It has been reported that Oldham Athletic have asked players to move onto the furlough scheme or face redundancy. The club are not willing to top up wages above 80% which means that the players who earn above £2,500 per month could face a significant pay cut. The club have refused to comment.
Now is surely the perfect time for the Premier League, The Football League (I refuse to use EFL) and The FA to get their heads together for the future of all football in England. If the distribution of wealth in the game is not fair, I feel for the future of the game. It is not sufficient for the PL to percolate a small amount of money through to all the feeder teams. Without fair and proper distribution of funding the PL could itself go under which, in my book, would not be a bad thing.
The Premier League pampers to just 20 clubs, all of whom are shareholders in the league. It was formed in 1992 when all of the First Division teams withdrew en-masse from the Football League, an immense move considering that its history went back to 1888. Many teams have competed for the championship but only six teams have ever been successful in winning the title: Manchester United; Blackburn Rovers; Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester City. Liverpool, of the so called big four, should lift the title this year if there is any justice left in the game. The league has perpetuated the widening gulf between itself and the rest of the Football League.
Only a small amount of money ‘parachutes’ down to the relegated teams each season which makes it all the more difficult to return. It is also very difficult for promoted teams to remain in the top flight once established unless they have massive backing. Money, and players wages in particular, has been responsible for this devastating and disappointing downturn in real football. It’s time someone started a campaign for real football, one which will bring the beautiful game back to its roots - the working-class man, if he still exists. The amounts of money being wielded about now is obscene with figures of £200 million now being banded about for one player! It really is a slap in the face for the smaller clubs who are fighting for existence because they owe a few thousand pounds.
It’s disgusting to think that the average supporter scrimps and saves throughout the week to get their money together for Saturday’s game to watch a load of pampered, nancy-boys with nice hair cuts strut their stuff while earning up to 10,000 times more than the poor supporter earns. Players come and players go but the supporters go on forever. An English football supporter is more likely to change his wife than change his club and it’s a shame that past loyalties have almost disappeared out of the game. The England national team is bound to suffer because of all the import players currently parading their wares in the Premier League. Look at Chelsea. They were the first team to field a team comprised of only overseas players and it’s time the English footballing authorities put their foot down and said that enough is enough.
Bring in a wage cap and get rid of any administrators who flaunt the rules by taking/giving back-handers. Just look at the disgrace of FIFA in the 2011 closed season when Sepp Blatter was allowed to run for office unopposed and for a term of four years. It’s a complete joke. Punish them all by giving them a life time ban from being associated with any football team at any level of the pyramid. The new rules for 2010/11, agreed by all Premiership club chairmen, stated that clubs must name a squad of up to 25 players. Eight of those players must be ‘home-grown’ players and no more than 17 of those players can be over 21 and not ‘home-grown.’ It’s a start but it needs to be more sweeping. If England is to ever be a world force again why not limit the number of foreign players to five on the field at one time. That’s got to have a positive benefit for the English team in the long run.
If the Premier League are too greedy to redistribute some wealth for their own longevity, whether they realise it or not, I would advocate a total revamp of The Football League. Change the Championship back the the First Division, Leagues One and Two would become the Second and Third Divisions. Promote the National League to become the new Fourth Division. We would then have 92 clubs for the four leagues. Remove promotion to the PL and refuse re-entry of any PL teams to the Football League. If PL teams want to enter the domestic cups (FA and League) they should be charged an appropriate fee which would all go in the FL pot along with some suitable outside sponsorship. This is the only way to bring the PL into line. They wouldn't want a closed shop like the MLS (USA) where there is no relegation or promotion as it becomes boring. It's no good waiting for the PL to act so until the FA and FL do something positive, change will not happen. Premier League - you can stick it where the sun don’t shine!