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European Premier League | The autopsy of a fatal failure


Alexander PrattAlexander Pratt
Journalism

Three great powers dominate the world: stupidity, fear, and greed. ”

Albert Einstein

stupidity

This is a story of utter failure. A catastrophic failure. By berezina. The ambitious football league, which was created on Sunday, plotted on Monday and left to die on Tuesday, against a backdrop of cries of rebellion from fans, players and coaches. A case of the school of brutal capitalism to be taught at HEC for the next 25 years.

minimum !

Summarize.

On Sunday evening, 12 major European clubs established a new competition. Premier League. We are talking about the end of the end. Crop butter or cream of the crop. Teams that even non-beginners know: Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, Manchester United …

Promise this Premier League? A wonderful. Many, many great ones. Super Stars. Super duels. Wonderful stadiums. Great technology. Every Wednesday evening, prime time. Instead the other big competition, the Champions League, which roughly equates to the European Football League Qualifiers.

Isn’t that cool?

Well no, specifically. It is a bad idea. One of the stupidest in the history of sports. Because unlike the Champions League, which rewards the best performing clubs in national championships, the Premier League was not a merit system, but rather a wealthy class.

What ?

plutocracy. An exclusive league dedicated to the richest teams. The 12 founding clubs were sure to be a part of it. forever. Without having to qualify. Then they invited a few other wealthy clubs, every year, according to their mood. It’s a bit like picking the client porter at the entrance to the bar.

This plan angered tens of millions of supporters. With a reason. It’s scandalous. The twelve clubs defended themselves by presenting their project as a copy and paste of the North American leagues. See the NBA. NFL. Major League Baseball. NHL. They are all “closed” leagues, like ours. This means that Sorel’s hawks, despite their quality, will not be able to play in the NHL.

Photo by Adrien Denis, Agence France-Presse

Demonstration against the establishment of the Premier League, outside Chelsea FC, Tuesday

nice try. However, the comparison is misleading. The Premier League plan is not just about creating a “closed” league. It’s also to restrict access to the qualifiers – currently open – for all of Europe!

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Want a fairer comparison? It’s as if the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leaves, the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings are staying there. But in the spring, they would host their play-off matches. Just between them. every year. Leaving other clubs to fight for the defiled Stanley Cup.

Will you be happy?

If you are a fan of Canadians, then maybe. Because the chances of winning in the Hab will increase. Now imagine the same scenario. But with the Dallas Stars place the Canadian. Your glory will be disqualified from the most prestigious tournament. forever. how is your reaction going to be? Certainly a mistake. Too bad. You can even burn the trash. Or two. Or three.

This is the atmosphere that prevailed in Europe for 48 hours. Faced with the fans’ anger, the six English clubs left the Premier League on Tuesday evening. Inter Milan did the same. Milan, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were preparing for their emulation. The Bloc of 12 was rapidly disintegrating the Soviet Empire in the end. At the time of this writing, the elegy is inscribed on the Premier League grave.

the fear

Return to the project. Why did the 12 clubs initially want to create this Premier League? For two reasons. Intrinsically linked.

Fear and greed.

First, fear. In recent years, due to a lack of good results, major European clubs have often been denied the Champions League. Especially in England. For a very simple reason: to qualify, the English club must finish in the top four in their national championship.

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Now in England there are six very, very, very rich clubs. And other formations capable of surprising. Even this season, four clubs are the founders of the Premier League, Chelsea (5eLiverpool (6eTottenham (7eArsenal (9e), The risk of being eliminated from the Champions League, in favor of kitties like Leicester and West Ham.

It’s annoying.

Because absence in the Champions League deprives these big clubs of tens of millions of income. However, less money, less hiring. Fewer hires, fewer wins. Fewer wins, no Champions League. And the cycle starts over again. Arsenal has fallen into this recession. And don’t have fun.

The beauty of the Premier League? It completely eliminated this fear of exclusion. Because now, the place was bought into a “chain”. paid. insured. Literally.

Another Premier League advantage: no more first-round matches against champions from smaller nations. And the associated risks. Last fall, for example, Real Madrid were beaten by Donetsk’s Shakhtar. Two years ago, Juventus lost Turin to Swiss club Young Boys. It is embarrassing. insulting. Next, the journalists ’criticism must be answered. Columnists. Ultras.

It can be scary. Not to mention it is unpleasant. Problems related to the disappearance of a guaranteed place in the Premier League immediately.

Except for what was well mentioned by the head coach of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, opposed the project: “If you can’t lose, it’s not a sport.”

Greed

Finally, the crux of it.

Capital.

Super clubs always want more. Right. This is how capitalism works. As good as it was, JPMorgan Chase was ready to sign a check for 3.5 billion euros (about 5.3 billion treasures) to launch the Premier League. Enough to help Barcelona and Real Madrid reduce their massive debts of over a billion dollars.

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But, as many columnists before me have pointed out, capitalism is one thing. Barbaric capitalism is another thing.

The Premier League came second. His survival would underscore the already large inequalities between clubs. It would enrich a bunch of greedy owners, at the expense of others. It would harm the sport. In the spirit of competition. That would stifle the fans’ hopes of Donetsk, Lyon, Leicester, Belgrade or Leipzig of seeing their home side advance, qualify for the Champions League and welcome the biggest football stars to their home.

As a columnist on guardian Jonathan Liu: “Only those who badly hate football can hide behind the Premier League.”

Fortunately, the Premier League’s hours are numbered. And football saved.