What do the rich want the poor to keep? By Charles Veritie.
As we know by the time Arsené Wenger had delivered his vision of a state of the art modern new stadium for Arsenal, funded within the financial ability of the club, football had entered a new world.
The world of the oligarchy, billionaire or country funded football clubs for whom bank notes were more plentiful than confetti bits at a billionaires splash wedding.
In England the two main beneficiaries of ‘pounds from heaven’ have been Chelsea and Man City, to a lesser extent Leicester, Wolves and Forest and others have also benefited from this world in which money falls on our heads like raindrops in a monsoon.
When the vision for Arsené’s Arsenal became public and set in place we were told that the new stadium would make it possible for the club to compete with the likes of Man Utd and the ‘big’ clubs in Europe, this hasn’t happened.
In fairness to Arsené and the club, the team has benefited from the extra money with the 20,000 extra seats of the new stadium, we have bought players and paid salaries at prices we could not have afforded with the income the old stadium provided the club.*
*Yes I know other sources of income have also increased spending power for Arsenal and other clubs, but one aspect at a time please.
This increased income is now ‘peanuts’ to the millions that are available to the known big clubs and new big clubs (as far as money from outside the club has made them.)
As we know when all the hard work of the new stadium was completed and we were ready for our self-financing rich ‘promised land’ not only were we ‘out-moneyed’ by events we have no control over, we were sold off to a faraway billionaire who takes out and doesn’t put in.
Yes he does ‘put in’ – into his own pockets. Forget Fagan, ‘You’ve gotta pick a pocket or two’. Its: You’ve gotta pick a club or two, or three, or four, or five and may be more’. This is his money recipe.
So it is instead of being one of the ‘new rich’ at home with the rich clubs, whose league we aspired to belong to, we are back among the ‘also-rans’ on the margins of the ‘promised land of the rich, big and mighty’. Left to compete in the shadows of the rich, where we were before the new stadium.
Back in the 1980s English football had all manner of problems, we were even banned from Europe, but money was flowing into the game from television and sponsorship.
The big clubs of the old First Division weren’t too happy to say the least that their share of this bonanza wasn’t as big as they thought it should be. As now as then the Football League was visionless and failed to understand what was happening in front of their eyes, and so refused to negotiate with the then ‘big clubs’. And so it was that the Premier League was formed and the big clubs get a bigger and bigger share of the ‘money pot’.
This season is nearing its end. When we look around Europe we can’t help but see that the league leaders are the regular leaders of their respective leagues, barring accidents they will be leaders next season as they were last season. Unlike our home fat controllers of football. Uefa is wide awake to the situation and realises that if it doesn’t kowtow to the rich clubs of Europe and give them more money ‘the rich’ will form their own league, a sort of European Premier League, and UEFA will be left among the also runs, counting and controlling sheep.
In my view a European League is inevitable, independent or part of the UEFA set up remains to be seen, but as things are it can’t be too far away.
Will Arsenal be a member of this New European Rich League? I don’t think so.
Because to answer the question: What do the rich want the poor to keep? ‘Their distance’.