Last year whilst in the Championship, Leeds United were charging away fans £39.
At the same time the Premier League capped away tickets at £30. Arsenal subsidised this further for their own fans, reducing the price to just £26.
And that is why I feel uncomfortable when Leeds United ran out yesterday with “FOOTBALL IS FOR THE FANS”.
Whilst the “Greedy Six” clubs who have proposed the European Super League should be criticised; other Premier League clubs should not take the morale high ground. They would all jump at the chance to play in the ESL if invited.
If the ESL was formed 20 years ago and Leeds United were invited to join, they would not have turned it down. The club literally bankrupt itself chasing Champions League money.
A West Ham United fan on social media tweeted that the “soul has been ripped out of football”. Just 2 years ago their fans were protesting that they soul have been ripped out of West Ham as the club moved to the London Stadium.
David Sullivan and David Gold are no better than Stan Kroenke or the Glaziers.
In 10 years time, with Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri financing the club, Everton could have replaced Spurs in the “Big 6”. Would they oppose the ESL then if they were in position to join?
Newcastle, like West Ham, have spent the last 4 or 5 years (maybe more) protesting their owner. Labelling him as greedy. By now pointing at the Greedy Six, they are begging to accept their own owners behaviour.
Football is greedy from the top down.
FIFA and UEFA are the head of the snake. The rest of the continental federations follow so behind.
They pretend to be acting “in the best interests of football” but the reality is they act in the best interests of themselves.
That is why we have ended up with World Cup’s in Russia and Qatar, and a European final in Baku.
Just 5 years ago, both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were banned from football for 8 years after a 2m Swiss francs payment by Blatter to Platini.
A total of 18 individuals were indicted following the 2015 corruption scandal.
These included the President of CONCACAF, the President of CONMEBOL, the Former President of the Brazilian Football Confederation and the Former President of Football Federation of Chile.
A second round indicted a further 18 individuals.
UEFA are not against a European Super League. They are against themselves not running a European Super League.
In their last accounts, UEFA generated £3.8billion. Much of it through the Champions League and selling TV rights.
Whilst much of this money goes to clubs across the continent and beyond, a lot of it ends up in the pockets of UEFA officials.
In 2018, UEFA announced that its president Aleksander Ceferin earns a pre-tax salary of 1.56 million Swiss francs ($1.64 million) for 2016/17.
Ceferin’s pay in 2016/17 is similar to FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s 1.53 million francs ($1.61 million) salary in 2017. FIFA also said Infantino is eligible and also receives living expenses.
Football allows these men to live a life of luxury. Staying in the most expensive suites in the most expensive hotels. Eating in the most expensive restaurants. And all expensed through their organisation.
And the next level is no better.
The Premier League was literally set up as a break away from the Football Association and Football League to make more money, and to funnel more it those at the top.
Every club in the Premier League owns a single share. An equal voting right. The Premier League’s greed is the greed of its members. The clubs.
So whether you are Arsenal or Manchester United, Aston Villa or Leeds, Burnley or Sheffield United. All support the greed of the Premier League.
And then you have Sky.
Sky are no better than the federations. They do not care about fans.
It is all well and good Gary Neville ranting about the European Super League, how it could kill football and it is not thinking about the fans. But where is his voice when Arsenal have to travel to Liverpool for a 5:30pm kick off on a Saturday with no trains home after the game?
Where is Carragher’s voice when Sky schedule Brighton v Newcastle on a Monday night? Fans having to travel the length of the country and take 2 days off work just to follow their club.
Sky (and BT and all other media outlets) do not care about fans. They only care about profits.
And then we have the players.
Whilst many players have spoken out against the ESL, how many of them are going to refuse to re-sign a new contract with their club? Or look into cancelling their current contract?
If Manchester City come in for Patrick Bamford or Matty Cash this summer, both players will sign on the dotted line.
So let’s stop trying to take a moral high ground.
Premier League clubs outside the Greedy Six would jump at the chance to join the ESL.
UEFA and FIFA have both tried in the past to expand their own tournaments to generate more money
Sky Sports do not care about fans
The only reason these bodies are complaining is because they were not allowed to be involved in the set up of the ESL. They fear it could damage their own finances. And that is what they care about.
So please, no more T-Shirts from Leeds. No more Aston Villa tweets. Stop pointing at others greed when you are no better.
A very well reasoned case for the defence!
I dont think it was necessarily a case for the defence (maybe I`m wrong) but it was definitely a Nice job in exposing hypocrisy. The game sold its soul years ago, the ESL is just the culmination of years of abuse and the Neville`s and Carragher`s of this world are all complicit despite their outrage. They`ve all milked the gravy train. When a geezer works all week and he still cant afford to take his kid to watch The Arsenal then you know you`ve ruined the game. The outrage mob who have suddenly appeared would be better off reflecting on their role in that travesty than getting their drawers in a knot over this. As for this Super League crap, I`d rather watch the Arsenal play non league than enter that. Wont be long before we`re playing home games in the US.
Fair point. When I referred to the ‘defence’, I meant in the context of neutralizing the attacks based on pure hypocrisy. I think the whole thing stinks. Year on year, the game moves further away from the fans and , as you said, matches will soon be held in China, The USA, Qatar and elsewhere. I think it highly unlikely that I’ll renew my season ticket for next season.
Well said, a lot of hypocrisy around at moment. MOTD Pundits screaming about how offensive ESL is yet they became millionaires on the back of the same greed when the Premier League broke away from the league system in 1992. Players salaries rocketed but they were not bothered if it priced fans out of the game because they all had their snouts in the trough. Now they hold the greed based Premier League up as a symbol of the beautiful game and sportsmanship – it is a symbol of how to squeeze money out of fans pockets
I am growing to like the women’s game more and more. I really enjoy watching Arsenal Women and maybe I’ll switch to watching them more from next year.
I just enjoy watching women…;-)
This is the most sensible thing I’ve read on the topic. Nice one.
What is the real point of this article though? Using the shoplifters defence – everyone else is greedy so why shouldn’t I be greedy?
Yes it is true, football is greedy, all those involved in it at the highest level are hypocritical to some extent for criticizing the ESL but does that mean it is a good idea or not? As Arsenal fans, is it good for us or not?
Whether it is or it isn’t it is all relative to the way of the world. Money talks and global markets beckon. By cutting out the middleman, UEFA, brings more cash to the table for shoddily run clubs like Arsenal and also brings a very strong negotiating hand to the table if negotiation with UEFA was even a thought with this.
It doesn’t matter what fans think, sadly.