An American Arsenal fan’s view of the Super League

When I saw the few major details of the newly created Super League, I cannot help noticing the introduction of American sport structure into the world of football. As an American Arsenal fan who watches and follows different sports, I could see some of the features in Super league were very familiar to the American sports. The structure of American sport is completely different from the rest of the world, and I was surprised when I saw that the super league is adopting the same system as their American counterpart. Here are the top two that I believe will destroy the competition in football.

Just like in American Sport, the Super league will not have relegation or promotion. The lack of relegation in American sports has resulted in several clubs living in perpetual mediocrity despite the large amount of revenues generated. In the NFL, the likes of the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, and NY Jets have continuously put up relegation level records in the last 15 years without any repercussion.

Likewise, the NBA has the same system where the likes of Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, and NY Knicks are putting up bad results day in day out, and not offering anything for fans to celebrate about. The thing is because of the salary cap, drafts, and trade rules, all the teams are playing from the same level field, and none have monetary advantages over the other ones. They share the TV revenue equally, and have the same chance of attracting the top players because of trade rules and salary cap. It’s very common in the NFL to have a bottom team winning only a single game in a season and no one bats the eyes.  So, why are these teams continuously performing bad? Because there is no motivation to succeed, and there is no punishment for the failure. If SL succeeds, I fear that Arsenal will be the prime candidate to be a NY Knicks of Super league given that the owner is an American who cares only about his moolahs.

It was revealed that the permanent members will have the ultimate power to make decisions for the Super League. Again, this is very similar to the American sports where the owners hold all the power. Just to mention the few, they have power to create or delete rules, force a club sale, and change the salary cap. Having the control on every facet of the game, they will slowly introduce more American systems into the game that we all hate to see in soccer. For example, airing commercials/TV ads in the middle of the game, introducing time outs into the game or relocation of the club to a bigger city.

Yes, we all know that there are problems with FIFA, and UEFA, but Super league was never about fixing that problem. It is all about the money and nothing to do with football.

PS: I am glad that all the PL teams have pulled out….

 

Beast Mode

60 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Any idea why Americans like to watch closed leagues like NBA and fake shows like WWE? In my opinion, the real sports competition should have a fair club relegation and promotion system

    1. Dan kit says:

      WWE FAKE !!
      Well that’s spoiled that for me then .

    2. Beastmode says:

      GAI, first I don’t like our system and I believe most Americans are not aware of the difference in their system from others around the world because they don’t venture outside their bubble. The only time they think about soccer is during world cup. Two, Americans tend to look almost everything through capitalism eyes and are used to having no leverage at all. For example do you know that most of the NFL stadium are funded by tax payers? At least some percentage comes from the tax revenues. Whenever a club wants a new stadium they just threaten to leave if they don’t get assistance from the local govt thereby forcing politicians hands.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Thanks for the info and the article is great

        1. kori says:

          yes great article and give a little insight in the american system of sports.

    3. Drayton says:

      In American sports, there is an expansive pool of talent rising every year from the high school and college ranks in every sport. The idea is if your team isn’t any good, you get to have the first pick of that talent pool selection in what we call a “draft.” In doing so, the idea is the bad teams won’t always stay mired in the muck of mediocrity but will rather put together a collection of talent from those draft choices and rise to a competitive level. If your team is poor, you rally around that young talent in hope. For example, the Chicago Bulls were cringeworthy for years before they selected Michael Jordan and soon became one of the most dominant teams the NBA has ever had. Or, teams can build through trades or free agency. Hell, even the Cleveland Browns are competitive again. (And for the record, two of the teams this article mentions—Charlotte and New York—are both back in the playoffs this year and competitive again.)

      I understand the point, and ultimately I love football/Arsenal more than any other and find the relegation/promotion system exciting, but let’s stop acting like there aren’t hundreds of millions of ppl worldwide who are perfectly content w the American sports system. What feeds it is the ridiculous level of young talent that keeps pouring in year after year.

      1. kori says:

        Americans are content with the american sports system. NBA is a yawn until playoffs, MLS is a yawn until final, NFL is ok but more competitive into playoffs.

        1. Drayton says:

          Thanks for speaking for every non-American worldwide, Kori. Got it 👍

          For the record, I’m not suggesting England adopt the SL or a closed league. Terrible ideas. I was only responding to GAI to lend some insight into why closed leagues work for the fans.

      2. gotanidea says:

        I have some friends that still watch NBA till now, but that’s because they’re avid basketball fans. My other friends aren’t football fans, but they like to watch World Cup matches

        I understand that NBA has a player relegation/ promotion system. However, I think the club relegation/ promotion system can make a league more competitive and interesting, because smaller teams can rise from the lower division and win the top league like Leicester

        1. Drayton says:

          Yep, and I completely agree. That system is better, and I’d hate to see American sports concepts trickle into England. (Maybe stop selling your clubs to Americans!)

          I was just responding to your initial question.

      3. Beastmode says:

        Drayton, I understand the purpose of the draft, but it rarely helped some of these poor performing teams. Cleaveland had only 3 winning season since 1989 despite having the top picks or close to every year

        1. Beastmode says:

          I am talking about the usual culprits

    4. Highbury Hero says:

      There was a time when I used to watch and enjoy WWE consistently. It is like watching a weekly television series. Just a good written drama. I don’t think it is correct to call WWE fake as it does not make any sense. It is like calling movies or fiction books fake, does it make any sense?

      I stopped watching WWE in the early 2010s but I still revisit those good times on YT. I am not American by the way and I don’t like all their popular sports (Basketball, Baseball and Handegg)

      1. gotanidea says:

        I also liked it when I was very young, before I knew it was rigged. I shouldn’t have called it a fake show, but a fake sports competition

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          It is entertainment. A very good one.

    5. Drayton says:

      As for WWE, I have still yet to meet another soul who actually watches that nonsense.

    6. Stewart Macintosh says:

      GAI, Canadian here – there are bottom feeders in NA leagues, but the salary caps and entry drafts do allow teams to rise from the ashes – the key is good management. We get small market teams doing consistently well if they have good management – they use draft picks, trades and free agent signings to grow and be strong. Bad management guarantees a bad team though – in each NA league there are examples of teams who always draft highly but always are poor.

      The other thing that makes NA sports exciting is qualification for the play offs. A deep run in the playoffs brings a lot of cash and you will have pretty heated games at the end of the season to get into the playoffs, a bit like relegation fights but of course, without the same ultimate consequence of EPL.

      I like them both. As I said, Canadian here and being a stereotype I say “please” and I love hockey. We are getting into the playoff race and the playoffs and it is exciting.

      Thanks to cable and streaming I get every EPL game and CL and Europa. Plus Atlantic time is only four hours behind England so game times are really good.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I remember watching NBA before playoffs, long time ago, when Tim Duncan was still playing. It was dramatic at the end of the game, so I guess MLS is like that too

    7. NYCGunner says:

      Like Beastmode said, I think a big factor is a lack of knowledge or other options. Many American sports fans do not understand how the European football system works with a pyramid of leagues, promotion, relegation, a team competing in as many as 4 or 5 separate competitions throughout a season, and a league without playoffs. It can be a bit overwhelming to understand on your own, but that is not to say americans do not like it. I have introduced a few of my friends to watching the sport and with someone there explaining it they get into it. In my experience, american fans especially like the concept of relegation and how it gives the crap teams as much to play for as the teams at the top of the league.

      But, to plays devils advocate, is it fair that certain football clubs have substantially more money than other teams in the league? Many american fans like the idea of an even financial playing field where a small market team has as much a chance to win the league as a big market team. La Liga, Ligue 1, and the bundesliga are all are essentially dominated by 1-2 teams which does not necessarily make for the most exciting competition.

      However, (and this is a simplified explanation, obviously each league has its own exact rules on adding teams) i think the largest factor holding leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA, and MLS back from instituting a promotion/relegation system is the fact that a team needs to essentially “buy in” to the league. Establishing a team costs an ownership group hundreds of millions of dollars paid to the league for the right to have a team. If you were to open it up to promotion and relegation with small time teams all of a sudden able to get into the big time, you would significantly devalue every ownership groups substantial investment. With ownership groups having a big say on league governance and rule changes, this will never be allowed to happen

  2. Grandad says:

    Excellent informative article BM.With your knowledge of the American scene, do you think there is any prospect of Kroenke deciding to sell his major shareholding in Arsenal ? I ask the question as the means of generating guaranteed income through the SL has gone up in smoke and with it a quick way of eliminating the Club’s debt.

    1. Beastmode says:

      Grandad, I wish I have a magic wand to get rid of the scum. His other sports ventures have abysmal records and he has yet to rid himself of any of it, so I am afraid we are stuck with him.

      1. Trudeau says:

        Good article Beastmode but have to disagree with you on the above – Kroenke’s US teams do not have abysmal records. He is no more or less successful than most other owners. Rams made superbowl two years ago. Nuggets have one of the top young teams in NBA and Avalanche are close to top of the NHL. Once you’re in the club (and that’s a huge condition) a small team’s chances of winning a trophy in any North American league is arguably greater than most teams in the football pyramid.

        North American sports are indeed a closed shop (not withstanding occassional expansion) but, once you are in the “shop”, the playing field is much more level than football (through the draft system and salary caps)

        Look, it is entirely possible to celebrate the pyramid system we have in English football without denigrating other systems. Trust me, Arsenal fans are no more passionate than Boston Red Sox fans, Toronto Maple Leaf fans or Chicago Bear fans.

        I have no idea why anybody is mentioning WWE.

        To your question Grandad, I am hopeful that Kroenke will reassess his ownership now that he his endgame has failed. He is a product of a certain model and now that it has failed I can see his interest wane and the attraction of selling his asset at a tidy profit.

        On a side note, it will be interesting to see whether the likely end of promotion and relegation in English rugby will impact on supporters enthusiasm.

        1. Beastmode says:

          Trudeau, I am not referring to the Ram’s recent record. They had losing records before 2017 and Nuggets have never made past the 1st round in the playoffs since 1986. I am not denigrating American sports system but I am pointing how it is not good to transferred it to the soccer world

          1. Trudeau says:

            Totally agree with your overall point (although I could have sworn though that I watched Nuggets lost the Conference Finals to the Lakees last year…)

            My point about denigrating NA sports was a general one and not directed at you – sorry if it appeared that way.

        2. Aaron says:

          Trudeau,

          You are cherry picking the data!

          The raM’s have sucked forever and are regressing to the mean . The nuggeT’s have been up and down depending on decade, the rapidS are terrible, the Avalanche was just a good buy. AFC has been getting worse by the year since staN bought the club.

          Overall, his teams barely average .500
          The guy is a slave owning subhuman and nothing more.

          The sooner he sells the better the club will be!

          1. Trudeau says:

            I was responding to the characterisation that all his sports ventures have abysmal records. Maybe that word means something different to me than you.

  3. Matthew says:

    I was totally in support of the super league because i saw it as a way for arsenal to be involved with the european heavyweights again but having seen how majority of fans,especially the british fans has passionately stood up against it,i have no other choice than stand with the fans&continue to hope for better days ahead for arsenal

    1. lugdush says:

      The idea is to meet them on merit, because we deserved it, with a team capable to compete with them

      1. SueP says:

        👍👍👍👍👍

    2. jon fox says:

      Matthew You have admitted that you were in effect just another Judas, prepared to disrespect FOTBALLS RICH HERITAGE FOR THE GRUBBY CHANCE TO ADVANTAGE YOUR OWN CLUB . In that first post you were in effect no better than Kroenke and his co- conspiritors. I thought that when I read your post the day after the Superleague was announced, which supported it. Incredibly, you do not even realise what you have done in initially supporting this grubby plan.

      Now that the evil plan has collapsed, courtesy of millions of decent moral fans, which however excludes YOU, you wish to carry on as though nothing has happened.

      I think you are a very young and life inexperienced young person and pray that you learn how vital having life morals are in growing as a proper man and that you become ashamed of being another Judas, who would enrich your club at the expense of decency and fair competion for all.

  4. A J says:

    I wonder who we would have picked in the first draft ? 🙂

    1. Beastmode says:

      AJ, I believe we will have the 1st overall pick every year because of our abysmal record in Super league

    2. Joe. S says:

      AJ, It makes a fun hypotheses but I don’t see how a draft system could have worked in Europe. The US is unique because it has prioritised high school and college sports so that all the structures are in place and draft night has become gala event in its own right. Show Time, yeh. Personally I hate the idea. You get rewarded for being mediocre. In Australian AFL, “Aussie Rules” they have tried to adapt a similar system and some clubs have been caught out trying to finish as low as possible, deliberately losing games in order to get the best picks. They call it ,”Tanking”. I can imagine Kroenke doing something similar with his franchises. It would save him having to invest in expensive trade deals. The problem with Europe though would be, Where will the available pool of draftees come from? Should the so called Super clubs be simply allowed to sift and poach amongst themselves in order to steal the best available young talent from the “lesser” clubs without having invested anything on player development.

  5. Sean Williams says:

    Thanks for that article, it should inform our supporters of the necessity to get rid of Kroenke. It is the duty of every Arsenal supporter to do their little bit to get rid of parasitic owners like Kroenke. When supporters return to the Emirates there should be a years boycott of everything Kroenke. Watch games on TV…boycott the Emirates. It’s our job to get rid of Stan Kroenke and that would make him sell.

    1. Declan says:

      I like your sentiments Sean but unfortunately watching games on TV is still supporting Kroenke because of the massive money Sky, BTSport and Amazon pay for the rights.

  6. kori says:

    Always about the money. We the fans are an after thought in there grand scheme to make there millions and billions.. I hope SL league never happens in Europe. not in it’s current iteration.

  7. Wyoming says:

    I think US sport has a lot to offer European football.
    The few teams in the USA performing poorly still make massive profits and have huge fan bases.
    Premier league in fact all 65 leagues in UEFA have leagues where a few teams constantly occupy the top spots while the rest of the teams are cannon fodder constantly in the relegation zone.
    Carabao and FA cup semis and finals always feature elite teams while many International qualifiers are totally ridiculous.
    Pitting the best v the best is the way to go. A 14 team 26 game Premier league season would suit me, no Carabao cup and the top 8 to enter the FA cup in the round of 16 with the lower ranked side at home.

    1. SueP says:

      It has a lot to offer Americans but as you have found out we are not all American.

    2. Sean Williams says:

      Wyoming

      ?????. Genuine deluded rubbish. Might suit Wyoming but does not help Highbury or Football in the UK. You are not a supporter of Arsenal.

    3. ozziegunner says:

      Wyoming, the British invented a great number of sports and shared them with the world.
      Of the sports invented by Americans, only basketball and baseball are played in many countries outside North America, yet in American Football, basketball and baseball the finals (“world series”) only includes teams from the USA and Canada. Ice hockey is also played widely in other countries after being developed in Canada.
      Unfortunately Americans are very insular (only 5% of the population have passports) and on the whole are focussed on their own sporting competitions.
      As Starbucks found out in Australia, what works in the USA, doesn’t necessarily work elsewhere.

  8. Shakir says:

    I think american sports has a reasonable audience (mostly americans-3rd most populated country)because there is no other recognized leagues to watch these sports.American Football,basketball,baseball etc….

    Anyway a good perspective by the writer👍

  9. Reggie says:

    I see some merit in American sport and it ideas but that is for America. I like the idea better of promotional relegation, fight to be good and while i dont like it, badly run teams fail. I dont want the way we play sport here to change, why on earth people think it is good to force something on us that is not what we want is beyond me.

    1. pjennings says:

      Don’t know what bloody YouTube site I just got into, but Perez has threatened the dirty 6 with a 100 million pound fine for breaking their deal with the Super League. That has to be fake news. If not,, ouch, poor Stanley Kronke. Not that tha will harm his bank account

    2. Krish says:

      Because thats sadly what powerful people and countries like to do, like england during its whole history.. Forcing something onto other ethnies and countries which they didnt want

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Krish, would you rather have been colonised by the Japanese, Germans, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish or Belgians?
        At least the British left their ex colonies with systems of government, education, transport infrastructure etc on the whole not restricting their culture and religion, while developing and exploiting their resources.
        Bad things occurred under colonial powers; however bad things still happen world wide, even those ex colonial countries left now to their own resources.

        1. Sid says:

          With respect, we have been under partial French and Dutch rule and even if the British were the most benevolent of the three supposed colonizers, it was not rosy at all for us. The ideal picture that you paint of a viable education system, is the main reason why unemployment is rife in my country IMO. So what Krish said is 100% correct IMO.

          1. Sid says:

            That said it is not something relevant to this discussion so I guess we have to leave it at that.

          2. Krish says:

            Thank you very much Sid, can I ask you from where you are? I am an Sri Lankan Tamil living in Switzerland

          3. Sid says:

            You are welcome Krish. As regards to my country, I live in India.

        2. Krish says:

          Ozziegunner you are speaking with a western arrogance as if we were in need of the help of the british, you have no plan how much the british exploited their colonial countries so dont support or argue for some inhuman things. Bad things still happen but that doesnt give you the right to support bad things from the past

          1. ozziegunner says:

            I apologise for my supposed arrogance; however Krish I did use the terms “exploiting their resources”. Many countries have been invaded with varying results for the indigenous populations, I was just pointing out that there were worse colonisers than the British and at least they left. My Senegalese, Tamil and Berger friends and neighbours wish you well in Switzerland.

          2. ozziegunner says:

            Sorry, autocorrect screwed it up: “Sinhalese” and “Burghers”.

  10. towny 254 says:

    If they got another 12 teams and 2 leagues with promotion and relegation then we should worry because MONEY TALKS and always has done

  11. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    If there are no competitive football competitions of the Carabao and FA Cup competitions for clubs at all level to compete in them for honours. Wouldn’t it be like saying to some of these clubs not to attend Primary and Secondary schools education.. But go straight to the University (the Premier League football) to attend it and get a degree. Without first and foremost have the requisite necessary lower educational backgrounds.

    Competitive professional football is money. Without the very much money that is being regularly injected into it, it will become amateur football sport to watch for recreational relaxation I suppose.

    American none sporting merit oriented amateur and professional sporting model have been accepted by the American sports loving people. Well, since they’ve accepted it that way, us the sports loving fans from the rest of the world can only look on.

    But in the rest of the competitive sporting world where sport merit has become the adherence and norm. Introducing the American sports model into professional football in Europe, especially into the Premier League has been unanimously rejected by all the people who have a stake in professional football. And therefore, the attempt to form and introduce the ESL in Europe has been quashed mostly by the football loving English fans. Many and many kudos to them for the successful campaign they’ve had against the ESL.

    Nevertheless, us Gooners should bear it in our minds that Kroenke is not the only mega millionaire business man who tried to form the abortive ESL. But there are other millionaires too who are involved in the failed move. And there’re some 12 top clubs management executives such as Ed Woodward of Man Utd who have relentlessly worked for the actualization of the failed ESL. But what should happen to all those found seriously involved in the failed ESL? Resign? Ed Woodward is reported to have said, he would. But let him resign immediately I will say.

    Can us Gooners single out Kroenke from the Europe’s 12 big clubs owners to leave Arsenal as the owner of the club, while the rest of the accomplices to this rejected ESL remain as owners of their club sides? Wouldn’t this be unjust to Stan Kroenke if us force him to relinquish his ownership of Arsenal FC for this reason that was general but not only down to him?

    Therefore, to me, if Kroenke goes the rest eleven should also go as well. But it all depends on how the fan base of the 11 clubs feel about it.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Let’s worry about Arsenal; KROENKE OUT

  12. Joe. S says:

    I think there was a little bit of Matthew in most Arsenal fans when this was first announced. “Well at least we are finally up there with the big boys, regardless.” However, it didn’t take long for the full picture to sink in, all that history and tradition metamorphisised into some plastic ,travelling road show. Add the fact that Arsenal were owned by the Kroenkes only added to the gloom. As others have pointed out we were on our way to being another underachieving sports franchise with no hope of ever breaking that cycle. As things stand though, we are still owned by the Kroenkes.

  13. Frank Brady says:

    Sorry Joe, Not one little bit. The whole idea was abhorrent.
    A cartel of smug clubs cornering the revenue of football and thumbing its nose at everyone else.
    De valueing the histroy and ethos of famous institutions and reducing them to a farsical non competative mockery of a league, for the sake of TV revenue. As someone else said on this blog, how long before home games are played overseas?
    I will be joining AST from here in Australia. I did not realise the reach they had and believe we need to support fan based institutions to really champion change.
    ESL defeated, now we need to work on the influence of Murdoch.

    1. Joe. S says:

      With you all the way Frank. I’ll do the same. What I meant was that had this abomination gone ahead, we would all have made our little adjustments regarding how we supported Arsenal. I would have watched the odd game,but my emotional attachment to the club would never be the same. One of my first memories as an 11 year old long distance fan was a poster if Peter Marinello cut out of a Shoot Magazine. He was going to be our very own George Best and bring back the good times.. I could never have accepted the concept of Super League. The Real Madrid Gallaticos were sickening enough. In the worst case scenario I would probably have revisited my number two team, Sunderland.Back in 1980 I visited the old cow shed that was Roker Park and could almost smell the history. It is what has always driven my attachment to English and Scottish football with those classic old grounds.

      1. Frank Brady says:

        All good mate. Never made Roker Park, but did watch an awful 0-0 draw at Ayresome Park in driving sleet. Agh the memories.
        Tradition, history and values, cannot be traded.

  14. D.ROSECO says:

    my advices to arsenal boss that be a man who can see tomorrow’s vision

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