the world record for relieving himself in a single night. But he felt that the record would not be ratified because it was wind assisted!
158 Posted 03/05/2020 at 15:05:18
Cheers, and as I said to my son on the birth of his third, In cricketing terms, it's time to pull the covers over.
159 Posted 04/05/2020 at 22:11:52
By the way, thanks to Michael and Lyndon for their indulgence on this thread. The two of you have helped keep a lot of us sane. This site is a sanctuary.
160 Posted 04/05/2020 at 22:49:49
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