Reader Comments (12)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 03/05/2021 at 18:25:46
They can talk the talk, but that's the easy bit.

Until we can see actual changes cast into legislation protecting the competitiveness and integrity of the Premier League absolutely nothing will have been achieved.

All stakeholders have to be on their most diligent guard against ‘codes of conduct' and other expertly crafted PR ruses.

Some greedy clubs owners will be lobbying like fury to get something dressed up as reasonable but pathetically meaningless through. If they fail , then it will by means of legal threat.

This is no time for fudges, it's time to draw a legal line in the sand once and for all.

The huge majority of fans of all clubs want to see competitive sport and a meritocracy, not cartel-like anticompetitiveness and protectionism that would be the death of football as we know it.

Bobby Mallon
2 Posted 03/05/2021 at 22:03:46
The greedy six will not be punished in an appropriate manner, eg, points deducted, transfer bans, huge fines. They will be told: "Don't do it again or a, b, c will happen." They will then start a new breakaway league – it's just a matter of when.
Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 04/05/2021 at 06:11:42
This ESL was supposed to be 6 English clubs and 3 each from Italy and Spain and it was mentioned 5 to be invited to make up a total of 20 but have the other 3 "permanent" members ever been named or has it just been assumed as PSG, Bayern and Dortmund?

As a measure of their contrition perhaps those English clubs wishing to avoid being penalized might like to name all clubs spoken to and/or willing to participate. Or maybe UEFA might like to ask the Real Madrid President, who was to head this breakaway league, if he might like to advise with whom he has these "unbreakable" signed legal contracts and who else he expected to make up the numbers and then we all might understand the full extent of the duplicity.

Tony Ateman
4 Posted 04/05/2021 at 09:09:39
Doesn't the EPL need 75% of vote to implement new regs? Assuming the Dirty half dozen vote against it that's only 70%
Stan Schofield
5 Posted 04/05/2021 at 10:11:34
Tony@4: I think the dirty 6 will be limited in any voting they have on new regs needed in response to their behaviour. These are new and special circumstances requiring unprecedented arrangements and measures.
Brian Harrison
6 Posted 04/05/2021 at 10:27:29
I don't see any measures that the Premier league could bring in or UEFA to stop these clubs trying again to come up with a formula more acceptable to their fans. Even if the government had the power to ban any games in the new ESL being played in this country, they would just move the games to Europe, America and the middle east. And I think clubs would fight that in the courts.

Lifetime bans wont work as both UEFA and the Premier league would allow these clubs back in as without them their finances would be depleted. I think the only way they may persuade these clubs to stay in the Premier league and UEFA is to allow them to opt out of any future TV deals and allow them to sell their games independently. Seems these clubs biggest gripe is its unfair that the TV money is spread evenly when they have the most watched games on TV. UEFA have already started to implement the new system were clubs who fail to qualify for the Champions league via their league position but who have a good history in Europe then 2 clubs will be given wildcards. Maybe these clubs will want the wildcard to be increased to 4 or 6 over time.

Chris Williams
7 Posted 04/05/2021 at 11:00:10
14 votes is sufficient to carry any rule change. Or any punishment. An independent tribunal may also need to be involved given the obvious legal issues. This could happen quite quickly as there seems to be quite an appetite for it, although the scope of this needs to be seen as proportionate.

The FA/PL/Government Review or legislation/EUFA could also be involved in any future action. Which could take time.

We'll see soon enough I guess.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 04/05/2021 at 11:58:26
Chris #7 "An independent tribunal may also need to be involved given the obvious legal issues".

Chris, do you think that, beyond a tribunal, this could drag on into the courts. If so, with possible appeals at each stage, this could take some time yet?

Chris Williams
9 Posted 04/05/2021 at 12:51:00

I think the mechanism for changing the PL rules is already there and 14 clubs are needed to vote for it, which shouldn't be an issue. That could be done quite quickly.

The mechanism for a points deduction and fines is already there, and need 14 clubs to support it. They can also expel a club using the same process, but that and the punishments can use a tribunal, which may be sensible. That could be done less quickly, but shouldn't involve the courts, because it would be following the PL rules. But I'm sure the lawyers will be eager to pursue it, given half a chance.

The FA also has a role to play, as the ‘regulator ‘ of football, and I'm not sure what they will do, but if they endorse the PL decisions, it won't harm. But I'm not confident about them, because of the layers of old farts in suits that might be involved. But we'll see.

Both these parties are currently undertaking an enquiry, and hopefully that won't take too long. That will inform the punishments. I've read that there is real anger driving this, in both organisations, and among the 14 clubs, and maybe we shouldn't discount this.

The anger of the fans, as we've seen, is real too. Most of this is against the owners, and Man U, has other factors other than the ESL, driving their anger too. But if the anger is real among all the fans of these clubs, the talk of punishing the fans is maybe overplayed. They are possibly as likely to blame the owners for any penalties levied against their clubs, as they are he authorities. In any case, any club punishment, for anything, punishes the fans, by proxy.

You can only punish the clubs as entities, because it's the clubs that have broken the rules. It may be the owners that have driven it, but it was through the clubs. And it was a serious attempt to hijack football, and any punishment should reflect that. We'll see.

UEFA has a role to play, and I'm not sure how that will play out.

The government has a role to play with legislation and a fan led review and independent regulator, and that will certainly take time. Arguably it should, and here is where the Hope lies for real change and better controls maybe. This is where the real punishment for the owners may reside.

So we'll see Brent, but we might see rule changes and Charters first, punishments second, unless they announce it as a package. I doubt that everybody will be satisfied by what emerges. It the 3 Bears, too harsh, not harsh enough, just right.

Interesting times.

Dennis Stevens
10 Posted 04/05/2021 at 12:52:54
Short term retribution is very appealing but longer term protection of the game is far more important - not that it's an either or situation, of course. I wonder whether any Government legislation in support of the Football authorities might include the prevention of broadcasters showing coverage of any unauthorised breakaway competition in the UK.

A number of measure need to be put in place to make the option of any proposed Super League, or suchlike, seem like a huge, high risk, gamble for any clubs contemplating such a move. They need to feel they really have a lot to lose if they take the leap & fall flat on their faces. Otherwise, there really is no reason not to expect it all to happen again, but better organised & better presented. Then it may be too late to take meaningful action.

Ian Burns
11 Posted 04/05/2021 at 12:57:23
The bottom line to come out of this ill-fated ESL episode will be some form of legislation which will ban clubs a) being part of a breakaway league; or b) if they do move to form a new ESL, then they forfeit the right to play in their domestic league, in our case the PL.

Any other punitive punishment will be in the form of a fine.

As much as some of us would like to see a points deduction, the truth is the 6 have far too much pulling power on worldwide viewing figures from which the PL clubs as a whole depend.

Too much clamour for a lynching might end up with us shooting ourselves in the foot, as would the implementation of a 50+1 rule – it would set EFC back years.

Gary Willock
12 Posted 04/05/2021 at 14:06:57
“Oh noooo! They're just TOO BIG, we may all lose money. Let's just roll over, have our tummies tickled and them get away with it.”

Just don't get this argument at all. It's almost as money grabbing as they've been by trying to steal the whole game.

20-point deductions for each of next 2 years, and transfer bans, will still give them a fighting chance. In theory, it could even make the whole thing more exciting knowing Man City could still win it, and Arsenal and Spurs could be fighting for lives.

Fans from all over the world will still watch it. Indeed, some of them may actually pick Leicester City, West Ham Utd, or Everton as their new favourites. and that will then be punishment.

Whilst we're contemplating pacifist policies, so will the powers that be. If they choose money over justice, they should be next in line for the anger and backlash we saw.

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