Arsenal fans may think that Arsenal falling away from the Elite sides in the Champions League has not been such a disaster right now, but it could have immense repurcussions in the future if we don-t fight or way back into the top division in the next few years, as Arsene Wenger fully expects a European League to take over from the Premier League at weekends, and relegate the EPL games to be played in midweek.
In his last press conference as Arsenal manager, Wenger spoke about how the English game has changed in his 22 years at the Emirates and how he sees it evolving in the future. “There’s two aspects I would say.” Le Prof said. “The Premier League has created many jobs, when I arrived we were 80 at Arsenal, we are today 700. That means from a private little company where you know everybody, we have gone to a normal company with an HR department where everything has to be processed and regulated. That’s not down anymore to your initiative, but every single decision has to go through a process in an over-regulated society. It’s sometimes discouraging, so the human aspect has dropped a little bit.
“On the other hand the financial power of the clubs has become huge. On the other hand, in 20 years the ownership has changed completely. If you look at the ownership when I was arrived and what it is today, it has become completely world wide. England does not own the clubs any more, it’s much more international. The world has become globalised and open, so the competition is worldwide with the players as well. These owners buy players from all over the world. The Premier League has become a world-wide championship. The next evolution? Maybe I will see you in a few years and you will certainly have a European league over the weekends. A domestic league will certainly play Tuesday/Wednesday. I think that is the next step we will see.”
If Wenger is right, then it makes it even more vital that the club invests it’s billions to take the Gunners back into the top echelons, especially if only four teams are chosen from each League. Can you imagine if we were playing in a second tier Europa League standard competition every weekend?
This would also create other massive problems, as surely only one squad could not play every single game in both competitions for the whole season. The range of backup players would have to be increased in quality and numbers if one team was aiming to be successful at both European and domestic levels. In fact would it be basically the same as having two different squads for the two competition. How would this fit in wth the Premier League squad size limits and our home grown quotas?
This theory is only going to throw up more questions than answers, but who thinks it would be a good thing for the fans? Would have two tiers of fans too? One going to European games and one going to EPL games in midweek?