Wealthy put their tanks on Uefa’s lawn


Fascinating headline in The Sun today, proclaiming England’s five wealthiest clubs are “in talks to leave Champions League”, completely missing the irony that Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have been planning to do without Champions League football all season.

Directors of those clubs, Arsenal and Manchester City, met in London to discuss the possibility of binning the Champions League in favour of a competition where Europe’s wealthiest were invited to participate, without the need to qualify.  The meeting was attended by US sports entrepreneur, Stephen Ross.

There are a few points worth making:

The clubs leaked this story to The Sun.  The intention is not to plot a breakaway, but to be seen to be plotting.

Breakaways have been threatened in football since the 1970s US ‘soccer’ league wanted to acquire top European players without paying transfer fees.  They have never happened.  Only change based on approval has ever been possible.

European law would stop such a breakaway in its tracks.  The European Union allows football to operate various cartels under terms known as the Specificity of Sport.  The game is already testing the boundaries of these provisions (which may be worth testing in court), but any move to like this would have no chance of succeeding.

Change of some sort is inevitable, there is just too much money to be made for it not to happen.  The risk is that the wealthy clubs put enough money on the table (or in brown envelopes) to get their own way.

Clubs in Europe will not allow their competitiveness in relation to clubs in England diminish.

Clubs in England will not perpetually allow their premium games against Barcelona et al to generate less revenue than games against Norwich City.

Top clubs in England have already tired of sharing around £1billion a year with smaller clubs who contribute little to the pot.

I know people are alarmed by this but as one of the already disenfranchised, we have little to lose.  The status quo is squeezing the life out of our game.  We need change.  Most of all someone to put the money on the table required to create a meritocratic European weekend league – like Gazprom did with Russia and Ukraine.

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  1. Directors of those clubs, Arsenal and Manchester City, met in London to discuss the possibility of binning the Champions League in favour of a competition where Europe’s wealthiest were invited to participate, without the need to qualify. The meeting was attended by US sports



    That is virtually where we are now – sure they need to qualify but you could virtually take each years ‘automatics’ from the money list

  2. Like Gazprom, indeed…or like Kerry Packer in cricket, revolutionising that sport.

  3. The ‘champions’ league breakaway is likely posturing at this point – the clubs involved want an ever bigger slice of the pie. UEFA can kill it stone dead though by simply excluding players from breakaway clubs from international competition. UEFA and FIFA are the franchise holders for European and World cups, and even the most money grabbing player still wants to play in these.. So, Harry Kane for example can get a transfer from Spurs to Man City for £100M but never play for England in the world cup… Not sure he’ll want to do that. The current posturing is similar to that before the champions league was established, and will result in a similar scenario, still under UEFA auspices but shoveling more cash to the so called top-20 clubs. This will further freeze out the lower tier clubs, accelerating their demise. We may as well enjoy this era – it might be as good as it gets.

  4. coolmore mafia on

    Unfortunately DD’s focus has been on getting into England. We have already been knocked back from division 2. Wasted time. Get a weekend Atlantic league going and we are back as a European force

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    We need change, but is the change that comes going to be to our benefit? Not convinced.

  6. A refreshing perspective Paul. I agree that these clubs are engaging in stunts to put pressure on UEFA and other clubs to accept change. Change IS coming, and I suspect the richest clubs in Europe will get richer and play each other more often, but it won’t end up being a closed shop that excludes the rest. That’s not to say that the yawning chasm of resources between those clubs and the likes of Celtic isn’t going to get even bigger, however…



    Speaking of tough times, please spare a thought for the World’s Most Oppressed Footballer. You can read all about him here… https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/pray-for-andy-halliday/





    And best wishes to our own King of the Jungle,KEVJ,for tomorrow.

  8. traditionalist88 on

    corkcelt on 2nd March 2016 11:45 am


    Reading CQN is depressing. Non stop complaints, people chucking it left right & centre. All the jelly & ice cream scoffed over recent years hasn’t done the digestion system much good.


    I can only speak for myself, when I woke up this morning and realised that Celtic were playing this day, I fairly bounced out of the bed. (that is if a 68 yr old can really bounce).


    Today is a miserable enough day here, Golf Courses all waterlogged, nothing much happening but Celtic are playing tonight and that’s me sorted for the day.





    Its the usual attention seekers mate. They tell us they are chucking it at least once a week and we get the same song and dance routine every time.




  9. The only change we will see will be the Mankey Mob back.



    Yes we need change alright.




  10. traditionalist88 on

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 2nd March 2016 9:46 am



    Morning Bhoys im an auld buffer but I will no longer support Scottish football financially paying money to support corruption is not for me.I was living in the hope that Rangers and the Scottish football authorities would get there come uppence in court but they are waltzing through it at the moment and it looks more and more likely that the have gotten away with it. H.H.






    Well, well done on coming to the conclusion that Celtic should be punished.



    Notwithstanding the fact that there are ongoing court proceedings and investigations, and that we only know a fraction of the story, you’ve made up your mind on this Wednesday afternoon.



    One quick question – and I’m sure I asked you this the last time – how many more times are we going to have to read your little strop before you actually just do us all a favour and do one??

  11. glendalystonsils on

    BUTSYBHOY on 2ND MARCH 2016 12:55 PM


    The only change we will see will be the Mankey Mob back.







    Yes we need change alright.










    Aye. It’s like evolution in reverse.

  12. The Battered Bunnet on

    I made a suggestion yonks ago that the Scottish and English Football Leagues should merge as the Betdaq British Football League.



    Times move on.



    The International Investments & Underwriting Atlantic League



    That’ll do.





    Got it,mate. Helluva turn out for the match,looking at c€1500 on tickets!



    Can we help you out,pay in advance in any way?

  14. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Afternoon Celts



    Trad88…was that not rather harsh on JFH@ 9.46?


    I totally agree with what he said.


    Why pay to be cheated?


    JFH is right.


    Scottish Football is as bent as bananas….dont know if you have noticed?


    Take your blinkers off.




  15. Lets just cut out the top teams and get on with the rest.



    I genuinely would enjoy playing teams from Scandanavia, Russia, Eastern Europe and other small countries like Switzerland and Austria

  16. Football in 2016 stinks.


    How can any long term supporter of clubs like Man City feel anything like the same connection to the club as before.


    The obscene greed of football clubs coupled with wealthy foreign opportunistic owners, surely cannot sit well with genuine football fans.


    in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s I used to enjoy watching English football. it had a soul……..it doesn’t now.



    I am becoming very disinterested in the game and I am sure that many more people are of a like mind.


    it may take a while, but eventually this will manifest itself in empty football grounds.

  17. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    If you want blind loyalty….you are on the wrong blog.





  18. The game here in Scotland is corrupt ( Masonic paw marks all over it) and the establishment must be protected at all times and will be, it’s not CFC fault, it’s all of scottish football teams fault, if Celtic go it alone, the SMSM would spin it all over the place, I for one am happy Celtic keep they’r powder dry, will there be a time? Who knows, but going it alone would sheer folly, only an idiot would blame this on CFC, or a Hun agitator .


    Lurking Huns GIRFUYs.

  19. My post yesterday on the merits of reducing the capacity of Celtic Park to around 40/45k, was jumped upon by some of the usual ostriches on here, who predictaby opposed, not by challenging the arguments, but by inventing there own Sun-like, puerile and derogatory headlines.



    There are only TEN designated ‘football only’ stadia in the whole of Europe with a 60,000(plus) capacity.


    Two in England (pop 60m), two in Germany(pop 80m), two in Spain(pop 45m), one in Ukraine(pop 44m), one in Italy(pop 60m), one in Portugal(pop 10m) and Celtic Park, Scotland(pop 5m).



    This means that the other 444 UEFA registered teams, many in countries whose populations vastly exceeds ours,see no immediate need for 60,000 capacity stadia.



    There is a ‘restlessness’ now among the richest European leagues to ‘carve-up’ the spoils between themselves, the same kind of ‘restlessness’ that led to the formation of the EPL, now with billions in TV revenue.



    Last week a top official from Barcelona stated that the biggest danger to his club, was not Real Madrid, but was in fact the EPL. Is it any wonder that there seems to be a gathering pace and clamour from the likes of Bayern and the ‘big five’ in England for change?



    Scotland has no chance to be invited to the top table – we have to face facts and plan accordingly – there will, in my opinion, be some kind of change in future as to where we ply our trade, however at best it will be in a second, or third-tier Euro set-up.



    As things stand the only time that we are likely to fill Celtic Park, is twice a year against ‘Rangers’ and if and when we qualify for the current CL format – probably on average, seven or eight times, every two years.



    The vast majority of our home fixtures are played, at best, in a two-thirds filled ground – sometimes only half-filled.



    What is the point in diluting the atmosphere in this way, just so we can have bragging rights over the Ibrox lot in a child-like, name-calling way?



    Let”s be realistic and proactive – raise up the quality of the match-day experience, rather than wait until it is forced upon us.

  20. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Mr Pastry



    Stop being an ass…you made your point well.


    Try cracking a gag now and then…you never know, someone might smile.


    You only want it all your own way.


    You suggested reducing the capacity…i countered by saying, would it not be easier to sack PL and RD instead?


    A serious point…you didnt even reply.


    Maybe if the board gave the fans something positive to get them back, things might be different.


    Ignoring those responsible for our decline….is clearly ridiculous.


    Stop blaming supporters.




  21. Afternoon Timland from a spring like hun free mountain valley.


    More and more people are walking away from the game, they are doing this for a variety of reasons.


    Cost, family, product, corruption, bigotry, etc, etc.


    The Battered Bunnet posted the other week about the on going court cases, he stated that he and nobody else could hazard a guess at the outcome, I post soon after offering him a charity bet that I could predict the outcome, he didn’t get back to me :-)


    The outcome will be anything that doesn’t harm the hun, all the charges getting dropped one by one, any outcome will focus on anything that will see the huns and their assets safe, that is a given.


    We even have Mash walking away, he will walk away from the upcoming court cases as well, he has got his money back, he knows fine well when he is on a loser, he saw how far the tenticals reach.


    The cabal are in control and no way will they relinquish that power, not a hope in hell.


    All I have ever wanted was a level playing field, it’s 2016 and it’s still a dream, the other clubs won’t say anything, they want the bigot pound, just like we do, it’s all about the money.


    I love Celtic always will, but I agree with those who won’t support a corrupt game, what is the point ?


    The only way to beat them is to starve them of what they want, and no it doesn’t make me or anyone less of a supporter, I have worked hard for what I have, and I’m sure most others have as well, why should I throw it away on a bent game ?


    If it’s change you want, it’s the only answer.


    Sometimes short term pain is worth it for the long term gain.

  22. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Yeah…unfortunately thousands have been outpriced from football.


    And seriously….who wants to throw 50-60 quid away on a game against a hun team, refereed by a hun, Madden, Thompson McLean….rank cheating.


    Be as well ripping your cash up, and throwing it away.


    Its no longer viable.


    Top dollar for s*** football and cheating….no thanks.


    Starve them all of money….Things will change…if they dont, leave them all to cheat amongst themselves.


    Bigot money and no principles whatsoever.


    Sad state of affairs.




  23. Happy birthday to the king of Europe 67 – Hail hail



    Kev J – all the best mate…



    And with that I’m… Aff oot



    Mon the hoops – COYBIG




  24. What is the Stars on

    Tanks on the lawn.


    Oh dear, remember when Celtics tanks were parked at the bottom of the marble staircase

  25. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Trad88. I cant say I have read any of your posts before unless of course you have posted under another name ? You say you asked me a question before and obviously I did not answer as I have never noticed you before. CQN as a blog is all about opinions and diverse opinions at that My opinion is that Scottish football is corrupt and I personally wont pay any of my meagre pension in order to support it and you are correct in one sense if there are a lot of other supporters like myself unfortunately Celtic will lose out.You doing a Mr.Angry impression and telling me to push off will not facilitate any change I prefer to listen and discuss with fellow Celtic supporters on CQN any changes that may be possible.If my posts bore you or get you angry there is a simple solution scroll past them.H.H.





    That’s a coupla excellent posts today,mate.



    IMO,the big clubs can get round employment law,UEFA restrictions,et al,by forming their own association.



    As long as there is no crossover,they can do as they wish.



    They can form their own league.



    Cream the money,cream the talent-lawyers will ensure that.



    The appearance of the US money is also telling. There is no intention short of a world-wide cartel of influential teams from influential,wealthy,populated countries with a TV buck to spend.



    The rest can live on their memories. Renton were a grand,successful club once. The world’s full of them.

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