Is Wenger’s idea of a World Cup every two years sensible? Or just money-grabbing?

Arsene Wengers call for world cups every two years by Jon Fox

Fellow Gooners. I believe that at one time almost all of us simply worshipped the ground Arsene Wenger (AW) walked on. Many still do and even I, who called long and loud for his exit as Arsenal’s manager, can easily share the view of him as an extraordinary, honest and wise man who simply adores football and would never do anything to harm it. There are some who do dissent though.

Simon Jordan, speaking yesterday on Talksport, suggested AW is in the pay of FIFA, and that.. ahem “mighty and honest” organisation has recruited such luminaries as Rio Ferdinand and our own Martin Keown to back his idea of a World Cup every two years.

Few of us would deny that FIFA are in love with money and power every bit as much as they are with football. Some of us would say the money and power comes way above the football for FIFA. Hence the choice of Russia and then Qatar for venues. Not, you might conclude, the most natural and sportingly honest countries to have picked! I say you would have to be among the naivest fans on the planet not to have seen through those poisoned and money biased choices.

So why then has someone of AW’s undoubted world stature come out in favour of a World Cup every two years instead of four? AW argues that elite competition is far more important than quantity of competitions, presumably meaning UEFA’s Euro (and possibly even the CL and the UEFA CUP, plus that poor relation the new Europa Conference League, contested this year by such “giants” as THFC (Spuds). FIFA and UEFA are of course, as is widely realised, deeply involved in a bitter power struggle for control of football.

You could, were you not a “naturally biased Gooner” argue that AW is now in the pay of FIFA and has always been well paid – he did not work for us for “peanuts” after all – and will do as he is told to ensure himself more pay and more power. I personally reject that view as being far too cynical and not fully understanding the overwhelming love for football that AW has!

So that means I must, surely, accept tha a WC every two years is his sincerely held belief of a best outcome for world football. Well, YES ACTUALLY, I DO. Though I do NOT agree with him!

My view concurs with Jordan’s when he argues that something that is rarer is therefore more valuable and worthwhile than something that comes around too often. To my mind that is obvious. One could also argue that Simon Jordan, the ex Crystal Palace owner, who lost a personal fortune by owning that club, also loves money and is well paid now by Talksport to be controversial. I accept that argument too, though I also accept that Jordan is naturally controversial and is also highly intelligent and worth listening to regularly (I do too).

The main point in writing this is twofold. Firstly, to find out what other Gooners think about WCs, either two OR four yearlies. But I also wish to set those thinking about how money can taint a person’s view AND when it cannot! Especially when that person is well known and famous, whether for being a manager, a broadcaster or a top-class footballer.

My next article will concentrate on the damage to honesty and probity that excessive pay does to players, and others connected with football.


Please try to read between the mere words I have written and try to contribute something genuinely of what YOU sincerely believe, when posting.

God bless

Jon Fox

Tags FIFA Wenger World Cup


  1. No just no.

    Would only be for money and if Wenger is pumping it he is doing it as he is now in FIFA’s pocket.

    World Cup is every 4 years – always ha been always should be. That’s what makes it so special..

  2. I do not believe the great Arsene is motivated by money. First, because he already has more than he can spend and secondly he is not that kind of a person.

    I do agree that the World Cup every two years is not a good idea. I am one of those who still love national football and the World Cup is still my favourite competition and the event I am most looking forward to.

    I do agree that the World Cup every two years will make it a common occurance and thus take its magic away from it.

  3. I stopped reading when I read the words Jordan and tallsport, a radio station that constantly put our club down when Wenger was here ,a gutter channel which a loudmouth Jordan must feel right at home talking on .
    If Wenger believes that a World Cup should be every 2 years that’s because he believes it’s for the best for the game and not for financial gain .

  4. For someone who used to try every trick in the book to avoid letting players go on international duty, he is betraying himself. I dont see any reason to change the present format, in fact i would reduce international football completely.

  5. Just shows that dice being sacked by Arsenal Wenger will do anything for a quick few quid. He stole a living off Arsenal for the last few years. This bring the club he was so fond of saying he gave his life to. Now he’s out to line his pockets any way he can.

  6. Wrong to even suggest every two years as with the Euros as well then there would be a major tournament every year. Overload for the players and us fans as well as even more fixture congestion and injuries. Simon Jordan is correct as usual, (he’s honest and says it like it is), also, Keown and Ferdinand have called the idea ridiculous as have most other players and organisations. It will never happen.

  7. As much as I have admired AW, and still do, I do not agree with him. Can anyone imagine how detrimental and disruptive that would be to club football? I agree with Joe.s since the decline of South American football caused mainly by ‘rich’ Europe draining their talent the gloss and excitement of the WC has diminished. Every 2 years? Definitely not for me, club football anyday and best competition the ECL anyday imo. I only get interested when the World Cup gets to the quarter finals but still can’t wait for the start of our own EPL!!!

  8. If the thinking is to get rid of the euros, afcon, Copa ect and just hold the one international competition every two years, which would benefit club football as they don’t lose players during a season, I don’t see it as a bad thing.

  9. Excellent article Jon, both fair in it’s praise and criticism for Arsene Wenger, something that I salute you for my friend.

    As4 for the WC every two years…
    My fjfst5reaxtuib was mirrored by Andrew Elder’s post above – another excellent comment – but then I asked myself WHY would AW want this?

    Unlike PHIL’S nonsensical explanation, it has nothing to do with money, nor did he try to stop his players playing for their countries as Reggie hinted at… unless either of you can prove your scandalous claims??

    IF the WC was played every two years, wouldn’t it stop these stupid and irrelevant friendlies that no one has any interest whatsoever in from happening?
    At least there would be something to play for and what more incentive than to be a world Cup winner?!

    I would even suggest doing away with the euros, if Andrews point about player burn out was a consideration.

    Finally, we do have someone in FIFA who, as Jon has pointed out, is to be trusted and one must decide if they want the WC every two years above the euros and meaningless friendlies…. for me, the former seems much more attractive and is just my personal opinion.

    1. The World Cup every 2 years makes a lot of sense,with all continental competitions stopped including friendlies

    2. GREAT POST KEN. Shame SOME others posts on here seem more interested in their own specific agendas, ie politically speaking, rather than discussing the question I asked, directly.
      I must say that IF we could lose all the lesser and spurious comps, then and only then, I would PERHAPS consider a WC every two years.

      But that will not happen, so a two year cycle is not remotely likely, however AW explains it.

      AND my pertinent point about rarity making it more valuable remains valid. Burn out is, for my money, the prime consideration to avoid.

      1. Take all your points on board Jon…. but let me ask you this:

        If the question was asked to fans, would you rather watch the World Cup every two years, rather than the euros, African Cup and friendlies, what would be the answer?

        Ask that question to the players as well and I think you would get two resounding positive answers of the YES version.

        The pinnacle of any players dream is, surely, to have a World Cup Champions medal?

        Also, the clubs would be more keen to sign said African players, as they would not have to plan for periods without them.

        Now I don’t know if this is how AW and FIFA are thinking, but the more I think about my suggestions/thoughts, the more it makes sense.

        1. I should have added that your burnout suggestion would, at the very least, be the same as it is now, if not even better.

        2. To answer your perfectly legitimate question honestly old chum, I simply do not know, but on here, IF it is any guide at all, the majority seem firmly against two years.

          I never believe in dissing a new idea without deep thought first, BUT I maintain my “rarity adds value” while “too often spoils the enjoyment” view.

          In reality, I do not envisage it succeeding, as too many influential people are bitterly against it and to me that bottom line is what actually matters.

          I call it , as you know Ken, REALITY!

      2. Excellent article Jon. I have aired my initial views on this subject earlier but would like to add that Ken’s point of getting rid of meaningless friendlies is a good one. Furthermore by making the African Cup a quadrennial event, as is the Copa America, instead of every 2 years might also be a good idea. Personally I would not be in favour of scrapping the Euros in favour of a biennial World Cup. This year’s competition was such a success and made compelling viewing. My opinion only!!

  10. A World Cup every two years would, in a lot of ways, make more sense than holding it every four years; replacing the scattered regional tournaments like the Euros and Comnebol with a more global tournament, which would increase revenue but not the number of games played.

  11. This is a power play between FIFA and EUFA.

    FIFA want not only to make all of the rules of the game, they want to own the game. I think any body who loves football should fight this tooth and nail, or else our game will disappear.

    I have said this before, and I will say it this one last time!!!

    FIFA is now in thrall to the United States, and has been since the US Justice department went after them.

    When Qatar got the World Cup instead of the USA, big business and TV company’s in the US were very upset.

    So they got the Justice department to go after FIFA. Consequently the US were given the next available World Cup. They are sharing it with Canada and Mexico, but FIFA increased the number of teams involved, increasing the potential audience.

    US big business had discovered that US TV bonanzas like the Baseball World Series or the Super Bowl were just parochial affairs. The World Cup was as billed, and was watched around the world.

    There was only one snag for the TV companies. Football is played in two non-stop 45 minute halves, which makes it difficult for them to include Adverts.
    Since Adverts are where the TV companies make their money, something had to be done about this.

    So, they looked at the biggest money-making sport in the US, which is gridiron football (both the NFL and the College game).
    These games have lots of stoppages where adverts can be shown, but Association Football doesn’t, so they needed ways to add stoppages.

    So FIFA were told to makes changes that would facilitate adverts to be included during the games.

    The first change to the laws was the subtle use of VAR. The second was the increase from 3 to 5 substitutions.
    The next, and most important, will be the introduction of a clock.
    So when the games stops for say an injury or a substitution or a free kick, the clock will stop and no time will be lost.
    Since no time will be lost, the game can consist of just two 60 minute halves, which is what the statisticians say is the current amount of actual football action in each half.
    This all sounds reasonable, but once the clock is in place, just like in gridiron, the TV company will be able to stop play at say a throw in (or kick in as it my be shortly) for a TV time-out.
    Once the clock has been accepted, FIFA plan to offer no limit on substitutions! More chances to stop the clock and have a “time-out” as it were.

    My final point is, when the World cup is played in Qatar I suspect there will drink breaks half way thru each half.
    If the game has been limited to two 60 minute halves, the breaks will occur after 15 minutes, making the game actually 4 quarters of 15 minutes, just like gridiron.
    FIFA might also introduce challenges for the coaches, say two per half where they can question a referee’s or VAR decision (although this might be a bridge too far).

    Does any body else hold this view of the future of top level football?

  12. i guess the same kind of delusional thinking that led him to believe that a bright new stadium would catapult us to the summit of european football

    1. RW1, funnily enough, the club were looking to expand Highbury or move their ground long before Arsene Wenger joined the club… as the capacity of 38,000 meant we could not compete financially with the likes of united.

      Delusional that you think Arsene was the only one who made the decision to move grounds, but it does tally with those fans who want to blame him for everything that went wrong, while never acknowledging the great achievements our club recorded under his stewardship.

      What a difference when one compares the way united fans treat AF and the way some of our “fans” treat the most successful manager The Arsenal have ever had.

      Perhaps the way AF persuaded Ronaldo to rejoin united over city, should tell us all something, but hey ho let’s keep bashing Le Prof!!!

      What a joke of a minority fan base we have – delusional is the right word to describe them, that’s for sure.

      1. Ken, your point about the club considering an expansion of Highbury is fact. I remember reading an article some years ago regarding restructuring the ground and increasing the capacity to around 48,000 by filling in the gaps. This was before AW’s time but the club was obviously thinking of expansion or moving at that time. The way certain fans disrespected him before he was sacked was shameful, no wonder he hasn’t bothered to visit the Emirates.

        1. Thank you Andrew for clarification of the club’s intentions way before Arsene Wenger’s time.
          If only fans would take and check facts, but in today’s world, it seems that anyone can say anything, with no idea of the facts.

          1. Ken, there is one other fact that led to their decision which was all seater stadiums introduced in the 94/95 season. This reduced drastically capacity from 70,000 to 38,000 along with match-day revenue. I don’t think the club had any choice but to build a new stadium if they were to compete in the long term. The local council turned down every expansion plan they submitted. It’s sad to leave Highbury behind, especially for the older supporters, but we now have a beautiful and modern stadium with a wonderful playing surface and time for recriminations is over, we need to look ahead.

      2. Ken so much chimes with exactly what I think. Our delusional and also unfair modern fanbase is deeply depressing. A great deal of those delusionals have zero patience and do not even know the true meaning of that word either.

      3. Delusion: A false personal belief that is not subject to reason or contradictory evidence It is true ken that wenger was our best manager .. but also the one whose longevity damaged the club … our current state is not solely down to wenger .. no one believes that … but accepting his successes at the expense of acknowledging his failures and it’s consequences is from a clinical point of view delusional ..
        wenger was a breath of fresh air when he arrived as a relative unknown to English football and helped transform the club and the game in many positive ways but others adapted and that initial advantage from being a first mover wore off … then the big test is how in the face of new or renewed competition the first mover adapts … it’s a familiar challenge which is not confined to football .. wengers response (and yours) was that it’s a financing problem and that a big new stadium would solve that problem and in doing so stop us falling behind on the pitch … of course he was not the only decision maker but people seem to forget that wenger himself presented it as his project touting his economic acumen along the way … money is of course now hard wired in to the modern game and the financing constraint is a real one given the absurd edits of salaries and transfer fees … but less than a third of earnings come from match day revenues and the additional revenue from the emirates much less than that … but if trying to break that constraint comes at the expense of fundamentals on the pitch then at some point that disconnect will begin to show as it did with us from 2012 … the departure of van persie being symbolic in this regard … wengers response was to promote some very average players which he seemed to believe that his magical managerial touch would transform in to world class footballers … the Midas touch delusion … we all know the names and the consequences … the reference to Ferguson is irrelevant .. his record was superior to wengers and he left the club on a high point so of course his status for man utd fans remains higher that should be obvious but again wengers early successes cloud judgement … and it should be said that stadium upgrades (a la anfield or old trafford) are different projects architecturally and psychologically they build on a tradition rather than breaking one … no idea what the Ronaldo remark is intended to signify … it’s infantile and gratuitous and nothing to do with our current plight which is now worryingly deep rooted

  13. It is normal that humans will always say no to a change that comes at the very first thought. Until the possible date suggested for the take off of the proposal by year 2024, more realistic reasons for and against would emerge, either to adjust and refine it, or discard the idea.
    I remembered I have heard that proposal earlier, so I searched and discovered it was published in March 2021. I searched because, I only faintly remembered he talked about players and quality of the game. Well, that is within the scope of his duties at Fifa. I trust Arsene, he a genius, a very smooth, gifted and articulate man.
    The reason the proposal is on discussion currently this September 2021, is that he has given detailed outline of the proposal in an interview for all critiques and scrutiny, and then reflection on adequate information for stakeholders. In other words, the debate is just starting. However if we are likely to find emergence of players of the qualities of Pele, Amando, De Lima, Messi, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Jay Jay, way not do it every 2years.
    We should bear in mind, reason it began with every four years was preponderantly logistics, and many of the problems then are non-existent today.

    1. Great Post and very enlightening as well.
      How I wish all fans would do some research before coming out with misleading views/quotes… Thanks for the information.

  14. Well according to FIFA and AW, world cup every two years means just two international break in every club football season which we can all agree would be welcomed…

    It also gives more nations aspiring to host this beautiful tournament better chances going forward.

    Of course being the a top competition AW believes fans around the world deserve to experience such event more frequently which is also something I would like… I’ld have preferred 3 years interval tho…

    More countries will also get the chance to participate… Personally I do not think there’d be any less of appetite or anticipation for this tournament if it does come biennially, it’s countries against countries, different hosting nations, club players against one another… It doesn’t get dull

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