Football's Magic Money Tree

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Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:40 pm

The Daily Mail wants people to wake up to the fact that the Premier League is not about to see a growth in Broadcasting revenue

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sport ... -over.html

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:09 am

later today the members of Barcelona will elect a new president - the Financial Times look at the candidates and the problems the winner will have to overcome

https://outline.com/A8ZdPG

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by claptrappers_union » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:20 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:24 pm
It has been a while since I have posted about the strange and sad goings on at Oldham, the Athletic have taken it upon themselves to have a look at what has happened to the former Premier League club
Kewell sacked at Oldham

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:19 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:09 am
later today the members of Barcelona will elect a new president - the Financial Times look at the candidates and the problems the winner will have to overcome

https://outline.com/A8ZdPG
No surprise as to who has won the Barcelona Presidential election - from the Guardian

Joan Laporta is elected as Barcelona president for a second time
58-year-old won 57.6% of the vote
Lionel Messi among those to cast ballot in the election

Reuters
Sun 7 Mar 2021 22.51 GMT

Barcelona members elected Joan Laporta as club president on Sunday, turning to the man who oversaw one of their most successful periods to lead them out of an institutional and financial crisis.

Laporta, who was Barça president between 2003 and 2010, won a resounding 57.6% of the vote with more than 99% votes counted, while Victor Font came second with 31.8% and Toni Freixa was third with 9.1%.

Laporta succeeds Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned as president in October to avoid facing a vote of no confidence from members who turned on him after Lionel Messi tried to leave the club last August and the team were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Messi was among several Barça players to vote in the election a day after winning 2-0 at Osasuna to go second in La Liga. Barça said 51,765 out of 109,531 eligible members had voted in the election, which was postponed from January due to coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia.

Laporta, 58, was first elected in 2003 and presided over a golden period in the club’s history which witnessed four La Liga titles and two Champions League triumphs. He won a second term unopposed in 2006, with the club’s statutes preventing him from standing for a third in 2010.

He ran in the 2015 elections but was emphatically beaten by incumbent Bartomeu, whose campaign had been boosted by the team winning the treble a month earlier. Bartomeu was arrested last Monday in a Catalan police probe related to allegations of improper management and business corruption which also saw the club’s Camp Nou offices raided. He has not commented on his arrest and made use of his right not to give a statement in court.

Laporta, who celebrated his victory by singing the club’s anthem with his campaign team and sipping champagne, takes over a club with huge financial problems due to the Covid-19 pandemic eliminating ticket revenue and badly hitting merchandising income.

Barca’s last accounts showed a gross debt of more than €1.4 billion ($1.67 billion) with a net debt of €488 million. The club agreed a temporary player pay-cut last year while it had to delay payments to players in December. Yet things are looking up on the pitch, with Ronald Koeman’s side winning 13 of their last 16 league games and reaching the Copa del Rey final.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:17 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:04 pm
Tomorrow's opponents Arsenal announce their 2019/20 Financial results

https://www.arsenal.com/news/financial- ... -published

The full report - downloads to your computer

https://www.arsenal.com/media/284069
Arsenal fan Kieron O'Connor, better known as @SwissRamble has a look at those 2019/20 financial results of his beloved club

https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/ ... 2619571200

for those who just want the summary

https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/ ... 2089323524

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:45 pm

Matt Slater with a thread looking at the long running and ongoing impact of Chinese investment in football

https://twitter.com/mjshrimper/status/1 ... 4995762182

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:07 pm

Could be time to worry about Reading - one of the 4 remaining clubs in England with majority Chinese ownership

Beijing Chengfeng, also owned by the Renhe Group, is set to dissolve

https://twitter.com/titan_plus/status/1 ... 2415265794

failing to pay wages is a common complaint - though owning multiple teams in a league should not be allowed in this day and age

https://twitter.com/titan_plus/status/1 ... 6004209666

https://thetilehurstend.sbnation.com/20 ... nic-royals

though at Reading the players did agree wage deferrals when the game was locked down last year

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52806634

Reading are also one of the clubs that sold their stadium and training ground to themselves to help offset massive losses from overspending

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52184178

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:56 pm

John Nicholson rails against money infused domination of the Premier League and and starts to hope that a European Super League materialises so that the league becomes competitive once again - from Football365.com

When a Man Utd win is such a relief, things are f***ed
Date published: Monday 8th March 2021 9:11 - John Nicholson

Manchester United
Well, that positive result for Manchester United was a relief, wasn’t it? I think many of us were bored of Manchester City winning every game; 21 on the spin is just too dominant for too long. The Premier League itself must be relieved too. The ‘anyone can beat anyone in this league, Jeff’ propagandists have long been contradicted by the statistics and while they may try and use this weird outlier season to revive the lie, the fact that the richest club which has spent the most money keeps being so far ahead of the rest (even after this loss, they will win a third title in four years, probably with well over 90 points) is bad for business. Bad for the brand, bad for the Premier League, bad for BT Sport and Sky. Bad for football.

The fact that moneybags United were seen as a substantial underdog and their win was treated like a lower-league side beating a Premier League team rather than a rival overturning an equal, tells us much about City’s absolute dominance on the pitch and at the accountants.

We can see this from the reaction to City’s procession to the title in the wider football community, whose response has largely been one big collective yawn. It is very boring when any side wins almost every game. And the last thing the league wants is for us to be bored by its best team, because bored people turn off and turning off is one step away from unsubscribing and unsubscribing means smaller audiences, reduced rights fees and the end of their world as they know it.

When any side is so much better than the rest, the fun eventually evaporates with the lack of competition. It is often forgotten that in 2021, even when there’s not a pandemic ensuring the entire audience is only watching on TV, a sizable portion is largely neutral for every game and just wants to see a match where the result isn’t a forgone conclusion. They are more likely to turn off when that’s not the case.

Football’s great selling point is jeopardy and City games all too usually massively lack it and have done so for three out of the last four seasons. Even last season in losing nine times and earning just 81 points, they still won 26 games, drawing just three. They still scored the most goals (102) and finished second, 15 points above third-placed United with a goal difference of +67. So even in losing the title, they were dominant. And it took two incredible seasons by Liverpool to briefly challenge them. But now, while Liverpool collapse to a shell of their former selves, exhausted from that challenge, City steam on unaffected, pulling away even from other hugely rich clubs.

It isn’t just that they win most games. That’s one thing. But it’s that they usually win them very easily. It’s not just the high-scoring games either, it’s the cruising to a single-goal wins too. In other words, it’s not just about the results, it’s about the performance. We can admire how great they are for a while, sure. But football is more than that. A Harlem Globetrotter side is of no use in a competitive league. Our Mailbox reflected how tedious it had already become after their last win. This is not anti-City per se, its anti-domination and the feeling would be the same for any team that so dominated and was pulling away markedly, not just in points and titles but in how they play.

That sinking feeling as they score the first goal is a major turn-off, maybe especially those already inclined to think badly of the club because of the nature of its owners. It might be an over-simplistic view, but it feels unfair, as though the dice have been so loaded in City’s favour that of course they’re going to win. When you have the best of everything, how can you lose? That’s the feeling. It’s not healthy. There are arguments against this of course and I know the more feverish City supporters simply don’t give a flying feck, but they are just a minority percentage of the audience, as far as the league is concerned. That overriding feeling of crushing dominance remains, even after the loss to United. Yes they’re a great side, and yes we can all see why, but while history is written by the winners, life is lived by everyone else and the rest of us have little interest in seeing flawless football, so robotically good that it seems almost pre-programmed into a machine. We want competition not exhibition.

The question has to be asked: if we are pretty sure who is going to win a league before it starts and are even more sure who the top two or three will be, what on earth are we even bothering to play the game for?

Even accepting that all sports throw up individuals and occasionally teams that are way ahead of everyone else, or a season with unique circumstances which produces an unusual result such as Leicester City’s win, what is worrying – though not yet not absolutely proven – is that Manchester City’s dominance may now be becoming institutional; the result of unparalleled and ongoing spending and investment. The worry is this is not a phase, this is the future.

Financial dominance does not guarantee absolute success all the time. Football, as Sunday proved, is still just ornery enough to occasionally disrupt the general trend, but it guarantees it most of the time, and most of the time is too much of the time.

Without a meaningful cap on wages, spending and transfer fees – something which goes against everything the league stands for politically and financially – or without the collapse of the league’s finances through substantial viewer loss, it will always be like this.

We can break the financial model by viewer abstention, but if we are not able to face doing that, let’s hope for a European Super League as soon as possible to remove the richest and leave a proper competitive league behind, complete with financial restraints in place to neuter wealth and prevent money being leveraged to gain success. If, as Sunday rather proved, only a slim few massively monied elite clubs can hope to compete with City, what’s in it for everyone else? The answer is nothing.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:59 pm

Meanwhile the Telegraph lashes out at FSG for not spending more at the point of the greatest success in 30 years (you know in the middle of a pandemic with losses mounting)

Liverpool owners are to blame for the culture of complacency crippling the club's progress
Successful football clubs strengthen when they are on top, a lesson FSG has failed to learn since winning the Champions League in 2019

JASON BURT - CHIEF FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT
8 March 2021 • 12:27pm

The last person Liverpool and, perhaps more pertinently the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, want to be reminded of right now is Sir Alex Ferguson. But the former Manchester United manager was spot on when he famously said: “I tell the players that the bus is moving. This club has to progress. And the bus wouldn’t wait for them. I tell them to get on board.”

No Liverpool fan needs to be told of the old adage that you strengthen while ahead. It is what the club did for years; years before Ferguson pitched up at Old Trafford and started talking about perches. But Liverpool – or rather FSG - have been guilty of putting the brakes on since Jürgen Klopp brought back not just the European Cup but the Premier League title.

That manifested itself most clearly in the January transfer window. Virgil van Dijk suffered his knee injury in October; Joe Gomez suffered his in November and yet it was not until the final day of the January transfer window that Liverpool scrambled around in the bargain basement to finally bring in Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke for £1 million, plus up to £500,000 in add-ons, and signed Preston’s Ben Davies for an initial £500,000, potentially rising to £2m. Fans talked up the cleverness of the signings. But that was wishful thinking.

Instead they seemed like a public admission of a private fear: that a culture of complacency has seeped into Liverpool. That senior figures at the club, and the owners FSG, had pretty much written off this strange season, almost treating it as a free hit, with the built-in assumption that so skilled was Klopp that a top-four finish would be assured come what may and with it Champions League qualification. Klopp, it was presumed, would find a way.

But success is not a tap. It cannot be turned on and off. Not by any player, not by any team and not by any club. The bus does not stop and to slow it down is perilous. The sport is too volatile, too competitive and things can – as Liverpool have shown with six successive home defeats – rapidly spiral out of control. Suddenly some fans have not just written off Champions League qualification but are hoping Liverpool even miss out on a Europa League place. The problem with talking about putting an asterisk next to the season, as some have done, is that people start to believe it. They start to search out excuses.

Liverpool's Turkish defender Ozan Kabak passes the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton
Ozan Kabak is a bargain basement solution to Liverpool's defensive injury crisis CREDIT: PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Whatever the mitigation it has now turned into an embarrassing title defence from Liverpool. It is becoming increasingly difficult to defend them against Roy Keane’s allegation of being “bad champions”. Not that they ever got the opportunity to truly celebrate being champions and maybe there is a psychological hangover in that, also.

There is the pandemic: no club owner – just like every other business – has dealt with this kind of nightmare scenario before and there is sympathy because revenues are plunging, But Premier League clubs of the stature of Liverpool do have a certain built-in robustness with the insulation of their broadcast contracts plus, hopefully, a long-term plan that the economy will recover and they will be well-placed to take advantage. Football has continued. Football is valued. FSG knows it remains a solid long-term investment especially at a blue-chip franchise such as Liverpool.

Instead of considering furlough schemes last summer maybe it would have been wiser for Liverpool to have considered further investment because – despite the Covid crisis – they were coming off the back of two years of outstanding success and growth. Maybe, having tried to furlough staff before being forced by a fans' backlash to reverse it, the ‘optics’ were not right in FSG’s eyes. But that has proved short-sighted.

In fact it is since winning the Champions League in 2019 that major incomings have slowed down with around £84m spent - £40m on Diogo Jota, £20m on Thiago Alcantara, £11.7m Kostas Tsimikas last summer and, before that, £7.65m on Takumi Minamino and £1.7m on Sepp van den Berg.

At the same time Manchester City have spent £300m, Manchester United £280m, Chelsea – despite their one window transfer ban – £263m, Tottenham Hotspur more than £230m and Arsenal around £220m.

FSG has hardly been a bad owner even if it proposed a £77 ticket before apologising to the fans who staged a walkout in protest in 2016; even if it apparently co-authored ‘Project Big Picture’ and appears to want a European Super League and even if – at heart – Liverpool is a strategic business investment. There is, though, nothing wrong in that and self-sufficiency should be encouraged.

FSG also cleaned up the balance sheet, broke transfer records to sign Van Dijk and Alisson and hired Klopp, for goodness sake. It has spent heavily on upgrading player contracts with a highly-competitive wage bill, it lent £110m for the building of the magnificent new stand, which the club is paying back, and £50m on a new training ground.

But there also comes a time to react to circumstances and to protect the asset. There has to be an element of catastrophe planning. Of course Liverpool should not overstretch themselves but the perfect storm of this season changed things and FSG needed to respond. The January window showed that especially after the missed opportunity of the past two summers when the squad was left lacking depth. Maybe a good enough target could not be landed. But did FSG really try?

Now it has been proven that Klopp – just like every other manager – is not impervious to outside influences and events. He has also made mistakes, not least tactically, and the players are also at fault. Liverpool cannot dismiss this season as a freak, to award it that asterisk and assume it will be better come August.

The lifeboat of still being in the Champions League remains and, who knows, Liverpool may just cussedly reach another final. But a huge transfer window looms in what will be a difficult market but maybe one where opportunities will present themselves to the boldest and most forward-thinking clubs. And, for Liverpool, this might have to be negotiated without Champions League money. The next move belongs to FSG.

Rationally no one should have expected last season’s title triumph to usher in a period of dominance – not in the modern era with the strength and spending power of rivals – but the drop-off is not just about bad luck and unique circumstances. There has also been bad planning. That is a corporate failing for which the owners cannot escape their share of the blame. The bus has stalled.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:28 pm

Anyone read this over the weekend - Jonathan Wilson in the Guardian about how the ludicrous belief that two ageing superstars famed for winning, can still drive the fortunes of their respective clubs at the very top of the game, so much so that the clubs have effectively gambled their financially stability on it being true.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are albatrosses weighing their clubs down
Jonathan Wilson

Willingness to believe in the cult of the winner is worsening the plight of Barcelona and Juventus

Sat 6 Mar 2021 20.00 GMT

On Tuesday, Juventus might overcome a 2-1 deficit against Porto in the Champions League. On Wednesday, Barcelona almost certainly won’t come back from 4-1 down to beat Paris Saint-Germain. Both clubs were comprehensively outplayed in the first legs, both are burdened by an ageing and expensive superstar, both have found the cracks in their financial planning exposed by the pandemic. At some point the narratives of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will decouple, but not now, not yet.

Football deals badly with mortality. It can be brutal in dealing with those with whom it has finished. Bill Shankly couldn’t even tell Ian St John to his face when, after eight years, the time came to drop him. After 11 golden years, Nobby Stiles wasn’t given a testimonial by Manchester United. West Ham reneged on a deal to let Bobby Moore leave on a free transfer. As the former Coventry and Derby manager Harry Storer once told Brian Clough, in football “nobody ever says thank you”.

But, at the same time, there is a bizarre willingness to believe in the cult of the winner, the idea that because a player or manager has done something before, he will necessarily be able to do it again – see, for example, the recent career of José Mourinho.

Barça’s plight is worse than Juve’s, but it is probably more understandable. Messi is their player and has been for 21 years. How could anybody ever decide it was the right moment to sell somebody who was not just for a long time the best player in the world but was also family? But Messi is not the best player in the world any longer, far from it.

From 2017, when they lost 4-0 away to PSG and 3-0 at Juve, it was clear Barça had a fundamental problem. Against high-class opposition, their midfield became stretched.

Every year since there has been a reminder: 3-0 to Roma in 2018, 4-0 to Liverpool in 2019, 8-2 to Bayern Munich in 2020, 4-1 to PSG three weeks ago.

In 2009-10, Messi averaged 2.1 tackles and interceptions per league game; this season he's on 0.7. Ronaldo's on 0.4
In part that is the result of an ageing and slowing midfield, but it is not just that, perhaps it is not even mainly that. It’s also to do with a forward line that puts almost no pressure on the ball, something that is integral to the Cruyffianism that underpins Barcelona’s identity.

In 2009-10, Messi averaged 2.1 tackles and interceptions per league game; this season that is down to 0.7 (despite Barça having far less of the ball now and so need to win it back more). His brilliance may at times paper over the cracks, but then he is often also the cause of them. He is 33. He needs to conserve energy. He probably would not score or set up so many goals if he were making tackles.

Maybe it is still worth accommodating him, making the compromises – but doing so is costing a base £28.5m salary a year, with bonuses that can multiply that figure almost by four. As the arrests of four directors this week make clear, Barça’s financial problems go far beyond what they are paying Messi, but he does represent an enormous drain on a club that is £1.1bn in debt.

Juventus fastened the albatross around their own necks. The decision in 2018 to buy a 33-year-old Ronaldo for near enough £100m was bewildering. The rationale was that his goals would carry a side that had twice lost in Champions League finals in the previous five years the extra step to glory. But he presses even less than Messi – 0.4 tackles and interceptions per league game this season – and that runs against modern tactical thought and what Andrea Pirlo appears to be trying to do.

With Ronaldo, Juve have lost to Ajax in a Champions League quarter-final and to Lyon in the last 16. They feel further away from European success than before he was signed. Perhaps they will beat Porto. Knockout football can be a curious thing; it’s possible Ronaldo could somehow pull off one last job and bring the Champions League to Turin. But there was little at the Estádio do Dragão to suggest that is likely.

Like Messi, Ronaldo earns vast bonuses but what is striking is that his base salary of £28m a year is greater than the sum of the next four highest-paid players in the squad (and, so broken are football’s finances, of the entire squads of four Serie A clubs). That has restricted investment and Juve’s debts are now around £350m.

The pandemic has increased the financial pressure. Barcelona’s losses last year were £73m, Juventus’s £68m. There is a global squeeze, exemplified by the winding up of the Chinese champions, Jiangsu. “It’s a reality check for football as well as for China,” said Peter Frankopan, the professor of global history at Oxford University and an expert on China.

It’s not just that a weakening Chinese market lessens the options for big clubs to offload expensive talent. Jiangsu’s parent company, Suning, which also owns Internazionale, was carrying significant debt at a time when the Chinese leadership has become wary about excessive loans.

“The plug being pulled is partly about conserving cash and focus on the core business,” said Frankopan, “but in part too about falling into line with expectations of how businesses behave in China.”

Frankopan pointed out the potential knock-on impact not only for Inter (losses last year of £85m) but also for the Premier League given the Suning-owned PPLive was behind China’s cancelled broadcast rights deal worth £564m.

That is why the issue of Messi and Ronaldo is so pressing. Their routes to Barça and Juve were very different and they remain very different players. Yet their impact is the same: they are hugely expensive and have become inhibitive to an effective style of play, at least at the very highest level. But worse is that their clubs have to deal with them at a time when football’s finances are contracting. Messi’s contract is up this summer, Ronaldo’s in 2022; all-time greats they assuredly are, but it’s hard to see now who could possibly afford them.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:02 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:15 pm
It didn't happen then and apparently it hasn't happened again today, they will have another go next Thursday - you do wonder what the outcome will be for Serie A's domestic rights in the next cycle - then there is still the minor issue of whether or not to accept the money from Private Equity - that is looking like a bigger issue in all this I have to say
The squabble over whether to accept the domestic rights deals on offer for Serie A took a new turn yesterday, with 7 clubs nailing their colours to the mast and demanding an agreement be made to secure their futures, and threatening legal action if it doesn't happen -

https://sempreinter.com/2021/03/07/inte ... a-reports/

While the squabbling continues for domestic rights the picture regarding International rights is even worse as the league has now determined to re-package it's tenders to try and get closer to the numbers they were looking for, I just don't see it happening

https://twitter.com/SportBusiness/statu ... 5539351556

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:05 pm

The Football Today Podcast looks at Inter Milan, Suning and China's Exodus From European

the blurb

On the pitch, Inter Milan are first in the league and flying high. After 11 years of waiting, Inter are on the verge of winning Serie A and yet, things are far from rosy at the club… In recent months Inter have been unable to pay player wages and reports in Italy suggest their owners are looking to sell part or all of the club. Today we ask, why is Suning Group trying to sell Inter Milan? Guests: James Corbett (@james_corbett) is a financial reporter for OffthePitch.com Simon Chadwick (@Prof_Chadwick) is a Professor & Director of Eurasian Sport at Emlyon business school

https://www.footballtodaypodcast.com/po ... n-football

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:17 pm

The ECA are having another Assembly - and President Andrea Agnelli has wasted no time to ruffle more feathers with his opening address

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM8OUuAo9oY

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:39 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:17 pm
The ECA are having another Assembly - and President Andrea Agnelli has wasted no time to ruffle more feathers with his opening address

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM8OUuAo9oY
For those of you that may be confused about Andrea Agnelli's comments - he wants the to uproot the traditions of the game to meet the (supposed - determined by way of market research) of non-European fans for more meaningful games - yet that same research will tell him the domestic and European fans do not want these changes

https://apnews.com/article/europe-champ ... 9804c3c46b

Meanwhile I am wondering why the ECA have not broadcast their Press Conference like they usually do for their General Assembly - though given these two tweets on different subject matter from two very reputable journalists you can possibly understand why - Agnelli is all over the place

https://twitter.com/tariqpanja/status/1 ... 3953469442

https://twitter.com/mjshrimper/status/1 ... 9886665733

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:54 pm

I posted about this over a week ago, and withdrawals by key contenders last week have now confirmed that FIFA have cleared the path for their favoured candidate to take charge of CAF (look another billionaire given a fiefdom in sportm what could possibly go wrong?)- from the Associated Press

https://apnews.com/article/mauritania-i ... fc53080c4e

FIFA brokers deal to decide next African soccer president
By GERALD IMRAY
yesterday

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — FIFA president Gianni Infantino brokered a deal to give politically connected South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe a clear run to lead the African soccer confederation after the other three contenders withdrew over the weekend and backed Motsepe.

FIFA said the agreement for candidates Augustin Senghor of Senegal, Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast and Ahmed Yahya of Mauritania to withdraw from the upcoming election — and unite behind Motsepe — came after meetings in Rabat, Morocco, last week. The deal was confirmed at another meeting on Saturday in Mauritania, FIFA said.

On that day, all four men appeared alongside Infantino at a ceremony celebrating “African unity” in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, and Infantino said it was the desire of all African soccer federations “to stop the divisions and get united.”

FIFA said Motsepe would lead the Confederation of African Football with “a common program” that takes from the manifestos of all four men.

Reports said Senghor and Yahya would be given CAF vice president positions and Anouma a role as a consultant to Motsepe, although FIFA didn’t announce any details of what agreements might have been made to allow Motsepe to stand unchallenged.

“The four leaders have reiterated that what unites them is much stronger than what could potentially divide them,” FIFA said. “This was the reason it was decided that they should join forces and form a team under the leadership of Patrice Motsepe.”

Motsepe, a 59-year-old mining magnate and the brother-in-law of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, is now almost certain to be elected CAF president in Rabat on Friday. With it, he would become a FIFA vice president.

The only possible stumbling block is if the man Motsepe is in line to replace, Ahmad Ahmad, overturns his five-year ban from soccer for financial misconduct at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is allowed to stand for re-election. Even then, it appears unlikely that Ahmad would find enough votes to win with FIFA now openly backing Motsepe.

Ahmad, who was CAF president from 2017 until he was banned last year by FIFA, had his appeal hearing at CAS last week. A verdict is expected early in the week, possibly Monday.

Motsepe was a surprise candidate when he announced in November he would stand for the top job in African soccer. He owns South African club Mamelodi Sundowns but has never had a role at the African soccer body, or even his own national body. He was a lawyer before investing in gold mines in the late 1990s and became the first Black African billionaire on Forbes’ list in 2008. He has an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion and is the ninth richest man in Africa.

He rapidly became the favorite for CAF president over the last few weeks after emerging as Infantino’s preferred candidate. Infantino’s involvement has stoked talk of election interference.

FIFA has been closely involved in the affairs of the African confederation since effectively taking over its running for six months in 2019 after it became dysfunctional under Ahmad.

Aware also of the significance of Africa’s 54 votes for his own position as FIFA president, Infantino has been close to CAF elections before.

Infantino attended a party hosted by Ahmad’s campaign manager in the run-up to the 2017 CAF election, giving rise to speculation he was backing Ahmad in the contest against longstanding CAF president Issa Hayatou. Hayatou had led African soccer for 29 years and was also a FIFA veteran. Infantino denied he was taking sides but Ahmad, a relative unknown, resoundingly beat Hayatou in a major surprise.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:56 pm

Even CAS has not been able to affect proceedings for the CAF elections next week as they today reduced the ban on the current suspended CAF president Ahmad Ahmad

https://apnews.com/article/europe-inter ... f2058df160

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:24 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:30 pm
The calls to boycott the Qatar World Cup are growing, Imagine if broadcasters and sponsors joined in the boycott - that would really force FIFA into actually doing something - this article from the Independent focuses on a Danish protest

The growing calls for a boycott of the Qatar World Cup
A backlash against the tournament being held in the Gulf state has intensified in recent weeks

David Harding International Editor - 10 hours ago

In December, Danish caretaker Casper Fischer did something he had never done before.

The 32 year old decided to petition Denmark’s parliament – the Folketing – to get the country’s national football team to boycott the World Cup finals being held in Qatar next year.

Together with five co-sponsors, Mr Fischer, who lives close to Copenhagen, said Denmark should forsake playing in the tournament in protest at the poor human rights’ conditions in the Gulf host nation, as well as Fifa corruption.

“We do not believe that we, as a democratic nation striving to live up to global human rights, can benefit from having some of the country’s most prominent sporting players participate in the finals and blue-stamp a dictatorship like Qatar,” states the petition.

If Mr Fischer manages to get 50,000 signatures by June 8 then, under Danish law, the country’s participation in the Qatar 2022 World Cup will have to be debated in the national parliament.

But even if he fails,the petition seems to have galvanised debate about participation in 2022, especially in Denmark, but also beyond. To date, almost 7,000 have signed

“I’d be more surprised if we reach the 50,000 than if we don’t,” Mr Fischer tells The Independent. “The 50,000 signatures was not the aim in itself. The aim was to shed light on how problematic it is that the second biggest sport event in the world is being held in Qatar.”

It is clear that Mr Fischer is not alone in his views.

One MP, Karsten Honge of the Socialist People’s Party, has backed the need for any parliamentary debate regardless of a petition, claiming it would allow Denmark’s point of view to be “seen and heard” in Qatar.

Even if there was no boycott, a parliamentary debate would “put maximum pressure on Qatar to improve human rights and workers’ rights”, Honge tells The Independent.

And the bank which sponsors the Danish team’s training gear, Arbejdernes Landsbank, says it does not want to be associated with the tournament.

“The World Cup in Qatar is a problem,” Peter Froulund, head of branding and communication at the bank says. “We have to decide what is the best way to approach this.”

A final decision on sponsorship will be taken in the summer, said Froulund, but it is “likely” that the bank will withdraw its branding if Denmark - top seeds in their qualifying group and drawn against countries including Scotland and Israel, as well as reaching the last 16 in the 2018 World Cup – heads to Qatar in November 2022.

The Danish Football Union has said it supports “a dialogue” with Qatar, rather than backing a boycott, unless that boycott extends to “business and diplomacy”, says the DFU’s Jakob Hoyer.

And talk of a boycott has in recent days extended to several top flight league clubs in Norway, including Tromso, who have openly called for the national team to not take part in the tournament.

Since it was controversially and surprisingly handed the right to host the World Cup back in 2010, Qatar has come intense scrutiny, especially on human rights, and faced many calls in the West to have the tournament taken away.

But the last few months have seen the most concerted calls for a boycott. These have increased in the past few days since a report in The Guardian that 6,500 Asian workers have died in Qatar since 2010.

The Gulf monarchy has embarked upon an unprecedented building programme in readiness for 2022.

Eight stadiums are being built from scratch or revamped for the tournament, dozens of news roads, a new metro system, airport, hotels, even a brand new city will be constructed in time for the World Cup. In 2017, Qatar revealed it was spending $500 million a week on the World Cup, an eye-watering amount even for a country transformed into one of the wealthiest on earth by vast gas revenues.

The transformation of the country is unique among nations preparing for a sporting tournament. When former Fifa president Sepp Blatter announced Qatar would be the 2022 host, just 1.8 million lived and worked in Qatar. Today, the population is around 2.8 million, swollen by importing hundreds and thousands of construction workers many from Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan.

It is the treatment of these workers which has caused huge concern around the world, with allegations - many substantiated - that too many live in poor accommodation, regularly go unpaid, and are treated appallingly by bosses in a system which is modern-day slavery.

Qatar has pointed to labour reforms already made – including ending the exploitative ‘kafala’ system, where workers could not change jobs without employers’ consent - and the promise of more changes in the pipeline.

But it has not been enough to silence critics and in the two days following the publication of the Guardian death story, Mr Fischer says the petition got 700 more signatures.

Fifa told The Independent: “We don’t think that a boycott of the World Cup would be the right approach or would serve any useful purpose to address any human rights issues in Qatar,” said a spokesperson.

“To be frank, we actually think that engagement and dialogue is the best way to promote understanding of universal human rights values.”

Boycotts of World Cups may be more common than is actually realised, with arguably the most significant happening in 1966, when all African nations refused to play in the tournament held in England over the number of spaces allocated to teams from the continent.

“My head tells me that a boycott of Qatar 2022 is unlikely,” says Simon Chadwick, professor of Eurasian Sport, Emlyon Business School in France. “Such a move would be unprecedented, create all manner of issues for those involved, and would be an overly simplistic response to a complex matter.

“However in my heart, it feels like anything is currently possible.”

Any boycott - should it happen - would almost certainly be confined to a few Western countries. Support for holding the World Cup in an Arab, Muslim country, the first in the Middle East to host it, has lots of backing elsewhere.

Some have questioned the motives of those in the West who want a boycott, and why Qatar is being targeted.

“The reality is that some people decided 10 years ago that they would never support a World Cup in Qatar,” a Qatari fan tells The Independent. “The World Cups in Brazil, Russia and South Africa had problems related to poverty, the environment and human rights, but I don’t recall any movements to boycott those tournaments.”

The World Cup “will do a lot of good things for my country”, added the Qatari.

If no boycotts go ahead, one form of protest that might be seen in 2022 is ‘taking a knee’. In an era of on the pitch protests, it is not unfeasible that some players might show solidarity with the cause of workers who have sacrificed all for football’s biggest tournament.

Online, some have called for such a move and Karsten Honge says such a move could “be one way” to protest.

It is certainly something World Cup organisers should be prepared for says Professor Chadwick.

“It is not inconceivable that players will take a knee to protest, perhaps about workers’ rights,” he says. “However some may feel compelled to protests about LGBT rights, or about Qatar’s environmental record. The question then becomes: how will Qatar and FIFA prepare for such protests and what action will they take?

“As Qatar 2022 draws closer football’s world governing body will need to make clear what its position is.
first Scandinavia, now Germany, more calls to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - This is reaction to Qatar is not particularly new, Bayern Munich have been subject to an awful lot of scrutiny for their relationship with Qatar -

https://www.de24.news/en/2021/03/profan ... d-cup.html

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:37 pm

More from the Gulf - Saudi Arabia demonised again recently by that US Intelligence report are effectively telling big corporations and the countries they are based in too pick a side - do business with us or do not do business with us - this isn't soft power this is hard economic aggression and self assertion, as much against is neighbours as the world at large. Nothing directly to do with football or sport, but there is little doubt that it will come into play in the near future, given the investment in holding sporting events in the country. from the Financial Times

‘Everyone is freaking out’: Saudi Arabia’s ultimatum rattles big business
ANDREW ENGLAND MARCH 08, 2021

For decades, most top foreign executives popped in and out of Saudi Arabia for business while setting up homes in Dubai as the latter’s more liberal, western-style lifestyle trumped the oil-rich kingdom’s ultra-conservative culture when it came to establishing a regional base.

But now some are worried that their lives, and those of their families, could be upended after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman delivered an ultimatum to multinationals: move your regional headquarters to the kingdom or forget about securing prized government contracts.

The move, announced in February, is Prince Mohammed’s boldest attempt to accelerate his ambitions to transform Riyadh, the once sleepy Saudi capital, into the premier business and finance hub for the Middle East, Africa and parts of western Asia. Companies have been given three years to adapt to the measure, which will be enforced by entities including “agencies, institutions, and funds owned by the government” and comes into effect at the beginning of 2024.

But many executives view it as an attempt to strong-arm global companies to bend to Prince Mohammed’s will and are struggling to work out exactly what it would mean for those that have traditionally preferred to locate their regional headquarters in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Manama.

“Everyone is freaking out. We are used to governments offering carrots, but this time a big stick has come out of the bag,” said one regional manager of a multinational company. “Frankly, it’s offensive.”

The manager, one of many courted by Saudi officials in recent months, said companies have spent decades coalescing around Dubai, the main regional trade hub, as the ideal launch pad for the Middle East, Africa and south Asia.

Initially, Prince Mohammed sought to entice companies to move their regional headquarters to Riyadh with incentives that included a 50-year corporate tax holiday and exemption from quotas to hire Saudis under an initiative dubbed “Programme HQ”. But when the initiative was publicly announced at Prince Mohammed’s flagship investor conference in January only 24 multinationals had provisionally agreed to the move.

“My sense is they didn’t get as big a splash as they would like so they have ratcheted it up,” said a Gulf-based executive who does business in Saudi Arabia. “They wanted more like 100.”

The kingdom does have leverage: it boasts the Middle East’s biggest economy, is the world’s top oil exporter and the government is the prime driver of economic activity and by far the biggest spender. Prince Mohammed also plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to modernise the nation and diversify the economy.

But Saudi Arabia’s highly conservative culture, in which alcohol is banned, as well as a poorer choice of schools, count against it. Businesses are also wary of Prince Mohammed’s erratic leadership and there is concern about reputational risks, exemplified by the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents.

The Biden administration last month released a US intelligence report incriminating the Saudi crown prince in the killing of the journalist.

The executive said the initial reaction to the ultimatum was “panic”. “Then as it started to sink people started saying I don’t really know how this operates, what this means, and I don't know how to implement it, because you have to define HQ.”

Some executives suggest that companies may simply label an office in Riyadh a “headquarters” but Khalid al-Falih, investment minister, told Arab News, a Saudi paper, that “a superficial nameplate saying ‘this is the regional headquarters’ will not fly”.

Falih said state contracts would be awarded only to those companies that “have their entire integrated operations here in the kingdom, from the decision making to the strategic development, to manage the execution of those government contracts”.

In Dubai, officials anticipate greater competition from its far larger and wealthier neighbour. Officials cite attractions such as the United Arab Emirates’ leading position as a hub and recent reforms, such as foreigners being able to own 100 per cent of onshore businesses and the granting of long-term residency to the most-valued expatriate workers.

“When we hear someone is competing with us, it shows that we have done well,” said Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We all have to try to stimulate our economies — Saudi is in a changing mood and we are more than happy for them to grow as we will all benefit,” he said.

For their part, Saudi officials are highlighting their $220bn plans to revamp Riyadh, as well as social reforms that have led to cultural, music and sports events being held in the capital, and promise that more international schools will move to the kingdom.

“This concept of Saudi Arabia as a place where I make a lot of money then I leave and spend it all elsewhere, it’s not like that any more, doesn’t fit with the kingdom’s strategy any more,” the Gulf-based executive said.

“The Saudi government is the biggest spender of any entity across the region, so you have to follow the money. You will probably have some takers on this request, but will take a long time for people to move their lives from the UAE to Riyadh because of the lifestyle.”

Another Dubai-based executive was more blunt: “I’ll give you three letters for the chance of us moving to Riyadh: NFW.”

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:49 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:24 pm
first Scandinavia, now Germany, more calls to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - This is reaction to Qatar is not particularly new, Bayern Munich have been subject to an awful lot of scrutiny for their relationship with Qatar -

https://www.de24.news/en/2021/03/profan ... d-cup.html
Of course on of the supposed bidders for the 2030 World Cup has it's own modern slavery issues

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-07-13/mod ... ort-claims

and it didn't seem to matter at the last world cup in another country where a significant number of the population are considered to be living in slave-live conditions

https://twitter.com/Prof_Chadwick/statu ... 0230848513

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:22 pm

After the recent financial updates from Arsenal and Manchester United you cannot imagine that the tone of this message will go down well with the Premier League, many of whom are still to report on last season with the firm knowledge that this season has been even more financially damaging to them - from the Telegraph

Exclusive: EFL urged to 'wage war' on Premier League as clubs warn half the Championship is on brink of collapse
TOM MORGAN MARCH 08, 2021

The Football League has been urged to "wage war" on the Premier League as clubs warn half the Championship is perilously close to collapse amid bail-out turmoil.

Fresh help from the top tier was cited by one leading executive as the only option after a £100million-plus bank loan was blocked by 11th hour Treasury demands on player pay.

The Premier League, which signed off a potential £50million grant package for League One and Two but only contributed towards £15miillion in loan fees for the Championship, now has a moral duty to help, according to Cardiff City.

"We're now at the edge of an abyss and we're about to step forward," said Mehmet Dalman, the club's chairman, as he said it was "100 per cent" time to start a "war". EFL chiefs must "stand up and be counted for", he said, by returning to the negotiation table to demand a new and improved support package from elite clubs that "feed" off the Championship. "I think the EFL needs to pick a fight, not just with the Treasury, but with the Premier League," Dalman added.

Dire warnings from several leading Championship clubs were issued as Telegraph Sport reveals scenes of unprecedented acrimony between ministers and the league over the collapse in financial support.

The EFL has been left with few places to turn as relations between Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, and Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister, have been hostile since October. Whitehall took exception when Parry wrote in an open letter that clubs feel they are either being "ignored" or "victimised".

The professional game was first told to sort out its own problems last June after the first cheques were handed out from more than £100billion in Government support for jobs during the pandemic. The mood within the EFL has been described as going from bad, to worse to "apoplectic" in the last week as ministers announced another £300million support package for other sports, while also offering to fund extra matches at Euro 2020 and back a 2030 World Cup bid.

"You get a bit fed up with the empty words," said one senior figure within the league. "We hear how important the EFL is and then ministers are coming out with 'Oh Euros, fantastic - we'll do the whole thing' and then the World Cup bid. Give them a bauble and their eyes light up. When it really comes to helping out at the grass-roots level, we see where the priorities lie."

Championship clubs were given just 48 hours notice last month that the Treasury was blocking an expected payment that would amount to £8.3million for every club in need. The EFL had accepted pay freezes on executive payments, but, following last-minute instructions from senior figures within Government, the rule was extended to players too. The clauses were instated despite Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur borrowing a combined £295m through the same Bank of England “Covid Corporate Financing Facility”.

Whitehall insiders alleged that Parry had previously told Government the EFL had private finance options, and it was unclear why this has not since materialised. That version of events is denied by EFL sources. Steve Kavanagh, the chief executive at Millwall, described the Treasury's stance as "completely unacceptable" and "ridiculous".

"The whole football eco-structure is at risk here and Championship clubs find themselves in the worst place of everyone," he told Telegraph Sport. Clubs feel cheated after many showed handed over venues and facilities as goodwill gesture to aid vaccination and testing during the pandemic. "These clubs have all stepped up when asked by the Government to support their communities," Kavanagh added. "The real story is what we did before Covid-19 without being asked and what we'll do after, because we understand the importance of helping each other. I think a lot of people need to take a long hard look at themselves and look again at what football is and does for our society."

Around two thirds of the Championship were hoping to draw down money from the Treasury-blocked loan. "Club owners have been amazing in keeping these community assets going, but they need help," Kavanagh added. "The Championship hasn't had any bailout or support whatsoever. Don't believe the smoke and mirrors, when clubs go under and communities suffer then don't be surprised."

Figures within the EFL Board suggest the competition is minded to resist a request from Dalman's Cardiff to reopen negotiations with the Premier League.

Dalman, however, says the EFL should take a much more aggressive stance with England's top tier to ease concerns in an increasingly disenchanted Championship. "The pain is substantial," he added. "The Premier League is the richest league in the world, and one of the reasons for it is because they feed off the Championship. If they didn't have promotions and relegation, it wouldn't be as exciting. So why don't we, why don't we have that fight with them.

"You cannot keep this level of uncertainty to any business, never mind football. I would be really surprised if half of them are not able to even pay wages. How far can you stretch, you can stretch maybe another month. But sooner or later something's got to give."

Cardiff say the EFL deserves criticism for failing to secure a package by now. A £15million package from the Premier League to help seek a loan after months of bargaining in the summer and autumn underwhelmed clubs. Sources close to the Premier League defended the support package, saying top tier clubs could end up recording losses of £2billion relating to the pandemic. The help announced late last year was in addition to other parachute and solidarity payments. At the start of the pandemic, funds of around £125milion were also advanced to the EFL and National League to ward off the immediate threat.

Dalman said the Championship had been let down by false promises. "EFL came out and they talked to the member clubs, and made a lot of promises, which they can't deliver," Dalman added. "We can look at whose fault that is, but at the end of the day, the EFL has got to stand up and be counted for it."

The clubs are unanimous in refusing the Treasury's demands to abandon player bonus and renegotiations. Alternative financial solutions, including the existing option of the Treasury, are still being explored by the EFL.

Figures within Whitehall suggested similar clauses had been attached to previous loans, including the two drawn down by Tottenham and Arsenal. The Government said in a statement: “We know the pandemic is having major consequences for sports sectors across the country which is why we've provided £600 million to support sports and grassroots clubs through the pandemic when survival was threatened. At the top level of football there is more ability to help themselves, as we saw with the £250 million support package we helped broker between the Premier League and the EFL. The government has offered multi-billion pounds worth of wider support for businesses, which football has also been able to access. The Covid Corporate Financing Facility is currently helping to support almost 2.5 million jobs in the UK. Companies wishing to take out loans have to agree to certain conditions on dividends and pay restraint as taxpayers would expect."

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:31 pm

Cardiff's Mehmet Dalman has previous for this kind of approach though

search.php?keywords=Mehmet+Dalman&t=20891&sf=msgonly

and we cannot forget his stance with Nice of the Emiliano Sala tragedy, the financial wrangling of which is still being bitterly fought out. You suspect Dalman's biggest problem is his evaporating parachute payments, they desperately need that unlikely promotion that Mick McCarthy currently has them charging for, I wonder if his tone would change if they do get promoted

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:00 pm

more on the subject matter of that tweet from Matt Slater

https://twitter.com/mjshrimper/status/1 ... 1094690822

to my mind that is pure cartel behaviour and against employment law, there is also the fact that is would mean hoovering players up from outside their group so another mover to reinforce their place in the elite in perpetuity - this in the Mail

Champions League clubs would be BANNED from signing players from each other under new 'solidarity' plans being discussed by Europe's top clubs which would stop big-money transfers
The European Clubs' Association chairman raised the idea with journalists
Andrea Agnelli said options were under discussion for financial fair play
The move would encourage top clubs to look at lower tiers for new players
By CHARLIE WALKER FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 16:08, 8 March 2021 | UPDATED: 19:24, 8 March 2021

European football clubs are considering new rules that would ban Champions League sides from selling each other players.

The extraordinary idea was raised by Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of the European Clubs Association, following the organisation's 25th General Assembly.

Agnelli, who is also the chairman of Juventus, said the scheme could help create a more competitive balance in European football.

Answering a question following the ECA meeting from a German journalist about salary caps, Agnelli talked about finding alternative ways to secure financial fair play, within football.

'Clubs qualifying to specific tiers in international competitions would not be allowed to buy each other's players,' he suggested.

'That would improve indirect solidarity towards other clubs. So, no triple figure transfers among Champions League participating clubs. These are elements we are discussing.'

If a ban was already in place it would have precluded some of the biggest transfers in recent history.

Among those deals that would not have been done, would be Neymar's £198million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, or Kylian Mbappe's transfer from Monaco to PSG for £165m a year later, after a loan spell at the Parc des Princes.

Other transfers that would have fallen foul of the ban would be Paul Pogba's 2016 switch from Juventus to Manchester United for £89m and Antoine Griezmann's 2019 transfer from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona for £108m.

The need to maintain competitive balance in European football has been in sharp focus with negotiations over an enlarged Champions League at an advanced stage, as well as new proposals for a European Super League emerging last year.

Much criticism has been made of the fact that Europe's largest clubs are becoming wealthier and the gap between them and the rest in terms of spending power and ability to attract top talent has grown wider.

Proposals to expand the Champions League from 32 to 36 teams, introduce the so-called Swiss model with 10 matches in the group phase, with protected entry for some of the largest clubs, has heightened fears of the gap becoming even greater.

The European Leagues, a representative body, which includes the Premier League, has suggested that a supersized Champions League, which could feature an additional 100 matches, would generate more money than the current model, but steal broadcast revenue away from domestic competition.

The European Leagues fear that as a result, those clubs which regularly feature in the Champions League would simply grow ever wealthier and become untouchable.

The idea raised by Agnelli would mean the biggest clubs would have to look for talent from lower tiers, therefore the wealth from the top end of the game would be shared around in transfer fees.

It is not the only idea under consideration. Agnelli said the Covid crisis had placed clubs under financial pressure and looking at creative ways to implement cost control was important.

Meanwhile, Agnelli said that he thought agreement on the reformed Champions League was imminent.

He revealed that the final sticking point was how the four extra spots in the competition, which is expected to increase from 32 to 36 teams from 2024, will be allocated.

The debate is whether those spots should go to champions, or if they should be allocated shared using UEFA rankings based on past success.

'I would truly hope everything would be done in the next couple of weeks,' Agnelli told journalists on Monday, following the 25th General Assembly of the ECA.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin (left) and Andrea Agnelli (right), chairman of the European Clubs Association, are key players in the reform of the Champions League

'There are details that have to be addressed - one of them being access to the competition. I would say in a couple of weeks it should be pretty much sorted.'

Agnelli said his focus had been to reach agreement on the new Champions League and he had not participated in conversations about the even more controversial European Super League.

The £4.6billion league, which is believed to be driven by Europe's biggest clubs, including, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester United, would create a virtually closed-shop competition of 20 clubs, with 15 founder members having guaranteed participation.

Earlier, UEFA general secretary Giorgio Marchetti, opened the general assembly by blasting the idea of a Super League.

'We realise that unity can easily be dissolved when insidious ideas are pursued under the pretence of survival, growth or business needs,' the Sun reported him as saying.

'Unfortunately, the rest of football, about 99 per cent of it, would not be invited to enjoy this new super union.

'Surviving this affliction is not just about quick fixes or effective remedies that fit the wealthiest and the privileged few but taking care of everybody, the whole of football, the big and the small, the weak and the strong.'

He added: 'Our combined ideas and efforts have produced the greatest revamp in club competition formats in decades.

'The reforms will provide renewed strength and unprecedented excitement going forward.

'With the project we have in mind, Europe's premier club competition post 2024 will be even more compelling and ready to face a new landscape of fans and viewers.'

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:41 pm

Sam Wallace in the Telegraph on the insidious land grab by Andrea Agnelli and the ECA over UEFA club competitions (no mention of the FIFA world club cup in this article but Agnelli also talked about that yesterday - the thing that is not being talked about too much is that Agnelli freely talked about is long and lengthy private (unrecorded?) discussions with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin in October and November last year where the deal was essentially determined. There are a number of governance issues there to my mind, these two are supposed to be representing very different interests yet are long term friends to such a degree that Ceferin is godfather to Agnelli's daughter, a conflict of intrest issue that does not get talked about anywhere nearly enough.

European Club Association's transfer ban proposal is latest skirmish in fight for football's future
SAM WALLACE MARCH 09, 2021

As the scion of one of Europe’s great industrialist families, it must be hard to stand out from generations of innovating hatchback billionaires but that has never deterred Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus, and emeritus professor – unofficial - of bad football ideas.

Agnelli, 45, the chairman of the European Club Association - the organisation that could be said to now run European football with none of the accountability one would presume of such a power - fulfils a useful function. He says things. The kind of things that shock most sensible fans but, in Trumpian style, once said shift the debate from its tracks into a worst-case scenario dynamic.

Agnelli floats the scenario, football recoils and the ECA, football’s most powerful clubs, takes more territory in the ensuing compromise.

At the ECA general assembly on Monday Agnelli proposed the end of transfers between elite Champions League clubs. What it is the big clubs actually want from this kind of proposal will only emerge over time, but this was the initial cannonball to disrupt the defences, unsettle the status quo and soften up the game for another concession to the wealthiest and most powerful.

In 2019, Agnelli and others had drawn up plans for a breakaway super league. Two years on and huge concessions have been won from Uefa in the shape of a bloated new 10-game group stage Champions League format, post 2024.

What one should say in Agnelli’s favour is that at least he has the courage to put his name to these views. Once again, there is a notable silence on such issues from the likes of Ed Woodward, Manchester United executive vice-chairman and ECA executive board member, as well as Liverpool's Fenway Sports Group ownership. In the era of synthetic crowd noise, perhaps the special effects experts could try their hand at synthetic ownership noise.

Change is moving so fast now. Traditionally dominant clubs are fearful of disruptive new powers. A younger generation priced out of stadiums, and who have also grown up with the elite game on pay TV, unsurprisingly prefer the hyper-realism of the video game version of the sport.

What the ECA want is ownership of the elite pan-European game – primarily the Champions League – from Uefa. They want to be shareholders in it. The notion of a regulatory body owning the rights to their competition is just a bit too much like 1955 for the great cash-hungry clubs of the modern era. The notion of phasing out transfers between them would be very useful for a big club who, for instance, do not want to lose a star player to a cash-rich, pay-any-release-clause ambitious new rival. Where have we heard that one before?

This is all part of the move by stealth to the franchise model. An elite competition to which the biggest clubs have guaranteed access, enabling owners to control costs and offer the much sought after “stability”. Great for investors. Bad for football’s sporting principles.

Uefa is in a battle for its existence. Aleksander Ceferin, its Slovenian president, has to keep many different factions and interests happy but at the heart of Uefa, as per any independent governing body, is a noble intention to see fairness and the redistribution of wealth.

Uefa will be viewed as imperfect in the eyes of many fans for its role in certain episodes over the years. But we may one day find ourselves looking back nostalgically at an era when the most powerful clubs had to accept the decision of a democratically-elected independent body.

That is the pressure behind the scenes. The arm-wrestle between Ceferin and the likes of Agnelli, Woodward and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over the future shape of European competitions is not one Uefa can ultimately win.

The memorandum of understanding between the ECA and Uefa is up for renewal soon and the clubs will be much more hawkish in pursuit of the next treaty. No doubt the ECA will demand final say on any changes to European competitions.

As things stand the commercial enterprise that runs the two European competitions, soon to be three with the introduction of the Uefa Europa Conference, is split equally between Uefa and the ECA. “Uefa Club Competitions SA” is where the real power lies and the ECA already has half of it. Woodward is also a board member of that entity.

As things stand, half of the most lucrative, successful continental sports competition in the world is still co-owned by Uefa and its 55 member associations, from the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio to the Federatsiya Futbola Kazakhstana. But if you expect it to stay the same way then you have not been paying attention to the current direction of travel.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:46 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:26 pm
Anyone. like me, wondering how Manchester United have recorded £3.2m of matchday revenue for the six months (£2m q1 £1,2m q2) - pittance for them but more than we would normally expect in a normal season

Manchester United also have a revolving £200m credit facility that is likely to be at a quarter or less interest that ALK are paying on their circa £200m valuation of Burnley - United used £60m of it in the last quarter, roughly what MSD lent to ALK to buy us, for united it will have covered operating costs and possible the transfer of their latest wonderkid

a good summary of the released data

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ ... 21-Results
@SwissRamble has a look at those Manchester United Q2 results

https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/ ... 5535412224

The official q2 20/21 reports are now on the Manchester United website

Earnings release

https://ir.manutd.com/~/media/Files/M/M ... elease.pdf

Interim report

https://ir.manutd.com/~/media/Files/M/M ... -accts.pdf

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:07 pm

How's about this - our club has a slogan of "one club for all" which has been much derided by fans a number of whom have been made to feel alienated by the club or at least dis-respected, a club that many of our fans respect for it's football development also happens to have a view as to inclusion, and even enact it at board level.

Brentford who have one of the most diverse boards in football advertise for a non-executive director in a bid to increase the diversity. I cannot imagine our board having a non-executive director or recall it ever being diverse. I will say that such a director should have a specific remit and bring experience and a skill-set that strengthens the boards capability - from Skysports

https://www.skysports.com/football/news ... usive-club

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:24 pm

The essence of this article is not related to football, yet the consequences are very likely to be felt by football - a bank which we have never heard of, yet specialises in repackaging debt has collapsed after it's insurer pulled out. The consequence is that Factoring for football has in all likelihood just got even more expensive as there are likely to be even few players in the market place than there are now - this as happened the week after it was announced that McQuarie (the factoring bank of choice in English football) were looking for new/bigger/plusher offices in London. to my mind it just opens the doors wider for Private Equity like MSD Capital and their ilk, and with higher interest rates.

Greensill Capital files for insolvency, administrators appointed

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brit ... ce=twitter

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:29 pm

The Premier League sign another deal extension for the next cycle - this time with Infront for free to air games in sub-saharan Africa - another example of the Premier League playing the long game and growing interest and market penetration - no mention of monetary value (it will be very low and may not be any higher than last time)

https://www.infront.sport/en/news/2021/ ... 2317081644

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:48 pm

You may have read in the last week that Chris Wilder is unhappy with the priorities of his owner in regards to what is happening at the the club. could it be that the Prince has taken his eye off the Sheffield United ball as he grows his multi-club empire, it is looking like there is to be a new addition to the United World family from the French 2nd division Chateauroux - from the Sheffield Star

“I love sport and money" - Sheffield United owner to buy another club for his United World empire - how will it affect the Blades
Prince Abdullah, Sheffield United's owner, is close to securing another club for his ever-growing United World empire after a deal was agreed to buy French second division club Chateauroux.
By Danny Hall
Monday, 8th March 2021, 11:05 am Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 11:10 am

The Saudi already has stakes or controlling interests in a number of clubs besides the Blades, including ones in Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and India, under the United World umbrella.

But after the takeover of struggling Chateauroux - who are bottom of the Ligue 2 table with just four wins in their 28 games so far this season - Prince Abdullah says United World will take a year out of acquiring clubs around the world, to focus on their current stable.

“We have been interested in Chateauroux for some time, and negotiations have taken a long time," the prince said.

"The club’s position in the second division table is now very difficult, but I am optimistic about its future.

George Baldock explains why Sheffield United still have much to play for for rest of season
“I love sport and money. When I invested in England and Belgium, I was happy. But for France, I have a special feeling because it’s a country that reminds me of childhood.

“My memories are numerous and my brother was born there.

“I know that Chateauroux is not far from Paris - another reason to please me when I am in France, besides the restaurants, the cafes and walks in beautiful Paris.”

The United World logo can be spotted on the backdrop to Chris Wilder's press conferences at United, with the ultimate long-term aim to co-ordinate a pyramid of clubs at different levels to develop players.

The different clubs under the united umbrella also work together on other aspects, including marketing, retail and their youth academies.

A year without fans has been horrible for Sheffield United - but the day for a return will come, and will be glorious

United World's chief executive Abdullah Alghamdi watched Chateauroux's last game, before reaching an agreement about the takeover, according to the prince.

Reports in the French media estimated that the club is available for around £2.4m. “I think the amount is higher but I do not want to divulge it,” said the prince.

“When we buy a club, we have several objectives.

“To raise the level of the club, the facilities and the level of the team. The most important thing is to do it over time.

“I’m happy that we own clubs from three of the four countries that reached the last semi finals of the World Cup — England, Belgium and France.

Analysis: Introducing Kerala United, the latest addition to the Sheffield United family
“I remember the French team of Platini, Giresse, Tigana and Rocheteau. When I was young, Platini was my favorite player when he was playing in Italy with Juventus.”

United World's empire has seen the likes of Ismaila Coulibaly and George Broadbent join Beerschot on loan, but there are some concerns amongst a portion of United fans that their owner is expanding his empire - especially while their side struggles in the Premier League and Beerschot impress against the odds in the Belgian Pro League.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, United's chief executive Stephen Bettis reiterated that United are at the head of the United World pyramid.

“From a Sheffield United perspective, there are only upsides to this," Bettis said.

"There are no downsides. The club is at the top of the pyramid. If there is anyone they like or want to look at, it is one phone call and it happens."

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:51 pm

KPMG's Football benchmark looks at the financial problems at Barcelona that will have to be addressed by newly elected President Joan Laporta

https://footballbenchmark.com/library/c ... _the_blues

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by ewanrob » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:24 pm

West Ham have taken on a £120m loan facility from US fund MSD, which invests tech billionaire Michael Dell’s assets.

Club made £65m loss in year to 31 May 2020 (2.5 months of Covid-19 shutdown);

Shareholders (principally Davids Sullivan & Gold) invested £30m by rights issue.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:30 pm

ewanrob wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:24 pm
West Ham have taken on a £120m loan facility from US fund MSD, which invests tech billionaire Michael Dell’s assets.

Club made £65m loss in year to 31 May 2020 (2.5 months of Covid-19 shutdown);

Shareholders (principally Davids Sullivan & Gold) invested £30m by rights issue.
As you can see - West Ham have released their 2019/20 financial results - making them the 9th Premier League club to do so - that is a lot of extra and costly debt - making them the biggest football client of MSD

Official Statement

https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/202 ... -announced

Annual report and financial statement

https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/202 ... -announced

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by ewanrob » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:33 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:30 pm
As you can see - West Ham have released their 2019/20 financial results - making them the 9th Premier League club to do so - that is a lot of extra and costly debt - making them the biggest football client of MSD

Official Statement

https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/202 ... -announced

Annual report and financial statement

https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/202 ... -announced

Frightening figures

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:37 pm

ewanrob wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:33 pm
Frightening figures
you have to remember no all earnings for the season in those results there will be some TV money from last season in this seasons accounts, only ourselves and Sheffield Utd have so far elected to report the whole season in a single set of accounts

I am currently trying to find the interest rate with MSD though that was only opened on the 26th of Feb this year - they have £75m in loans due in July this year to Rights and Media (£55m from August 2020) and Barclays (£20m from October 2020) so the MSD loan could be seen as a consolidation given it is for 5 years, though you do wonder what has been given as security over all of that given they do not own their ground.

EDIT the charge for MSD has yet to be posted at companies house - if it is like the others mentioned it will not sit at the parent company W H Holding Limited, but at West Ham United Football Club Limited

EDIT 2 Matt Slater is assuming the MSD rate is similar to Southampton's declared rate, which is also what the roughly assumed rate for ALK/Velocity is at Burnley

https://twitter.com/mjshrimper/status/1 ... 8630684672

I much preferred it when we were more unique stable, sustainable and debt free
Last edited by Chester Perry on Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:51 pm

just to add to the financial accounts outpouring Sheffield Wednesday have finally published their 2018/19 accounts today 11 months late - with no statement from the club

full annual report and financial statement

https://www.swfc.co.uk/siteassets/pdf-l ... y-2019.pdf

@KieranMaguire has had a quick look

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 3112169472

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:08 pm

Sheff Wed wage bill 168% of income...

That's shocking, especially as they're fighting relegation right now.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:16 pm

GodIsADeeJay81 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:08 pm
Sheff Wed wage bill 168% of income...

That's shocking, especially as they're fighting relegation right now.
That was the season before last so with full matchday attendance including games with Leeds and Sheffield United - things have got a lot more awkward for them since then

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:25 pm

They really need to start finding a way to cap wages from exceeding income, one that the PFA agrees with though naturally

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:30 pm

GodIsADeeJay81 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:25 pm
They really need to start finding a way to cap wages from exceeding income, one that the PFA agrees with though naturally
there is some support for the La Liga approach and that appears to be growing - it is far from perfect and stores up a lot of problems, in situations like the last 12 months when revenues collapse, there is also the legal issue of employment contracts, Spanish law helps businesses in these situations, English law is more on the side of the existing contract

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:38 pm

Is that where the league decide the wage limit for each club?

Interesting idea, but what about the MLS model for our lower leagues?

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:48 pm

GodIsADeeJay81 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:38 pm
Is that where the league decide the wage limit for each club?

Interesting idea, but what about the MLS model for our lower leagues?
yes based on forecast income and revised based on half year results

The MLS model is more complex and contracts are more like football from 70 years ago 0 there is no freedom of movement and players not in the first team squad are do not have their contracts activated, but have their registrations retained by the franchise 0 it is a huge problem for draft picks in particular and has become a problem across all American sports - recently a president of an MLB franchise had to step down when he let slip his franchise were manipulating such contracts to their advantage - the pandemic has really exacerbated the problem

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mari ... -in-video/

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:00 pm

I was thinking more in regards to the wage caps, I wasn't aware of the mess that was the rest of it

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:16 pm

GodIsADeeJay81 wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:00 pm
I was thinking more in regards to the wage caps, I wasn't aware of the mess that was the rest of it
I have never found a good solution anywhere when I looked under the covers
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:32 pm

After the ECA General Assembly, which more than ever seemed just a mouth piece for Andrea Agnelli - you do wonder why over 200 of the clubs put up with him in that role, when he only actually speaks for the original G14 - The European Leagues come together tomorrow to discuss the proposed revamp of the UEFA club competitions post 2024. The continuing sticking point, appears to be what Agnelli wanted from the ECA this week but given the deafening silence does not appear to have, those wild card entries based on coefficients - here is the Telegraph with the latest

Clubs across Europe set to oppose proposals that hand more money and power to Champions League's elite
SAM WALLACE MARCH 09, 2021

Clubs across Europe are expected on Wednesday to turn their fire on new proposals drawn up by the Champions League elite to revolutionise the European game and hand more money and power to the established old guard.

Criticism is expected for the likes of Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United that their new expanded Champions League post-2024 will disadvantage those clubs outside the elite, who will be represented among the 300 attending the virtual European Leagues (EL) summit.

Many of these so-called smaller clubs are members of the European Club Association (ECA) - which has negotiated the changes, and owns 50 per cent of the company that operates Uefa competitions. They do not feel their voice is heard at the ECA alongside those of the continent’s traditional superpowers.

Many of the smaller clubs have won European trophies in the past but would struggle to qualify for the Champions League under the new format for the competition due to come into effect in 2024, even as champions of their domestic leagues. These clubs believe that the changes to the competition are being carried out only to benefit the 15-20 elite clubs who can claim to be global brands.

Ban on transfers between top European clubs proposed as agreement close on new Champions League plans
The EL, which represents domestic leagues across Uefa’s 55 member countries, will also call on Uefa and powerful clubs to reduce the number of Champions League group stage games per club in the new proposals post 2024 from ten to eight. It says there is no room in the calendar for a leap from 125 games to 225 games.

There is the prospect that Football League (EFL) chairman Rick Parry will raise the future of the League Cup under the new proposals. It is an important revenue earner for the EFL but could be squeezed out the calendar by the new expanded Champions League.

The EL also oppose the proposal that three of the four newly created Champions League group stage places in the post-2024 expansion from 32 clubs to 36 will be awarded on the basis of Uefa co-efficient – historical performance. That is viewed as a qualification safety net for famous clubs from the Premier League or Spain’s Liga, should they have a poor domestic season.

Instead the EL wishes to maintain the status quo that all qualification is based season by season on domestic performance. Lars-Christer Olsson, EL president and also president of the Swedish professional football league, will tell clubs that it is the champions of mid-ranking Uefa-member leagues like the Scottish Premiership or the Danish Superliga who should qualify for the competition.

Claudius Schaefer, the chief executive of the Swiss Football League and an influential figure among mid-sized leagues told Telegraph Sport: “For us it's clear, it is necessary to allocate three of the extra spots to domestic champions - it’s the Champions League. We shouldn’t let [the team finishing] fifth, sixth or seventh of the big leagues play there. We need our champions. And I also think we need a country cap, as it is today, of five clubs. I really hope we can convince Uefa and the associations to go in this direction.”

The attendance of Uefa general secretary Theodore Theodoridis is indicative of how seriously the governing body is taking the resistance of some of the leading lights among its smaller member associations. Uefa has had to make major concessions to the most powerful clubs in the ECA but that has come at a cost for those historical clubs in less powerful associations. The powerbase of Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, is among the smaller nations of Uefa’s 55 members.

The EL will also discuss the likely effect of an expanded Champions League on broadcast revenues for domestic leagues. Those are likely to be cut in order to pay for the expanded Uefa rights packages, thus exacerbating the wealth gap between qualifiers and non-qualifiers which can have a distorting effect on domestic leagues.

Olsson will also call on solidarity payments to be raised to five per cent to compensate non-qualified clubs across Europe from being unable to schedule games on Uefa matchdays. In the 2016 negotiations between Uefa and clubs, solidarity payments were cut to four per cent of gross revenue. In the future the EL wants more equitable share of revenue between the Champions League, Europa League and the new Uefa Europa Conference League that launches next season.

Fans’ groups will also have the opportunity to speak about the impact of an expanded Champions League competition.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:56 pm

Not for the first time Ian Herbert in the Mail has short-shrift for Agnelli's "beautiful" Swiss-model and the revamp of the Champions League

IAN HERBERT: UEFA's 'Swiss-model' for Champions League expansion is nothing short of a SCANDAL... Andrea Agnelli's ideas make the blood boil as he looks to mastermind a safety net for Europe's incompetent elite
European Clubs' Association chairman Andrea Agnelli is pushing for change
Agnelli is a driving force behind an expanded model for the Champions League
Calling it the 'Swiss model', the proposed plan is nothing short of a scandal
It would be a safety net for the incompetent members of elite who don't qualify
Sides like Leicester and Aston Villa would see their qualification ambitions fade
By IAN HERBERT FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 22:00, 9 March 2021 | UPDATED: 22:00, 9 March 2021

They're calling the new expanded Champions League 'the Swiss model' - which is a handy way of pushing the bare-faced lie that is an expertly-constructed way of enhancing continental football for the benefit of all.

It's nothing of the sort, of course. What Juventus president Andrea Agnelli also calls the 'ideal' model – 36 teams playing 10 group matches, with Champions League football every single month of the season, domestic leagues damaged and probably reduced to make room in the schedule and England's cup competitions in jeopardy – is just another land grab from the wealthiest clubs.

We've seen during the pandemic what scant disregard the Premier League's top sides have for the notion of collectivism. They plotted 'Project Big Picture', which would have allowed the wealthiest to bank four times as much basic income as the sides in the league's low reaches and screen more games direct to their vast global fan base.

The expanded Champions League is rooted in precisely the same swamp.

Agnelli says that it would bring an end to recurring rumours about a breakaway Super League, though it's actually a way for the super-rich to detach themselves from the inconvenience of Tuesday nights at Burnley, Southampton and Brighton and bask in the splendour of something supposedly grander. (Though watching paint dry already surpasses most group stage games.)

Big Picture made you rage against the capitalist creed being of clubs who were supposed to stand for something better. I wrote in October about Liverpool's betrayal of a supposedly socialist spirit. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... sophy.html

But 'the Swiss model' – with its 'wild card' and 'access boost' places for the giant incompetents who can't qualify despite their vast wealth – is UEFA's financial leg-up for clubs whose financial mismanagement is nothing less than a scandal.

Above all, Barcelona – a club which celebrated as the outstanding model for years, yet which was being propped up all that time by state aid which Europe's highest court ruled last week had been illegal. Barcelona - a club drowning in more than 1billion euros of debt yet which had deemed it intelligent to award Lionel Messi a four-year contract worth 555m euros, including salary and easily achieved performances bonuses.

How grateful Barcelona will be for Agnelli's 'Swiss model'. And Real Madrid too – another woefully run football club who will be paying back that illegal state aid now.

For these and many others, whose moribund domestic competitions routinely fail to set the world on fire, the expanded Champions League provides new territories to conquer. And the assumption that they will be grabbing a slice of the broadcasting income which has given the Premier League a revenue advantage.

It is precisely because the revenue is shared equitably that the Premier League is the best and most lucrative football league in the world. Fulham win at Anfield. Tottenham win 6-1 at Old Trafford and lose at Brighton. Burnley draw with Arsenal, a club whose wage bill is twice their own. If TV income and profile is lost, the Premier League's unique competitive element recedes and the competition diminishes.

For the likes of Leicester, West Ham, Aston Villa and Leeds United - whose excellent husbandry of more limited resources has made them the stories of this season - the already remote prospect of Champions League qualification recedes equivalently. Agnelli's 'access boost' is certainly not designed for them.

Agnelli makes your blood boil as he pompously opines on how a smaller Premier League would be a good thing: 'for competitive balance purposes 20 teams in leagues are too many.' Yet you sense that the Premier League is resigned to its fate.

Nowhere within these shores, have we heard the indignation expressed by Christian Seifert, chief executive of the Bundesliga, who called out the self-interest which lies at the heart of Agnelli's scheming. 'These so-called super clubs are in fact poorly managed, cash-burning machines, Seifert said. 'In a decade of incredible growth, they could not come close to a sustainable business model.'

Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus are struggling domestically and Agnelli is targeting a safety net

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:43 am

Chester Perry wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:36 pm
We know that Newcastle are to go to arbitration with the Premier League (at the invitation of the Premier League) over the failed Saudi bid, this is a n interesting twist to it - Newcastle United have failed in a High Court bid to change the chair of that Arbitration panel

https://twitter.com/tariqpanja/status/1 ... 0480525312

with Teeside not Newcastle/Gateshead winning one of the 8 freeports just announced you wonder whether the Saudi's would still be interested anyhow
@TheFootballLaw with the detail on that high Court judgement against Newcastle United ahead of the arbitration proceedings re the Saudi takeover

https://www.footballlaw.co.uk/articles/ ... ue-ksa-pif

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:13 am

The Unofficial Partner Podcast goes inside the Wrexham takeover

the blurb

Unofficial Partner|3/9/2021

Perhaps the biggest, most interesting, surprising sports business story of the last year has been the takeover of Wrexham football club by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Like you, I saw the announcement and the social media campaign and wondered, why? What’s their plan, are they serious about investing in the third oldest professional football club which now resides in the lower reaches of the English Football pyramid, or is just about making a behind the scenes documentary, a content play or a way of promoting gin?

So, to answer these questions we’ve got hold of the two people entrusted to carry out the plan on behalf of the two superstar owners.

Humphrey Ker is a friend and colleague of Rob McElhenney, and a writer on the Apple TV show Mythic Quest. He’s the one who put the idea in McElhenney’s head in the first place and is now the club’s Executive Director.

With him is Shaun Harvey, who many of you know will know as the former CEO of the EFL and before that Chief executive of Leeds United and Bradford City football clubs. Harvey has been working as a consultant for Wrob and Wryan, via his connection to Inner Circle Sports, the boutique investment bank focused on the sports industry.

So, if anyone knows what’s going on, it’s these two. And over the course of an entertaining fifty minutes or so, all your questions will be answered, and more besides.

https://www.unofficialpartner.com/podca ... m-takeover

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:37 pm

Lars-Christer Olsson who overseas the European leagues has a solution for those who want a European Super League and I am all in sympathy for it, but foresee it causing problems

https://twitter.com/mjshrimper/status/1 ... 7861146625

"European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson has a solution for putting talk of a European Super League to bed. “Anyone trying to organise a Super League should be thrown out of association football.”
Last edited by Chester Perry on Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

randomclaret2
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by randomclaret2 » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:47 pm

 " Aston Villa ...- whose excellent husbandry of more limited resources ..." ...Ive heard it all now...

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:54 pm

randomclaret2 wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:47 pm
 " Aston Villa ...- whose excellent husbandry of more limited resources ..." ...Ive heard it all now...
I raised my eyebrows too - I will say that they are debt free - all cash injections have been converted to shares - doesn't necessarily stop the Rovers/Bolton problem of acclimatised overspending, though you can see how Villa's revenues could grow to match the spending in the medium to long term
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Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:34 pm

For all the drama of the headline in this Telegraph article - all it shows is prudent financial management by West Bromwich Albion who are familiar with the risks of promotion to the Premier League - even if they are up for sale at an unrealistic price - hence no takers

Revealed: Huge pay cuts at West Brom if club are relegated
JOHN PERCY MARCH 10, 2021

West Bromwich Albion players face wage cuts of up to 50 per cent if the club suffers relegation from the Premier League.

Albion’s higher earners will have their salaries slashed in half in the event of a swift return to the Championship, with the club intent on avoiding financial disaster during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Telegraph Sport understands many of the other players will have pay reductions of 40 per cent, while a number of departures are also anticipated if they fail to secure survival.

It is also understood that none of the squad have buy-out clauses inserted into their contracts, so Albion would be able to demand transfer fees on their own terms.

When West Brom were relegated to the Championship in 2018, many players had release clauses. Jay Rodriguez was sold to Burnley a year later for an initial £5 million, and the club is determined to avoid a similar scenario again if they drop into the second tier.

Newcastle's squad will reportedly not face wage reductions if relegated, while some high earners at Bournemouth and Watford did not have their salaries cut after falling into the Championship last season

Sam Allardyce has overseen a huge improvement in performances over the five matches, losing just once, but the club remain in the relegation zone.

Ahead of Allardyce’s trip to Crystal Palace - the third successive game against one of his former clubs - Albion are eight points adrift of 17th-placed Brighton but with a poor goal difference.

With just 10 league games remaining, Allardyce is running out of time to ensure his record of never being relegated from the Premier League remains intact.

Regardless of the outcome of West Brom’s season, huge changes are expected over the summer with a number of players out of contract including Kieran Gibbs, Branislav Ivanovic, Hal Robson-Kanu, Charlie Austin, Lee Peltier and Kamil Grosicki.

If Albion do suffer relegation, there are also four players on loan who will return to their parent clubs: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray) and Okay Yokuslu (Celta Vigo).

Allardyce said: “The only thing that has been missing over the last five or six games has been the quality of our finishing, sadly.

“If we can put that right and keep the performances as high as we can, we are just going to have to win as many games as possible and see where it takes us.

“Now it’s a big task for us because the difference between drawing and losing in our position is massive because you’re not gaining anything on the opposition.”

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