Some of us stopped Murdoch getting his hands on United over 20 years ago but this americanisation of European football is one step too far.
With the raging over European Super League from amongst fans and players in particular, it should be remembered that this idea is not new and has been around since the 1950’s when the European Cup has first launched and has periodically come up over the past decades. What is new is the American form of it all.
The owners of franchises of the top American leagues work in a closed shop, where no matter a team’s sporting success, a steady stream of profit is effectively guaranteed by shared television deals and other mechanisms, including salary caps and penalties on overspending. Some indeed may call this “socialism for the rich”
For example, in the National Football League and National Basketball Association, the top draft picks typically go to the worst-performing squads from the previous year. Revenue sharing redistributes wealth among the rich and poor teams. Overall, success is punished by design, misfortune is rewarded by design, and the power of wealth is circumscribed with spending caps.
Whilst in Europe the opposite is the case. The continent’s many national football leagues have long fitted into a Darwinian survival of the fittest. Success builds on success, often yielding greater revenue and the opportunity for top teams in each country to participate in Europe’s Champions League — the most lucrative annual tournament that runs parallel to the national competitions. The richest clubs corner greater commercial deals and can outspend the rest as the bottom feeders get relegated to lower divisions, making the target of climbing back to respectability all the more difficult.
So it will be interesting to see how a referral to a Competition & Monopolies Commission would work out on this front, though l think it would have to be the European Union rather than just the UK. As for the public response, its already dead in the water.