Many of you will think an article involving Girona vs Barcelona is not relevant to Arsenal, something UEFA is happy for you to believe. The idea that a La Liga fixture will be played in America is something every fan should worry about, no matter your allegiance.
Despite transfer fees in excess of 100 million and some players earning 300,000 a week, those in power still want to find ways to make money in spite of supporters. That officials have tried to claim otherwise is offensive.
This is not people kindly trying to grow the game in the US. Like the NBA coming to London once a year hasn’t grown the nation’s interest in Basketball. Soccer isn’t going to grow across the pond due to Barcelona visiting. The world’s biggest names already tour every summer strictly for commercial purposes. Outside of a chance to see marketable names, attendances have fallen over the years. That’s why the Spanish FA have been contracted to include Barca or Real in this idea.
In other words this is not a sporting decision that helps any country but simply makes La Liga, Barca and Real more richer. The Catalan Giants don’t even have to sacrifice anything for this one off pay day. They have used their power to insist this be one of their away fixtures. In other words Girona’s home encounter with the Champions (hard anyway) will now be In Miami in front of a majority of the ‘away’ sides fans. Effectively they are being asked to sacrifice a home fixture for small compensation. That fact could prove vital in the relegation picture. When you are sacrificing the intergrity of the competition for cash then we should all be scared. Because this of course is not intended to be a one off. If everyone gets their way this will become another revenue stream.
Facts and figures highlight that England is the most watched domestic League in America. Premiership TV ratings and friendly fixtures suggest sponsors will pay huge sums to see Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and ourselves make the trip as many times as possible.
Unless your rich, most who attend the Emirates won’t be able to share the experience of a home game abroad so would have one less match on a season ticket they already pay over the odds for. In most businesses the customer is always right. This sport might be the exception to the rule. More and more millionaires are investing in clubs, exploiting the love we have for our crests. They can do whatever they want because they know enough people will pay for the product. That’s how they justify increasing shirt prices, TV packages, etc.
Now possibly they will try to get away with European fixtures outside of Europe. It won’t stop at one game, it will go further then the US. It will be a way for Stan Kroenke to make more money at the expense of the team and Gooners. Just like he’s done since he brought his shares.
So Gooners, would you fight this or do you like the idea of Premiership fixtures outside of the UK?