One rule for some and another for the rest. End the hypocrisy and penalise England’s Shameless Six

Docked points, hefty fines and governance changes should be on the cards at home but Uefa hold the greatest power

Lyndon Lloyd 29/04/2021 102comments  |  Jump to last

Following their acquisition by Sheikh Mansour, Abu Dhabi United Group and their practically limitless funds, Manchester City have gone from largely parochial top-flight also-rans who had been playing in English football’s third tier as recently as 1999 to being one of the biggest clubs in the world. 12 trophies later and on course to add at least one more before the end this season, they are perennial Premier League title favourites and are on course for their first Uefa Champions League final.

Though already a force by the mid-1990s following a spell out of the top flight, Chelsea would not be the club they are today without the riches of Roman Abramovich. Since the Russian oligarch assumed control at Stamford Bridge, the club have won five Premier League titles, as many FA Cups and three League Cups.

Thanks to the backing of Fenway Sports Group, the decisions the have made and the people they have put in place, Liverpool have not only won the Champions League in recent years but finally won the Premier League title after three decades of trying and were tipped by many to have established a platform from which they, alongside Manchester City, could dominate domestic football for years.

ENIC’s investment has steadily built Tottenham into one of the biggest clubs in England, at least in terms of financial resources and access to the kind of capital that could deliver an £800m stadium and spend £55m-plus on Tanguy Ndombele. They came within 90 minutes of winning the Champions League two years ago and clearly feel now they have a God-given right to be in the competition on an annual basis but they will have to wait a year at least following the failed appointment of Jose Mourinho.

All of these points illustrate how clubs’ fortunes and, specifically in the context of the current debate around how to respond to the treachery of the Super League, the experience of their supporters are dictated by the decisions of their owners. Fans and the players enjoy the successes that the pieces put in place by the increasingly wealthy interests that control their clubs delivered, so they shouldn’t really complain when things flip the other way.

It sounds obvious but, as the initial fury at the announcement of the Super League a week ago abates, so has the intensity of calls to mete out the maximum of punishments to the clubs involved from Uefa, the Premier League and the FA.

“Don’t punish the fans or the players!” has become the refrain from a disappointing number of quarters in the media but no-one had the same sycophantic deference to Middlesbrough when they were docked 3 points for being unable to fulfil a fixture because of injury and illness – 3 points that ultimately sent them down. There was no outcry for the supporters of or players from the likes of Portsmouth or Wigan when they were docked points that threatened their survival or for Bury when their club went out of business completely last year because of the actions of their owners.

It’s this attitude that has helped perpetuate the Sky Sports-fuelled notion of a “big six” in the first place; this short-hand for the supposed elite that has given these clubs an out-sized sense of self and boosted their commercial appeal and it needs to end. The disrespect that owners of the Shameless Six have shown to the rest of English football should be the starting point for the dismantling of this aura that has built up around these clubs.

It should, to repeat the calls of an earlier column on these pages, also result in punitive sanctions. There will be inevitable disagreement over how harsh the punishment should be but something has to come out of this.

Simply relegating them to the Championship next season would be hugely satisfying and it would initiate a welcome redistribution of wealth in the game. Six clubs, be it those that finish in the top six of the second tier this season or the three who gain promotion together with the three that would ordinarily drop out of the Premier League next month, would immediately benefit and the elevation of half a dozen top-flight clubs to the Champions League and Europa Leagues would give those teams instant access the millions on offer in those competitions. It would also impact the rebel six’s Uefa coefficients.

It’s incredibly unlikely that the Premier League would take such an extreme step, however, because of the impact on its own brand and its negotiating strength for the next 3-year broadcasting deal.

A points deduction, the standard penalty in English league football, is the next option. A 10-point penalty levied this season probably wouldn’t be enough, though. It would almost certainly eliminate Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham from European contention but it would leave Man City on course for the title and preserve Man Utd’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League. Combine it with a hefty fine and the recent moves to lessen these club’s influence on various Premier League steering committees and you will at least have delivered a response, even if it’s not much of a deterrent.

Realistically, the punishment of these clubs from within England should come in the form of reforms to ownership and governance in the game. Enacting the “50+1’ rule, while appealing, would involve a significant amount of financial reverse engineering in the short to medium term, but a ‘golden share’ for an elected fans forum, the creation of a special class of voting share and/or individual supporter representation in the boardroom would all go a long way towards mitigating future unilateral decisions such as the one that rocked the game last week.

In the absence of large-scale measures by the Premier League — let’s face it, they’re unlikely to exact much by way of punishment, no matter how much they’re pushed — the real power rests with Uefa who could hit both these clubs’ bottom line, their coefficients and their pulling power while also giving other clubs a leg up by banning the Dirty Dozen from their competitions for two years. That was the penalty proposed for Manchester City and their alleged FFP violations and under those conditions, the Champions League regulars would lose a minimum of £50m but, practical terms, they would be denied much more because they usually all make it past the group stage.

The likes of West Ham Utd, Everton, Leeds Utd and Aston Villa would then be in with a shout of playing in the Continent’s top competition, a small step towards bridging the chasm of financial resources that currently exists between them and most of the rebel six, even if it would make further mockery of the name “Champions League.

At the absolute bare minimum, though, the clause in the reforms to the Champions League format due to go into effect in 2024 that guarantees two places to the Champions League for clubs with high coefficients who failed to qualify through league position has to be scrapped. To reiterate the point made many times, those “VIP passes” are as much at odds with sporting merit as the Super League concept.

Ultimately, European football and English football in particular has an opportunity to level the playing field somewhat, dismantle the notion that the game is run almost at the behest of a small cartel of clubs, and weaken their power.

While the historic attraction and nostalgia of some of these big clubs will always hold a strong appeal, it doesn’t take long in this fickle world of short attention spans for clubs to fall out of favour and for others to become new flavours of the month in terms of media attention and, by extension, sponsorship revenues, etc. Manchester City’s ascendency and acceptance among this group has been blazingly fast and Leicester City’s rise is also boosting their appeal, particularly internationally where new fanbases are built on narratives and success.

The game doesn’t revolve around a select few clubs. It’s time the powers-that-be underscored that in no uncertain terms with action.

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Reader Comments (102)

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David Fidler
1 Posted 29/04/2021 at 07:09:30
A 3-year transfer ban as a punishment.
Jerome Shields
2 Posted 29/04/2021 at 08:33:04
The momentum is always there to form a cartel. The problem has been that the top six position in the Premiership which where predictable for years are now not as predictable.

This results in a twofold threat to finances of the Top Six due to reductions in Premiership and Champion League income and spin offs.

All of these Clubs need cash injections by either owner funds or borrowing to maintain financial sustainability. On the European stage there are Clubs that are totally dependent on being in the Champions League to sustain them. The problem is that some of these Clubs needed even more than this to sustain them hence the European Super League.

There will be changes in the Premiership and Champions League because the Financial momentum is here and all the authorities are there to sustain this status quo, even applying different interpretations to what is allowed, according to positions in Leagues.

It really would take coordinated legistlation in individual countries and across Europe to changes things. This is unlikely to happen.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 29/04/2021 at 08:52:58
Lyndon: “Six clubs, be it those that finish in the top six of the second tier this season or the three who gain promotion, together with the three that would ordinarily drop out of the Premier League next month, would immediately benefit”.

If the three clubs that would ordinarily drop out of the Premier League weren't relegated, then six clubs gain promotion. If the three clubs ordinarily relegated were relegated, then nine clubs would be promoted. Assuming other things remain constant.

As per my post on the other thread, the problems from that could be huge.

Richard Parker
4 Posted 29/04/2021 at 09:23:36
The Premier Leaguewill clearly never risk having none of those 6 clubs in the Champions League next season. That's where most of the revenue comes from

Uefa should come down hard on the 12 clubs now but I would question whether there are legal grounds for punitive action, as they have all u-turned, and as such haven't actually done anything despite the intent being there.

What they must do is ensure that there are clear, tightly defined rules in place that ban all clubs and their players from involvement in any Uefa competitions if they are involved in other competitions.

Alex Kociuba
5 Posted 29/04/2021 at 09:50:44
I fear the more time that passes the more diluted and unsatisfactory the punishments will end up being. Should have struck while the iron was hot in the day or two after their U-turns. Or at least temporarily suspended them operating normally until permanent sanctions were made, because as it stands absolutely nothing seems to have been done.
Barry Hesketh
6 Posted 29/04/2021 at 10:04:57
I'm hoping that the clubs outside of the Shameless six are looking at proper reforms and ensuring that no single club or group of clubs are able to ride roughshod over all of the other clubs in the future.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, would be an appropriate maxim to adhere to, as knee-jerk reactions could have many unintended outcomes.

If nothing of significance happens, and UEFA bow to the financial power of the Dirty Dozen, then the Dirty Dozen will feel vindicated and will end up with most of what they wanted.

Transfer bans for a significant period would go some way to levelling the playing field, but you can bet that the Dirty Dozen will have an army of lawyers waiting to pounce and make whatever punishments meted out by the authorities a long and drawn-out process.

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater won't help anybody, but doing nothing to change the dynamics at the top of the game won't help anyone either.

Richard, I think they have done a lot of planning over at least a three-year period, most of which has been away from the gaze of the media or their fellow clubs, it is far more than an intention to join an exlusive club, it is already an exclusive club that wants to take that exclusivitey to a whole new level, to the detrimetnt of those who would want to compete at the highest levels of the game.

Christine Foster
7 Posted 29/04/2021 at 10:17:34
Fully agree with you, Lyndon, except the cynic in me believes nothing will be done.

After the recent CEOs message to fans, I replied and said the absence of action will damage the credibility of the Premier League and the 14 clubs. At the very, very least, they have brought the league and game into disrepute with their underhand action. That alone is sufficient to hand down significant punishment. Any points deduction would I believe be in place for the start of next season. A real cop-out but saves face.

They have damaged the league. Without doubt. They have to be punished. As for hurting fans and players, since when has the league ever mentioned fans or players when handing down punishment!? No, sorry but no consideration.

Brian Harrison
8 Posted 29/04/2021 at 10:19:19
I think we can forget any expectation of a points deduction or bans for European competitions. The unpalatable truth is that the Premier League couldn't attract the revenue it gets from Sky without these 6 clubs involved and, if a points deduction were imposed, this would just hasten these clubs to regurgitate the Super League in a different format. Likewise, Uefa will not impose bans as most of these clubs are a major part of the cartel that makes all the changes to European competitions with an obvious slant to protect their status.

I hear calls for the German model of the 50% + 1 – do you really think that the owners of these clubs are going to agree to something that would diminish their power? Absolutely no chance. And don't expect this government to bring in rules that may allow this to happen.

Of all the debates on this subject, the only person who has come out with how to solve this problem was Carlo Ancelotti. His proposal of a salary cap should have been brought in a long time ago. I hear Premier League players stating they don't want the Super League... well, I doubt there isn't one Premier League player who would leave a club that joined the ESL.

Players' wages have risen beyond even their greedy dreams and they are facilitated by their even greedier agents. Clubs are struggling to make money because of the increasing wage demands from players and agents. But the clubs lack the bottle to manage their finances properly, so they just carry on with this silly merry-go-round to pamper fans who constantly want richer owners to buy more expensive players.

So, in some respects, the fans are just as guilty as the owners. Gone are the days were the local businessman would put money into a club and run it; now, even the billionaires are being overtaken by the likes of the state money being poured into Man City and PSG.

Chris Williams
9 Posted 29/04/2021 at 10:43:11
Re the CL changes, they were all agreed before these 6 /12 came out of the undergrowth. We know several of their senior executives sat on the committees that came up with the changes, and were criticised by UEFA, and, particularly by the PL, for their duplicity.

How involved were they in the formulation of this new set up?

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 29/04/2021 at 10:57:00
On many, many repetitive occasions (I even got bored of myself), when this surfaced, I suspected an aggressive opening shot across the bows from the elite club to force the discussion.

What I think will happen (different from what I believe should) is there will be a token fine and they then get their own way through negotiations to re-structure the Champions League (agree, inappropriately named) to something that, hey presto, looks a bit like a Super League.

The German giants, although having no part in this, both claimed the way to achieve change was through the Champion's League. That's where this is heading.

UEFA and the National Leagues get to demonstrate they clawed something back and brought the 12 in line and financially punished them. The 12 force something through that resembles what they wanted in all but name.

As I said at the time, European football's Brexit process and negotiations. Parallels anyway.

I stand to be proven totally wrong and pleasantly surprised.

Kevin Prytherch
11 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:08:58
I think London's suggestion of a 10 point penalty, coupled with hefty fines and a transfer ban of 1 window would be seen as sufficient retribution.

I would also stick a 50 point suspended points deduction for anything like this in the next 5 years. Then they know that if they try this again they are likely to be immediately relegated.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:08:59
I posted on another thread about the 50 + 1 rule Brian and why I am not convinced it would work here despite me being an advocate. Also, it would take years to implement so it's not a quick fix. And then, it's still open to exploitation.

I won't repeat myself, but we have to remember that German football has grown and been built on that, not reverse engineered like we would be attempting to do.

More regulation as to how clubs are governed? Yes. But it needs to be one that can be adopted by English football, not make someone else's model fit ours.

Barry Hesketh
13 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:34:10
The Everton Fans Forum, in response to the news of the ESL last week, asks fans with any ideas in how to respond or improve things to email their views/ideas to
Chris Williams
14 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:37:02
One of the options being considered, and gathering a bit of traction is ‘the golden share' principle. This share being held by fans/organisations which would allow a veto of any arrangements that drastically change the structure of the game in this country. Like the ESL. The S stands for shitty in this case.

This may be one of the review proposals to come out of the Government fan led review. But that will take time. Another thought is to change the law governing competition, so that football can operate separately, so don't get tied down by existing legislation, which ESL reckons would allow them to go ahead.

That would only apply in this country, not EU.

Dennis Stevens
15 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:49:59
No matter how feeble the response from the authorities, there should be a clear demarcation in punishments between those who lead & those who followed. Bear in mind that this group of 6 have no more loyalty to each other than they do for the rest of football. Differing levels of punishment will help to drive a wedge between them.

However, far more important than the gesture punishments that are likely to be handed out are the necessary reforms that are needed to prevent a reoccurrence. No doubt, this area will be the biggest let down of all.

Ian Burns
16 Posted 29/04/2021 at 12:04:29
Great article Lyndon, I feel it was written with a degree of frustration, sitting in front of your laptop/computer!

However, the reality is that the PL/Sky and even UEFA simply cannot afford to overly punish the ESL 12 - or the 6 in the case of our league.

Punishment, if any at all, will be designed to protect the viewing figures and financial pull of the ESL 6 and is underlined by the discussion to keep the status quo with regards to the next media auction for the next 3 years.

The PL is no longer a national product, it is viewed worldwide and that particular audience demands the ESL 6 are part of the entertainment, no matter how much we wish it were otherwise.

I know I am going against the grain when I say this but I feel we need to take stock and be careful what we wish for.

Going backwards is not an option, controlling what happens going forward needs to be carefully thought out and that is not going to happen overnight.

Si Cooper
17 Posted 29/04/2021 at 13:55:09
I don't know whether a transfer ban could be applied for this and fines would have to be absolutely enormous to make a difference.
I'd settle for a points deduction of around 15 at start of next season. That would mean the best would probably still win the league, just not at a canter, and a few of them will be in real peril of not qualifying for Europe the year after. There's a measure of punishment without making it too retaliatory or damaging to the fixture list.
UEFA should reduce their coefficient to base level (if they won't scrap the idea altogether).
Tony McNulty
18 Posted 29/04/2021 at 14:47:21
Most of the punishments being suggested - a points ban for example - would hit the fans of these clubs.

Many of these self-same fans are those who fulminated against the recent proposals. If their clubs are hit too hard, then they may well turn face which could encourage their clubs to have another go at some revised version of what they have already tried.

I suspect that realpolitik will dictate that practically rock all will happen.

Tony Everan
19 Posted 29/04/2021 at 14:49:55
A two year European ban would be proportional.

I hate these VIP passes ( legacy coefficient) entry to the Champions League. They are the product of a self serving cartel, to strengthen and guarantee their financial position and will help destroy fair competition.

UEFA has to scrap those anticompetitive practices for starters.

The likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham are in a state of hysterical panic, scrambling like madmen trying to protect their position before it's too late.

They know that Leicester, Everton, West Ham, and one or two others are knocking at the door. They want the door bolted shut before we can break it down, even on a temporary basis.

Hence this guaranteed VIP, coefficient qualification , and the more radical protectionist Super League.

The government and football governing bodies need to fully realise that any further dilution of competitiveness from the current status quo will result in a poorer end product. It will benefit a few billionaires, but be forever detrimental to millions of fans.

It is an all out assault on the hopes and dreams of ordinary football fans up and down the country.

It's the fans need protecting by the government and football powers, hopefully they can do what is right under pressure.

Jay Wood

20 Posted 29/04/2021 at 15:33:18
It strikes me that patience doesn't seem to be a ‘thing' anymore.

Today alone we have this piece by Lyndon and his third article in a week by Paul the Esk proposing different punishments to be meted out to the Dirty Dozen with the undertone of ‘why haven't they been punished yet?'

It doesn't naturally follow that because no sanctions have been declared against them to date that no sanctions will be applied at all.

Personally, I'm encouraged that both the PL (in the case of the soiled six) and UEFA are taking their time in preparing the case that all the involved clubs have to answer for.

Because you can absolutely guarantee that whatever the penalties are, the Dirty Dozens' lawyers will be all over them like a rash.

It is prudent, then, to prepare and present as solid a case as possible to justify the penalties national federations and UEFA may wish to implement. That takes time.

And there is a huge body of evidence to draw on and filter through.

Let's have a quick recap of ‘the known'.

We can go right back to the G-14 group at the start of this century that sought to do what this latest cartel attempted, to have greater influence over UEFA to their own benefit. That too was a closed shop, membership by invitation only.
Eight of those clubs also formed part of the ESL's Dirty Dozen. The missing four? Athletico Madrid, City, Chelsea and Spurs.

The City case is an interesting one. Why? Because of course many of their ESL bedfellows actively canvassed for them to be investigated and punished under FFP regulations. They didn't want their cosy status quo upset by ‘new money'. As a result, as recently as last year City were served with a two-year ban from European competition.

That ban was of course overturned. And there was public outrage at that verdict by City's best new chums. The beaut that is Jurgen Klopp slammed the decision at the time:

‘If the richest people or countries can do what they want in football, then that could make the competition really difficult. ‘I think that would lead automatically to a kind of world super league with, like, 10 clubs.'

Oh, the irony, Jurgen. Because of course as he uttered those words his club and others were doing two things simultaneously:

1) Preparing the ground for their PL Big Project Reset (another busted flush in October last year)
2) Well down the road in seeing the ESL come to fruition (3 years in the making if Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez is to be believed. And yes, I recognize the obvious oxymoron in that sentence)

It is a measure of just how soiled ALL of the Dirty Dozen are that, having been maliciously targeted by the likes of Real Madrid, United and Liverpool, that City and others were all the while plotting WITH them to launch the seismic changes to the football pyramid revealed last week.

IMO it is absolute pap as some are arguing – even in this very thread – that you cannot punish the clubs ‘cos it unfairly punishes the fans (and players).

The claim that the Dirty Dozen (not even all of them!) backed down and ‘actually didn't do anything wrong' is a total non-argument. They fucking DID do something!

They deliberately timed the announcement of the ESL to coincide with the very same day as UEFA announced their proposed reforms for the CL. The suits, their club representatives, sat in on top level meetings at UEFA and their national leagues and displayed wilful malfeasance to their own clubs and others, their local communities and institutions.

At those meetings formulating UEFA's reformation plans they would have been a powerful voice in the room, all the while knowing of their own ESL scheme, a direct competitor – nay! A complete replacement for the CL.

Having announced the creation of the ESL the suits immediately resigned their positions to those very influential committees. The same night, lawyers' letters were sent to UEFA and the national leagues threatening them with legal action if they attempted any punishment and embargos towards the clubs or their representatives, including the players.

Innocent m'lud? Get the feck!

Be patient. Let those concerned prepare their case and the punishment. There has to be retribution for this in place ahead of next season.

If there isn't then yes. THEN Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. And I ain't talking Joe Royle's FA Cup Winners here.

Ian Burns
21 Posted 29/04/2021 at 16:14:09
The punishment for the ESL 6 has just been announced. Voting rights unaffected - that tells you all you need to know
Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 29/04/2021 at 16:22:37
Jay (20), very good post Jay, to be honest, I hope the clubs who tried to break away from their respective leagues are punished, but the main thing that happens,IMO, is that somehow there is something put in place that stops these greedy clubs, from attempting to get their plans put in place in the future, because they certainly will try again, unless they are stopped now and forever.
Jay Wood

23 Posted 29/04/2021 at 16:27:37
That Ian is a totally false spin on a single administrative measure announced today.

Representatives of the Dirty Dozen renounced their roles on UEFA committees almost immediately.

The 14 members outside the soiled six of the PL have now forced their conniving peers from those clubs to give up similar committee positions in the PL structure.

That the six clubs will not lose their voting rights is a positive thing to preserve the democracy of the voting system in stark contrast to what the Dirty Dozen wanted to do.

You present it as a singular and final 'punishment'. I fancy it's just the start.

Tony Everan
24 Posted 29/04/2021 at 16:30:22
Yes Dave, any short term punishment could just really be construed as superficial. A sticking plaster on a gaping, gangrenous wound.

Fans and the media will lap it up like a thirsty cat over a saucer of milk. All fans and stakeholders need to be on their guard.

What matters is that legally binding protection is given to the other 14 clubs that saves them from the recurring threat of cartel like, anticompetitive practices.

Jay Wood

25 Posted 29/04/2021 at 16:40:11
On a lighter note, sad to read of the passing of 65-year-old Juan Joya Borja.

Never heard of him, you say?

This will remind you. I defy anyone to watch it without crying with laughter, no matter how many times you watch it.

Laughing at Liverpool

Chris Williams
26 Posted 29/04/2021 at 16:41:26
Regarding the issue of any punishment being meted out not ‘punishing ‘ the fans.

If that is the stance the PL take, the logical conclusion of that basically means that the owners of these clubs have pretty much carte blanche to get up to any nefarious actions they choose, and their clubs will always go unpunished, because the fans will always, by proxy, be punished.

Unless of course their next action is even more objectionable.

Which doesn't seem any sort of deterrent. Or any sense.

Tony Everan
27 Posted 29/04/2021 at 17:06:06
Jay, loved that, guaranteed laughter indeed!
Mark Louch
28 Posted 29/04/2021 at 17:11:21
Loved the video clip (Jay Wood 25). If we cannot solve the problem we can at least laugh.

I think in seriousness, the move towards this SL nonsense and the staging posts on the way are too far gone to "reverse" instantly.
So draconian measures are out as it will just speed up the process.

I think you need to be a bit more subtle:
a) Suspended points deduction from PL to be enacted if they try the same nonsense again
b) Removed from FA Cup for 3 years. Whilst it devalues the competition it is entirely in the FA gift, whereas PL retribution is something they get a say on
c) Removal from all PL committees as they have done today I think?
d) Introduction of Golden share for key changes in structures as a condition of being in PL. You cannot expect owners who have invested millions (incl Farhad) not to realise money on their investments. You can moderate their worst excesses by ensuring that big decisions such as league restructuring can be vetoed by an appointed supporters representative(s).

Just a thought, back to watch the video again!

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 29/04/2021 at 17:46:10
I saw that clip once before with different captions (the teeth make it extra special), but I've never seen this version with the RS-related subtitles. That's hysterical.

According to his obit, the clip actually showed him relating a story about losing a restaurant's paella dishes in the ocean.

But I like this version better.

Mal van Schaick
30 Posted 29/04/2021 at 18:26:55
Transfer embargo and six points deduction for the beginning of next season.
Ian Burns
31 Posted 29/04/2021 at 19:11:07
Jay - 23 - I respect and enjoy every post on every thread you write and I hope you are right.

However time will tell.

Jay Wood

32 Posted 29/04/2021 at 19:53:20
Ian, today's announcement is an affirmation of a story from a week ago.

14 Clubs Seek Removal of Soiled Six From PL Committees

There is unanimous unity across the 14 clubs on this point. As the report goes on to say, there is not yet consensus on what other sanctions to apply, but there is real anger and a desire for greater retribution.

You say 'time will tell', so why not give it time to play out?

I agree with Dave Abrahams. For me two issues need to be addressed.

1) the soiled six need to be punished in the here and now
2) the integrity of the football pyramid needs to be protected to discourage this happening again in the future

If the existing statuates of the national leagues and UEFA don't offer that then quite simply they are not fit for purpose and need to be tightened. You cannot achieve that overnight.

Patience, as I said earlier.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
33 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:19:32
Kevin #11 - 50 points is not enough to guarantee relegation.

At the moment City will likely get 90 points and WBA about 31-34. City would stay up.
Last season the winners would still have finished on 49 points
The season before the top 2 would have finished on 48 and 47
The season before on 50
The season before 43 and 36

Needs to be 70 to almost guarantee relegation.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
34 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:46:51
Punish the Supporters?

So which supporters are we talking about?
The genuine ones or the bandwagon jumpers?
People like the cockneys who jumped on the bandwagon in the 70s and 80s to support a club in a city who in other moments probably denigrate the citizens of Liverpool for being thieving skiving layabouts? Yes, the shame will be the genuine fans - but we would realise that we have got our hand in the cookie jar, and have to take the rap and there will be life after the punishment. Remember, we have been here before. 1985 when we were the best team in Europe.
The worldwide fans will find another team to latch onto.

As our American friends will testify, if you are with someone who gets out of the car, tries to rob someone who then dies from a heart attack, you will also be charged with murder. So part of the problem of supporting the shameless six is that you are guilty by association.

Mercy is reserved for someone in France taking your plate away.

Kieran Kinsella
35 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:51:58
What about a spending cap on these teams as punishment. That wouldn't negatively impact fans or current players, it would just mean they can't further over extend themselves financially, which will level the playing field and negate the need for them to chase extra income to offset heir debts?
Thomas Richards
36 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:54:58

John Barnes did an interview last week with that point included.
Talked a lot of sense.

Ian Burns
37 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:57:07
Jay - 32 - your second point with regards to the security of the pyramid in this country is a change I agree should and will happen.

Your first point shared with Dave A is the point over which I am casting doubt. I personally believe the media companies will protect their interest and make it known with the result that no punitive action will be taken other than maybe a fine of sorts.

I agree patience is called for but we will see by the start of next season fans outside of the ESL 6 will still be calling for some form of severe retribution.

Jay Wood

38 Posted 29/04/2021 at 21:05:07
Bring back Peter Scudamore, Ian..?

There MUST Be Consequences for PL 'Big SIx'

Kieran Kinsella
40 Posted 29/04/2021 at 21:09:24
Jay @38,

I read that ironically, having left the Premier League, Scudamore was convinced by the "big six" to stick around in a consultancy role.

When this whole thing blew up, apparently Bruce Buck of Chelsea was irked to find Scudamore driving the opposition from his consultant role.

Peter Mills
42 Posted 29/04/2021 at 21:14:16
I like to take a calm, measured look at these things.

The punishment should see a set of 6 gallows erected on Bramley-Moore Dock, right on the banks of the river. Each of the 6 clubs should be told to nominate a director involved in the ESL negotiations to be strung up. The discussions as to whom that director should be will be televised live to the highest bidder. The subsequent executions will be the subject of a separate deal.

I hereby claim a modest 15% of the royalties.

Ian Burns
43 Posted 29/04/2021 at 21:17:04
Hi Jay - even Scudamore declined to discuss punitive punishment or sanctions during this interview which is the point I am making.

Interesting times brought about through unacceptable circumstances.

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 29/04/2021 at 22:21:34
Jay #20,

Really interesting post and great detail of what has been going on. In my experience, given less detailed information I did think that little would change. But given your detail it looks like an attempted Coup by the 12 Breakaway teams and the apparent silence is probably the injured parties (Premier League, Champions League & Uefa) taking advantage of the time they have to prepare, now that the Coup has failed.

It also occurred to me that these 12 Breakaway teams also have signed up to contractual obligations in relation to the European Super League, with JP Morgan involved. Greater detail on that would be an eye-opener.

Si Cooper
45 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:30:47
Tony McNulty (18), can you explain why a simple points deduction at the start of the season would hit the fans? The amount I suggested would likely only handicap some of them in qualifying for European competition. Is that what you think is unfair, those fans not getting their expected European glory nights for a year?

I think the problem with salary capping / transfer bans is that they would be viewed as restraint of trade and therefore very difficult to enforce. I think most effective transfer bans have come as punishment for offences around player recruitment where they can be viewed as wholly appropriate.

The issue with fines is the amount would have to be enormous to have any impact and then the fans would be definitely be hit because the clubs would look to them when trying to recoup their losses.
I think deduction of points is within the Premier League administrators remit and so hard to challenge legally. It also pas the benefit of potentially rewarding more of the other teams through the possibility of much improved league position.

Si Cooper
46 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:36:56
Peter (42), so you went past pelting with rotten fruit, flogging or even gladiatorial contest and straight to (broadcast) capital punishment!?!

I bet you describe yourself as ‘old school' (when you really mean unevolved).

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:50:28
Salary capping and spending restrictions are actually a proposal of the ESL.

It sounds great in principle, but what it really means is that despite the still very healthy wages for players, more of the profit margin goes into the pockets of the company and ultimately the owners.

As with FFP, these things that sound great on paper often have a hidden ulterior motive.

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:00:47

It's a fair point and certainly true of Man Utd and Arsenal. But the drivers of the ESL are Spanish and Italian clubs who are far from even needing a profit column in their books. I'd equate it to the Cold War arms race when Reagan kept spending on weapons and the USSR collapsed because, in trying to match the spend, they went bust.

Juve, Inter, Real and Barce seem to have a strategy of Monte Carlo or Bust and they've come up short so often that now they're screwed. If we cap spending, yes, Kroenke probably gets richer, but those teams don't have to overspend, putting them in a less perilous position financially and therefore less inclined to make deals with the devil just to survive.

Also, if we got to a point like most industries where teams were solvent, or even profitable, we might attract better quality owners and investors, not con men like the Bury owner, the former Portsmouth owners etc.

Si Cooper
49 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:12:40
Kieran, you make good points but then throw in the ‘like most industries' card.

Can't we all agree that football, as we want it, just isn't like ‘most industries' where you do tend to end up with only a handful (at most) of the biggest companies dominating the different markets?

I don't mind saying clubs should be solvent and run by fit and proper owners who understand what they are buying into, but we are miles beyond not requiring billionaire-level investment to make it in the Premier League.

As has been said before, the owners are taking a gamble on mortal flesh that most wouldn't consider a good bet if they were just out for a business to back.

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:15:22
And if you add our red cousins to Arsenal and United, Kieran, you have the American owners. I think profit margin is where they are coming from with this.

Yes, the Spaniards and Juventus in particular know they are up the proverbial debt ridden creek and see this as the latest way out. Saving football translates to saving themselves.

No big surprises they are the 3 that are yet to formally dismiss this and as far as they are concerned, it is still a thing that just needs time and a bit of a re-think.

Gary Willock
51 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:34:27
Forcing fan ownership would be awesome in principle, but in practice it would seriously impact owner investments. We'd come off worse than any of the greedy 6 would.

For me, the “can't punish the fans” is a nonsense. if they get upset then their anger needs to be against the owners who got them into the shit in the first place. If it isn't, they are part of the problem.

- transfer ban for min. 2 years
- 20 points deducted this season and next.
- co-efficient / ranking points removed.
- large % revenue fine going straight to lower leagues in full.

Personally I think that's still lighter than it should be. Their crime was attempting to steal the game for themselves. That is unforgivable.

Stephen Vincent
52 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:41:49
Relegation just isn't going to happen, it would take at least 2 seasons for all the 6 to regain their places at the top table.

Transfer ban isn't an equitable punishment as City and Chelsea have so many players out on loan and such deep squads that it hardly be a punishment for them at all.

Since the redrawing of the Big Cup qualification rules favours the 6, I would reset their coefficients to zero making it unlikely that they could qualify by the back door for quite a few years.

Realistically, other than administrative exclusions there is unlikely to be any action taken by the PL.

If Everton push for points deductions this season we will inevitably be accused of being as self seeking as the 6, since we are one the clubs that would benefit the most from such action.

Kieran Kinsella
53 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:57:34

I admit I cringed a little writing that sentence— guilty of over selling my point

Tony McNulty
54 Posted 30/04/2021 at 15:54:44
Hi Si (#45),

That the owners of the six clubs behaved as they did, had little to do with the supporters of these clubs. In the same way it would have had little or nothing to do with me or you had Everton followed the same route. Your suggested fifteen points deduction could well make them miss out on Europe, and the fans of these clubs would indeed feel "punished" if they failed to get their “glory nights.”

However, as I suggested, what bothers me more is that if the fans of the six (many of whom were part of the “people power” that some owners have admitted led to the European project being stopped in its tracks) were to be on the receiving end of what they perceived to be an unjust or draconian punishment, they might do an about face and even support a revised European project: “we came out in support of killing this, we succeeded, and now we are being punished all the same, sod them, then.” And that in turn might encourage and embolden the powers-that-be within the six to have another go.

If it were a single club involved, then a points deduction or worse would probably be imposed (e.g. what happened to Rangers in Scotland). My sense here is that given the power and dominance of the six (their importance for any international TV deals, for example) realpolitik suggests to me that these clubs are unlikely to receive even the relatively mild sort the punishment you suggest. Of course, in an ideal world, I would be delighted with any points deduction which would do no harm to Everton's prospects.

The owners of the six might be licking their wounds at the moment, but neither they nor their ambitions have gone away.

Tony Everan
55 Posted 30/04/2021 at 16:16:07
I agree with those sentiments Tony, whilst (deserved) draconian sanctions may make us feel better, they might just play into the hands of the Greedy Six owners by shifting and dividing opinion.

Far better to be looking at the long game to protect the integrity of the Premier League and create a mechanism so that cartel like anticompetitive practices are outlawed.

Something like the FFF, (Football's For the Fan's ) could be created that sets a legally binding charter, backed by the government , of how we want the game to be run so it's fair and competitive for all.

Chris Williams
56 Posted 30/04/2021 at 16:20:10

If it isn't possible to punish these clubs after their recent behaviour because it punishes the fans, when and how can we ever punish them, now or in the event of future transgressions. Because surely any punishment of the clubs, by extension punishes the fans, even by proxy.

No punishment at all, ever, is the logical conclusion of following that line of reasoning isn't it? Or is it just a matter of the degree of severity of the punishment?

Tony McNulty
57 Posted 30/04/2021 at 16:55:14
Chris (#56)

Interesting. I guess if you are going down the punishment route, then is probably worth “disaggregating” what is meant by “clubs.” There are owners, directors, fans, players etc.

In this case, and assuming they could be “punished”, I guess the targets here would be the owners – the John Henrys of this world. Since their interest appears to be money not football, then hit them in their pockets. However, I suspect such owners would fight pretty hard if cornered in this way. And there may be collateral damage inevitably affecting others, such as the players, as well as the fans.

But there always is collateral damage in these situations. One analogy springs immediately to mind (although I haven't fully thought it through). When the top management of a commercial firm makes a decision which bankrupts the corporate entity, some innocent people (often at lower levels) are “punished” by losing their jobs.

I suppose the only place there is ever appropriate "punishment" will be at the entrance to the pearly gates (if these exist). As things stand, for the moment I can't see much punishment being meted out down here on earth.

Terry White
62 Posted 30/04/2021 at 18:11:22
1959, Folks


August 22, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express

John Carey Thinks The Time is Ripe and That Everton must be Ready to Qualifty.

The Everton Manager Is Interviewed by Leslie Edwards

How I wish every Everton fan could sit in the Everton office and listen as I did to John Carey's thoughtful forthright opinions on the game today, the game as it is likely to be and the game it was. This admirable man who ends (unlike me!) to look forward rather than back over the football years, is convinced that the best soccer is yet to be played. He doesn't subscribe to the view that thing are not what they were. On the contrary. He thinks present day League soccer is good – and probably faster than ever.

No doubt of it, John Carey is a progressive, a man not content to allow things to moulder in if there are chances of improving them. He believes that our football legislators can both improve football and widen its scope. “Football boomed for some seasons after the war” he told me. “Then it appeared to have its lean seasons. Now I think it is coming back. When you talk of spectators being lost to the game, you must not forget that were living in different times.

In the old days a man would always be content with his beer, his bacon and his spot spec on the terrace. People have more money to spend on golf, television, music, comedy, opera, holidays. Thus there is more competition than ever for League Football. How can the game widen it's scope and improve its standard?

John Carey feels that sooner or later football legislators must come to the conclusion that a European League is the answer. He doesn't doubt this will come, first with British clubs, in competition with clubs from near-European countries such as France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and later perhaps with a clubs from countries further afield. The possibility of a World Cup competition for clubs rather than nations is a possibility, he maintains.

A Pointer

The fact that preliminary meeting in connection with a European League have been held points John Carey thinks to be imminence of a European League in which the best English and Scottish clubs are certain to have a place. It is one of my jobs “he said to ensure that it and when a European League is a reality Everton are in a position to qualify for it.

It may seem odd that so many recent visits of English clubs to the continent have led to disturbances, but these difficulties I am sure can and will be overcome.

The Everton chief appreciates as do many others in football, that floodlit friendlies are not the attraction they were now the novelty of football under lights has worn thin. A European League would cause some reconstruction of the Football League in its present form. To have fewer clubs would make Leagues more manageable.

The idea of a First Division running in conjunction with a Super League is not insuperable, he considers. The Dutch already run competitions on those lines. The number of matches a first-class player can take in a season, John Carey believes is between 50 and 60. They could play more of course but if they were to they mightn't last as long in the game.

Best Of Both Worlds

The success of the European Cup competitions has whetted the appetites of fans in this country and they have shown beyond doubt that they want to see the best football from both worlds. “Initially we used to be able to hammer the Continental clubs ever time.” said the Everton Manager. “Now they often hammer use. Some of them cam show us a thing or two. The myth of their fallibility on the heavy grounds which our players experience in the mid-winter months, has long been exploded, I've seen them do their stuffs just as effectively on mud heaps as on the pitches watch are held to be better suited t their style.

“My basis for thinking that football is better than it was and that it will continue to profess is judged on the progress seen to be made in all other forms of spot. The figures in these more individual sports prove my point.

“I don't believe that football is the only sport which is moving in reverse. Why conjurors and acrobats “now warming with feat which held our grandfathers in aver! Youth eye's magnifies. The tendency is to over emphasize the ability of those we saw when we were young. There were bad teams had players, bad referees before the war, don't forget. Extraordinary, ‘isn't it, how we remember only the good things of the pass and scarcely over give a through to what wasn't so good?

John Carey is intrigued by news of the Gloucester City hypnotist, signed to put the ‘fluency on footballers and make them strong where they were weak. Says he. Managers have been doing this for years – without putting ‘em to sleep.

An oblique reference this, to the necessity for men in charge of footballers to be experts not only at football but in psychology. But it is not so much psychology I aim at” says Carey “as doing the right thing, the fair thing by players I believe in treating ‘em like men till they act like children. Then I treat ‘em like children.


That football is faster and more demanding John proves by the fact that Pre-War players were ready to retire at 32 or 33 years of age. In the ten years since the War, the tendency has been for players to continue playing until they were between 38 to 39. In the past season or two the trend has been for men to be at their best between 26 and 32 and then to fade.

“Whatever a player's age ‘ he's learning all the time or should be. Bur he doesn't really start to analyze his own game, and on immediate opponents and he's mid-way through the twenties. Then John Carey says he does it to such effect that he can “read” an opponent like a book and cajode him to do the things he wants him to do. In most play on his weakness.

On gamesmanship and all that, the Carey view is that too many managers condemn it publicity and condone it in private. There should be managerial discipline for players who infringe the laws and use tactics which bring the game into disrepute. Everton and Liverpool's supporters are wonderful, Mr. Carey says. Everton fans have been very patient and he asks them to be patient a little longer. Then they can expect results from the Carey plan to play attractive football designed to win matches.

He is working hard on the old Everton principle that the fundamental football is football with the ball on the turf. Too many passes go adrift he thinks. Too many big clearance kicks make defenders work easy where the slow, but sure ground approach pulls them this way and that and leaves em gasping.

Football crowds are learning to appreciate and applaud football artistry whether it is collective up individual. “The fans pay to see good football” says Carey, “and it's my job to see they get it.”

Chris Williams
63 Posted 30/04/2021 at 18:24:29

I'm not at all sure what the outcome to all this is going to be. All I can think is that whatever it is, it will please very few people, on the basis of the 3 Bears, as being too harsh, too lenient, and just maybe a few who think it's about right.

For it to be a valid punishment, it should be just and balanced, appropriate and impartial. It will also need to be legally sound I suppose.

It must both punish and deter, although the second of those may need to come in the form of whatever is decided in the review about regulation, fan involvement, Golden shares etc.

So punishment it will probably be. As to the fans, from what I've seen, and read, many will be just as likely to blame the owners as the authorities, so punishing them may not be the issue it's cracked up to be, nor should it be an issue, for the reason I gave earlier. It feels like sophistry at best and an excuse and a cop out at worst.

But we'll see at some point, but I suspect you may be right, and it may be Divine intervention required at a later date.

Chris Williams
64 Posted 30/04/2021 at 18:28:46

Blue Correspondent? Very good

You should read Billy Binghams views on professional referees in November 62.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Matthew Williams
65 Posted 30/04/2021 at 18:33:09
For me, the "Sly Six" have brought the game into disrepute and the footballing powers that be should punish them severely.

In hindsight the 14 teams of the Premier League should've forced them out for good; they wouldn't be missed in the long run and game would carry on regardless.

Chris Williams
71 Posted 30/04/2021 at 20:48:48

Peter Drucker, now you're talking.

Keynes, Galbraith, Drucker. 3 of my role models. Add in Dickens, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Pope, Yeats, Dylan, Van.

I'm a happy man!

Jay Wood

72 Posted 30/04/2021 at 20:52:12
Curious. How some fans outside of the soiled six are expressing concern at handing out too stringent sanctions against them for fear of:

1) encouraging them to continue pursuing their elitist plans (they will, regardless)

2) antogonising the supporters of those clubs presuming they will come out in support of such a move

IMO, this totally ignores the seriousness of the charges against them, as well as the considerably groundswell from their own supporters, as this latest story shows:

Man Utd Supporters Trust Disgust

Dale Self
73 Posted 30/04/2021 at 20:58:52
Unless fans protested the enhanced quality of the sides they were supporting, they are indeed culpable in the behavior of the club's management when carried out to its logical conclusion.

Not surprised by the ESL development and didn't raise any concern? Then don't be too sensitive about the consequences. Simples, as they say over there.

Andy Crooks
75 Posted 30/04/2021 at 21:03:43
I agree, Jay. When Rangers were relegated to the lowest tier in Scotland, their fans were punished and angry. Other clubs in the SPL suffered huge financial detriment. However, it was done because it was right, whatever the consequences.

There is no room for a fudge here.

Kieran Kinsella
81 Posted 30/04/2021 at 22:49:57

I suspect the 'powers that be' look at the six like big banks in 2008 and as “too big to fail” from a revenue standpoint for the EPL. As you say, that's Bs, they will continue to plot and you run into moral hazard risk if you don't act.

Aside from Rangers, Serie A variously relegated, fined or deducted points from every big club bar Inter about a decade ago. Marseilles, Champions of Europe, were relegated in France. So there are precedents for dropping the hammer on big boys... but I suspect they won't, based on reports saying the other 14 want to punish individuals, not clubs.

Rick Tarleton
83 Posted 01/05/2021 at 14:27:30
Sorry, normally I agree with 90% of what you write, Lyndon, but not this time. Is this act by the big six reprehensible? Yes. Is it pure greed? Yes. Is it selfish and self-serving ? Undoubtedly. However, it is part of that Americanisation which is affecting so many sports.

In cricket, we rarely see Buttler and Anderson playing for their home club. In Rugby League, traditional teams like Featherstone or Widnes are squeezed out to make room for Catalan or Toronto (cock up). In Rugby Union, there are frequent attempts to abolish promotion and relegation and spurious rules are invented to keep out the Cornish Pirates et alia.

The capitalist ethic of all sports means those with power and money want more. If we behave morally and punish them financially or by deductions or exclusions, we risk driving them back into their desired isolation.
Two further points: us "legacy" supporters are for teams in the twelve very much a minority. Liverpool or Man Utd supporters may protest at the ground, but the Chinese Inter Milan supporter I saw on the news thought it was a great idea. He didn't want to watch Inter v Verona when he could watch Inter play Barca etc every week.

And finally, forget that clubs belong to their supporters, particularly to legacy supporters. Everton belong to Mr Moshiri, not me or you or even Lyndon. He decides what happens, he paid an awful lot for that right. Anything else about The People's Club etc is sentimental crap.

Si Cooper
84 Posted 01/05/2021 at 14:38:00
Peter (60), ah, the good old everything's alright if it's ‘humorous' approach. Ever hear the phrase, there is a time and a place? I found your contribution to what is otherwise an interesting thread to be irritating because it's trite nonsense. I don't think everything on TW has to be reduced to insulting the rivals as much as possible.

Actually I don't sing ‘hang'. It would feel ridiculous since I wouldn't advocate doing that to anyone and I have otherwise wonderful family and friends who are sadly afflicted with loyalty to Liverpool. There are many other words you can substitute you know, or are you a stickler for sticking to the ‘right' words?

I am now so well used to Thomas Richards', ahem, ‘macho' posturing that his jibes don't even elicit even an basic eye roll anymore.

I'm for freedom of speech but if you don't recognise that publishing your ‘jests' online is no longer likely to be considered as simply akin to ‘earthy' crowd-chanting at football grounds then I do think you are behind the times.

Si Cooper
85 Posted 01/05/2021 at 14:49:20
Tony McNulty, I'm in agreement with Chris. Always collateral damage which is why the punishment needs to be proportionate.

All civilised societies have rules and punishments for those who transgress. Some things are for God to rule over but others fall into Caesar's remit.

Personally, I don't believe all fans of the six were aghast at the instigation of the ESL. Good for those who did speak out loud and clearly but a pox on their clubs' owners and those who were secretly rubbing their hands in glee and sorry about the fall-out.

Tony Abrahams
87 Posted 01/05/2021 at 15:31:57
Peter M, stick to the light-hearted stuff mate. I forgot to congratulate you on your newest grandchild the other week, and rather than being behind the times, I might suggest it's just a sign of the times, because life has become so literal for many people nowadays; almost robotic if you ask me.

when one of the most sensible people on this website, (I've never met Si, but that's how I view his posts) finds it easy to take things out of context, it honestly makes me sad for the future of the people, who don't always want to take life so seriously.

Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 01/05/2021 at 15:36:18
Tony (70), I don't think you could have asked for a much better boss, decent, principled and fun, very good, and of course you learned from him.
Kieran Kinsella
89 Posted 01/05/2021 at 15:40:02
Tony @87,

I think it's easy for disagreements to arise online because just reading some words doesn't tell you the whole story. Face to face you get the vibe of someone and the context they're speaking from.

I've read some posters on here over time who I thought were nutters and came to realize they're just having a laugh, likewise I've responded to some who I assumed were joking and it turned out they were nutters.

To Si's point though, there probably are nutters who take these kind of lyrics literally.

Jay Wood

91 Posted 01/05/2021 at 15:52:48
Si, I genuinely enjoy the insight you bring on football matters to TW which nicely contrasts to the absolutism of some on here.

But I think your calling out of Peter Mills is wrong on many levels and you yourself are guilty of applying your own absoutism in misinterpreting Peter as you have.

Peter is another fine contributor to the site with a long history and memory of all things Blue. He is insightful, knowledgeable, well-grounded and balanced. And yes, witty.

In no way do I regard him as someone delighting in deliberate provocation or gratuitous cheap slights using dubious 'humour'.

If you cannot discern the very evident heavy irony in his post that you take exception too, then I have to say the failing is yours. Your extreme condemnation of Peter is totally unjust, IMO, and in no way reflective or representative of how Peter conducts himself on TW.

You are way too reductive in your evaluation of Peter's post, Si.

Martin Mason
93 Posted 01/05/2021 at 16:10:56
Rick @33,

You're absolutely correct and that has always been my argument against people who come here demanding what the club should do, how they should play, etc. On the face of it, the fans have no say and no right whatsoever to demand or expect anything; we are customers, that is all.

But I realise now that owners are transient and merely custodians of the club, the fans are the continuing history, the permanence of the club you may say. The fans can be influential in how they can apply pressure by writing to the club and the ultimate sanction of just not buying the product.

I don't like the boo boys but it does have its place at the right time and the right duration, although it can be really bad for players. Silence is as effective as booing. We fans are key stakeholders although some overrate their importance to the club.

When it comes to the ESL 6, remember that a lot of their fans are good people and good fans; many were mortified at what happened and must not be punished. My own opinion is that the best punishment is to take no further action. The owners have made complete pricks of themselves anyway.

Tony McNulty
94 Posted 01/05/2021 at 17:08:46
Chris (76) I'd forgotten we'd discussed that guitar course with Renbourn. I still can't play Faro's Rag without making crass errors (although neither could John - he hadn't bothered to practise it before Crete).

Si (85) I am watching and waiting for the "punishment" to arrive. The authorities seem to be adopting the, "let a thousand flowers bloom" approach. I suspect the longer the delay, the lighter the ultimate sanctions. But in any case I'm not holding my breath.

Dave (88) Yes, a lot of the best of people pass when you feel they still had much more to contribute.

Rick Tarleton
98 Posted 01/05/2021 at 19:53:24
I'm not making any kind of moral judgement, morally the twelve are disgusting, but we need them around and the Ameriacan capitalist model is red in tooth and claw. It's simply about profit and greed.
Peter Mills
99 Posted 01/05/2021 at 21:19:32
Si, I meant no harm, irony can sometimes be laboured, and therefore misinterpreted. All the best.

Tony and Jay, thank you for your words.

Si Cooper
100 Posted 01/05/2021 at 22:20:26
Peter, very fair of you if I overreacted to what was intended to be light-hearted. I take the support of others I consider to be excellent contributors to be overwhelmingly persuasive and I do genuinely apologise. Please put it down to being a bit stressed when ‘looking forward' to our latest ‘do or die' challenge. What a disappointment that turned out to be.

For the record, I am intensely interested in finding out what people will consider to be a reasonable response to this provocative assault on the foundations of the game. I personally believe a weak response would be a bigger invite to more of the same in the future from the already over-privileged than any backlash caused by upsetting their supporters.

Peter Mills
101 Posted 02/05/2021 at 09:40:32
Cheers Si. Over and done with.
Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 02/05/2021 at 09:55:01
I believe that a strong punishment might do the same, Si, but that's because I live in a city amongst Liverpudlians, and feel their outrage would be even worse if their club is rightfully punished.

One of two things would probably happen, the punished fans will either demand that their current owners are forced to sell, or more likely in some cases, they demand their clubs now form a super league, so interesting times are still ahead of us.

After watching us last night though, maybe it's better if these clubs don't get punished too much, because the current Everton team would embarrass us if we got to play European football right now, although this is just my own opinion!

Danny O’Neill
103 Posted 02/05/2021 at 10:03:18
This is going to be a very delicate balancing act by the authorities.

They have momentum and the backing of the vast majority of supporters to inflict punishment. Including that of the clubs involved, although my understanding is many of those see it as a means of outing owners, not punishment on the clubs or the fans.

The authorities will take their time. Maybe even allow the storm to pass and hope it goes away.

As I have done from the onset of this, what I think should happen and what I believe will happen are two very separate things.

Andy Crooks
104 Posted 02/05/2021 at 10:05:06
Well done Pete and Si, two open minded Blues.
Danny O’Neill
105 Posted 02/05/2021 at 10:10:34
Like Pete and Si, the vast majority of us are on here Andy.

Even as we sit here licking our wounds on this Sunday morning!

Si Cooper
106 Posted 02/05/2021 at 14:47:24
Tony (102), yes the punishment has to have the ‘Goldilocks' element. That is why my ‘proposed' punishment of around a 15 point deduction at the start of next season (and reducing their coefficient if that remains a thing) doesn't amount to any of them assuredly missing out on anything.
It would just be a noticeable handicap to them which might just exclude some of them from the top 6 places and would (hopefully) mean the top spot wouldn't be settled until right at the end of the season (unlike at the moment when it can easily be April or even March).
Just a bit of jeopardy for their expected European jollies for a season at most. Would that make a reasonable supporter froth at the mouth over the ‘injustice' of it?
Tony Abrahams
107 Posted 02/05/2021 at 15:13:24
That's how far ahead of the rest that some of these clubs are Si, because I'd still back them to claim at least 3 of the champions lge places if your suggested punishment (minus 15 points) actually happened?

I've just seen the United fans on the pitch, and I'd feel sorry for them if they got punished for something that has been out of their hands, since the Glazier's got their dirty paws on United.

I'd honestly prefer to see these clubs get a two year transfer ban, but I'm not sure on what grounds this would be possible?

Charles Brewer
108 Posted 02/05/2021 at 17:53:48
Given the fun and games at Old Trafford this afternoon, I think ManU should get a 20 point penalty for poor security. And since we can't be sure it wasn't RS fans who did this (they do have form), they can have a 20 point penalty too - after all, it has long been a football tradition that the innocent are punished with the guilty.
Michael Lynch
109 Posted 02/05/2021 at 17:59:40
Gary Neville reckons it was a good idea to call off the game between the Red Devils and Satan's Spawn because the RS coach carrying the players might have been in danger from missiles. I don't know how he managed to keep a straight face to be honest.

Barry Hesketh
110 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:32:23
Sky Sports report that the Premier League and the FA are to introduce a revised/new owners charter to prevent clubs from playing or forming new competitions.

The Premier League has now put in place a new set of measures to stop any future attempt of a breakaway division, which include additional rules and regulations and a new owners' charter that all club owners will be required to sign up to committing them to the core principles of the competition.

An FA spokesperson said: "Since we became aware of the European Super League our priority and focus has been on preventing it from happening, both now and in the future.

"Throughout this period, we have been in ongoing discussions with the Government, the Premier League and UEFA.

"In particular, we have been discussing legislation with Government that would allow us to prevent any similar threat in the future so that we can protect the English football pyramid.

"Last week, we started an official inquiry into the formation of the European Super League and the involvement of the six English clubs.

"We wrote to all of the clubs to formally request all relevant information and evidence regarding their participation. Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriate steps to take."

Open Competition

Jay Wood

111 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:23:03
Just seen that myself Barry.

Things progressing as I suggested they might earlier in this thread. The PL and the English FA are making moves to ensure its members cannot be blindsided by such a move again whilst continuing to gather evidence against those involved before deciding on what sanctions to hand out.

Whether UEFA is doing likewise is unclear, given President Ceferin's rapid 'welcome back' he delivered to the errant English teams.

Gary Willock
113 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:07:03
According to the BBC the 9 clubs who gave up on the ESL quickly have agreed to pay £13m BETWEEN them (plus 5% of CL revenues, but not until 2 years down line).

In return they have been given back their places in European Club Association.

In other words a complete and utter whitewash. For trying to steal the whole game. Utter joke.

Will Mabon
114 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:22:58
More an insult than a joke, Gary. More to come so we'll see where it goes but don't expect what most would consider commensurate fines.

Aside, I'm not comfortable with the increasing reference to and involvement of "Government".

Jay Wood

115 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:26:34
Gary, you need to be clear about this report. This is UEFA's claimed penalthy against the 9 clubs - not just the English clubs - that withdrew from the ESL within 48 hours. Different sanctions will be applied to the 3 clubs who have yet to renounce the initiative. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus.

Whilst I agree a fine of £13 million between all 9 clubs is a pittance for the wealth they generate and the crime they attempted, it's still too premature to describe it as a complete and utter whitewash as you do and an utter joke.

Let's see what the PL, the FA and the British Government itself intend. If it is as limp-wristed as UEFA's declared punishment, then yes. The governing bodies will deserve all the scorn that comes their way.

I remain patient in waiting to see how this plays out for the English clubs.

Tony Everan
116 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:26:59
The greedy six will be opening the champagne, a 1.5m fine and 5% of any UEFA revenue.

Then a threat of a big fine 89m if they try it again

..they were going to get a guaranteed 300m for just signing up to it, so it's not the greatest deterrent is it?

What are UEFA ? , they are in bed with these teams.

This amounts to less than a slap on the wrist it's more like a pat on he back.

It's almost like they are saying to them “ we'll sort something out together with an all new protectionist cartel style champions league . We'll employ the worlds best PR machines, and split the money”.

It stinks.

I just hope now our own governing bodies and government review produces something that is far more reaching and legally binding in protecting the game from these vultures.

Barry Hesketh
117 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:31:06
The only hope is that the National bodies decide to issue a more proportionate punishment, UEFA cannot in all honesty be expected to shoot the goose that laid the golden egg, but the Premier League can make it difficult for the sickly six to actually play on the European stage if they have a mind to. But I won't hold my breath.
Gary Willock
118 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:35:21
Jay, I'm not really sure how hoping “someone else” punishes them instead prevents a whitewashing/Joke conclusion, nor which bit of my post was unclear. UEFA was most at risk from the move, and has now set the tone for wrist slapping at most. Patience is a virtue, but likely a naive one with this. The time to act was during the anger.
Jay Wood

119 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:56:05
Simple, Gary. Your earlier post presents the News as final, a closing of the case. It isn't.

'The time to act was during the anger.'

Two things:

1) Why? The other 14 members of the Premier League and the Premier League itself has announced on more than one occassion that it is gathering the evidence and seeking consensus on suitable punishment and how best to prevent a repetition. A far more sensible course of action to head off the inevitable lawsuits that will follow than immediately hitting out in anger as you propose (doing what, exactly?).

2) The anger remains. Or have you not seen the Soiled Six's own fans' hostile reaction to it, or read of the anger from the other 14 clubs and other invested players?

As I said, if the national governing bodies are as wishy-washy as Uefa appear to be in this statement, then all concerned will fully deserve the scorn that will inevitably come their way. IMO it remains way too premature to presume, as you have, that this constitutes an end to the matter.

It doesn't.

Kieran Kinsella
120 Posted 07/05/2021 at 22:02:48

The Sun reporting that the Premier League plan to fine them "heavily" as well as Uefa's ban. Also, The Telegraph suggesting Real, Barce and Juve will get a 2-year Champions League ban. Ironically, Juve may not qualify for next season anyway as they're in a battle for 4th.

Gary Willock
121 Posted 07/05/2021 at 23:16:25
Jay - the only thing my post was missing was stating that this was Uefa punishment rather than in total. I gave the source for anyone to go and read the full statement. Not sure it required a lecture and dissection.

My personal opinion is that Uefa was the scorned party and this is their ‘forgive and forget' message to the rest. Time will tell if that's correct, and you're prepared to wait and hope; I'd rather be pissed at it now, thanks.

Jay Wood

122 Posted 07/05/2021 at 23:24:15
Tetchy, Gary.

My posts were doing exactly what your own posts have. Offering an opinion on something that concerns pretty much all footy fans.

I believe that's still allowed on TW.

Gary Willock
123 Posted 07/05/2021 at 23:29:41
“Tetchy” says the one picking unnecessary holes in a short post, and then throwing the word “tetchy” about. Look up “oxymoron” if we're starting on the slurs now.
Jay Wood

124 Posted 07/05/2021 at 23:53:44
Where have I been tetchy, Gary?

Look, if you don't like people engaging with you in a civil manner (which I did) and offering an alternative view to your own (which is allowed), just preface your posts with the following:

'My viewpoint is the only valid one and any alternative opinions are not welcome.'

Problem solved.

Paul Turner
125 Posted 08/05/2021 at 09:10:00
This from the BBC News website:

Nine of the original European Super League clubs, including the Premier League's 'big six', have been given a financial punishment by Uefa.

The nine - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, plus AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid - have also committed to the European governing body and its competitions.

However, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are set to face "appropriate action" under Uefa's disciplinary process.

The trio have refused to renounce the breakaway league.

The ESL was announced on 18 April but within 48 hours the plans had fallen apart with the English clubs withdrawing after fan protests and UK government pressure.

The nine clubs have agreed to make a combined 15m euros (£13.4m) goodwill contribution to benefit children's and grassroots football across Europe.

They will also have 5% of Uefa competition revenues withheld for one season, starting in 2023-24, and this money will be redistributed, including in the UK.

That's just £1.5M each...

Danny O’Neill
126 Posted 08/05/2021 at 09:37:41
And so the under the carpet sweeping commences.

We've "punished" them, so let's move on, nothing to see here.

Colin Glassar
127 Posted 08/05/2021 at 09:46:52
There will not even be the token “slap on the wrist” as that could lead to bruising and allegations of assault.

Best to just let them keep on plotting in secret until they are caught again.

I can't believe that the tories might be our best hope for introducing regulations to save our game.

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