MARTIN SAMUEL: Go and form your European Premier League, see if anyone cares… a competition shorn of risk between the same entitled clubs is the big bore
- No-one will be scared with clubs looking to form the European Premier League
- Europe’s elite are lobbying for changes and say the Champions League is stale
- But they are stale, in fact, due to the same old clubs playing the same old games
- What they are promising to create is an endless round of predictable match-ups
They think it’s a threat. It’s not a threat. They think the rest should be scared. No-one will be scared.
So again we say: go and form your European Premier League, see if we care. See if anyone cares, in fact. The elite of Europe keep lobbying for changes to the Champions League, insisting that the format is tired and stale.
It’s not the format. It’s them. The same old clubs, playing the same old matches, again and again and again.
Man United and Liverpool are key movers in talks to form a £4.6bn European Premier League
The same clubs playing the same old matches over and over again is what is being promised
Who is it this time? Bayern Munich versus Barcelona, or Barcelona versus Bayern Munich? Real Madrid versus Juventus, or Juventus versus Real Madrid?
That is what the elite are promising. An endless round of predictable match-ups, with no new item on the menu and no jeopardy, because what terrifies them all is relegation.
So a closed shop comprised of the mediocre because we’ve all seen what is on offer from this cabal of the entitled and, frankly, it’s not up to much. Barcelona lost to Getafe at the weekend, Real Madrid were beaten at home by Cadiz, Juventus drew 1-1 with – hold on, let’s check the spelling – Crotone.
The English contingent isn’t spoilt for choice with several big clubs suffering shock results
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona expected to make up part of Spanish contingent in new competition
As for the English contingent we’re choosing between the team that shipped seven to Aston Villa, the one that lost 6-1 at home against Tottenham, or conceded five to Leicester, or couldn’t beat Southampton given a two-goal start, or West Ham given three goals and eight minutes remaining, which leaves Arsenal who have lost to every good team they’ve played.
Well, who wouldn’t pay to watch that lot finish mid-table most years, with absolutely nothing on it, bar money? Probably on pay per view.
Actually, it would take truly vintage stupidity for a Premier League club to get involved here given it is a desperate attempt by Europe’s richest to harm the earnings of English clubs.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus would expect to lead any Italian representation in the league
Only by making the domestic competitions inferior can the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid seize greater wealth. Devaluing domestic rights doesn’t matter to La Liga or Serie A, because their global broadcast value is weak by comparison.
But if they can find some way of hurting the Premier League – by devaluing its market share – then they will thrive.
Yet, as was proven last season, the drama of relegation is a television turn-on. That is why the Premier League was so keen to deliver it.
The big bore is a competition shorn of risk in which the same entitled clubs battle for the right to be slightly less mediocre than each other: aka the European Premier League. Good luck with it.
Liverpool’s and United’s rivals Man City are seen as other English candidates to be included