Depending on your perspective, the Premier League is either a fantastic success or the death knell for competition. They have purposely and deliberately created a super league within the Premier League that ensures those clubs have access to money, the best players and skewed decision-making.

The other 14 clubs who make up the competition are irrelevant to the executive, merely the means to a lucrative end for the other six.

No-one begrudges wealth creation, but to claim that a regulator would damage the success of the Premier League is a sham, because it is more likely to ensure that the arrogance of Richard Masters is countered with regulation.

His lobbying against an independent regulator, something he told a parliamentary committee he would not do, is shameful in its arrogance and sheer hypocrisy.

Not one of the "Big 6" has made any statements about PSR and the Everton situation or the impact on the game in general because, quite simply, it doesn't affect them, and if threatened, the rules are changed or skewed to prevent competition.

The league is anti-competitive in its structure, it's rules and operation. Advantage for years in on-field decision-making has always been a thorn in every supporter's side; now, unashamedly even the sham of any financial fair play has dropped its own deceit in abandoning the joke that its title alludes to: fairness.

Division abounds with some clubs trying and failing to dent the steel ceiling (glass gave the illusion it could be broken), wealthy owners handcuffed – Everton, Newcastle, Villa, Leicester... money is of little use if you are not allowed to spend as freely as the ring-fenced six.

There is no future in the present format of the Premier League, no matter how successful those 6 teams are in Europe, no matter how many trophies they win. The deliberate exclusion of 14 clubs means the opportunity for them to compete at the same level has gone. Shamelessly, it has been stolen from them on the drip.

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The pie has been divided up with preference to a guaranteed greedy few and any resemblance to fairness has been replaced with accusations of competitive advantage.

Having already given the greatest known in-built competitive advantage to six clubs, this Executive doubles down on the miniscule discrepancies of alleged advantage whilst enshrining it for the few.

Corruption is not merely an accusation, the game is rigged, flawed, beautiful but ugly. Its demise is overdue but the 6 will fight it tooth and nail.

Reader Comments (46)

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John Pendleton
1 Posted 11/04/2024 at 00:48:06
Titles and trophies handed around an ever-dwindling number of teams will kill it for all eventually.

What's the point? — That shouldn't be the feeling at the start of each season for 80% of the fans.

Christine Foster
2 Posted 11/04/2024 at 06:26:57
Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, the in-fighting begins again: Luton Town CEO Gary Sweet has complained that Everton's points deductions did not fit the crime and we should have been hit much harder as a deterrent. So much for the other clubs standing together.

Luton Town, that great bastion of English Football of fabulous heritage... I wonder exactly what he believes should happen to the Sly Six, the rigged PSR rules, or those to come next year? How about Man City, Chelsea or even Leicester who will replace them in the Premier League?

Tell me, Gary, or is it as I said, it doesn't bother you as they are not in your league? You only think you are.

Sue the Premier League if you are so inclined, see where that gets you. Back to looking at the game through a bedroom window perhaps?

Enough of this tripe. My view is simple. Win every game we can and put 10 points between us and relegation. As for Luton, enjoy your 5 mins... it's all you are going to get for a long time.

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 11/04/2024 at 06:50:12
Your last paragraph says it all, Christine.

Win games, then the Stalanists can't touch us and eat from their self-appreciating trough. (Those who don't know the analogy, watch Animal Farm.)

This is going to be tough. But when it gets tough, you rise to the challenge and fight. Come on, Everton. You have your, or should I say 'our' destiny in your hands.

To a classic quote from the great one: "Hear that? are you going to let them down?" Possibly one of the best team talks ever. Simple and succinct.

Don't let this very loyal and passionate support base down, Everton. Don't you dare.

Kevin Molloy
4 Posted 11/04/2024 at 07:20:50
I think we have to remember that we can only see what they choose to reveal. That breakaway five years ago, which never happened… I think they secretly told each other "We will just start pulling up the ladder and enforcing our bullshit PSR rules, and sooner or later they will demand that we clear off."

And as Christine says, this current situation is not sustainable. There is no future beyond a bread-to-mouth existence. We look at the Championship, the fans there seem to be enjoying themselves much more than we are. Let them go, they will probably be back, once the Euro thing is revealed for the bore fest it will be. And when they come back, it's no more PSR. They can go to hell.

Steve Oshaugh
5 Posted 11/04/2024 at 07:32:27
Financial success undoubtedly... huge viewing figures and game attendance is massive... competitive? Largely depends on your definition, I guess – quite a few title races over the years, including this one, which proponents would say makes it competitive.

Personally I don't think it is remotely competitive and is getting worse. Sport should absolutely allow teams to have a chance based on good coaching, tactics and attitude.
Teams don't have a starter's chance.

Everyone gets very excited about Brighton but they will inevitably finish mid-table below Chelsea who have had a shocking season. Somehow Villa and West Ham have got in the mixer but will it be more than a one-season wonder... probably not.

Christine Foster
6 Posted 11/04/2024 at 07:39:20
Kevin, they didn't want to go anywhere, just wanted the benefit of the cash cow Premier League as well as a European Super League. Having one's cake and eating it. The Premier League have now set in place a further rule to prevent any club joining another competition. So they would have to leave.

Conversely, is it coincidence that rules to be set in place will actually ensure the Premier League has an elite division? The 6 are so well provided for through slanted financial provisions, the gap can only get wider.

Chances of competing on any basis you care to mention, financial, access to best players, manager, facilities... that's gone.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 11/04/2024 at 07:53:03
The sooner it Implodes and ceases to be, the better for all; there will be casualties though, probably us knowing our luck.

I/we keep saying it can't go on like this - but it does.

One Game at a time, do the job in front of you – beat Chelsea.

Apropos of nothing, every so often I'll get an ad for a 'humorous' tee shirt, which states...

I may be old, but at least I got to see the world (in my case football / Everton) before it all turned to shit.

Pretty much sums the whole Premier League thing of today.

Chris Williams
8 Posted 11/04/2024 at 07:56:08
The Snakes and Ladders Premier League.

Masters's emphasis on “world leadership” and focus on brand, is the behaviour of a promoter, a marketeer, and certainly not that of a regulator.

His comments about “unintended consequences” are ironic, given the fact that his own behaviour and arrogance has actually had the unintended consequence of guaranteeing an independent regulator.

A regulator would certainly have concerns about the uncompetitive nature and imbalance in the current Premier League, which has grown massively over the years, making us more like the Scottish League, where you would see the same couple of clubs winning each year.

Although the same thing also happens in many of the Leagues in Europe. That inequality is now hard-wired into the system by its management of the PSR process.

A regulator might have concerns about the very cozy relationship with Sky where the fans are low man on the totem pole as far as scheduling is concerned. Or where certain “editorial stances” seem tailor-made to be uncritical of the Premier League, not least it's initial stance on the 10-point deduction.

Self-serving doesn't begin to describe the behaviour of this man and his tarnished organisation. A dead man walking you'd think.

Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 11/04/2024 at 08:22:08
Just a thought on the 'perspective' you mention at the start of your piece, Christine, and the comments you saw from Luton Town's CEO Gary Sweet.

As CEO of what is really an EFL club that doesn't really belong in the Premier League, I would venture to say that his perspective is different; certainly their experience is.

A Luton Town fan was itemizing for me the 30-point deduction — yes, that's thirty points — they were docked for a handful of financial 'crimes', just imposed with no possibility of appeal as that's not something they countenance in the EFL.

Denied any right to an appeal against what remains the biggest points deduction ever given out to an EFL club, it meant Luton Town started the 2008-09 League Two campaign on minus 30 points, rendering any realistic hopes of staying up impossible, and Luton were indeed relegated to the Conference, ending their 89-year stay in the Football League.

Gary Sweet knows one of the darkest periods of their history will always remain firmly in the club's memory banks, as he said: “No it won't be forgotten by me and certainly not by the supporters...

"You know what I don't think there are many in the FA and Football League now who think anything other than it was grotesque. I have a very amicable relationship with both organisations today, but you are dead right it was grotesque what happened.

"They tried to make an example of a football club but they picked the wrong one, or picked the right one.

"Maybe they knew that we would actually have the gusto we did and the courage we did to come back in the way we have.

"It is a good story from that point of view, from their point of view isn't it?

"In some ways, it actually says you should give clubs a big points deduction because if the club behave like Luton Town afterwards, then why not?”

Dave Lynch
10 Posted 11/04/2024 at 09:10:40
Christine... you allude to the arrogance of Masters.

The same arrogance you have toward Luton. You can't have it both ways. Luton are where they are through hard work after being basically kicked out of the professional league.

We are where we are through sheer mismanagement and the arrogance of a former chairman.

Christine Foster
11 Posted 11/04/2024 at 09:52:15
Fair comment, Michael, and I read his comments after I had posted the article, and I went and looked up the reasons for the deductions, the bulk of which centred around going into administration and associated issues, it doesn't make pretty reading no matter what division you are in.

He has a perspective but in context the monies involved, the conflicting issues around who is charged and why is probably as big an issue to him around Luton, but we are talking about the top of the top leagues, the top of the top clubs (the six) and it's the context that we have to deal with.

In fairness his club may have to as well, but to read that they might wish to sue Everton should they not get further punishment this season is scandalous.

Dave Lynch 10# Given the issues of the 14 other clubs in the league, one could have expected a minimum level of support, not the view he has taken. My "arrogance" as you put it is the frustration of knowing that from top to bottom, us included, this league is stuffed. But what next?

Dave Lynch
12 Posted 11/04/2024 at 10:03:27
Nobody...especially me is denying that this league is stuffed Christine.

It was royaly stuffed when they let the breakaway 6 off with no more than a slap on the wrist.

They now know they hold all the power.

Andrew Merrick
13 Posted 11/04/2024 at 10:26:51
If all 20 teams in the Premier League have one vote each, why can't the clubs decide what to do next?

Heads need putting together or banging...

Christine Foster
14 Posted 11/04/2024 at 10:30:00
Andrew, this is what I find head-scratching, why isn't there raised voices?

Is just existing in the Premier League their fantasy? Their sole business objective?

Charles Ward
15 Posted 11/04/2024 at 10:36:40
You can't deny a team the right to compete in the Premier League simply because you take objection to their attitude based on their historic experiences.

It comes across as being elitist, an attitude we criticise other teams for having. Just because we were founder members of the Premier League doesn't give us the right to denigrate ‘small' teams.

Brian Harrison
16 Posted 11/04/2024 at 11:06:14
According to reports of the latest Premier League meeting, they are not now in favour of the proposed luxury tax and are sticking to the points deduction that is currently in place.

It's also reported that any tweaks they do make won't come into force till the start of 2025-26 season. Now of course all of this is likely to change when the government eventually appoint the independent regulator.

Given what happened to Luton regarding points deductions, of course they will feel aggrieved by points deductions handed down to ourselves and Forest.

The Premier League is no different: all the other league clubs are only interested in themselves so anything that negatively impacts one of their rivals is to be welcomed.

I would hope that, whatever changes are made to P&S, they will sit down and decide what the appropriate points deductions should be based on points deducted for each overspend.

Christine Foster
17 Posted 11/04/2024 at 11:12:27
Charles #15,

Nor does it give them the right to belittle and condemn a club because of their experience. It's not elitist to criticise a club that wishes to see you further belittled based on their experiences which are not the same.

This frankly stems from the lack of a formal process or procedure for sanctions, completely arbitrary in application, leaving the only option but to compare with experiences that are different. That's human nature, but it doesn't mean it's right either.

The point of the article was the lack of competition, not point scoring. (or deductions).

Andy Finigan
18 Posted 11/04/2024 at 11:14:49
Christine 11 – what next?

The only way I can see us the supporters getting any excitement is maybe adopting the Bilbao way of only playing scousers or players raised and nurtured through the academy.

Now don't ask me how you stipulate a scouser but at least we could have a seige mentality and we are the local side in Liverpool who play our brotherhood players, so to speak. We may end up dropping a league or two but we would have something to be proud of.

Ian Pilkington
19 Posted 11/04/2024 at 12:00:06
Excellent article Christine.

The appointment of a Government regulator is sadly the only way to halt the hegemony of the Sky Six.

Clubs like Burnley, Luton and Bournemouth will not vote for the abolition of PSR as they are never going to attract mega rich benefactors to compete at the top end of the table, and their votes are of course required to achieve a 14-6 majority.

Back In 2013, the chairman and owner of the one club outside the Sky Six with the most to lose from PSR was stupid enough to vote in favour of it.

Yet another example of the poisonous legacy of Kenwright.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 11/04/2024 at 12:10:46
Ian #19,

"The appointment of a Government regulator is sadly the only way to halt the hegemony of the Sky Six."

Ian, I suspect the Government Regulator legislation might be kicked to touch (!) given the imminent general election. By the time a new government (of whatever colour) gets round to it (probably 2025 or later), the Premier League will have handed down additional judgements – to Everton and possibly others.

Mark Taylor
21 Posted 11/04/2024 at 12:12:17
I have mixed views on this.

For sure, I sense a steel ceiling. Essentially what the current rules do is stipulate an average £30M or so investment loss per season. Is that enough to get you into the top table? Over the last decade, Liverpool and Spurs have averaged £45m net transfer spend per season, the other 4 closer to £100m.

So the answer appears to be, when that P&S figure was originally set, maybe but not likely, but with the inflation since, almost certainly not nowadays, short of a collapse in transfer values.

There is then the issue as to whether your revenue potential can sustain the cost increases (wages etc) that would come with the above investment?

Even if they cracked the so-called Top 6, is it remotely viable for a club like Luton (since we're talking about them) to stay there? The Leicester experience suggests not. Perhaps if any club could, it might be Villa, given they operate in the second largest city.

The Premier League is undoubtedly a massive global commercial success. My opinion is that this is because there is perceived competition: a number of clubs could win the Premier League.

This is much less the case in France, Germany and Spain, where it is usually one, maybe 2 clubs in serious contention (Leverkusen are the outlier here). Italy generally has 3 (Napoli being a contemporary outlier). It is notable that all the leagues really started to gravitate to a one- or two-club competition over the last decade or so.

The risk for the Premier League is that this happens here. Man City have not had the dominance of a Bayern or a PSG over the last 10-15 years, but it might not be good business for the Premier League if they turn the recent short-term dominance into a longer-term Bayern-style one. Maybe that is why they have sanctions up their sleeve...

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 11/04/2024 at 12:48:04
I think there will always be a huge number of fans watching the Premier League football on TV no matter how the rules change. VAR and poor refereeing won't deter them.

But you can already sense plenty of match-going fans getting a "What's the point?" feeling about the game now with the monopoly a few clubs have of sharing the silverware.

The majority on the periphery are just looking in without much or any chance of getting their hands on those cups, and not many will turn to Sky etc as an alternative.

Dave Lynch
23 Posted 11/04/2024 at 13:45:03
The way the game is at present, and the path its on, will eventually lead to an elite league. It's only my opinion, but I feel the current unrest in the world at present is preventing this from happening.

Buisness men, marketing executives and even governments have taken hold of the game and that means profit above all else.

"Our generation" are dying out; what we hold sacred in the game no longer exists, the new generation want success, want it now and will follow whoever delivers it.

The heart and soul of football exists only in the lower echelons of the game; the so-called "elite" are no longer clubs, they are franchises with the sole aim of profit at any cost to the fans who built and have true emotional ties to their club.

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 11/04/2024 at 14:01:06
I can solve the Premier League's disparity of wealth issues with two things:

- Profit Sharing
- Salary Cap

You're welcome.

The individual teams must recognize they are part of a league, and the health of the league as a whole is paramount, not the individual dominance of a handful of teams.

Yes, this is Yankee NFL style of league governance, but it works. Our NFL is competitive, sees teams coming in and out of success, and teams that do have success are run fantastically and deserve the spoils.

The Premier League reminds me of baseball 25 or so years ago. The Yankees, the largest team and market in baseball, were winning everything, printing money, and teams like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and other small market teams were only there to fill out the schedule. They had no realistic chance of winning the World Series. Baseball, like the NFL, then went to a bastardized form of profit sharing with punitive monetary penalties for overspending that were distributed to the smallest market teams.

It took a few years but baseball again has big interest after looking to die in this country, and teams run properly can expect to make the playoffs and make a run at the title.

Profit Sharing
Salary Cap

Until you implement these things, nothing of note will really ever change. Aim for 7th place — it's the real title.

Kevin Edward
25 Posted 11/04/2024 at 14:39:27
Good article and comments. My view is a death knell for competition, but a fantastic success — no doubt about it.
Most games are sold out, whether anyone's sitting in the seat or not.

But for me, it's ‘the emperor's new clothes' most of the time, just great athletes passing the ball back and forth, with an occasional shot at goal. Far from the marauding local heroes of the past.

Maybe the next generation of matchgoers will throw the towel in, but are they even needed now with global fans paying in to the system?

What Leicester City did was miraculous, so the emperor has changed the rules to stop it happening again.

I get the comparisons with baseball and the NFL, but I'm not sure if their model was ever global like ‘soccer'.

But for pure joy of watching your local team, look at Portsmouth at top of League One, after years of rebuilding from scratch. At least they won the FA Cup before they went bang.

Thanks to our ‘best in class' leadership team, we will be lucky to stay out of administration, let alone be in an uncompetitive Premier League next term.

Ed Prytherch
26 Posted 11/04/2024 at 16:07:00
Good post, Jamie.

I don't follow American sports, I leave that to my wife and kids, but I admire the way the leagues are run.

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 11/04/2024 at 16:21:49
From Sky Sports:

The Premier League will use semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) before the end of the year. Clubs unanimously agreed to introduce the technology next season at a meeting of top-flight teams on Thursday, and its implementation is expected to cut the average length of a VAR check for offside by 30 seconds.

So we voted for this. I hope we don't get a decision against us when it comes into force and then complain about the new system.

Raymond Fox
28 Posted 11/04/2024 at 16:39:52

I agree that a great many games are now boring especially to a neutral.

Jamie, it's not going to happen, for the usual top 6 that would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.

There always has been and always will be big rich clubs, we were one many moons ago.

You are never going to get a league where all teams are on equal footing. At least before, less successful clubs had a chance to buy success, but that door has now been closed.

Sooner or later, the 'super league' will be proposed again and will happen sooner rather than later, I'm not sure where that leaves a club like us though.

Mark Taylor
29 Posted 11/04/2024 at 16:47:24
I agree with Raymond, I think a super league of some sort is a nailed-on certainty at some point – I can't predict when.
Stephen Vincent
30 Posted 11/04/2024 at 16:59:44
Careful who you criticise Christine. Luton Town is an interesting club. They are the only club in the current Premier League that has substantial fan ownership, that ownership has the right of veto over any changes to the club's identity. 'Trust in Luton' is the only such organisation that has this right in British professional football.

You should be aware as well that when the fans of Luton fell out with the owner who wanted to change the name of the club to London Luton and merge them with MK Dons, the supporters trust bought shares in Luton Town Ltd's largest creditor and forced their own club into administration. This action ultimately cost the club a 40-point penalty over 2 seasons, which saw them relegated to the Conference.

They also sued the EFL regarding their unfair treatment when compared to other clubs who had committed similar 'financial crimes' Portsmouth being one I think. Trust in Luton director Gary Sweet arranged for the supporters trust to own 50,000 shares in the fan-backed Luton Town Football Club 2020.

So if any club has the right to shout the odds about our punishment, it is Luton Town.

The other fact that you conveniently overlook, Christine, is that Everton were one of the 5 teams that advocated the foundation of the Premier League in the first place, now Arsenal, Man Utd, Tottenham and Liverpool haven't done too badly have they?

We have been masters of our own downfall, subjected to mismanagement and complacency on an industrial scale. No one but us took away the advantage we had in 1992.

David Currie
31 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:06:37
Just existing in the Premier League was always Bill Kenwright's fantasy and he achieved it!!
Brian Denton
32 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:14:26
Interesting post, Stephen Vincent. Thanks for that.
Nick Page
33 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:16:51
Good article, Christine!

If anyone can tell me why Tottenham Hotspur are considered part of the Big 6, they can have my collection of Bill Kenwright memorabilia. Fire away.

Stephen Vincent - excellent post. I have advocated that model for Everton. Not sure what the happy clappers would do though.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
34 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:20:19

Two counter arguments.

a. If the Premier League was any American major sport, then sorry Coventry, Birmingham City, Sunderland, Blackburn, Huddersfield and all the other clubs, like the ESL was planned to be, no promotion to the league and your players will just be feeders to the great Premier League.

b. The MLB is so superior to any other Baseball League because of the sheer size of the US, but imagine in 15 years time the Chinese Baseball League and the South American Baseball League were as big and part of a cup of the best baseball teams in the world. Being the best in the MLB may be one thing because of the playing field levelling you mentioned, but they are always out-played by the Chinese and South Americans who will spend the most money to get the best players because the MLB teams will be restricted by the spending limits in the MLB.

Yes, something has to be done but it also has to be voted for by the members and turkeys never vote for Christmas. And if anything happened, off to the ESL they go.

Mind you - most of us would be quite happy if they did. Sadly the lemmings that just follow football would still watch them.
It would be interesting to test in the courts but no player who has been employed by a ESL after the age of 16 would ever be allowed to play in the EPL. How long before all the not so great players refuse to sign for them? (Think Zaha, Drinkwater, etc etc.)

Barry Rathbone
35 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:31:42
The FA Cup will be won by one of the money bags Manchester clubs or Chelsea. The League Cup is already in Liverpool's hands and the title will go to Arsenal, Man City or Liverpool. The game belongs to a handful of wealthy clubs resultant of the chase for global coverage by the Premier League.

In terms of entertainment and the bond between locals and their clubs, the Premier League has been an unmitigated disaster.

Jim Wilson
36 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:53:23
It is really hard to motivate myself to write anything these days. It feels pointless. I am 100% positive Masters at Premier League want Everton relegated and I am 99.9% sure a lot of this clear targeting of Everton is getting pushed from across the park. It is all to do with our new ground and Americans wanting a one-team city.

I know some of you will think I absolutely over the top with this opinion but from where I am sitting I am confident I am on the nose.

The second Independent Commission have even left a little nugget in their report so they can actually come back and have another bite at Everton.

Everton should definitely take legal action because the Premier League would not have a leg to stand on legally, which is bizarre. They won't because Moshiri does not want a legal mire, he just wants to sell the club. That is why Masters is holding up the sale and he will confirm sale to 777 Partners once the season is over.

What haunts me is that the Premier League confirmed Everton were working with them (co-operating). So there must be tons of documents outling what was said between the two parties. The possibility must be high that Bill Kenwright has written down all sorts of things about what was going on and there must be minutes of meetings. The Premier League don't want to show anything and Moshiri doesn't as he doesn't want a legal wrangle and he has paid off Barrett-Baxendale and Ingles to keep quiet.

But wat is the point in trying to put a point over about how the team can improve its performance when someone like Micheal Oliver or Craig Pawson will come along and take points off Everton with the blow of a whistle etc? The Premier League is rotten to the core, and Everton could not have been a better target.

Everton incompetence, Premier League corruption.

Ed Prytherch
37 Posted 11/04/2024 at 17:58:39

I doubt that fans of Preston, Bolton, Blackburn, Blackpool, etc would stop going to games if they knew that there was no route back into the Premier League, although I agree that the decision on which teams go into the the new Premier League would be contentious.

Instead of focusing on baseball, look at American Football and Basketball. The feeder teams are universities. Many university football teams fill stadiums of over 70,000. The College women's basketball championship game had 24 million viewers this past weekend.

In this case, the "feeder" teams are more popular than the ones in the pro leagues.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
38 Posted 12/04/2024 at 10:02:26
Ed, it is a totally different culture.

We went to see University of Florida game. An ex-alumni goes every home game. 2 kids already in the college. Meet up 2 hours before for tailgate.

We need to recognise that US = Europe; State = Country; County = County. So the college games are really equivalent to internationals.

The fans may not stop going to see the lower level clubs but over time sons and grandsons will be fed on a diet of TV clubs and support them – in the same way that US fans will support one of the just 32 clubs in the NFL.

Jamie Crowley
39 Posted 12/04/2024 at 14:49:19

Morning from 'Merica.

The two points you make are excellent.

My response to the first would be that the lower clubs are already feeders to the big boys. Any time a younger player starts crushing it, the bigger clubs come in and gobble them up. Promotion and Relegation hasn't stopped a feeder club system of sorts in England, and I'd guess it will only get worse.

Your baseball analogy is clearly one to ponder. If baseball had world-wide competition for the best players, it would change the landscape for sure. But I'd still think the top clubs in England would amass enough wealth to compete with Italy, France, Germany, et al. I truly do.

And finally, it is indeed true turkeys don't vote for Christmas. But in this case I believe there's only 6 turkeys and 14 hungry axemen? What would the vote need to be to pass something as drastic as a salary cap in the Premier League? Is it simply a majority vote by member teams? If so, the big boys don't stand a chance! So cut the head off that turkey and dine like a King.

Profit sharing and salary caps can be done, and it would make a healthier league. Someone has to be brave enough to push for it to get enacted. And why not? Those clubs who don't like it actually tried to leave the league anyhow! So fuck 'em.

Jamie Crowley
40 Posted 12/04/2024 at 14:59:11

You're correct. And what you state in your post is the detachment from footy you have in your country simply because there's a lack of opportunity to win. That gem has been hoarded by the select few.

The rich get richer and have all the opportunity while the proletariat is told things have never been better, shut up and stop whining.

Sounds a bit like America nowadays to be honest.

This is why the playing field must be leveled. This is why simply having a salary cap would help achieve that "leveling" over the course of a few seasons.

The people of England / Britain deserve better than what they are currently getting. Someone has to come along and realize the league is waning and competitively it's a mess. This, again, happened in our country with baseball and the mess was fixed. Baseball is now much, much better off. But it took someone to tell the Yankees, Dodgers, and the big market teams they weren't allowed to horde the money, that they were part of a collective and that the health of the collective supersedes any individual team / club.

In sports socialism of a sort works wonders. And if I'm espousing that model, you know it does! Either that or Jesus is about to make an appearance riding a white horse out of the clouds!

Mark Taylor
41 Posted 12/04/2024 at 15:27:44

I read in the Telegraph here that the Premier League were considering a salary cap at their recent meetings, possibly setting wages at 70% of revenue. I don't think this fixes the problem, if anything it entrenches it. If you're big, you can afford the best players, if you're not, you can't.

I think one also has to be mindful that baseball and (American) football are largely restricted to the US so face little if any global competition. That is not the case with football. In the past 12 months, we've already seen high quality players leave for the Saudi league.

In rugby, which is not a global sport but does have a multi country presence, the English Premiership have a hard salary cap, a fixed amount, but the result of this is the best players are decamping to France and English Premiership clubs, having once been the dominant force, are increasingly the also-rans in European competition.

Unfortunately that is also creeping into the national side, which is much more the sport's pinnacle compared to football.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but every option has drawbacks.

Dale Self
42 Posted 12/04/2024 at 16:00:09
Socialism getting a look, my oh my. Okay, this isn't the time for a scuffle over that.

Good point, Mark, wage bill limits are effective in closed systems but would open the door to premium player exits to other European leagues. I consider most of the moves to the MBS league to be retirees that don't get decent offers from the MLS.

We need a different language here, regulation of capital is what is actually demanded of the situation. The Premier League should be acting as a body that keeps competition among clubs within boundaries that do not damage the overall collective interests of the clubs. However, competition with La Liga and Serie A led the Premier League down a different path that was at odds with the collective.

While they have clearly won their duels with competitor leagues, it has come at the expense of fair competition among member clubs. I suppose they would argue the potential benefit of being in the Premier League outweighs the diminishing chance of challenging the top clubs but this is an appeal to owners not fans. With a growing fanbase in streaming services, it isn't hard to see that the Premier League is once again distracted from the interests of the legacy fans that built their brand.

The Premier League is now claiming regulation would harm the sport. The argument is made on behalf of the clubs that have benefitted from their selective attempt to reign in profligate spending by owners trying to keep up. Unless they directly address the uneven burden of spending limits currently in place, they risk a revolt by the clubs in the lower half of the table. At present they are doing a fairly good job of keeping those clubs from uniting around a challenge to their rule.

Mark Taylor
43 Posted 12/04/2024 at 16:38:45

Also an interesting post. I think we need to return to what the original purpose was for P&S (or other similar mechanics). It was to keep clubs from going bust. But it has been used, or at least resulted in being a brake on investment by smaller clubs, maybe with well-heeled owners, aiming to join the party.

Entities go bust when they run out of cash and/or have liabilities in excess of assets. It surely can't be too hard for a good accountant to design a system whereby this protection could be provided. It might well take the form of a bond or capitalisation via equity ratios or both.

Jamie Crowley
44 Posted 12/04/2024 at 17:10:15

Very good points. Those clubs that have benefited now are in position to be "harmed" in a way. If you introduce a salary cap (needs to be a hard one, Mark @ 42 you're spot on there), it only helps the landscape a bit.

Profit sharing has to be introduced as well. Yes, you can tier monetary gain by finishing place in the league, but a large percentage of the overall pot has to be distributed equally to all member clubs.

As an example, split the overall "pot" in two, 50%-50%. Half of the money goes to finishing place which is tiered, creating the desire to finish as high as possible, and the other half is distributed equally to all 20 member teams.

Socialism getting a look, my oh my. Okay, this isn't the time for a scuffle over that.

Not picking a fight, WUMing, or any of that nonsense. What I describe is true revenue sharing. My socialism comment, which is economic redistribution of a sort by definition, is simply a descriptor. And, in this instance not only works, but is a necessity in my opinion!

Dale Self
45 Posted 13/04/2024 at 14:28:23
Just having fun with it, Jamie. We are family.
Jim Wilson
47 Posted 14/04/2024 at 14:16:37
Whatever the outcome to Everton's season, Christine, I firmly believe that the new buyers of Everton need to start considering and starting the formation of a new league. The one we have is not fit for purpose.

It clearly would not be an easy thing to do but I would be surprised if there wasn't at least 50% of Premier League and Championship clubs interested in it.

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