My favourite quote from the ESL story is the early quote from Crawley Town FC...
"Crawley Town Football Club would like to confirm that despite the rumours, we are not one of the six clubs in mention and will not be seeking membership to any Super League. The club will make no further comment at this time."
I've said it before and I will say it again... football clubs must be self-financing and live within their means. It is really that simple. With regard to ESL, the rich clubs want it because they are desperate for money. Why are they desperate for money? Because their expenses are greater than their income. If the ESL was a successful project, quite apart from damaging the national leagues involved, it would not, ultimately, benefit the rich clubs. They would just find ways to spend more money and end up in the same position they are in now. This is not sustainable.
There is problem at the national league level with one or two, on average, big clubs dominating the national leagues (6 clubs in England, 3 in Spain, but just Bayern in Germany, Juventus in Italy, PSG in France etc.) Why are there 6 clubs in England and only 3 in Spain and 1 pretty much everywhere else? Money. The insane riches of the Premier league supports more.
There is also a problem at the continental level. The Premier League is the cash cow that dominates every other European league. If all European teams were self-financing and living within their means, the Premier league teams would dominate every European competition. The likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona can only dream of achieving that kind of spending power.
This is why Real Madrid and Barcelona are in such a huge financial holes. They are buying the best players with transfer fees and wages that they simply cannot afford.
European football is fundamentally broken. It has been broken for some years now. Covid 19 has brought the problem into sharp relief.
And what about the other European nations? Remember "the good old days" when Reims, Fiorentina, Milan, Eintracht Frankfurt, Benfica, Partizan Belgrade, Celtic, Ajax, Panathinaikos, Leeds, Saint Etienne, Borussia Munchengladbach, Brugge, Malmo, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Hamburg, Roma, Steaua Bucharest, Porto, PSV, Red Star Belgrade, and Sampdoria competed for the big prize? Quite a few of them won it as well.
Jean-Marc Bosman joined Standard Liege in 1988. Two years later when his contract expired, Standard cut his wages by 75% and would not let him leave. Correlation or causality?
European football has deep, deep problems. They cannot be fixed by papering over the cracks.
I love the smell of TOAW in the morning...