FIFA's Stance on Cross-Border Leagues (ASEAN Super League?)

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by Nico Limmat, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Well, my idea for a cap was thinking of merely the UEFA confederation, and you could use other factors beyond population. Economies, league or team budgets, etc. The bottom line, however, is that these mergers should be used to increase the viability of the smaller leagues and not as a way for existing power leagues to gobble up smaller ones.
     
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  2. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Country:
    Switzerland
  3. shizzle787

    shizzle787 Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    United States
    What do you think of them? How would you deal with promotion/relegation? How would you deal with European places?

    If they were allowed in Europe, I would hope that a European super league would not form (I don't think it would anyways).

    However, if cross-border leagues were to develop around Europe, these are the ones I would hope would form (although politics would prevent a few of these from happening):

    Baltic League: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
    Scandinavian League: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland
    Adriatic League: Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro
    All-Ireland League: Ireland, Northern Ireland
    Czech & Slovak League: Czech Republic, Slovakia
    Balkan League: Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus
    CIS League: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia

    If all 7 of these leagues happened, there would only be 31 top flight leagues in Europe (it would cut down qualifying for the Champions League a little and Europa League a lot).
     
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  4. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Country:
    United States
    Let's just say the idea in theory is interesting, but some of these would be... um... problematic. Turkey and Greece in the same league? Croatia and Serbia? Russia and Ukraine? You may want to read the news over the past year or so.
     
  5. shizzle787

    shizzle787 Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    United States
    That's why I included the politics may be a problem part. Anyway, Serbia and Croatia both have clubs in a Adriatic basketball Super League, so they may be more ready than you think (although soccer is a much bigger animal).
     
  6. VBCity72

    VBCity72 Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    Virginia Beach
    Club:
    Plymouth Argyle FC
    Country:
    United States
    The first 2 would work but I'm not sure about the rest.
     
  7. shizzle787

    shizzle787 Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    United States
    Now that I think about it, I think Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania should each have their own league. They have their own histories and were never a joint-league before. However, I would like to see the other cross-border super leagues happen.
     
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  8. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    To qualify for the Euroleague or Eurocup, they have to do so though their own domestic leagues.

    The Adriatic League is more a regional tournament with its own qualification formula.
     
  9. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I think they should be allowed, but there's a long-term risk as well.

    The case for is that domestic leagues from smaller nations will lack the financial resources and broader appeal to compete with the 4-6 giant leagues. While this isn't a call for equal footing I do think it would be bad for European competitions if the weaker leagues weren't allowed ways to compensate for the differences. Thus, allowing joint leagues would give those leagues a higher ceiling, as it were.

    As discussed elsewhere I'd cap the size of the nations eligible for this based on some quotient linked to population and economy (national or league related). For instance, the combined populations cannot exceed, say, 20M upon creation. This would allow, for example, a joint league featuring Scotland and Ireland, but prevent one of the bigger leagues from exploiting the policy. (Such as a joint Iberian league) The merged leagues would then have greater market presence and shared fan pool with regards to European competition. (See below)

    There are 2 main flaws, however.
    - Ultimately some nations won't find an eligible mate and be left out, and thus risk falling further behind as a footballing nation. Not a travesty or illegal, but it would be unfortunate.
    - What do we do if/when the nations involved exceed the thresholds or begin to outgrow the need?

    Depending on how well this plays out, then, an alternative would be to create regional competitions as a supplement to UEFA tournaments. So instead of a Scandinavian league there would be a cup tournament for member leagues that coincides with the season. This could work in cases where domestic leagues and seasons are smaller and shorter, respectively. Won't have the biggest impact economically but it would help.
    Internally this would vary depending on the nations involved. You assume the base is an even amount of teams from each nation and you then swap out the lowest from each. For example - An 18 team Scottish-Irish League, 9 teams from each nation. (Humor me) At the end of the year the worst Scottish club is replaced with the best 2nd tier team from that nation, and ditto the worst Irish club. In the case of an imbalanced league they could explore other options. For instance, if that same league featured 12 Scottish teams and 6 Irish teams then the numbers for relegation could mirror the ratio - 2 down from Scotland and 1 from Ireland.

    I would make those allotments shared, as well, but this would also come with a re-balancing of how UEFA distribute funds. I favor paying the bulk of monies to the domestic leagues rather than directly to the teams, so that the wealth is more evenly distributed. We're not just rewarding the Madrid brand, after all, but rather the whole of the leagues that are producing these teams. So a joint league should not only command the same money and UEFA spots previously assigned to both nations but maybe the smaller leagues would see more money overall. Then even if the joint league is imbalanced in which teams are competing in the UEFA the net result is the same regarding their desire to compete for standing, UEFA coefficients, etc. Instead of representing just the Danish league, for example, they'd be representing the joint Scandinavian league.

    - - -

    Bottom line, you're seeking for ways to give the smaller leagues a benefit in media revenue multiplying similar to those experienced at larger leagues/nations. This can only happen if their media deals are provided broader market coverage.
     
  10. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina basketball associations started it as basketball was declining, Croatia had two serious clubs, others less, and Serbian association was forced in (like if you don't enter, no Euroleague for you). There are no away fans in it due to security reasons (although it runs for more than a decade now), it was private league until this season, future remains unclear due to FIBA-ULEB fight. It isn't comparable to football in any way - football is simply way bigger, interest in basketball is declining, basketball courts are empty or kids play football there.

    From my point of view, football regional league here (Balkans) isn't needed yet as local leagues are not even close to their full potential (Croatian league is #1 in quality, European results, infrastructure, national team results, but still has a lot of room to grow) and there's huge corruption in each of those. Mafia that leads football could agree and could start joint league because of their own interests only, but, if you ask fans, I'd say 20-30% of them are for it, most of them being older generation - people still hate each other, especially younger generations, matches of teams from ex-Yu countries usually, no matter what sport, end up with brawls and fights so it's still [way too] early.

    If they decide to give it a try, they should start with "champions cup" first followed by "champions league". But season-long league competition - I don't see it happening.

    As for other leagues, I'd say the same, beside maybe unified Irish league - Geez, they suck in club football, joint league is a must. There's no salvation for Baltic leagues, they are just stuck in a moment and can't get out of it, while Scandinavia had it's "champions" league and it flopped big time. Maybe Caucasian countries (AZE, ARM, GEO) might give it a try.
     
  11. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Country:
    Switzerland
    While something like the ASEAN Super League may be the first proper cross-border that we see I'm starting to think that the first European cross-border league will be the 'big one'. A European Super League. The Premiership riches are set to increase even more in 2016 and this development will ultimately motivate Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern and PSG to pick up the phone to the big clubs in London and Manchester to ask them whether they would like to make some 'real money'.

    I've made my peace with this development. I just hope this European Super League stays under the FIFA/UEFA umbrella in some fashion with promotion/relegation present.
     
  12. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Dear God, no.

    While the move is desirable to the power teams who could lock themselves in as having elite status and tons of money, the move would unfairly freeze out others and by default push many other teams into a lower class. 15 years ago Chelsea and Man City wouldn't have been included, but they might be included now because they have wealthy owners? Would Tottenham deserve to be left out? Lazio? Valencia? How many teams from each nation? Should it be balanced membership from La Liga vs Serie A vs the Prem? Who says these teams deserve to remain above the others in this way? What impact does this have on smaller teams as more fans are lured away from local clubs? Are eastern European nations frozen out?

    IMO this move would be wholly unfair and I want nothing but for the idea to die. If anyone attempts such a move I hope the national associations impacted then forbid the teams from competing in local competitions. If Man U wants to hang with Madrid and Bayern exclusively then let them get by without anymore FA Cup or Premiership contests. See how all those clubs do when they only have one trophy to fight for and some of them endure last place finishes.

    Allow regional leagues or cups for smaller nations and work to improve equity of the UEFA money distributions to make things more competitive, not less.
     
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  13. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    I don't want a European Super League either.
     
  14. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Country:
    Switzerland
    Didn't say I was a fan of it, but I see no other outcome after a few more years of the Premiership being showered in TV money. The rest of Europe is not going to accept the Premiership becoming the NBA or NHL of football. Between those two scenarios a European Super League would be the lesser of two evils. At least teams like Ajax or Benfica could be part of it, bringing elite football back to the Netherlands and Portugal. It may not happen for a few years but in my opinion the Premiership riches have set into motion an irreversible process towards that final outcome.
     
  15. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Member+

    Orlando City SC
    Apr 30, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Country:
    United States
    ...but how long will it take for that to matter on the European stage? Let's at least get back to the days of the Premier League regularly providing three of the four Champions League semifinalists.
     
  16. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Country:
    Switzerland
    I don't think you can just look at the UCL semis here. The fact that a small club like Stoke has Shaqiri, Arnautovic and Bojan Krkić is simply astounding. Bayern's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge doesn't miss an opportunity these days to point towards the English TV money. There is no doubt in my mind, this money will change European football forever. For better or worse.
     
  17. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Member+

    Orlando City SC
    Apr 30, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Country:
    United States
    Ok...now, why would small-time EPL clubs accept forfeiting the big names to a European SuperLeague? If the latter comes to pass, then Stoke not only loses out on those big gate revenue, big TV ratings encounters with the Manchester and London sides, but the very league in which it plays would be significantly devalued. If said clubs have any sort of recourse to avoid this outcome (votes within the English FA? Appealing to UEFA or FIFA to fight against it?), I'd expect them to use it.
     
  18. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    Looking at Champions League rounds other than who made the Semifinals, it's obvious that England is doing worse than it used to. Here is how many points per game English clubs have earned in games from the Group Stage on excluding games between two English clubs. I'm treating knockout games as 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw using the result after regulation even though points aren't used at that point.

    2007-2008 (won by Manchester United): 82/38 = 2.16 points per game
    2013-2014 (won by Real Madrid): 66/38 = 1.74 points per game
    2014-2015 (last complete season, won by Barcelona): 45/30 = 1.50 points per game

    Would you rather your favorite club be as good as possible or as rich as possible? Is it money that matters, or what you do with that money? Let's say Stoke City has more money than Atletico Madrid (I don't know if that's true). Atletico Madrid is much better and has a better chance at finishing in the Top 4 (a Semifinalist, I know that clubs eliminated in the same round aren't ranked against each other) in the Champions League than Stoke City has at finishing in the Top 4 in the Premier League.
     
  19. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Country:
    Switzerland
    #44 Nico Limmat, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
    Clubs like Stoke won't accept it, but they won't be in a position to prevent it. Neither will UEFA. UEFA will give their blessing in return for a promotion/relegation mechanism and perhaps some kind of revenue-sharing to help the domestic leagues overcome their brand loss. If both sides play it smart they could use the well established Champions League brand for the ESL. The Europa League could serve as the competition for promotion. I would also motivate the ESL clubs to remain in their domestic FA Cup competitions.

    Premier League TV deals, the Super League and the death of European domestic football leagues
    I enjoy watching the high-spending Premiership clubs fail as much as the next guy but when a club like Bournemouth makes twice as much TV money as Bayern Munich something has to give. European success will return for the Premiership. They are raiding La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga as we speak.

    I would be interested to hear other theories how this plays out, but the writing appears to be on the wall.
     
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  20. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    We already have a superleague - UEFA CL. How? Same teams in same rounds every freakin season, same matchups over and over again and same teams earning tremendous amounts of money season to season. That's enough for them. That's enough for us.

    I am sure that I am not the only one who's getting sick of monotony that struck European top football level. Real, Barca, Bayern, PSG, Chelsea, Arsenal, Atletico... annooooooying! Boooring! Their domestic matches with likes of Bilbao, Valencia, Wolfsburg, Lille, West Ham and Levante, Duisburg, Swansea etc. save the day.

    Pan-European league system is impossible, we aren't America. As they don't accept pro/rel or abolishing playoffs scheme, we don't accept leaving our national leagues. Everton would not want to play in D2 against Rennes or Lazio nor would Stoke against Eibar, not to mention D3 league consisted of Dinamo Zagreb, PAOK, Malmoe, Boavista. Yuck.
     
  21. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    It's only logical that the national football pyramides continue on a European level.

    Success has increasingly been determined by the size of domestic television markets ... in a small market, clubs are at a clear competitive disadvantage because of economic constraints imposed by location ... in a bigger market, they could realise their full sporting potential. If the CL was an actual league (with lower divisions and relegation/promotion), the competitive disadvantage of clubs from smaller countries could be addressed. Without change, the gap between small and big market clubs keeps widening while the CL money flowing to the few small market clubs has the perverse effect of distorting their domestic competitions.

    How long will smaller leagues remain viable? William Gaillard asserted that "professional football could disappear in 40 European countries over the next 10 years" ... he believes that you need a market of at least 30m people for a viable competition and ideally 50m ... it's why UEFA encourages smaller leagues to join forces (geographically aligned ones, e.g. the BeNe League, Iberian League, etc.) ... and why UEFA created a working group that deals with cross-border leagues and competitions headed by Van Praag.
     
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  22. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Club:
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Country:
    Switzerland
    #47 Nico Limmat, Jan 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    Agreed on lower divisions. Cross-border leagues are only going to work for top flight football. Look I'm not ecstatic about this development but do you know how many clubs make more TV money than the last placed team in the Premiership? Three. Three. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. Let that sink in for a moment. It's only a matter of time before a genuinely big club like Borussia Dortmund gets sick of competing with the likes of Crystal Palace for a player's signature. The Premiership TV money is going to tear European football apart.

    I suppose the silver lining from a (selfish) European perspective is that world's best players will continue playing on our continent for a long, long time. But it will be at the expense of the "middle class".
    The most serious application for a cross-border league came from Slovakia and the Czech Republic if memory serves right. UEFA rejected it saying it was in the middle of a study using the Women's BeNe League for three seasons. That league was disbanded after the third season due to cost and I haven't heard anything from UEFA since. Got any links regarding this working group?
     
  23. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    We've been talking about a BeNe league since former PSV president, J. Ruts, suggested it in the early 1990s ... 25 years and not much to show for it ... the last instalment was the Women's BeNe League ... after that three-year pilot project ran its course (in 2015), very little was made public ... IIRC the Dutch FA said that they didn't want to make funds available for it ... as you said, it was disbanded due to cost (was to be expected in a women's league) ... since then (men's) BeNe League talks haven't flared up again and I haven't heard anything from UEFA as well. When I come across anything related to the working group, usually it's in the Belgian media ... sometimes, e.g. when a decision is made, it's mentioned in those uefa direct publications (ctrl+F: cross-border).
     
  24. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Country:
    Bolivia
    I'm amazed that MLS has not been brought up yet in this discussion.

    From our experience if the countries share a common culture/heritage and have a similar economic level then it does work quite nicely. It also works well for the smaller country because there is more interest in the league and the local clubs are therefore bigger and richer.

    The big problem for us is how to determine what is a national player vs an international player. Right now Canada does not have enough players to stock their clubs and has categorized American players as nationals. Ideally American clubs should do the same to give Canadians the same opportunity but it is illegal in our country to favor one foreign nationality over another. Another aspect that could be a problem is how quickly an international player can gain residency and be counted as a national.
     
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  25. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    I'd say that MLS is exception just like A-League.

    Foreign teams (3 in MLS, 1 in A-L) are included as they don't have pro league in their own country with the [important] fact that makes these leagues different case than those discused here - US teams don't need Canadian teams in their league while Canadian ones need US teams.
     

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