Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Tuesday March 17 2009
I nearly choked on my croissant over France Football magazine this morning. UEFA El Presidente Michel Platini says he'd be prepared to listen to European Super League proposals...
The man who blatantly banged on earlier this year about how he'd rather MCFC's owner His Highness Sheikh Mansour had stayed in Abu Dhabi rather than buy an English Football Club and who relentlessly bemoans Premier League greed and English Football's domination of Europe let his veil of piety drop somewhat in response to the revelation that a 'European Super League' has been discussed by the European Club Association (ECA) in Nyon a few days ago.
UEFA's pontificator-in-chief refuses to rule out a three tier with 20 clubs per division Super League which would replace the Champions League and UEFA Cup in 2012 when UEFA's current TV and marketing deals expire.
'...we must listen carefully to any suggestion. If clubs come and talk to us, we would listen to them and then decide.'
This of course smacks of absolute hypocrisy from the bloke who responded to City's failed Berlusconi manipulated attempts to sign AC Milan's Kaka by declaring he wants to see a cap on club's expenditure.
As almost all of the 'Street of Shame's*' hacks and numerous football pundit experts who bought Berlusconi's spin showed, 'liddle ciddy' and their audacious efforts to break into Europe's elite are an easy target. Platini would never dare to go after his mates at Barcelona and elsewhere. Barca alledgedly being one of the leading G14 clubs including Real Madrid, the rags and Liverpool who are pushing for maximising profit in the years to come. And while I am at it, where is his condemnation of Valencia's debt ridden nightmare situation??
A French pal of mine was not so surprised at Platini's preparedness to hear out the uber-clubs. He reminded me that as a player, the moralising UEFA President very often commanded thousands of what was then Francs before he'd agree to take part in an interview!!
How times of changed, Michel. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. He's against a Cricket style second referee armed with a video for certain contentious decisions but all for a referee behind each net.
Then there is his FIFA opposite number, that berk Sepp Blatter. His '6+5' plan over restricting nationalities in starting line ups is still bubbling under and ain't going to go away. Don't get me started on the arslikhan that will be required to win the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
One thing is absolutely certain. Top flight football, already almost out of sight from it's grass roots is certain to go into orbit in the years to come and any club with intentions of daring to break into it's elite has got one hell of a job on.
File under 'You couldn't make it up. Again.'
* Street of Shame copyright Private Eye
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Date:Tuesday March 17 2009
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