We need a strong FIFA and UEFA
By Anthony Kendrick - Follow him on Twitter @Antonthology
There is talk of a World Super League. There is an article in the Daily Mirror which is what has driven me to write this. In the article, it suggests that there will be the top teams from Europe, the USA, and China. This is a possibility for the future, but how realistic is it? I'm not so sure.
However, the Champions League format is changing. The 32 teams in the Group Stage and the top seeds will remain domestic champions. The teams finishing in the top four of Serie A, Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga will all be guaranteed Group Stage football. And the coefficients will be made of the individual clubs rather than the country. Along with this, there could be weekend games. These changes help the big teams, and it could be argued that they slow down talk of the World League.
Also in the news this week is a review on UEFA Financial Fair Play rules coming in. They have said that it benefits the big clubs. And it does. It is a nice thing to say to have clubs spending within their means, but in the reality, it stops smaller clubs being able to compete. Manchester United will make more in earnings than Hull City, and can therefore go out and sign whoever they want. The fact that they have gone out and signed Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic just shows this. Granted, they have recouped a large amount on shirt sales and Ibrahimovic was a free transfer. But could a small Premier League club make these signings, even if a rich owner decided the money was available? Under FFP, they couldn't.
As I said on the podcast, I hope that the Madrid clubs are dealt with by the authorities. I defended them for rejected the bans, and my fear is that we get a repeat of the Barcelona situation. In this case, the ban was delayed which enabled Barcelona to spent well over £100m. This including the big signings of first team players Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and goalkeepers ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo. I defended the authorities on the podcast and I hope that they continue to be strong on this issue of transferring under 18 players.
We need to ensure that there is a balance struck between the bigger and smaller clubs being supported. It is easy to say that we should do nothing for the big boys, and just make sure the smaller clubs are given everything they can. But this does nothing to solve the problem, and in effect it makes this World Super League even more likely. The most important thing is for strong leadership. I hope Infantino is the man to change FIFA, and that whoever we bring in as UEFA boss, they put a lot of thought into making football fair for all.