English football at risk from French revolution

Discussion in 'Football' started by T Butcher fan, 19 November 2008.

  1. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    By Martin Samuel

    When Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, addressed the European Parliament on July 10, before assuming control of the presidency of the Council of the European Union, he set out the priorities of his term: dealing with multispeed European membership, the energy-climate package, workers' freedom of movement, European defence, the Common Agricultural Policy and research into Alzheimer's disease. He then expressed a desire to screw English football.
    Sarkozy, being a politician, was not that nakedly aggressive. He did not mention English football at all, in fact, in his desire to make sport an exception to European law, merely the movement of promising 14-year-old players from their native country. The sting in the tail comes later - next week, to be precise - when, at a meeting of European sports ministers in Biarritz, the French presidency puts forward its proposals for a European financial commission for football, in the image of La Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion (DNCG), which monitors the sport in France. The DNCG ensures adherence to national and Uefa regulations and financial governance measures.

    It can enforce transfer bans, place limits on budgets and payrolls, dock points, relegate, prevent promotion and, in extreme cases, exclude. It is run, as these things always are, by commissions composed largely of lawyers, accountants and, no doubt, politicians.

    The French - and apologies if this sounds like one of those Save Our Sausages campaigns, but it is a fact that this is being driven by men from one country - want to impose the same arrangement on clubs throughout Europe. As if their model has produced a wonderful, competitive, egalitarian league; as if what football needs is more interference from bureaucrats.

    It is easy to blow a hole in French intellectual supremacy with one fact: Lyons have won the league title for the past seven seasons (and are seven points clear at present), making the league run by the DNCG the least competitive throughout Uefa's 53 members, with one exception: Moldova.

    Let's hear it for Sheriff Tiraspol, the only club in Europe to have had it more their own way than Lyons, with a run of eight straight titles dating back to 2001. No one, however, is talking up the Moldovan model as the uniform way forward for football in Europe.

    For one club to dominate a competition for as long as Lyons have held sway in Ligue 1 is exceptional. Holding up the most predictable, and therefore by definition the worst, leading league in Europe as the torch for all to follow is a monument to French arrogance.

    The proposals for a European equivalent of the DNCG will be placed before European sports ministers on November 27 and 28 by Frédéric Thiriez, the president of the French league, and Michel Platini, the president of Uefa. Before that, on November 24 and 25, Bernard Laporte, the French Sports Minister and the former coach of the country's rugby union team, who claimed that most people hate the English - “and, personally, I don't have much love for them” - before his players were soundly beaten in the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2003, will visit London to lobby ministers on signing the successful English league over to France.

    That the FA is run by Lord PleasedMan, a Platini lickspittle who has not missed an opportunity to knock the domestic game of late in the vain hope that it wins England the right to stage the 2018 World Cup, does not help. Ministers beware, though. If English football is sold down the river on the off chance of securing a month-long festival a decade from now, those responsible will never be forgiven.

    The French proposals will be dressed up with cosy phrases about level playing fields, child protection and fair competition, but the bottom line is that English club football has become the leading force in Europe and the French do not like it.
    This month Éric Besson, the Planning and Strategy Minister in France, published a report on the flaws in French football. His proposal? A “loosening of the economic shackles” imposed on French clubs.

    Thiriez said: “This report reminds us that professional football in France suffers from a lack of economic competitiveness and, therefore, sporting competitiveness in Europe, which echoes the concerns expressed by those in charge of French football and the public over several years.” And what was Besson's solution? A Europe-wide body, based on the DNCG, to govern football's finances.
    So, to recap, French football lacks economic and sporting competitiveness and now wishes to impose the same system that has created this problem on every other country in Europe. Hmm. I wonder what's in it for them?

    Platini refers to the debt levels of English clubs as cheating, while never mentioning the reasons certain clubs in Europe do not operate with such substantial overdrafts. These include tax breaks, state and local government support and municipal stadiums. The average age of football grounds in France is 65 years, with an average capacity of 28,673. In fact, there have been no new stadiums constructed in France since 1998, on the back of the World Cup, and the French federation is considering a bid for the European Championship finals in 2016 as a way of persuading the Government to spring for the next round of building work.

    Compare that with PleasedMan's 2018 campaign, which is largely driven by the excellence of football grounds nationwide, already constructed and financed by the Barclays Premier League clubs who, in many cases, have incurred debt as a result. No announcement has been made on venues, but it is unthinkable that the FA would not be expecting as a selling point the use of world-class facilities including Old Trafford, St James' Park and Villa Park. It would be interesting to see what would happen if, in ironic recognition of PleasedMan's support, the Premier League clubs rescinded their roles as tournament hosts. The 2018 committee would be redundant overnight.

    At the end of October Uefa hosted a meeting chaired by Jean Lapeyre, the deputy general manager of the French Football Federation, in which the concept of a European DNCG was sold. If this was an attempt to get the rest of the Continent on board, it was an uneven one. One observer at the meeting noted that, as well as limiting growth, legal cases since the introduction of the DNCG had soared. The attention focused on the Carlos Tévez affair here shows how rare it is that a genuine promotion-relegation issue is affected by the courts in England.

    Not so in France, where, between 2002 and 2007, 76 cases impacting on French football went to court, lasting, on average, three years. Between 1991 and 1996, when there was no state-run DNCG to challenge legally, there were 15 cases. Bureaucratic interventions are also more commonplace, running at roughly 120 meetings and hearings each season. Just what the world needs: more politics.
    The greatest flaw in the DNCG proposal is its warped concept of fairness. This involves a club using only their natural resources, meaning that Roman Abramovich could not invest to make Chelsea bigger but would have to work within the existing financial structure and get nowhere. Jack Walker could not reinvent Blackburn Rovers and there would be no hope that an oil-rich Manchester City might upset the established order in the coming seasons.

    It is what cements Lyons in first place in France. They win the league, they enter the Champions League every season, the Uefa money gives them greater financial clout than their rivals, who are not allowed to spend ambitiously to take them on, so their domination continues.

    Safely protected by the DNCG, Lyons are attempting to build a new ground, Premier League-style, financed by floatation and increasing their capacity to grind the rest of Ligue 1 into the dirt. If it is mystifying that such a system is allowed to continue in France, it is staggering that there should be an attempt to foist it on the rest of Europe.

    And what is so dangerous is that, because the French presidency wishes to attack the English game by stealth, the proposals do not even mention England, or football, specifically, referring instead to sport. The new rules, if passed, would forbid the end of movement of players under the age of 18, which would be catastrophic in the world of tennis, in which it would have outlawed Andy Murray's enrolment at the Sánchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona as a 15-year-old. Murray would have been stranded in Dunblane, training with his brother.

    It is right that child protection issues should be raised, but the biggest scandal now is not Cesc Fàbregas's passage to Arsenal but the racket around African football academies, a system that benefits the French league more than any in Europe. This year there were believed to be 500 illegal football academies operating in Accra, the capital of Ghana, alone. Few coaches had football experience and the majority would be looking only to unearth the next Michael Essien, who could be given a contract to sign at the age of 7, with funds later extracted from his family on the false promise of a trial with a big European club.

    In May 2007, when an abandoned fishing trawler washed up on La Tejita beach in Tenerife, 15 of the 130 dehydrated, freezing and forlorn African passengers were teenagers who believed that they were going to be stars at Real Madrid or Marseilles. Marie-George Buffet, a former French Sports Minister, highlighted this problem in a report eight years ago. There is even a charity, Culture Foot Solidaire, that aids African teenagers illegally trafficked and then abandoned. It is monitoring about 800 boys and is based, significantly, in Paris.
  2. gomito#10

    gomito#10 World Cup Winner

    9 May 2003
    DC, USA
    umm one could argue that leaghue 1 is one of the most competitive and the EPL is the least... this guys is pissed off at the french that is for sure. he fails to mention that lyon is extremely well run, extremely well coached and managed, and they have not always been at the top of french football. They are not simply the best becasue of money which is the case in england.
    Last edited: 19 November 2008
  3. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Completely agree with gomito...
  4. Soul

    Soul Banned

    22 July 2008
    East Sussex
    Where did this article come from T Butcher fan?
  5. gomito#10

    gomito#10 World Cup Winner

    9 May 2003
    DC, USA
    Winston Churchill
  6. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    It came from The Times.

    Lyon have won it 7 times in a row and will win it again this year! And next year, and the year after. Who wants to watch that!? Certainly not the French judging by their attendances. I think you have got competitive and mediocre mixed up.

    I agree with the idea of preventing transfers of U18 players, but copying the French league model!? We're not in the 1970's anymore chaps.
  7. beachryan

    beachryan Golden Boot Winner

    4 July 2003
    Yeah how can anyone say League 1 is the most competitive? That's ridiculous. It's not competitive internally, and French teams aren't competitive externally (CL). It's like looking at a race between 5 people, and saying we should slow everyone down to the one in the middle, instead of working on ways to get everyone up to the fastest.

    While I agree that clubs shouldn't be allowed to run at a loss for long, I see no problem with private investment, and how come no Europeans ever talk about stadium financing? Look l'Arsenal - that is a magnificent stadium which has put them in debt, so Platini attacks them. Well with no due respect monsieur, if the city of London had just pinked up and paid for it like they would in Madrid the club wouldn't be in debt in the first place. If you want to nationalise football that's fine, just come out and say so!

    Bottom line is that he's pissed off due to the sucecss of hte premiership over the past 5 years or so, and wants to put us back in our place. And he's just arrogant enough and has just enough people listening that he might succeed.
  8. Milanista

    Milanista Mangiamoli! Staff

    19 December 2002
    London & Milan
    AC Milan
    When he says competitive, I think he means the rest of the teams in the league, with Lyon being the exception. The teams after Lyon are very competitive and are bringing youth up very quickly.
  9. gomito#10

    gomito#10 World Cup Winner

    9 May 2003
    DC, USA
    dude, its not because they have the most money. Like in england. You as a chelsea fan should understand more then anyone. After lyon the league is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more competetive then the EPL, the bottom teams in the EPL are HORRIBLE. They cant even compete with the top. what the fuck is manu? How many titles do they have since the inception of the prem? The top 4 beat up on each other in the EPL and beat everyone else. the top 4 in England is always the same(usually). In france it is not. The epl is a competition between 4 teams, and thats it. In france anyone has a chance for that CL spot. that is the difference. France produces some of the best talent in europe, england clearly does not. They cant even qualify for a major tournament. Rio is probably the only englishman that would be first team on les blues and mnaybe james.
    Last edited: 20 November 2008
  10. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    'Competitive' is a generous word to sum the French League up. Basically every team except Lyon is of the same sort of standard.

    I'm sure Ryman Division 1 is 'competitive' in that way too.
  11. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    I'm not saying the Premiership is excellent, by the way. My objection is to copying a model which is 30 years out of date.

    Say this was adopted by the EU, do all the players stay at the clubs they were born near for their entire careers?

    No, because they join the Indian superleague, or the Russian, or the US, or the Chinese where clubs are offering twice as much as they can get back home. It's so short-sighted.
  12. gomito#10

    gomito#10 World Cup Winner

    9 May 2003
    DC, USA
    mate that simply is not true. You haven't watched Bordeaux or Marseilles play, obviously. There the same standard of football, but Lyon is more consistent. And that is just this year, in years before it was lille or someone else. Look im not agreeing with the french, but the writer of this article has a WEAK argument when he says stupid things like League One is not competitive, and the EPL is. That is a joke. Lyon wins because there winners, not because there supermen.... And not because they have the most money. They make smart decisions, buy the right players for there system, sell players that dont fit into there system(ben afra), and make mountains out of mole hills(junihino). Its more a credit to lyon and its management then your point of view that the rest of the league is weak. I disagree with the writer on this point. Its not like Lyon went and bought the title like chelsea did, and manu does,(sorry they do mancs).
  13. gomito#10

    gomito#10 World Cup Winner

    9 May 2003
    DC, USA
    i agree mate, i just think the writer is a moron for saying something so untrue to back up his argument.
  14. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
  15. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Well Terry, the hegemony of the English Premiership is frigthening and not good for football in the long term...
    If you see that Fulham's budget is bigger than Celtic, that' not normal and to put things in perspective the amount of money Celtic payed for Larsson is bigger than the entire budget of Anderlecht.
    Clubs who have an unexpected good European season (or round like Standard) loose all their good players.
    Belgium football is in crisis but has very talented young players (4th at the Olympics for example). All those young players are playing baroad. 17-year old Eden Hazard was bought by Lille when he was 14 years old...if he's really a worldclass player he will go to the Premiership unless he has a soft spot for La Liga or Serie A...Eden's younger brother is at Lens and he has two other brothers who are reported to be very talented and who are under close scrutiny of Arsenal, Man Utd and other English clubs...
    Need i to elaborate on the Ivorian Abidjan-Beveren-Guillou-Wenger connection ???? Beveren was once a club capable of winning Belgian titles and played European semi-finals...now they ar in second division after Guillou abnd his Ivorians left...
    Of course Sarkozy knows very well that France has a very long protectionist past and that France is country where people like Josee Bovee who bombed a Mac Donalds are heroes despite being in prison...
    I'm a big fan of English football but i support Sarkozy and French football in this issue.
    Wealth in world football should be redistributed (this is utopic i'm afraid) just like it should be redistributed in England itself (the abyss between the premiership and the other clubs).
    You know that i like Chelsea a lot, but i'm very sceptical ofthe way Abramovich became a billionaire...not to mention the way the Glazier's became Man Utd owners and man City's former Thai owner...La Coruna's wealth is said to come from Cocaïne traffickers (it is said that most cocaine enters Europe byway of the cost in the La Coruna area), the money of Zenith...i can give dozens other examples.
  16. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    Gerd, what I'm saying is if you disarm the wallets of the European clubs, it won't give rise to an egalitarian football community, all the best players will just move to China, India or wherever they can make the best money.

    Someone is always going to pay top dollar. It's the English now, stop them and someone else will just step into the breach. Things will never go back to how they were. Besides, money has always decided who wins the trophies, it's just that the sums of money involved are much larger now. There is a lot of rose-tinted nonsense written about football but it has always been a shitty business.
    Last edited: 20 November 2008
  17. beachryan

    beachryan Golden Boot Winner

    4 July 2003
    I think on some level it COULD work, however you'd need every single body of football to implement it at the same time. I think the way that the NFL operates in the US is very effective. Problem is it only works because it is a closed system. Promotion/relegation would have to stop for example. It would take an entirely different mindset, rather than doing what is best for your club, you do what is best for your league, and in this case that league would span all of Europe (the world?).

    The benefits would be immense - wages would be brought back in line with reality, predicting a winner would become challenging again, youth systems would be integral, tv money would be spread evenly (and presumably not be so ridiculous) clubs that couldn't afford a new statdium would be helped out by those clubs with a new stadium. All foreign owners would leave because there wouldn't be money to be made. Happy days.

    But it won't happen. So if we continue the current system, going half-assed along those lines won't help.
  18. lo zio

    lo zio International

    24 October 2005

    i think we're missing the real point here. and this is because mr. Samuels suggested that the competitiveness of a league could be considered as an universal benchmark to establish if a league is better than another.
    this is just wrong, and there are 2 possible reasons why mr. samuels made that remark:
    - he's so clueless that he doesn't realise that this has anything to do with sarkozy point.
    - or he do realise it, but he did that remark anyway, trying to persuade readers that what he wrote has some sense (while it hasn't).

    anyway, since many of u are arguing about this point, let's try to widen our perspectives.
    Mr. samuels pretends premiership to be a more competitive league than ligue un, arguing his point with lyon's outstanding achievements in the last years.
    now, as Gomito pointed out, trying to establish the competitiveness ratio of a league, just by looking at the club which won it in the past 5, 10, 20 years is extremely deceptive, it's wrong.

    and it's wrong because not every club in our leagues move from the same "starting point". and not every club haas the same targets.
    stoke city, reading, wba, .... their target is to avoid relegation, newcastle, everton and aston villa's target is to reach a uefa cup spot..... man utd, liverpool, arsenal and chelsea's target is to win the lueagu or to get a champion's league spot.

    now, when u consider just wich team won the league, u're limiting your competitiveness analisys just to a few teams (2,3 4) u're not analizing the competitiveness of the whole league. it's pretty obvious, isn't it?

    so from this analisys we can realise that the race for the title in england is more "open" than in ligue un. but we just considered 5 teams (the top 4 in england and lyon).... 5 teams of 40!!!! it's not even the 20%!!!!

    so let's enlarge our analisys to the whole league (for real) and let's see what comes out.

    well if we stick to the champions league spots, it comes out that in the last 6 years premiership brought 5 different teams in champions league (the usual top 4 plus newcastle).
    what about ligue u then? well if u take a look u'll realise (with surprise, i guess :D) that ligue un brought 8 teams to the champions league (lyon, marseille, bordeaux, lille, lens, auxerre, monaco and psg).
    almost half of the league had a chance to join the champions league now.

    as u can see, the picture looks pretty different as soon as enlarge your point of view.
    as soon as u really consider the whole league (and not just the race for the title, as mr. "sly" samuels did) u can really weigh the competitiveness ratio of the leagues.

    and it goes even worse the more u enlarge your point of view.
    how many teams reached the first 4 spots in premiership in the last 6 years? 6.... the usual top four plus everton and newcastle.
    now try to take a look at ligue un. every season there are at least 2 new entries in the top 4.

    ad if keep doing this exercise, comparing the race for the uefa cup spot and the race to avoid the relegation, then the competitiveness gap between ligue un and premiership becomes huge.
    theese are not opinions, theese are simple undeniable facts.

    i'm sorry mate, this point is not correct. there are different "classes" of teams in ligue un aswell. ligue un clubs are far from being on the same standard.
    the thing is (and it's a good thing) that the gap between the different classes is not as wide as the gap between premiership classes.

    and since this gap is not that huge the competitiveness ratio of the league 1 is higher, as i proved above.

    in premiership u have 4 teams which are just on a different planet, compared to the rest of the league. then there are some "upcoming forces", which are trying to reduce the gap (but they have never been able to do it before..... and i think they won't even be able to do it in future)... using some "weird" ways.
    and after those clubs there's an abyss.

    the result is that arsenal is ridiculously stronger than nice (both on 4th place in their own leagues) while fulham is weaker than auxerre........ and blackburn is weaker than saint etienne and wigan is weaker than nantes, wba is weaker than valenciennes.

    how is it possible to consider premiership a competitive league? and i'm just using ligue un asa benchmark...... coz if i would compare premiership to serie a or la liga, than the result would be humiliating for the epl.

    now, somebody might say "u're just expressing your own view. u think that wigan is weaker than nantes.... i don't. so what, should i just believe what u say?"
    well not. if u want a "scientific" kinda way to measure the gap i'm talking about u just have to do a simple exercise.
    take a look at the last 4 years tables of ligue un and premiership and see this gap by yourself.
    take a look at this.

    last season the points gap between ligue un leader and the last team on the table was 55 points. what about the premiership? 76 points.
    and what about 2 seasons ago? ligue 1 46 points, premiership 61 points.
    and the season before? ligue un 55, premiership 76
    and 4 years ago? ligue un 47, premiership 63

    this numbers tell u the gap between the top clubs and the weakests clubs in both leagues. to put it simple theese numbers tell u beyond doubt how competitives theese leagues are.

    so the premiership is not only less competitive than ligue un. it's actually one of the least competitives leagues in europe (as gomito pointed out). and there's really no room for arguments or different interpretations or point of views. once u look at the tables of the leagues, u just have to admit it, it's a fact, proved the numbers.... by the points of the teams

    competitiveness refers to gap between all the teams of the league, not just the top clubs. otherwise what would be the point of having 20 clubs in a league, if we just consider 4 of them. those 4 teams don't play each others every week, they play against wigan, fulham, wba and stoke, as they play against liverpool or arsenal.
    so u can't stick to 4 teams and forget about the rest..... cos if u do it, u're not measuring the competitiveness of the whole league... at all.

    however, as i said before the competitiveness ratio of the leagues is not the main point of the issue here. mr samuels brought this point just to find something to "feed" the national pride..... "hey why we should look at the french model, we're better than em".
    funnily, he was so stupid that he wasn't even able to pick a good point, coz, looking at the competitiveness, epl is not better than ligue un.

    but the truth is that there's no such thing as a perfect league.
    we all have something to learn from each others, coz we all have our flaws.

    serie a should follow premiership model, concerning the merchandinsing factor. we should also follow the bundesliga model, concerning the stadia aspect. does this mean that serie a is a weaker league than bundes and epl? no. coz we also are "leaders" in some aspects (like the average quality of the football played by the teams and the average quality of the players).
    the same way, la liga and ligue un have something to teach us and also something to learn from us.

    that's pretty normal afterall. nontheless, every time somebody remarks premiership issues, the british media (and, from what i can see, also some fans) start moaning, like their national pride was offended.

    reading the british newspapers, it looks like mr. platini is a chauvinist man who has nothing better to do than bringing down the epl.... i mean com on does this really makes any sense to u? why don't u try to seriously listen to platini's points, instead of bashing at him.....if u would do that, u would notice that all his remarks are simple undeniable facts.

    and it's not like he's trying to destroy premiership. that would be ridiculous.... because platini is the uefa and the premiership's strenght is platini's strentgh.

    the only thing platini really wants is to avoid this bubble to explode. and this is also sarkozy's proposal's aim.

    there's nothing wrong in private investments in companies. but every country has some rules. those rules are issued to protect the companies from the investors "mistakes", those rule are aimed to avoid a personal bankrupt to result in a company bankrupt.

    the way things are going in the epl is not really good at all. an investor who byus a club with a bank loan and then turns the debt on the club's shoulders? a club which gloss over its financial debts with patrimonial incomes?
    this is not healthy management. and i already saw some club owners acting like this. cragnotti (lazio) sensi (roma), ferlaino (napoli), tanzi (parma).... they all used to apply those kind of policies... and we all know wich were the consequences of their policies (the individual bankruptcies wer almost all followed by clubs bankruptcies).

    uefa want to avoid this to happen again. and since they're noticing that many epl clubs are doing the same mistakes that some serie a clubs did years ago, they are reasonably worried........ and u guys should be worried aswell...... because having a rich daddy who provides u all u can desire it's great, till the daddy keeps feeding u.
    but u cannot base the solidity of a company on the shoulders of a single man. no company in this world would ever do it. and the same goes for the clubs.
    milan doesn't count on berslusconi's wallet from quite a while now. and galliani works to cover the outcomes just with the clubs incomes. and the agneli family didn't give a single euro to juve in the last 10 years. and the same goes for most of the spanish and and french clubs.
    an economically sustainable growth process. this is what uefa is aiming at. and today we have many great examples in this sense: sevilla, fiorentina, udinese, villareal, napoli, lazio, roma, getafe (not to mention the french clubs, of course).

    and sarkozy's proposal shares the same spirit. an european body which has the power to control the clubs balances and to prevent manchester citiys, west hams, or tottenhams to go through what roma, lazio and napoli went though 6 years ago.

    here in italy we already have a domestic body who does this job. it's called the covisoc, and it does basically the same things the sec does in usa (with the companies quoted on the stock exchange).
    and it's thanks to this body that clubs like fiorentina, napoli, roma, lazio were able to achieve great results with an healthy financial policies.

    the problem is it doesn't matter how good u are. u won't ever be able to compete with clubs which don't have to respect the same kind of rules.

    fiorentina won't ever be able to compete with the likes of chelsea, unless Della valle starts using the same policies abramivich does. but della valle won't ever do this, because fiorentina's previous owner (cecchi gori) was an abramovich-kinda owner...... and the fiorentini still remember what cecchi gori policcies brought to fiorentina. one day they were an european top club, with lots of stars (batistuta, rui costa, etc....) the day after their club was on bankrupt, the stars were gone, and they were playing in serie c. what it seemed to be a very reach and powerful man (cecchi gori) resulted to be nothing more than a sly fox (not so sly, anyway).

    an economically sustainable growth system would not decrease the quality of the premiership. it would increase the competitiveness ratio and would also protect u from all the "cecchi goris" out there.... and trust me, epl is full of cecchi goris right now :))

    mr samuels is just an ignorant chauvinist who doesn't even know what he's talking about, and the way he "painted" the dncg is ridiculously wrong and deceptive. if he would actually know how this body works (or how the italian covisoc works) he would realise how useful is to have such a financial control on football clubs, but he's too focused on labelling any kind of remarks as anti-english to use his brain, i guess.

    everbody in italy knows how important is to have a controlling body as the covisoc, because we already saw what happens when rich owners are out of control....
    being a premiership fan, i just hope u guys won't realise it when it'll be too late.

    so what? u keep doing the same mistake just because if u stop doing it then someone else will take your place? it doesn't make much sense to me.
    besides u think that other not-european leagues would just steal u all the players.... but that's not a valid argument. and there are many examples in europe which shows quite the opposite of your theory.
    udinese, fiorentina and roma, have been constantly competing with the likes of milan and inter in the last 5 years. the whole fiorentina's midfield costs to della valle (in terms of wages) as much as pirlo costs to galliani. nontheless, in the last 2 seasons fiorentina collected more points than milan.

    fiorentina, napoli, udinese, sevilla, they all have their world class players, players who could be easily be starters in chelsea aswell..... and even though their wages are way lower than chelsea's players wages, they don't seem to be going anywhere next summer. and trust me, even though there's a huuuge financial gap between chelsea and fiorentina, the quality gap is much much more thin.

    money are important, no doubt about that. but money are not everything. the most important thing is how u use your money. cagliari's annual incomes are not even the 50% of stoke city's incomes... but if cagliari would play 10 times against stoke city, cagliari would probalby win 9 of em.

    when the italian clubs realised they had to deal with the covisoc limits they started working on their scouting network and their academies. and that's how they got hamsik, santacroce, di natale, d'agostino, montolivo, cigarini,etc...

    sure the top clubs are slightly damaged by the covisoc limits, coz berlusconi can't do whatever he wants (as abramovich can), but those stars who didn't join milan in the past few years didn't move to china. they are now playing for the likes of fiorentina, roma, udinese, napoli, lazio, genoa, samp.

    sure milan, juve and inter aren't as strong as they used to be 20 years ago..... but the rest of the league is much stronger than 20 years ago, the quality of the football grew hugely and so did the competition.

    and, most important, today we are sure that no other clubs will ever face bankruptcy just coz the sugar daddy put his wallet back into his pocket.
  19. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    I agree with you lo zio, but lets go down another level..
    The Italian, German, French and Spanish clubs started working on their scouting network (and academies, but let's ignore that for the sake of argument).
    So they search very young players everywhere and clubs loose their young talents...all the good young Belgian players from Flanders play in Holland and more and good French speaking players play in France...Belgian clubs are buying more and more cheap foreigners and the level plummets...
    I honestly think that some form of protectionism is good in sports. I also want a worldwide salary cap, drafts, open accountancy and i want rid of the Berlusconi's and the Abramoviches of this world...

    Like i said in other threads, i have to childeren (5 and 8, a boy and a girl) who are both football crazy. Their favourite teams are Barcelona and Chelsea...this sums it up...they should be fans of Mechelen or Lierse (our local teams) or Anderlecht, Standard, Brugge....football freaks from Holland, Switzerland, Portugal, Scotland, Austria and even Brazil and Argentina will agree with me.
    Last edited: 20 November 2008
  20. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    Lo Zio, I'm afraid we see these things very differently. For a start the issue of competitiveness is still being misused. Unless you care who's coming 7th or 14th then Ligue Un is not interesting. The bottom line is no one watches it. Lyon will win it until Avram Grant takes the helm there. As all the other teams are of a similiar standard, competitive it may be, interesting it certainly isn't. So how on Earth can this be a model to push on the rest of Europe?

    Once again, I'm not saying the Premiership is the model to be copied, but it is better than totally mediocre football competition that is held over the water. As for Italian football, I can't comment as I haven't seen any in years. And maybe that is sort of the point - these competitions may have lot's of teams that are of similiar standards but it doesn't make it interesting. The Premiership (and La Liga) are clearly top heavy but watched by millions of people all over the world.
  21. airjoca

    airjoca International

    29 July 2003
    Amadora, Portugal
    SL Benfica
    lo zio, as usual, a pleasure to read your ensightfull posts. ;)
  22. lo zio

    lo zio International

    24 October 2005
    there's nothing bad in seeing things differently, mate. that's what conversation is all about, afterall. :))

    replying to your points, yes, i do care aboutwich team is coming 7 or 14th in ligue un, coz i don't think football is just about chelseas or inters or real madrids..... right now the 7th club in ligue un is lille, wich trust me, it's quite a nice team to watch.
    and if u would know what an amazing football genoa plays (8th position in serie a at the moment) u would realise how putting some limits to the big clubs can increase the whole league quality. 10 years ago players like palladino, motta, milito, gasbarroni, criscito, rossi, mesto, modesto, paro, jankovic (all genoa players) would have all be playing for serie a top clubs like milan, juve or inter (and many of them would have being wasting their skills and their time on the bench most of the weeks, coz no matter how good palladino and gasbarroni are, they couldn't be starters in a club wher the likes of kaka and ronaldinho play). today instead galliani has to deal with some restrictions. he must close annual balance sheets repecting some rules. he must pay regularly his players wages, he cannot use dirty tricks such "fake capital gains" too boost the balance. to put it simple he cannot afford to buy a palladino or a milito, unless ancelotti will line them up for an acceptable ammount of matches (wich would be impossible, having so many other options).
    so the result is that borriello and pato will have more chances to play as starters, and milito and palladino will be playing for a mid class club (like genoa indeed). and when a "mid class club" can line up every week the likes of milito, palladino, motta, gasbarroni, rossi, mesto, modesto..... then u have to ask yourself.... is this still a mid class club? it would be much more than a mid class in premiership... and it would have been much more than mid class in serie a aswell 10 years ago. but since now also napoli, lazio, udinese, fiorentina, sampdoria grew as much as genoa did. genoa's standard can still be considered here as "mid class standard" (coz even if genoa steeped up, every other team stepped up aswell).

    putting some little limits to the big guns, limits who would not decrease the big guns power (let's not forget that milan won champions league less than 2 years ago and inter is one of the favourites for the cup this season), u can give a great boost the the mid class teams and the low class teams.

    so all in all (still replying to your point), it's pretty important to have good teams also in the 7th and the 14th position.... afterall chelsea doesn't play against man utd, liverpool or arsenal every week, they play also against the 7th and the 14th club.
    this week chelsea will play against newcastle for instance (wich is 17 atm). well honestly i don't think i'm gonna watch that match, coz i know what football is playing newcastle lately and i know i can't expect a nice show to watch.
    it takes 2 teams to play a football match. and if one of em is utterly poor the whole show becomes poor, no matter how good is the opponent.
    sticking with newcastle i remember last season they were hammered by man utd some sort of 6-1 kinda result.... well if u pay attention, u will notice that premiership is the only top league where u can see so many matches with crazy results like that one.... theese kind of matches are not really likely to happen in serie a (coz the low and mid class teams are on a different level).
    and funnily most of the clueless fans, those who pretends the other leagues to be "boring" compared to epl, they like epl precisely for theese crazy kinda matches.... they don't care if the result is due to the poorest class of the opponent, they don't care if those goals were due to riduculous amateur' mistakes. they're just looking for entertainment. if u would show them a match between arsenal and port vale they would probably find it more entertaining than a chelsea-liverpool, just because they would see a higher ammount of scoring chances. should we say that premiership is much better than ligue un, just because those idiots prefere to watch theese kind of matches?
    let me make one last example. last season i noticed some man utd fans here were absolutely delighted by that hammering win against newcastle. and they were slightly disappointed by the performance against roma at the olimpico :BLINK: (wich was arguably one of the greatest football display in europe in the last 3 years)..... it really makes u think about the average football knowledge of the fans

    and however it's not just about caring about wich club is coming 7th or 17th... it's also about wich club is coming to the 5th, the 4th and the 3rd position.

    as for the point that most of the fans across the world rate premiership more than ligue un, well, i think we should seriously question how much people knows about football.

    this is a football forum, most of the people in here are supposed to know football pretty well, but still i'm pretty sure that if i would say that many ligue un teams play a better football than most of premiership clubs, most of the people in here would have a laugh at me or think i'm crazy.

    let me do an example, most of the "art experts" in the world consider the man who did this
    as one of the greatests artists of the last century.

    now i have to be honest, i don't care what most of the experts think, i think i know art better than them, and i could name hundreds of artists who are definitely better than mr Fontana.

    the same way, i don't care about what most of the people across the world thinks, coz i honestly think most of the football fans across the world don't know anything about the game.
    and when somebody tells me "serie a and ligue un are boring, the premiership is much better", i usually reply "then u should ask yourself: do i really like football?"

    we're not talking about copying an entire model here. we're just talking about introducing in premiership a "feature" wich worked in the french and the italian model. a feature wich might save premiership future, in the long term. and wich might increase the quality of the management of the top clubs and the quality of the football played by the weakests clubs.
    it's nothing more than that. :)

    i understand your points Gerd, but i'm afraid you're going too far. there are some very valid points in your logic, but i think protectionism is not the answer. besides we can't avoid the abramovishs or the bersluconis to invest their money as they prefere.
    but one thing we can do (and we did it in italy) is to put some limits, establishing some controls.
    it won't solve all the issues of modern football, but it's a big step foward.
    coz those limits in italy forced the top clubs to stick to an healthy governance and allowed mid class clubs to grow as they never did before (just 10 years ago it would have been impossible for torino to have players like rosina, barone, for udinese to have players like inler, di natale or zapata, for atalanta to have players like cigarini and for sampdoria to have players like cassano and palombo).

    thanks mate. :))

    however i hope none of u guys is misunderstanding me. i love the epl, as i love serie a, la liga, bundi and ligue un. and i care about chelsea or man utd or liverpool, as i care about fiorentina or sevilla.
    and that's why i think scudamore and co. should really start to think about what is going on in the epl.

    the FA has a big advantage. they can use the italian experience as an example of what not to do.
    do not repeat the same mistakes we did, because otherwise, it's just a matter of time, the consequences will be hard to face.

    serie a in the late 80s and 90s showed how an uncontrolled system, feeded basically by sugar daddys, can have terrific consequences. it took 5 years to lazio and fiorentina to stand up again..... and 10 years to napoli....
    and u also have to consider that it would be much harder for epl clubs to face what we went through, coz british clubs doesn't have the top class coaches serie a has and cannot count on an endless supply of high quality youngster, as we do.
    we were able to rise again coz we still had a strong "italian" core. but today 70% of premiership players come from abroad :II
    Last edited: 20 November 2008
  23. Aboutreika18

    Aboutreika18 Too Black, Too Strong

    5 September 2006
    Great stuff, Ben. As usual, a lot of thinking outside of the box and looking at things from a neutral perspective. :D
  24. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    How true Ben.
    The wealth of clubs like Chelsea is only a bubble. Even a huge club like Man Uts can go down. The relative success (i still think they are underachieving) of the big clubs masks the inherent frailty of English football. That the Englidsh premiership is less competitive than some other European leagues is also proven by the fact that English clubs are not succesfull in the UEFA cup. The big four (or some of then) do well in the CL, but there are no Sevilla's, Zenith's and CSKA Moscou's among the other English clubs...the nummer five of last year was eliminated by... a Belgian club.
  25. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    Again Lo Zio, I disagree - a lot of what you say is right, but you've missed the point. Establishing financial controls can only work when applied globally - and it won't be. There can never be a level playing field and this is why I object to the French proposals.

    Also whether you like the French league or not is not the issue - it's whether the rest of the world does. And it doesn't - so why should we be told to follow this model?

    Being told that the rules must be changed to prevent us making the same mistakes as the Italians is totally condescending. First of all, the Italian landscape is very different to our own. Berlusconi is your Prime Minister for a start! Also, we don't have to rejiggle our competitions each summer to take into account teams being prosecuted for bribery. We don't have the mindless football violence that you have over there, which you somehow avoid punishment for year after year. Also, the sugar-daddies Italian clubs had are pretty small time compared to the people wanting to invest in English clubs. We're talking about some of the richest people in the world versus guys who sold milk, bread and shoes.

    Now - I'm not saying the Premiership is a great model - it isn't and I have moaned about it frequently here. But when faced with Italian and Spanish dominance a few years back, we didn't whine and try to get the rules changed - we did something about it. I think this is what puts the backs of English supporters up. The fact is, rightly or wrongly, the rest of the world loves the Premiership and now Europe wants the rules changed. It's no coincidence.
  26. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Terry i can see where you come from, but i don't agree.
    The point is not that the suppremacy is one by the English, Spanish or Italian league...the point is that there is a suppremacy by one (or two or three) league(s).
    I'm beginning to become a fanof Platini because he wants to redistibute the wealth in Europe (global would even be better). When Porto won the CL they did not win the biggest part of the financial pot...it was Chelsea who were eliminated by AS Monco in the semi's. If i remeber well there were 10 clubs wo got more CL money than Porto that year...on top of that they lost all their best players...so the system itself makes it impossible to have a fair competition. That is against the basic rules of sports... The Americans understand that.
    I would have nothing against a European or global pyramid system with on top of that an international super league with (let's say for example) the 32 big clubs in the world. A sort of franchise system with a salary cap, open accounting and a draft. You got 32 clubs and every 3 or 4 years the 4 with the worst results are going to the next (international) level of the pyramid.

    But between these 32 clubs there shoudl be fair competition and their whouldnot be an abyss between the top flight and the next levels. I know that the top flight would attract the most attractive sponsors, but then there should a sort solidarity system (a real solidarity system).
    In such a system a success by clubs like Porto, Ajax and similar clubs would not be a freak accident. Those succesfull clubs would not be robbed of their players after their success. That would be much more interesting to watch for the fans (except if you are a Man Utd or Chelsea fan).
  27. Milanista

    Milanista Mangiamoli! Staff

    19 December 2002
    London & Milan
    AC Milan
    I, also, am a big fan of Platini. He is also defending youth systems by trying to make it illegal to 'headhunt' players under the age of 18. He also wants to reshuffle domestic cups to add greater attendances and competition.

    imo he is a great representative of European football.
  28. T Butcher fan

    T Butcher fan Champions League

    3 December 2001
    I've got no problem with the ideals, just the implementation. They're backward, blinkered plans and they will fail and yes, I question the motivation for this sudden urge for equality.

    At the end of the day, English football has never been more popular. Average attendances are nearly double what they are in Italy and France (In fact the English 2nd division average attendance is almost as big as Italy or France), it is watched avidly by people all around the world and billionaires are queueing up round the block to invest in English clubs. And now they want to change the rules.
  29. lo zio

    lo zio International

    24 October 2005
    cheers Abou :BEER:

    no Terry. even establishing controls on a single country can give enourmous benefits, as the italian and the french experience proved.

    what u're talking about, a global common settlement is just not going to happen, as u pointed out. for the simple reason that it would take to operate also on the fiscal domestic law of any country (wich won't ever happen.... i mean, it took 50 years to europe to share the same currency).

    but this global settlement would have different purposes, would satisfy different needs (global competition). what we are talking about here is a completely different thing.
    what we are talking about is a body who could avoid the individual bankrupts of the owners to result in their own clubs bankrupts.

    we're not talking about just about "improving the competition".... this is just a side-effect. we're talking about saving your asses!!!
    i know it seems impossible to u to imagine chelsea or liverpool or man utd or man city, or tottenham facing theese financial troubles.
    afterall they're all owned by "big guns"..... "some of the richests persons in the world" (your words).

    well reading this i realise we have to make a couple of points clear.
    it doesn't matter how rich u are. u don't face bankrupt coz u become "poor". u go on bankrupt when have no cash money to pay your debts. there's a huuuuge difference.
    let me make an example. let's suppose u have 100 billions pounds. usually the 90\95% of this huge lot of money is not cash (because cash money generate very low interests). So almost all your fortune is invested (the return on invested capital is much bigger).
    now let's suppose you have an overdraft for 40 millions pounds (an accrued liability, a contingent liability, a tax liability, whatever u want). it's just 40 millions pounds, it's nothing for a rich man like u.
    the thing is, if u don't have cash money or if u don't have enough non-property assetts u'll face bankrupt. and it doesn't matter if u have 150 billions pounds invested in fixed capital assetts, because, legally, they're intangible, unless U decide to sell them.
    so the real point is not how rich is the sugar daddy. the point is wich is the ammount of non-intangible assets u actually own.
    if u don't have enough non-fixed capital, no one can force u to sell your intangible assetts. the only way to do it is by opening a bankruptcy proceeding. to put it simple it doesn't matter if your name is abramovich and u have 200 billions pounds invested in property assetts or fixed options. u can still face bankruptcy for a 10 thousands pounds cross default.

    then u might say "hey what the hell i can just sell my intengible assets and pay". sure u can, but would it be convenient for u to do such a thing? capitalizing an investment, getting rid of a fixed capital assett is not exactly like selling a car. u can't just do it whenever u want. u have to follow the market, wait for the right time, or u're face a xx% loss..... and a 10% loss of a lot of money.... well it's still a lot of money. :PP

    and that's why most of the times a bankruptcy proceeding results to be more convenient than just paying your debts for this richests billionaires. besides they don't have much to fear from bankrupt. u see, if u face bankrupt, then it's a tragedy, coz all your belongings are exposed.
    but u can be sure that not even the 5% of abramovich's capital is exposed. the 95% is probably hidden in 100 ghost companies, owned by 200 dummies corporations, whose shares are owned not by abramovich himself (directly), but by dozens of limited partneership, whose registered office can be found (or maybe should i say... cannot be found) at the caymans or in luxembourg.
    there's quite a famous saying "people who have nothing always must pay debts..... those who own empires never pay their debts", wich reflects the truth pretty well.

    now if u're a billionaire who face bankrupt and u have a debt with the club u own (because, for instance, u bought the club with an unsecured loan, and then, after buyng the club, u turned that debt on your own club's shoulders), once the bankrupt proceeding is opened, your club is basically screwed, as its credit is frozen until the proceeding is closed and eventually it will get just a very small percentage of the money u own the club.

    so, if the club can afford such a huge loss (selling properties, non-core assetts or players) it can still survive. otherwise the club too will follow your same destiny (bankruptcy). but while u can get away from the proceeding with just a couple of millions, the club won't, as its capital is not "hidden" as yours.

    that's what happened in italy. it's not like cragnotti or tanzi or cecchi gori were "small time", as u called them (cragnotti had a world-wide empire and tanzi appearently had more employees than sony!). they could have easily been able to pay their debts and avoid bankruptcy. they just didn't find it convenient for themselves!

    do u think if abramovich had to choose between protecting chelsea or exposing his capital, he would have any kind of hesitations??? and i'm taking abramovich just as example but this could be said about every club owner in premiership today...... everyone.

    this is what covisoc (or his french counterpart) is for. and the whole balance system is aimed to preserve the clubs financial stability. an owner cannot turn his debts on the club's shoulders. it cannot have a debt with the club (neither a credit). and the clubs must meet some specific financial targets every season, so the fans can be sure that, no matter what will happen to the owner, the club will still have the financial and patrimonial stability required to survive.

    this is the main core of the economically sustainable growth process. the competitiveness of the leagues and everything else is just an optional, a side effect (a nice side effect).

    when the lega calcio (the italian FA) decided to create this body, they weren't caring about the growth of genoa, napoli, roma, lazio, fiorentina, udinese, etcc.. they just wanted to avoid more club bankruptcies.

    and the mission was brilliantly accomplished, as today, none of the italian clubs runs the risks that british club do.

    so forget about the global settlements, forget about the players moving to china (as this won't ever happen), focus your attention to chelsea.
    u now will probably think what i just said won't ever happen... that it's impossible.... afterall abramovich is one of the richests men on the planet.....
    well this is true abramovich is one of the richests men on the planet....... but chelsea is not abramovich. chelsea is onwed by abramovich, wich is very very different.
    u look at chelsea, man utd, arsenal, liverpool, tottenham, man city.... and u see some giants. i see those giants aswell, but i can also see those giants are walking on a tightrope.

    besides i'm absolutely sure that if 10 years ago someone would have said to a fiorentina supporter what was going to happen to his beloved club, that fan would have never believed him. they were giants, they had a great team, a strong financial situation and a richest owner who used to love the club..... yeah, they had.

    oh come one Terry, u can't be serious here! what does violence has to do with this. this is exactly the same nonsense logic that inspired martin samuels article "we're better than em, so why should we copy them".

    yeah, we do have some serious issues with violent ultras, issues which won't be easily solved. and u know what, we're looking at the premiership model to find a solution to theese issues. we're trying to adapt your "tools" to our problems.

    it's not like we're perfect and u have to follow our example. and violence and financial stability are pretty different issues, don't u think? we (italians) are trying to find a solutions to our issues by looking at what our "neighbors" did. but we're not going to import the whole british model (as it is in britain), because, under many aspects, the british model sucks.

    the same way u shouldn't import the whole french model or the italian model. u should just look at wich are your problems, consider how your neighbors solved them and find a way to adapt to your country those systems which proved to work in other countries. this is so blatantly obvious that i fell silly pointing it out.

    we do have many issues. not only the ultras. also the stadia, the money distribution... and much more... and we're on our way to solve them (the stadia and the money distribution... i don't think we'll ever solve the ultras issue)... but what does this have to do with our topic??!!!

    as for the dirty club owners, well the situation today is pretty different from 10 years ago, and moggi was the last (big) brick of a wall wich was already almost destroyed.
    and however, do u really think shinawatra was more honest than cragnotti? or that abramovich is more honest than tanzi? coz to be fair, i find it hard to believe. :P

    i don't think i need to remind u that when we faced our financial tragedies we were considered the most popular league in the world (wich bascially makes your point.... pointless).
    but anyway, if the only thing u care about his popularity, then it's ok, enjoy it... i hope it will last.

    as for me, i usually have a laugh when somebody tells me that serie a 20 years ago was better than today. anybody who would undestand football would know that under every aspect (the quality of the football, the tactical variety, the competitiveness of the league, the financial stability) 20 years ago we were much more poor than today.
    now we're better, but we're not popular... but hey most of the "art experts" in the world would like to spend 5 million euros to buy a canvas with some cuts in the middle..... so who cares :)

    as usual sorry for the longest post (i guess i should just put this statement in my signature :P).
    Last edited: 21 November 2008
  30. beachryan

    beachryan Golden Boot Winner

    4 July 2003
    @ Lo Zio - Firstly, let me just say I'm really enjoying your posts, keep em long and interesting!

    Secondly - how do you feel about a club like Man United before the (evil) Glazers took over? A club that is domninant because of past successes and worldwide appeal, who just has more profit to invest than other clubs. So you get Keanes, Cantonas, Coles and so forth being bought for (what was then) crazy money, leading to more success and more ability to buy and so forth.

    In theory they don't run the risk of going bankrupt, because their commerical success fuels their financial domniance, which is at least strongly correlated to onpitch performance (leeds United excluded, eeeesh). It creates almost a second tier of clubs within the league, that can 'superspend', but it does so without debt.

    I agree that clubs should not be allowed to operate at a significant loss, because that's just stupid. I know it's the easy example, but if Abramovich were to get bored and walk away, I'm not convicned the fire sale of players would be able to plug the holes of the sinking Chelsea ship, and the club would go bust. Because they were living outside of their means. (if Kenyon can put them in the black by 2010, I will eat this blog, erm somehow) But United on the other hand comfortably make enough money to run and pay back debts, they actually make a decent profit. That for me is the fundamental difference.

    Platini's thing on under 18 year olds, my only issue with it is the age. I think it should be 16. Football is increasingly becoming a younger man's sport and by the time you're 18 you're kinda of deeper into your career than other professions. But I totally agree that kids under 16 shouldn't be exploited, and as a United fan I find what happens with Macheda, Pique, Rossi and so on disgusting.

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