The Champions League is killing Football

Discussion in 'UEFA and Europe' started by roykeanes_safc, Jan 26, 2008.

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  1. roykeanes_safc

    Jun 26, 2007
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Sunderland AFC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Just thought id share my view on the current state of the game and my the fears I have for it. Since the introduction of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams to the Champions League has seen a massive downfall in the excitement of European Football. Does anyone really care about the group stages? The majority of the excitement from the champions league doesnt arrive until the knockout stages. Now let me show you how this affects Europe as a whole.

    The increasing of team numbers of the Champions League has had a huge effect on the Uefa Cups quality, therefore reducing interest in the competition. No disrespect to any teams mentioned but I remember watching Inter, Bayern, Ajax, Dortmund in the 90s in the 2000s we have finals including Middlesbrough, CSKA Moscow and Espanyol. This also effects the domestic game.

    The 4 qualifier system in England i beleive is ruining the game. Teams such as Liverpool and Arsenal have had bad seasons years before but because they have had the Champions League their seasons have not fell to pieces. Each time these teams reached the final they were miles from the actual league winners. If we restored the European Cup to One qualifier would these teams accept such mediocre seasons with no Champions League to fall back on?

    Now a argument for this case would be "They would just rely on their Uefa Cup Place instead".

    This would be true but if we reduced the number of places availible for the Uefa Cup and reintroduced the Cup Winners Cup, it will also bring excitement back to domestic cup competitions. Again in England I remember FA Cup wins for Spurs, Everton and final Appearances for forest, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wedensday and Aston Villa. Now on of the big 4 are guaranteed to win it with if were lucky a smaller team as the losing finalist.

    The introduction of these competitions would make the leagues more comeptitive also. For example if chelsea were to fail to qualify for any European competition but Spurs won the FA cup and they were both bidding for a player who would he go to? Without the Champions League the so called big teams arent as much as an attraction and smaller teams who are doing well become more attractive. The Champions League is simply helping the rich become richer and the poor become poorer and killing any competitve streak in the game.

    The examples I have used have been English, this is because its what i know best, but I can assure you their are similar not identical stories across Europe. However it will never happen, I can only dream.
     
  2. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Agreed!

    And to add to that, you have to put-up with load-mouth fans of clubs who are really shite (Milan, Liverpool) because their teams got a little lucky in the Champions League.
     
  3. The Jitty Slitter

    The Jitty Slitter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Bayern München
    Germany
    Jul 23, 2004
    Karo Viertel
    Club:
    FC Sankt Pauli
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Interesting thread. Of course the CL is singlehandedly responsible for an enormous amount of the wealth being generated in football....
     
  4. JogaWestHam

    JogaWestHam Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    Don't blame the Champions League, blame the Bosman rule. Without a true salary cap in place, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer; the Champions League only capitalizes on this opportunity. If you only allowed league winners to enter the Champs League, the competition would seriously suck, as the 4th-best team in England is light years ahead of, say, the Hungarian champions.

    What European football needs, more than anything else, is a salary cap. End of story.
     
  5. Cirdan

    Cirdan Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    Jena (Germany)
    First, I do care about group stages, and I'm pretty sure most Germans do, simply because the question for most German teams in the last years isn't "Will they win it?" but "Will they reach the 2nd round?". But I see why this is different for English or neutral football fans.

    Second, it is true that the CL is in parts responsible for disparity within the leagues, but is it really as bad as you make it? In England, it looks like it is, but in Germany, Bayern already dominated without the CL, in Spain Barcelona and Real were always dominant, in Italy Inter, Juve and Milan share the majority of the Serie A titles, and in all 3 leagues other teams won the domestic championship since the introduction of the CL, and no further giants came up (arguably Roma in Italy is on its way). In France, Lyon dominates, maybe the CL is part of the reason for this, but the rest of the league is still more open than anywhere else.

    Third, even if the leagues and the UEFA Cup would benefit from going back to the old system, we don't need to talk about it, since it won't happen in the forseeable future. The CL is way too successfull to abolish it.
     
  6. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    The "Champions" League has always been shit, but is it 'killing football'? No, it's just morphing aspects of the game into something different.
     
  7. The Jitty Slitter

    The Jitty Slitter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Bayern München
    Germany
    Jul 23, 2004
    Karo Viertel
    Club:
    FC Sankt Pauli
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Matt

    You experienced Liverpools cups runs in Europe in the good old days - even if just a lad ;)

    How did that differ to now?
     
  8. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    ... which benefits you in no way, shape or form.:cool:
     
  9. Clan

    Clan Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    True, but an unfair proportion of that wealth remains at the top end of the club ladder.

    Which, in turn, keeps on making sure that the top end teams themselves remain the same.

    I don't know if I'd jump on the 'it's killing football' podium.
     
  10. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Well, it's completely different, obviously. Back in the day going to play Dynamo Dresden or Steaua Bucharest or St Etienne meant something, they were cracking sides who could easily turn you over if you weren't on top of your game. Nowadays (as proven by our recent run) you can play like a bag of toss for fully the first quarter to a third of the entire competition and still take your place in the only bit of it that still retains some sense of drama and real contest. Let's face it, the CL is comprised of 10 or so teams who are just putting in a shift to get to the business end of the competition that they consider their own and 20-odd teams who turn up every year to make up the numbers and provide the "colour and drama" that the hype machine demands, meekly disappearing to their league hinterlands before the big boys get going with the fun bit. Give or take the odd party pooper once every other season or so, that's the repeat formula.

    Of course, in the "good old days" you had plenty of filler too. I'm not going to argue that there is a qualitative drop from European Cup to Champions League, because that would be daft - but that doesn't make the competition as a whole better now. On a simple like-for-like/game-by-game basis, there's more quality on offer now than there used to be. But that doesn't mean it's better, it's just bigger. The maxim "more is better" has won through, even if most of the more is pointless filler material.

    Those of us who can remember the 80's and before (the 80's is as far as I can claim to go back) do have a nostalgic perspective, there was something really cool about going up to the ground and watching some team from god knows where, figuring out who was who with the match programme, reading the match reports in the paper the next day. People who only know the CL have grown up with saturation coverage and there's not much of that old magic left. It's pretty run-of-the-mill these days. Every spotty 12-year old fanboy can name the left-back at Villareal and his assist stats for the past three seasons and you can watch CL football like you can watch The Simpsons - it's constantly on somewhere.

    Boring.
     
  11. Double Jay

    Double Jay New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Bucharest
    I think both did. The Bosman rule lets Arsenal or Inter field an entire team of foreigners while the "new" CL lets the same teams get in.

    Aren't you bored of having the same teams every year in the 1/4 finals? I am. And I'm sure most of the real fans would love a REAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. But there are too much money from TV rights and marketing deals.
     
  12. Clan

    Clan Member

    Apr 23, 2002

    Then all the teams would be of the quality of the Hungarian champions in very short order.
    I don't think thats what we want or the answer - although it's the standard yank reply.

    No, what's needed is a better distribution of the money in the game.

    For starters, the CL needs to be reduced in the number of teams and payout.
    The UEFA cup needs reducing in numbers and a dramatic increase in payout.

    I would also like to see the Cup Winners Cup brought back and a financial reward of winning it greater than that of winning the UEFA cup, but less than a CL win.

    Until the financial packages are sorted out to where a season in the UEFA cup is not detrimental to the financial health of a club, nothing will change.
     
  13. The Jitty Slitter

    The Jitty Slitter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Bayern München
    Germany
    Jul 23, 2004
    Karo Viertel
    Club:
    FC Sankt Pauli
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    No - i am on the "it's shaping football in a bad way podium"

    The thing that is most obvious from a side like Man U is that the domestic market can't actually sustain their need for cash. So therefore their product needs to be international saleable - which means international style stars....

    The amount they can make banging up ticket prices is known and finite. Whereas the cash from 350m global "followers" is virtually limitless. The champs league is obviously key to that.

    I think Matt posted in the liverpool forum that he felt Hicks and wassit weren't even that bothered with the league?
     
  14. Clan

    Clan Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    That would indeed be sad, and given the financial package of actually winning the league compared to 4th place, I can see it being true to an extent.
    What is the difference in placings worht these days, about a half-million pounds?

    Pocket change really and not a bother if that 4th place finish would get you into the same financial rewards that a 1st place finish would.
     
  15. Double Jay

    Double Jay New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Bucharest
    No, because the Hungarians (or Romanians) would be able to hold on to their players.

    BTW, the quality of football has gone up also because of doping. There is no way a player can play like that for 60-70 games a season with no help. But UEFA / FIFA is not interested in that. How many players died on the pitch in this modern era? How many died before that?
     
  16. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Does the current Champions League carry any more real meaning than the old UEFA Cup? Clearly not...
     
  17. Clan

    Clan Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    I can't speak as to the doping, but there has always been drugs and drink in the game.

    As for retaining their players, thats all well and good I suppose. It would be only one, or perhaps two, players of quality per team, league wide.
    And what happens when they're crocked. a whole season down the tubes because you can't afford another quality player because your cap has been reached?

    You see, I actually would like to have a team like say Barca was a few years ago, dripping with ( albeit bought) talent and an absolute joy to watch as a neutral.
    I'm a football fan as well as a club fan.

    This is why I won't be climbing up on the CL is killing football podium ;)
     
  18. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    I didn't quite put it like that, but if you look at the situation in the simple, rational way a businessman would, then the CL is quite obviously a more important part of your annual revenue sources than the domestic league. The amount of money available to the domestic champion that is not available to the team that finished one, two or three places below them is minimal. The amount of money a team loses out on by an early exit from the CL, by contrast, is huge.
     
  19. The Jitty Slitter

    The Jitty Slitter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Bayern München
    Germany
    Jul 23, 2004
    Karo Viertel
    Club:
    FC Sankt Pauli
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Thanks - I agree BTW

    I think we've seen the same at Arsenal. Why spend big bucks on it?
     
  20. Double Jay

    Double Jay New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Bucharest
    I said nothing about a cap. Just the old 3 foreigns players rule an the only champions league. There will a lot less money in the CL, sure, but that will only make for a more fair competition.
     
  21. Big Soccer Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Surrey, England
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I cannot agree with you on your point on domestic cups.

    These cups are random. In the past when the likes of Coventry and Wednesday did really well it was not because the good teams didn't try. They didn't field weakened sides any more so than they do today. Coventry and the like may have had a lucky draw, a couple of priceless deflections or a screamer that sent them through each round. In recent years so many teams have come so close. Sheffield United, Southhampton, Blackburn and West Ham have been desperately unlucky not to win their finals or semi finals.

    The champions league isn't the problem, it's the need to stay in the Premiership. A cup run is pointless if a team gets relegated so mid table managers put out weakend sides when 20 years ago they wouldn't have. There has also been a lack of lower league cup runs because of the play off system. Mid table lower league teams would rather try for the play offs and more money than the FA Cup.

    The Champions Leauge is not a problem. I for one prefer the system in Europe where their are consistant high finishes and dynasties created to the American one where the Super Bowl winners will win one year then finish last the next. Also, the premiership is becoming so valuble that Villa, Everton, Spurs and the like have enough money to challenge the Big Four. In 10 years it will be the big 10.
     
  22. Prenn

    Prenn Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    Northern Ireland
    Club:
    Bolton Wanderers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    The logic doesn't follow. If everyone gets proportionally richer then nothing changes. The Champions League is a problem as it's the main cause of financial disparity amongst the top/middle teams in the Premier League.
     
  23. MNAFETSC

    MNAFETSC Member

    Feb 5, 2000
    Blacksburg
    Isnt the unequal distribution of the leagues tv deal a bigger problem?
     
  24. jpick

    jpick Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    jacksonville, FL
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I remember another poster talking about something similar when he used to love the world cup cause you would hear rumors and whispers about guys like falcao and zico and you hadn't really seen them, cause in you country the only matches or highlights (and there wasn't that many of those) were just clubs in your country. so the world cups (and champions league to a slightly lesser extent) were the only time(s) you got to see some of the greatest players in the world at all, or at least for the most part. there was a great sense of anticipation and of excitement for the unknown, now that is taken away by satellite coverage, internet streaming, torrents and youtube, etc. i think that has less to do with the actual competition more so with the extensive media coverage now available.

    Of course, as an american, i am thankful for this coverage compared to just 5-6 years ago. It is great for me, but if i had experienced differently growing up, then i probably would feel it's worse off.
     
  25. JogaWestHam

    JogaWestHam Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Columbus, OH

    That doesn't address the issue of a team like Chelsea-- they don't rely on financial support from the Champions League, they rely on Roman Abramovic and his big fat wallet. Without a salary cap, they'd still be buying up players like there's no tomorrow, even if the so-called "money" was being distributed more equally amongst Champs League contenders.

    I don't see why everyone poo-poo's the idea of a salary cap (except from a legal sense, of course) by saying that the quality of teams would drop off so dramatically. It seems to work pretty well for the NFL, and the NBA; certainly better than the current state of European football, if nothing else.
     

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