Dave's Random Football Rants

Discussion in 'The Sports Arena' started by Dave, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Dave

    Dave Administrator
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    Real football, not the type of football you play with your hands...

    1. The Champions League has turned into everything that's wrong with European football

    People always say that they would feel the same, even if they didn't have a personal bias. It's a train of thought that helps people to strengthen their part in a debate. But honestly, does anyone feel as though the Champions League is anything more than a tip of the cap to the big 4 leagues in Europe? The actual notion of this competition being for Champions is nothing more than a joke at the expense of actual league champions.

    Of course, I should qualify this by saying that I have a particular bias in this argument. Celtic now have to start the Champions League qualification process in the first qualifying round. And although they are seeded, have to play 4 qualifiers before the competition proper. That means that Celtic will play more Champions League games than the eventual champions of the competition, should they qualify for the group phase.

    More and more, this competition reeks of backhand deals that protect the status quo - it stinks. And all of that so that the team who finish 4th in the English, Spanish and German leagues don't have to play 1 qualifier? Bloody abhorrent.
     
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  2. Rainbow Yaz

    Rainbow Yaz Sing about me, I'm dying of thirst

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    Part of me totally gets this argument. I was messing around on ESPN the other day looking at the latest transfers and noticed that Celtic was playing some team from Armenia just to qualify. To me, that is absurd. It is the Champion's League, emphasis on Champion. I understand that the 4th place team in England or Spain is going to be better than the champion of Bulgaria or Latvia, but is the third place team from Russia really so much better than the champion of Scotland or Poland that they get to come in at a later stage?

    On the other hand, I get it the argument for the way it currently is. The big four leagues (five if you want to count Ligue 1) generate much more revenue than the leagues further down the European pecking order. Money talks, and people are much more like to pay to see a Liverpool or a Napoli than they are a Cork City or an Ajax.

    My issue with that though (much like your own), is the Champion's League is a direction representation of what most European top level leagues have become, top heavy. Since 2000, only two teams not named Barcelona or Real Madrid have won in Spain (Valencia twice and Atletico Madrid). Bayern Munich have won the last six German titles. Only twice since the English Premier League switched formats has there been a winner that wasn't Man U, City, Chelsea, or Arsenal. Juventus has won the last seven Italian titles. PSG has dominated France. Even Celtic are the only team to win a title in Scotland since the two leagues merged. It is just the same teams over and over getting the big prize checks and being able to spend more money to get the best players. If you are a fan of a team that isn't a European powerhouse, it sucks, because it isn't likely to change anytime soon, unless you get some spiffy new billionaire Middle Eastern owner.
     
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  3. Lee

    Lee WZCW's Titus
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    The thing that annoys me with it is players want to play for a champions league club. You can play week in week out at a club like Everton/Newcastle or the like or sit on the bench for Man City. They'll pick Man City because "they want to play for a champions league club".

    Heck we robbed Spurs 35mil for Sissoko for that very reason!
     
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  4. Dave

    Dave Administrator
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    I don't dispute that the big leagues generate more money but UEFA have 100% sold out to these leagues. Ultimately, UEFA have a responsibility to ALL of European football to try and grow the game. In actual fact though, they are stifling growth in developing European footballing nations by closing up the shop and keeping massive sums of money away from them. Think of what European football could be if more nations were represented in the Champions League. Everything that UEFA should stand for has been totally forgotten by the allure of vast sums of money.

    I never buy that excuse anyway. For me, that's just code for "I want more money". Look at someone like Raheem Sterling when he moved to City. "I want to win trophies" was his excuse. When, in reality, he was in it for the money. Liverpool are always in the hunt for trophies, so it was clearly bull****.

    Let me ask you though, doesn't it bother you that Newcastle will probably not play Champions League football for the foreseeable future? The gap between the big 6 in the EPL is seemingly getting bigger and bigger these days with clubs like Newcastle being left behind. Newcastle is a community club, great roots, passionate fans and a massive history. Yet, thanks to the lopsided money payments, they are being left behind.
     
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  5. Rainbow Yaz

    Rainbow Yaz Sing about me, I'm dying of thirst

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    Here is a rant of my own. I'm sick of the MLS All-Star game. I enjoy the MLS. It isn't the EPL, far from it, but the quality of the league as a whole is typically comparable to the Championship League these days. The MLS has plenty of flaws, like no threat of regulation keeps teams like San Jose from fielding a proper team while they try to pay off debts, and I understand that bringing in a European squad to play against puts eyes on the league, but is a meaningless exhibition game against a European powerhouse that just started their off season training the best way to show how far the league has come?

    The results are there. Since '05 when Fulham was invited over, the All-Star squad has been competitive.
    4-1 over FUlham
    1-0 over Chelsea
    2-0 over Celtic
    3-2 over West Ham
    1-1 PK loss to Everton
    2-5 loss to Man U
    0-4 loss to Man U
    3-2 over Chelsea
    1-3 loss to Roma
    2-1 over Bayern (which pissed Pep off so bad he refused the post game hand shake)
    2-1 over Spurs
    1-2 loss to Arsenal
    1-1 PK los to Madrid
    1-1 PK loss to Juventus

    Other than those two Man U thumpings, the MLS side shows their talent, but most games see the European squad fielding their B team (Ronaldo was not with the Juventus side last week or Madrid last year for example) and most guys only play for about thirty minutes. Each team only had one player each who started and played into the second half this year.

    On the surface, when you see the MLS squad gets the results listed, it seems like a good thing, but they are beating the European giants in name only. I aspire for a day when our domestic league can grow on its own merit, and not on the backs of aging European stars.
     
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  6. Dave

    Dave Administrator
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    The MLS is still a bit of mystery to most people on this side of the pond, to be honest. I remember trying to play a season on Football Manager as an MLS team and I have never been more confused as a football fan in my entire life. The transfers and salary caps (at the time, don't know if they still exist) made it really challenging and put me off playing it for long.

    That said, the MLS all star game is a decent idea but you're right, most teams will play their B team and will be very, very early into their pre season work. Don't get me wrong, it's a great piece of marketing for the MLS and it draws a fair bit of attention but it is a meaningless game at the end of it all.

    That said, the MLS is improving year on year. A lot of good players are going there and playing well. Getting Ibrahimovic lately has been a real coup and he's tearing it up over there. The MLS have did a good job of attracting big name players and it'll only help grow the game. The real issue is that they have Americanised football and European fans don't like the changes they made, I expect.
     
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  7. Lee

    Lee WZCW's Titus
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    It annoys me we have a Champions league winning manager who's not getting the support. He has a 10 year project for the club from academy up but Ashley wants us to scrape staying up and make some money.
     
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  8. Rainbow Yaz

    Rainbow Yaz Sing about me, I'm dying of thirst

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    You are spot on about the MLS putting an very American spin on the game. I get that. The sport as a whole is growing here, just like the league, but they really had to put a pro America vibe to it. If you look at the highest paid players in the league you have the aging European stars like Zlatan, David Villa, and formerly Kaka alongside older USMNT players like Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, and Tim Howard. Aside from Bradley and Jozy Altidore (who ironically play in Toronto) the only real American who is on a Designated Player salary who is worth a damn these days is Dom Dwyer and he in actually English, but has US citizenship and played a few games with the USMNT.

    The salary cap is still in place, because salary caps in American sports are the norm. Outside of MLB (which makes teams pay a luxury tax is they go over a certain team salary) each major sports league has a salary cap to prevent teams in major markets or teams with super rich owners from just buying up the best talent. It creates a more competitive league, allowing teams in smaller US markets like Milwaukee or Indianapolis or New Orleans to compete on a similar level to teams in New York or Chicago or LA. The trade system and draft are also still in place and will likely never go away since they are also staples of American sports.
     
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