Champions League drama worth savoring and saving

“ Your last column was unnecessarily equivocal about why the Bundesliga is so boring,” SK Gupta feels. “There is only one reason and ...


Your last column was unnecessarily equivocal about why the Bundesliga is so boring,” SK Gupta feels. “There is only one reason and that is the 50+1 rule. Excluding outside investment, no one can challenge the status quo. If the Bundesliga wants to become a real sporting competition with a certain uncertainty about the final result, it must make its clubs attractive to investors who would invest funds to build a competitive team.

There were times, I admit, when I was tempted to come to the same conclusion. The Bundesliga acting as the stronghold of Bayern Munich is, I think, a problem for German football.

But I’m not convinced that breaking the bond between the team and the fans is the solution. I suspect this particular road leads to the Premier League, where instead of a rich team you end up with a cartel of four, five or six, monopolizing not just the title but every other prize. German fans cherish their culture. Change is necessary, but not at any price.

david hunter is closer to my way of thinking. “You didn’t mention the obvious solution: a salary cap,” he wrote. “American football has one, and there are rarely routine winners season after season.” That’s true, of course, but there’s a major problem: a salary cap could only work if it was agreed to by clubs in all of Europe’s leagues, rather than just one. And this prospect is unfortunately extremely remote.

Finally, let’s go back a few weeks. “If we, the fans, decide what matters in footballit should be noted that the viewing public and team owners have very different ideas of the concept of risk,” wrote Alex McMillan. “Fans cherish risk: it’s what makes winning anything worthwhile. The owners of the wealthiest clubs hate it: it threatens their billion dollar investment.

This is, for me, the crux of the question about the future of football. The game thrives on risk. It is its management and catch that make it attractive. But, yes, it’s diametrically opposed to what owners want and – if we’re being nice – what sustainable businesses need. Almost every debate about where the game is going or what it should do boils down to this tension. How that plays out will define what form football takes.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Champions League drama worth savoring and saving
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