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  #2541  
Old 25-04-2021, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Stellavista View Post
No sign of any punishments whatsoever? F*cking disgraceful.
I actually think this will backfire further in the direction of an opposing consciousness against these big clubs, without even a slap on the wrist we all feel justice hasn't been done. It has awaken a collective general mood that they haven't addressed, well I hope so, it just needs fans to keep talking about it and doing things about it.
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Old 25-04-2021, 06:59 PM
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The obvious penalty would be a ban from European competition for at least a season for all 6. It would hit them in the pocket and would give 6 other clubs a chance to rake in some cash and close the gap slightly. It won’t happen though, why? Because UEFA would feel they’ll lose money without the prestigious English clubs not involved.

Personally, would just like to use the punishment to take back power from the scum 6.
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Old 25-04-2021, 07:20 PM
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If they don't punish the clubs then the next time there's some club that gets docked for some BS infraction all hell will break loose.
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Old 25-04-2021, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Stellavista View Post
No sign of any punishments whatsoever? F*cking disgraceful.
If no punishment handed out this week I would guess there going for the time is a great healer and fans will forget and lose interest if we do nothing not sure that will work .
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Old 25-04-2021, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bubbs11 View Post
The obvious penalty would be a ban from European competition for at least a season for all 6. It would hit them in the pocket and would give 6 other clubs a chance to rake in some cash and close the gap slightly. It won’t happen though, why? Because UEFA would feel they’ll lose money without the prestigious English clubs not involved.

Personally, would just like to use the punishment to take back power from the scum 6.
They should definitely ban Real Madrid for next season. Their owner is actively saying the ESL will still happen and he is working hard on a solution.
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Old 25-04-2021, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MFBias View Post
I actually think this will backfire further in the direction of an opposing consciousness against these big clubs, without even a slap on the wrist we all feel justice hasn't been done. It has awaken a collective general mood that they haven't addressed, well I hope so, it just needs fans to keep talking about it and doing things about it.
Not sure I agree.
There is absolutely nothing any of us can do to harm these big clubs.
They have got away with it so far and they will continue to get away with it.
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Old 25-04-2021, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bipe View Post
Like many others I have been mulling this over during quiet moments in the past week or so.

My very earliest football memory was the 1978 FA Cup Final, Ipswich vs Arsenal. It was a couple of weeks before my sixth birthday. My dad introduced me to the cup final ritual, watching the build up, Tizer, some crisps and peanuts as a special treat. Then the game itself, like all cup finals seemed to be back then Wembley was bathed in hot sunshine and the sweat-drenched blue and yellow kits left an indelible impression. Ipswich’s victory in that final marked the start of a golden era for them as they regularly challenged right at the top of the table. The title eluded them but they came agonisingly close in 1981, pipped by Aston Villa on the final day.

A year after that Ipswich win I watched Nottingham Forest win the first of their two successive European Cups. Then in 1980 second division West Ham won the FA Cup on another gloriously sunny day. As we moved into the 1980s Watford came all the way up through the divisions to finish second in the top flight at the first time of asking. Swansea had done something similar a year or two previously, looking like genuine title challengers during the first half of their debut season before fading a little to finish sixth. The likes of Southampton, West Brom and Norwich also enjoyed strong seasons, it was not unusual for a team like that to finish high up.

Everyone feared Liverpool in the 1980s, they had objectively proven themselves to be the strongest team in Europe, possibly the world, over a sustained period. But they had done so on merit, with the best recruitment, the best tactics and the best coaching. No-one could replicate their success but it wasn’t down to money, they weren’t outspending everyone else. At around the same time as serial under-achievers Manchester United were splurging £1m on mega-flop Garry Birtles, Liverpool invested £300k in some kid called Ian Rush from Chester who few people had heard of. But most decent sized clubs could spend big every now and again – when Palace got promoted in 1979 we splashed out £650k on our own flop Mike Flanagan, a fee which wasn’t that far off the £1m British record which Forest had paid for Trevor Francis the previous season.

For all the big teams bar Liverpool, a poor season in the league wasn’t finishing fifth, it was finishing fifteenth or lower. But if they won a cup then the fans were generally OK with that – winning silverware was valued more highly than pursuing a fourth place finish. The likes of Manchester United and Spurs used to finish in the bottom half of the table reasonably regularly. Chelsea and Manchester City of course both spent plenty of time outside the top flight altogether. Even as we moved into the premier league era Arsenal endured several seasons of mid-table mediocrity until Arsene Wenger arrived and changed everything.

There was a reason for this. Although sponsorship was starting to come into the game, TV money was largely an irrelevance since so few matches were shown live and the vast majority of clubs’ income came from gate receipts. The founding fathers of the league had decreed, as people started to attend en masse, that gate receipts should be shared between the home and away sides, an egalitarian method which ensured spreading of the income. If you were a club like Manchester United who enjoyed large crowds most weeks then over the course of the season your income would be higher, but not by huge amounts as a chunk of that money would go across to every away side which rolled into town. This recognised that, whether the game was a thriller, a dull 0-0 or a crushing home win, it involved two teams who were equally responsible for the spectacle people were paying to see.

Another crucial rule which the Victorians had put in place was that no owner of a football club should extract money from it, by way of a salary or dividends. Originally this encouraged people to get involved in running a club on altruistic grounds, recognising the crucial role these entities played in acting as a community anchor. Being associated with a successful club might have some spin-off benefit if you ran the local meat pie factory or whatever, but you gave up your time voluntarily. Over the years the boundaries became a little blurred and owners found ways around the system, most obviously by creaming off a portion of the cash gate receipts and then under-reporting the attendance figures to keep the accountants and the taxman happy. Ron Noades of course was well known for this, the most obvious example I recall being the 1989 play-off game against Swindon when a laughably low crowd of just over 20,000 was recorded. But this was really only playing at the edges, the footballing equivalent of fiddling the electric meter or bumping up an insurance claim.

Noades was one of a new breed of owners and chairmen coming into football in the 1980s, along with the likes of Ken Bates at Chelsea, Irving Scholar at Spurs and the odious sex offender Martin Edwards at Manchester United, who only got a foot in the door to start with because his dad had previously owned the club – nepotism at it’s finest. These people were more brash, more commercial, and they could see the financial opportunities that football was starting to offer. Edwards in particular was at the vanguard of seeking change to his own and his club’s personal advantage, his infamous statement ‘the smaller clubs are bleeding the game dry and they need to be put out of their misery’ preceding a decision by the FA that going forward, there would no longer be any sharing of gate receipts between the home and away teams.

An immediate advantage for the bigger clubs, but what about these people who ran them? They were still stymied by the rule about directors not drawing any income out of the club, a measure which had stood the test of time for 100 or so years. Irving Scholar and his advisors found the answer. They created a holding company with the original football club as a subsidiary, then transferred ownership of the ground into the holding company. The parent company could then charge the club rent to play at the stadium they previously owned, and this company was not bound by the same rules as it wasn’t a football club, just a standard commercial enterprise. As such the directors of the parent (in practice the same people as the directors of the club) could then extract as much money as they were able to via the rent being charged to the club.

Others including Ron Noades at Palace soon caught on to this ruse and followed suit. Now some on these board have over the years vehemently defended Noades’ actions as some sort of paternalistic attempt to safeguard the future of Selhurst Park should the club fall into the hands of a rapacious owner with designs on building houses on it. This is total nonsense, he did it as a means of making money out of the club, pure and simple. Noades’ defenders would surely gain more respect if they recognised this point and argued that the rules were arcane, that people like Noades did deserve some sort of financial recompense for the hard work they were putting in to keep the club on a even keel. The model would reach its nadir at Notts County, where the owner discovered that due to certain clauses in the title of the land that Meadow Lane was built on, he was not able to transfer the whole ground to a separate company. So instead he simply transferred the main stand including the executive boxes. The club charged the holding company a peppercorn rent for this privilege, who then charged an extortionate rent back to the club for use of the facilities on match days.

So as we moved into the premier league era things were already shifting in favour of the largest teams and the most commercial (some might say greedy) owners. The notion of football clubs being community assets was starting to erode. Easy to forget now but the premier league momentum was relatively slow to build in the first decade. Although Manchester United emerged as the new Liverpool, the jostling for position below them was still relatively open. Blackburn (admittedly bankrolled by a wealthy benefactor) had a few years in the sun. Newcastle challenged hard in the mid-90s. Norwich, Villa and Leeds also put in credible title challenges. It’s really only as we’ve moved into the 21st century and the TV money has exploded that the gap between the haves and have nots has widened and been exploited. This includes dubious foreign ownership, mega-salaries for players and of course agents leeching money out of the game.

As the Plimsoll guy has already said on this thread, as fans we have broadly been complicit with this. Liverpool fans celebrated like hell when Hicks and Gillett took control of the club. When that went sour they celebrated like hell when FSG stepped in. Now that has also gone bad for them. Newcastle fans are generally outraged that they cannot be taken over by the state of Saudi Arabia. Manchester City fans are sanguine about the fact that their success is bankrolled by a similarly oppressive gulf state regime. Corruption within football is tolerated and accepted. Tony Pulis is still pictured as a respected figure within the game and gets regular media work, he swindled £2m from his employers. Many Palace fans would be fine with Sam Allardyce returning to manage the club, his dealings with a favoured agent were laid bare in court from his time at Bolton and we have similar evidence from Ravel Morrison and Kevin Kilbane that people seem happy to overlook. Blatantly corrupt transfer transactions such as Bebe to Manchester United and Fabio Silva to Wolves go unchecked. Generally speaking, people don’t seem to mind too much as long as the product remains entertaining. The rise of social media has developed an array of new income streams for people, football has become a 24/7 phenomenon where peripheral content is almost as important as the games themselves.

And tinkering with the format has become the norm. It started with Manchester United, as defending champions, not bothering to enter the 2000 FA Cup - the thin end of the wedge. Limitless replays were first restricted to just one before a penalty shoot-out, now there are no replays at all. Playing reserve teams in the earlier rounds of both domestic clubs is regarded as sensible by the bigger clubs. As a result attendances for these games have fallen through the floor and the magic of the cup has died. The preservation of cup final Saturday as a sacred occasion to bring the curtain down on the domestic season had gone, these days we have league games on the same day.

The Champions League of course sits at the pinnacle of this. The only people who really had a problem with the old European Cup were the big clubs who faced jeopardy from round 1. Straight knockout over two legs and a random draw, it was the essence of cup competition. I just about remember the Liverpool vs Forest first round tie in (I think) 1979, it was a massive event in this country. The old format gave the best teams from all over Europe the chance to progress, success wasn’t directly driven by money. Steaua Bucharest pleasingly beat Terry Venables’ Barcelona in the 1986 final; in 1991 a dynamic and enthralling Red Star Belgrade team went all the way (admittedly then stinking the place out in the final against Marseille). Compare that to this season’s semi-finalists – Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG. Gripping stuff, where do I sign up?

So the proposed ESL, whilst quite rightly provoking outrage amongst right-minded football fans, will have come as no surprise to most of us. It will come back again before too long, and for all this talk of a root and branch review of football governance I fear the game has gone too far down the rabbit hole now. How can you get rid of a megalomaniac billionaire who is taking your club in the wrong direction? The only feasible option is probably to find another billionaire who you hope won’t turn out to be a megalomaniac. But there tends to be a good reason why these people become billionaires.

The money that’s come into the game has brought about loads of positives. But has it improved things overall? I’m not so sure. As mentioned over on the ‘Big Match revisited’ thread, I’ve been dipping in to those old programmes and it does take me back to that time when it seemed like we were all in it together. There was an honesty about football then which we simply do not have now. I will not be watching the Champions League semi-finals, it simply doesn’t interest me. I find the Championship more fun to keep tabs on, it’s like the first division of old with just about anyone capable of mounting a promotion challenge if they get off to a decent start. For that reason I wouldn't be too bothered if we did go down, I'm not all that interested in these arguments about sustainable infrastructure and whatnot. For me that is not what football is about. The ups and downs are what have enthralled me since the late 70s, another decade of lower mid-table finishes and early cup exits doesn't really hold the same appeal.

Maybe it does need a worst case scenario reset like the ESL to get back to something like it used to be – as long as that means a completely clean break from the brands who want to rake in more money and launder it via their super-agents. I don’t know what the answer is but I am reaching the point now where I do not really care about football anymore, I just don’t recognise it as the same sport I fell in love with.
I am a little older than you but I have to echo everything you just wrote, The only thing you left out was our own 3rd place finish which you just cant imagine happening today. Can anyone here remember routing for Englands team in Europe despite the obvious fact it wasnt Palace. They seemed to represent us ALL at some level. Now we all cheer when the other teams win
Since you mention the dreaded R word I think the worst is when a relegation season is ongoing. In olden times got over it quicker and were back smiling the next year. 8 odd years now and for some people it would now be much more of a shock to the system I think. It would be nice if football could get back to somewhere like before but sadly ,its not just the owners whov'e changed but fans have too. Its the entitlement Back before , rightly or wrongly Lampard would sill still be Chelsea manager.

Anyway a great piece Bipe
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Old 25-04-2021, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cranesparkeagle View Post
I am a little older than you but I have to echo everything you just wrote, The only thing you left out was our own 3rd place finish which you just cant imagine happening today. Can anyone here remember routing for Englands team in Europe despite the obvious fact it wasnt Palace. They seemed to represent us ALL at some level. Now we all cheer when the other teams win
Since you mention the dreaded R word I think the worst is when a relegation season is ongoing. In olden times got over it quicker and were back smiling the next year. 8 odd years now and for some people it would now be much more of a shock to the system I think. It would be nice if football could get back to somewhere like before but sadly ,its not just the owners whov'e changed but fans have too. Its the entitlement Back before , rightly or wrongly Lampard would sill still be Chelsea manager.

Anyway a great piece Bipe
Another very good post that sums it up. I rooted for Liverpool in Europe, and Forest, and Villa. The European Cup was an amazing event; I loved it.

I think football on TV killed it. I remember being bored stiff by the first game, Forest v Spurs was it?, and realizing even then that all I wanted to watch was Palace, the FA Cup final, England's games, and the European final if an English team was in it.
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Old 25-04-2021, 09:04 PM
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No sign of any punishments whatsoever? F*cking disgraceful.
I said days ago that people expecting punishment will be disappointed
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Old 26-04-2021, 02:44 AM
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Old 26-04-2021, 03:41 AM
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Old 26-04-2021, 03:46 AM
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It is not about whether the clubs deserve punishment, it is about what effect something daconian will have. You want to steer the clubs away from the ESL idea not give them excuses and determination to rewrap the idea.

As it stands that is two attempts in less than a year. Suggesting we are safe for the next 5 years, let alone 10, is naive at best. UEFA are still going ahead with extending the competition to include more games and teams - that is the complete reverse of what the big clubs want. Real Madrid or Man Utd flying to play another team in Scandinavia or Eastern Europe is not going to please anyone at all. Do they chose that game to play their B team?

The key is if there are any ownership changes, or anything comes from government regulation. I can't see the government being able to decree that billionaire owners have to sell to other billionaire owners or that they have to give up any significnt percentage of the ownership to fans.

I think there is one rule that should be easy to implement to new entrants in the club ownership game. 'Show us the money'. If you are a billionaire or part of a consortium of billionaires (or millionaires for that matter), you buy the club with your money. No leveraging, no debt to be paid back on future earnings etc.. Too much investment at zero risk for these super rich that isn't available to 99.9% of the planet. The Palace Trust could have bought the Club if that modal had been available - for good or bad. And it is true for SJ's attempt to get finance via leveraging the potential of the youth team.

If you are Billy Big Bollox with your 500 million purchase, hen I don't think it is too much to ask that you actually front it with 500 million in real cash. The seller doesn't care, but it leaves clubs in a situation where ESL looks like a great option . Just pay for your fecking plaything.

It annoys me in a world where people get their overdrafts taken away or clubs like Bury go to the wall.
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Old 26-04-2021, 05:12 AM
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Neville's been tremendous through all of this. Take a bow.
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Old 26-04-2021, 06:28 AM
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Bipe's post is magnificent. I am younger, and came to football in the mid-1980s, but my formative years coincided with the tail end of the old order. It probably makes me sound like a swot, but I was completely against the Premier League from the very start - even though we were going to be in it. Obviously I didn't know how it would turn out almost 3 decades later, but it seemed obvious to me it was greed personified and driven by Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Everton (the Big 5 of the day) to maximise their the benefit to themselves. And I really didn't like the idea.

Last week was a victory for the wider game of football, but it was not a decisive battle. There will be another attempt in a few years' time. There can't not be - the biggest European clubs nowadays are only so defined by their postal address: the reality is the entire world is their market, and is already more important to them than their own domicile. The only thing that stopped them this time, in my opinion, is that the Europe/ROW balance isn't - yet - tipped heavily enough in favour of the globe. The ESL clubs still need domestic and Uefa money. But there will come a time when it will no longer be essential to their finances (possibly even detrimental: think the top English clubs' attitude to domestic cup football). Maybe direct streaming of games will become standard, maybe they'll find their own Fan Zhiyis and Sun Jihais to really smash down the doors of China, maybe there'll be a legal case ruling that Uefa have no power to stop them, and then they'll be off like a shot. The financial argument is compelling now, it'll be even more so a few years down the line.
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Old 26-04-2021, 07:04 AM
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The thing is how can the 14 Prem owners ever sit down at a meeting with the scum 6 owners again? The trust is totally gone. They’ve attended meetings and made bare faced lies for god knows how long while plotting the other 14’s demise.

The only way the league can carry on in any kind of cohesion and credibility is if new laws are brought in and severe sanctions are put in place to prevent any members doing this again.
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  #2556  
Old 26-04-2021, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai View Post
Neville's been tremendous through all of this. Take a bow.
As good as Neville has been he's also been massively sensationalist about the whole thing (cant think what Sky see in him). But I am struggling to see him make any formal suggestions on what could be done to reform the game, he wants Glazers out, he wants people to know football is for the fans etc but the reality is clubs are on the brink of bankruptcy...largely their own doing but exacerbated by Covid.

Dont sit there working for Sky pumping money into the game, sensationalising transfers and their fees and feeding the egos of this kids demanding £100k+ per week and then guffaw when owners have a wobble over how they'll continue to sustain it (and make profit...why would an owner not want to make profit)

Players wages are too high
TV money alone no longer covers those costs
The distribution of that wealth is spread too thin

We either need to reduce wages or pump more money into the game or we will always have the risk that clubs wants a smaller top flight and a smaller distribution of that money.
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  #2557  
Old 26-04-2021, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
As good as Neville has been he's also been massively sensationalist about the whole thing (cant think what Sky see in him). But I am struggling to see him make any formal suggestions on what could be done to reform the game, he wants Glazers out, he wants people to know football is for the fans etc but the reality is clubs are on the brink of bankruptcy...largely their own doing but exacerbated by Covid.

Dont sit there working for Sky pumping money into the game, sensationalising transfers and their fees and feeding the egos of this kids demanding £100k+ per week and then guffaw when owners have a wobble over how they'll continue to sustain it (and make profit...why would an owner not want to make profit)

Players wages are too high
TV money alone no longer covers those costs
The distribution of that wealth is spread too thin

We either need to reduce wages or pump more money into the game or we will always have the risk that clubs wants a smaller top flight and a smaller distribution of that money.
Wasn’t he already actively engaged in some sort of working group trying to identify changes and solutions? TBF to him (and it pains me to do It) he seems to have principles, does things rather than the hot air merchants that abound.
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  #2558  
Old 26-04-2021, 08:50 AM
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Neville said what needed to be said in as dramatic a way as possible to get peoples attention and guarantee to make the headlines.
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  #2559  
Old 26-04-2021, 01:25 PM
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Norwich_Eagle Norwich_Eagle is offline
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Originally Posted by Dorking .Eagle View Post
Neville said what needed to be said in as dramatic a way as possible to get peoples attention and guarantee to make the headlines.
It was needed and it worked to be fair.
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  #2560  
Old 26-04-2021, 10:41 PM
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MFBias MFBias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
As good as Neville has been he's also been massively sensationalist about the whole thing (cant think what Sky see in him). But I am struggling to see him make any formal suggestions on what could be done to reform the game, he wants Glazers out, he wants people to know football is for the fans etc but the reality is clubs are on the brink of bankruptcy...largely their own doing but exacerbated by Covid.

Dont sit there working for Sky pumping money into the game, sensationalising transfers and their fees and feeding the egos of this kids demanding £100k+ per week and then guffaw when owners have a wobble over how they'll continue to sustain it (and make profit...why would an owner not want to make profit)

Players wages are too high
TV money alone no longer covers those costs
The distribution of that wealth is spread too thin

We either need to reduce wages or pump more money into the game or we will always have the risk that clubs wants a smaller top flight and a smaller distribution of that money.
The only way players wages can be brought down is by an event like this causing a depression,, it couldnt been done in any other way unless football suddenly lost it’s popularity and sponsorship. The top clubs drag the wages and fees up, so if they are struggling it’s brings it all down. With competition as high as it is, there would be no way to being wages down, other than a depression in the games.
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