The soccer news starts with a foregone conclusion. The big clubs in Europe will eventually get what they want one way or another. It might not be as straightforward as they’d like, but they’re the ones holding the power.
AP’s Graham Dunbar has the follow-up to reports that the rest of the European clubs aren’t necessarily interested in a revamped Champions League. No surprise there. The de facto super league wouldn’t do much for them except all but lock them out of Europe’s premier club soccer competition. Instead, they’d prefer something a bit more fair. Soccer as meritocracy still exists in European soccer even if it’s tough to recognize these days. Win enough games, and eventually the Champions League awaits. That’s the carrot that allows clubs and their fans to dream of better days.
Meanwhile, the already elite would prefer to stay that way. Creating a Champions League in their image is one possibility. So is breaking away entirely and forming their own competition. That remains the central threat to European club soccer as we know it, and it’s highly unlikely that the desires of the rest of the club changes that. What those clubs can do, apparently, is postpone a decision.
Whatever plan eventually “arrives at the finish line” to borrow European Club Association and Juventus president Andrea Agnelli’s phrase will either appease the super clubs or at best serve as a placeholder. Eventually, the elite teams will act in their mutual best interest in a way that continues to push towards a super league. That much should be clear to anybody paying attention. We already know how much UEFA is likely to bend in reorganizing the Champions League to suit the biggest clubs.
How much outrage this produces from the rest of the European clubs is the question. There’s a scenario that has local clubs better off not competing with the global brands. Like the super league itself, that’s a theory. So is revamping all of European soccer through salary caps, changing the distribution of money, and setting an equitable playing field. It’s a safe assumption that the super clubs are more interested in pushing forward with more of what they already have. It might be later than sooner, but it’s an equally safe assumption that they’ll get what they want.
The Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan argues that Manchester City has an advantage coming out of the September international break. FourFourTwo’s Andy Mitten looks at Manchester United’s search for a sporting director. iNews’ Will Magee talks to Schalke coach David Wagner.
Yahoo Sport’s Harry Bushnell on the USMNT’s draw with Uruguay. SI.com’s Brian Straus with what the USMNT did during the September window.
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