It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot left to say about the Super League Six now. But we will anyway.
If one more fucker proclaims, all worldly-wise that ‘It’s all about money’, I’m going to go full Why Don’t You? and kick the telly through the wall.
Or at least roll my eyes and switch over.
It’s genuinely funny how the present footballing landscape of Sky, the Premier League and the Champions League is now being viewed through these misty eyes, like some Maoist utopia, in the wake of the latest Lizard League revelations.
The thing is though, this isn’t really a sport story. It shouldn’t be viewed within a sporting paradigm. This is more inline with Brexit and Trump and the flagrant government corruption that is the world we have built for ourselves.
Because this is what unchecked capitalism does. It identifies something good, and therefore popular, and it zeroes in on the element that generates revenue, and it emphasises that part above all else, until the very thing itself becomes unrecognisable and unloved and worthless.
And then capital moves on to the next thing.
Capital’s a right cunt.
To put it another way, John Henry and the rest of them know the price of everything but the value of absolutely nothing.
Again though, this is nothing new. The whole Champions League concept has always been massively bent and no doubt will become even more lopsided in order to try and appease the insatiable money monsters if they end up ‘staying’. The difference this time though is that they overstepped the mark and broke the contract. Not the one with UEFA or the Premier League or whoever, but the one with the supporters.
The clubs have always at least paid lip service to the idea of this being a sport, and given the fans just enough to work with in order to concoct the elaborate stories in their heads that allow them to justify giving their time, money and emotional energy to organisations that hold them in complete contempt.
Maybe we should in fact celebrate the honesty of this latest development. It’s like they’ve literally taken off their masks and said ‘We’re sick of pandering to you cunts, this is what we’re doing because it makes us a wedge of dough in the short term. The rest is all window dressing – surely you weren’t really that thick to believe we cared about waving some tin cup around? Woo hoo, look Mom, we’ve won the, what is it, the Carabao Cup? What the ever living fuck is a Carabao anyway?’
Come on. We’ve all been complicit in this.
We’ve all guzzled the Kool Aid that basically makes us buy into the loose narrative that goes ‘We want to watch a successful team and to have that you need to spend loads of money and the only way we can do that is by having a rich owner and they need to run the club as a business and get something out of it so we’re fine with that really’.
Two very small, random incidents spring to mind.
One was the night Liverpool played in the UEFA Cup final – possibly against Alaves – and watching it in the pub, one of their supporters said, ‘Sunday’s the big game really, not this.’ They were possibly playing Arsenal, possibly not, in a league game that would be key in them qualifying for the next season’s Champions League. That was more important, the qualification and the ensuing money – to a supporter! – than actually winning a competition.
Another was walking down Wembley Way, emotionally spent after winning that semi-final penalty shoot-out against Manchester United. You couldn’t help hear the fella in front on his phone to his mate.
‘Lad, it was boss lad.’
As I say, you can’t help but hear him.
‘All we need now is some nice fat Arab to take us over.’
It just seemed inappropriate on so many levels.
What those charming little vignettes are meant to illustrate is that football money’s greatest trick was to convince the fans that their interests and aims were intertwined. That wealth equals trophies. And you like trophies, don’t you, my precious?
But the Dirty Half Dozen have rubbed everyone’s noses in the fact that the prizes themselves are absolutely fucking meaningless. The Champions League / European Cup is meant to represent the absolute pinnacle of club football. The Holy Grail. That lot never, ever shut up about it. Fucking hell, Everton are building a new stadium which in turn is hoped to generate the revenue (just look at the language, ‘generate the revenue’ for fuck’s sake) they need to give them a chance of consistently qualifying for the Champions League. And with one email that crowd just say ‘Not arsed – doing our own cup.’
No wonder everyone is furious.
Ultimately, this European Super League looks ill-thought-out and probably destined to fail. But what it has done, is it has stretched the parameters of the debate massively in terms of what will ultimately be deemed acceptable when it comes to the rapacious cuntery on the part of the club owners. Maybe not this European Super League, but there will be some mutated variant.
It really would be great to think that this represents some watershed, and that the backlash will result in the decent ‘real football people’ taking a moral stand and reshaping ‘the game that we all love’ into something egalitarian and just less shit. But let’s be realistic. And let’s not get too enamoured here either with any of these fucking heroes speaking out about this on the telly. They have all been willing participants in the present status quo – which, just to reiterate, is absolutely fucking abysmal for the fans who go the games and for the fabled ‘grass roots football’. No one even knows what that means, you just throw it in when you want to indicate that you are being all worthy.
Rip off tickets. Rip off kits. Horrible kick off times. VAR. Mike Ashley. All that fucking caper.
Anyway, someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.
Until then, what do you reckon lad, £45 million for that Koulibaly?