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7 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Those clubs are performing worse than Leicester right now.  But the point is that the standings at any given moment do not necessarily tell us who the biggest clubs are.  Let us recall that, after Leicester won the league, N'Golo Kante moved to Chelsea.  He left the reigning champions to join a team that had placed 10th; but he was still moving up. Manchester United have not won the league for something like eight years; yet they remain the biggest club in England, and one of the very biggest in the world.  Leicester City are beloved to their faithful, and rightfully so; their title run under Ranieri was a great story.  But that doesn't qualify them to pal around with the Man Uniteds and the Real Madrids of the world.

 

 

 

Nobody gives a hoot who the biggest clubs are, that's the entire point. If Leicester is the champion then they've earned the spot to play in Europe. The club execs and, apparently, you are the only people who care to watch the "elite clubs" coast on reputation even when their on-pitch product is in the toilet. The USMNT are a bigger national team than Panama, did they deserve that 2018 World Cup spot even though they played worse than Panama? Fortunately, we already have a functional system of determining which teams get to play with the other best teams, even if it's a surprising result against all odds!

 

 

6 hours ago, Crabcake said:

The most hilarious/depressing part about this is this is essentially exactly what Liverpool did. They embraced analytics all the way up the club ladder, and this led them to buy players like Sadio Mané, Andy Robertson, and Mo Salah. All guys who had shown flashes of brilliance or potential at their clubs but weren’t the finished product. Combine their potentials with Klopp’s incredible management and those three guys became absolute pillars of the current team. 
 

Now, admittedly, the two pieces which put Liverpool over the top and allowed them to win the PL and UCL (Van Dijk and Alisson) were big-money splashes. But the core of Liverpool’s team which made them arguably the best club in the world for two years was made up of academy products and buy-low players. If anyone should’ve seen the wisdom of “moneyball” in soccer and how you can achieve success without following the Galactico model, it should’ve been John Henry. 
 

It really is a shame, because I thought Liverpool fans were too hard on FSG and I think Henry’s ownership really was a good thing and he did a lot of good here. Let’s not forget that Anfield underwent a major renovation under FSG that had been promised for years by previous ownership. And now, if he does sell (and probably even if he doesn’t), Henry’s legacy will be one of greed, when a legitimate argument could have been made against that in the past. 

 

There was a story a while back about FSG, maybe even with actual quotes from John Henry himself, about how he tried to port over Moneyball methods to the EPL, but it didn't fully work and eventually he just sucked it up and splashed the cash. Not to say there's no place for analytics or being smart as a big club owner, but, you get the sense that there's always been disappointment on Henry's part as a guy who made his fortune on futures trading that there's no cleverest-guy-in-the-room way to get ahead in the EPL. To his credit, he and FSG did what they needed to do to get over that hump last year, but the motivation for a closed shop for them is clear -- they'd rather not have to do all that again to win! That's an ownership group that thrives on exploiting the margins when surrounded by the rules. (Really impossible to separate them from the Mookie Betts galaxy-brain move.)

 

And also why the oligarch-backed clubs who can literally print money were the first to jump ship or never signed up to begin with; I'm sure PSG's Qataris would like a little extra profit but they face no real obstacles in the current scheme.

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39 minutes ago, Digby said:

 

And also why the oligarch-backed clubs who can literally print money were the first to jump ship or never signed up to begin with; I'm sure PSG's Qataris would like a little extra profit but they face no real obstacles in the current scheme.

 

Well PSG is owned by the Qataris that run beIN sports, who happen to broadcast the Champions League in certain markets. They probably thought it was not worth the risk to join the ESL. 

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1 hour ago, Digby said:

Nobody gives a hoot who the biggest clubs are, that's the entire point. If Leicester is the champion then they've earned the spot to play in Europe. The club execs and, apparently, you are the only people who care to watch the "elite clubs" coast on reputation even when their on-pitch product is in the toilet.

 

Oh, it's only me, eh?  So, then, which one of these do you believe would attract more television viewers worldwide: a match involving third-place Leicester or a match involving ninth-place Arsenal?

 

This season will be the second season running in which Leicester will finish ahead of Arsenal.  Which of these clubs has sold more shirts?  Answer: it doesn't matter what club you compare to Arsenal, because Arsenal have sold more shirts than any other Premier League club; meanwhile, Leicester have sold fewer shirts than some Championship clubs.

 

These are the things that illustrate which clubs are the biggest.  It's a status that has typically been earned over many years or sometimes decades; and it's a status that is not lost after a handful of down years.  Let us note that this situation is not unique to European football.  Recently the Lakers came in last in their division for three seasons in a row.  But they were still the Lakers, the NBA's biggest team; and so they continued to draw exceptionally well.  In the season that they won only 17 games, they led the league in road attendance.

 

The point here is that plenty of people give a hoot who the biggest clubs are.

The Champions League has great drama; but it can never deliver enough matchups amongst the teams that most people (not only I) most want to see.  That's the need that will eventually lead to a competently-done Super League.  As I speculated in a previous comment, perhaps the next attempt will be organised by UEFA itself, because there is no good reason to leave unfulfilled so much desire for matches pitting the elite clubs against one another.

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Even by the standards of this board, judging the quality of a match by who sells more shirts is a wild take. That's a problem for Adidas to sort out, not the fans. There is a reason we play the games on the grass and not on paper. Kind of the whole point of sports.

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26 minutes ago, Digby said:

Even by the standards of this board, judging the quality of a match by who sells more shirts is a wild take. That's a problem for Adidas to sort out, not the fans. There is a reason we play the games on the grass and not on paper. Kind of the whole point of sports.

 

(Sigh.)

 

Are you actually denying the existence of big clubs? Shirt sales constitute one quick way of gauging which clubs are the biggest.

 

Look at it another way. If you could talk to all the kids in the world and ask them which clubs they dream of playing for, do you seriously imagine that the number of people who would name Leicester City would be even a fraction of a percent of those who would name Man United, Arsenal, or Liverpool? Even the relative newcomers to the English elite, Chelsea and Man City, are dwarfed on the global scale by these historic giants.

 

It is hardly a radical statement to say that way more people care about the six English clubs that were part of the failed Super League move (including Tottenham, which is by far the least of those six) than care about Leicester City, despite Leicester having recently won the league.

 

And it is perfectly natural to want more matches involving those teams than we can currently get.

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No one cared about the Patriots for the first 30 years of their existence and now they're a marquee NFL franchise. The Warriors were nothing between the 70s and 2015. There are many examples like this.

 

You can't freeze "top teams" in amber because we're all victims of the moment. Yes, the Yankees and Lakers and Cowboys and Barca and Real Madrid are a cut above...but that's really about it.

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1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

(Sigh.)

 

Are you actually denying the existence of big clubs? Shirt sales constitute one quick way of gauging which clubs are the biggest.

 

Look at it another way. If you could talk to all the kids in the world and ask them which clubs they dream of playing for, do you seriously imagine that the number of people who would name Leicester City would be even a fraction of a percent of those who would name Man United, Arsenal, or Liverpool? Even the relative newcomers to the English elite, Chelsea and Man City, are dwarfed on the global scale by these historic giants.

 

It is hardly a radical statement to say that way more people care about the six English clubs that were part of the failed Super League move (including Tottenham, which is by far the least of those six) than care about Leicester City, despite Leicester having recently won the league.

 

And it is perfectly natural to want more matches involving those teams than we can currently get.

 

Your argument is boiling down to club popularity is more important than competition. That's not a solid foundation for a Super League to stand on. There was a fear these big clubs wouldn't field their best in the domestic leagues, and therefore hurt that product. The same could have been said about a Super League. If a club is out of it, where is the incentive to field their best side when the pay day is already a given? That's why the current system works. There's an incentive to do well domestically so you qualify for Europe and there's an incentive to do well in Europe so you advance and make more money.  

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https://www.footyheadlines.com/2021/04/uefa-allows-text-anywhere-on-front-of.html

UEFA says they won't kick teams out of the semi-finals, because then they'd have to pay back money to broadcasters. 

12 hours ago, BC985 said:

 

Your argument is boiling down to club popularity is more important than competition. That's not a solid foundation for a Super League to stand on. There was a fear these big clubs wouldn't field their best in the domestic leagues, and therefore hurt that product. The same could have been said about a Super League. If a club is out of it, where is the incentive to field their best side when the pay day is already a given? That's why the current system works. There's an incentive to do well domestically so you qualify for Europe and there's an incentive to do well in Europe so you advance and make more money.  

That's the problem with most competitions, including the World Cup. Is it likely that the 11th place team in Europe is better than the 4th best in North America? Possibly. But the fact that UEFA controls so many more spots at the World Cup means they are artificially elevated above other confederations. The money their club teams generate help them get the best players in the world over to Europe as well, which is why it takes a miracle for even the best teams in Conmebol to beat a team like Bayern or Real Madrid.  

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5 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

That's the problem with most competitions, including the World Cup. Is it likely that the 11th place team in Europe is better than the 4th best in North America? Possibly. But the fact that UEFA controls so many more spots at the World Cup means they are artificially elevated above other confederations. The money their club teams generate help them get the best players in the world over to Europe as well, which is why it takes a miracle for even the best teams in Conmebol to beat a team like Bayern or Real Madrid.  

If the spots just went to the top 31 + host based off of the current FIFA rankings the breakdown by continent would look like this compared to the current allocation:

 

UEFA - 18 instead of 13

Conmebol - 7 instead of 4.5

CONCACAF - 2 instead of 3.5

CAF - 2 instead of 5

AFC - 2 + Qatar instead of 4.5 + Qatar

OFC - 0 instead of .5

 

If we do 45 + 3 hosts for the Americas instead of the current plan for allocation we get:

 

UEFA - 25 instead of 16

Conembol - 8 instead of 6

CONCACAF - 1 + US, Mex, Can instead of 5 + US, Mex, Can

CAF - 5 instead of 9

AFC - 4 instead of 8

OFC - 0 instead of 1

 

This isn't a perfect system, but it would seem to show that UEFA is drastically underrepresented, Conmebol is slightly underrepresented, and everyone else is overrepresented

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4 minutes ago, sportsfan7 said:

If the spots just went to the top 31 + host based off of the current FIFA rankings the breakdown by continent would look like this compared to the current allocation:

 

UEFA - 18 instead of 13

Conmebol - 7 instead of 4.5

CONCACAF - 2 instead of 3.5

CAF - 2 instead of 5

AFC - 2 + Qatar instead of 4.5 + Qatar

OFC - 0 instead of .5

 

If we do 45 + 3 hosts for the Americas instead of the current plan for allocation we get:

 

UEFA - 25 instead of 16

Conembol - 8 instead of 6

CONCACAF - 1 + US, Mex, Can instead of 5 + US, Mex, Can

CAF - 5 instead of 9

AFC - 4 instead of 8

OFC - 0 instead of 1

 

This isn't a perfect system, but it would seem to show that UEFA is drastically underrepresented, Conmebol is slightly underrepresented, and everyone else is overrepresented

The problem with rankings at the moment is they are still pretty subjective. Remember when the USA was 6th? We all knew that was bogus. Belgium is #1 I believe and I doubt they're even top 5. I'd say Spain, France, England (when they aren't self destructing), Portugal and Germany. Overall, I think you're correct, but if FIFA was truly about growing the game they'd do more than make Oceania have to play in every tournament and actual get involved in how countries can improve instead of making a few videos and statements. 

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19 hours ago, Digby said:

Why anyone would want MORE matches involving this year’s Arsenal is beyond me.

Arsenal is such a mess, they shouldn't be near any European tournament. 

 

To use the coefficient to determine the final 2 entries makes no sense and is unfair to all the teams who performed better that season. Imagine in MLB if the Yankees had a poor season but still went to the playoffs because of their past history. There would be a major uproar across the nation. 

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47 minutes ago, insert name said:

Imagine in MLB if the Yankees had a poor season but still went to the playoffs because of their past history.

 

That would indeed be ridiculous, because a team earns its way into the playoffs based on that particular season's performance.   

 

But this has nothing to do with the failed attempt at a Super League, which would have been a separate competition,  And to choose teams for a new competition based on their historical importance (I do realise that this rationale is stretched mighty thin when applied to Tottenham) makes sense.

 

 

1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

Belgium is #1 I believe and I doubt they're even top 5.

   

Belgium is a monster.  They probably go into the next World Cup as favourites.

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22 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

That would indeed be ridiculous, because a team earns its way into the playoffs based on that particular season's performance.   

 

But this has nothing to do with the failed attempt at a Super League, which would have been a separate competition,  And to choose teams for a new competition based on their historical importance (I do realise that this rationale is stretched mighty thin when applied to Tottenham) makes sense.

Except this isn't an entirely separate competition, it was meant to be a Champions League replacement. So really it'd be more like the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Spurs, and Warriors creating their own Super Playoffs where they have guaranteed spots every year, justifying it with the fact that they're historically good/popular and saying it's still a fair system because they're graciously allowing 1 Eastern and Western team per year that aren't already in to join for that season (they'd have to qualify through performance every year, though, since they're not part of the cool kids club). 

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1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Belgium is a monster.  They probably go into the next World Cup as favourites.

My money is on Belgium for the next World Cup.

 

1 hour ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Except this isn't an entirely separate competition, it was meant to be a Champions League replacement. So really it'd be more like the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Spurs, and Warriors creating their own Super Playoffs where they have guaranteed spots every year

Hate to call you out, but the Knicks wouldn't be able to join this Super Playoffs. They haven't been good in a long time. Might go with Toronto instead.

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48 minutes ago, Matthew24 said:

Hate to call you out, but the Knicks wouldn't be able to join this Super Playoffs. They haven't been good in a long time. Might go with Toronto instead.

That's my point. They haven't been good in a long time, but they'd still make the Super Playoffs because of their popularity over more deserving teams.

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Who would make a Super League in the Big Four leagues IMO

 

NFL: Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers, Packers, 49ers, Giants, Jets (Only for being in the NY market), Rams, Chargers (again, being in big market LA helps), Chiefs (recent success), Seahawks (ditto), Raiders (historical success), Eagles/Saints/Colts

NBA: Celtics, Lakers, Clippers (big market), Bulls, Knicks (big market), Nets (ditto), Warriors, Heat, Spurs, Rockets, Mavericks, Raptors (recent success), 76ers. If Lebron was still in Cleveland I would have added the Cavs.

MLB: Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Braves, Giants, Astros, Phillies, Nationals

NHL: Original 6 + Penguins, Capitals, Kings, Flyers, Canucks and Oilers

 

Gonna get laughed at but I tried

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11 hours ago, TrueYankee26 said:

Who would make a Super League in the Big Four leagues IMO

NHL: Original 6 + Penguins, Capitals, Kings, Flyers, Canucks and Oilers

Islanders as well? They do have 4 Stanley Cups. Maybe the Devils as well. 

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16 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

Islanders as well? They do have 4 Stanley Cups. Maybe the Devils as well. 

Yeah I was going to put them there but I figured they were going to lose out to the Canucks and Oilers because Canada stereotypically lives breathes eats and sleeps hockey

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