There’s not really a lot of Arsenal news going on at the moment. So with that in mind, as I went for my run this morning, I toyed with the idea of talking about the FIFA announcement of a World Club Cup tournament from 2025.
I reckon I’ve been pretty clear on my feelings about FIFA, but just to reiterate: The global footballing governing body are a morality cesspit of corruption and self-serving fat cats who should be allowed nowhere near the running of the game. It is presided over by a despot in Infantino who instead of revolutionising a corrupt institution built on back handers and ill-gotten gains, has settled nicely in to the position vacated by Blatter all those years ago and made himself more than comfortable.
His bizarre opening statements at the beginning of the World Cup in Qatar set the scene for a man at the top of an organisation so tone deaf to the rest of the footballing world, that this idea of a World Club Cup and the fact it was announced just as this questionable tournament came to an end, should probably come as no surprise to us all.
FIFA is an organisation built and maintained on the need to line its own pockets and this World Club Cup competition is the most brazen example of demonstrating that, that I have ever seen. The rise in the popularity and revenues generated by UEFA for the Champions League has long been something that FIFA has coveted. They have seen how club football has overtaken its international product in the last 20 years and they have watched from over the fence, like a kid who has seen his next door neighbour get a shiny red remote control car, where all they got was clothes for Christmas. They have long been in their halls of power in Switzerland trying to conjure up ways in which they can take that coin away from other clubs and here is their answer: Let’s create a bigger World Club Cup to play. It’ll have more teams, we’ll get more revenues, we’ll line our pockets even further.
This announcement from FIFA is the most transparent move of attempted palm-greasing that we are ever going to see.
Do you know what it reminds me of? The attempted Super League formation. That was a play by the world’s richest clubs to get richer, create a closed shop, protect their existing revenues and actually, grow them substantially instead. That failed because of unanimous rejection from the footballing community. Even the likes of FIFA stepped up as if they were some kind of bastion of righteousness, to condemn the proposed formation. Yet here they are, trying to fashion their own land grab at another variation of a global Super League, because I’m sure in their minds it is better that they can do it and profit from the revenue than any of the other clubs or confederations.
My only hope is that FIFA don’t use the promise of the all-mighty coin to the clubs to take part and that those clubs don’t accept. My hope is that this is met with the same derision that the Super League was. My hope is that this idea doesn’t even get in to proper planning phases, because right now there are so many questions around the logistics of it that just haven’t bothered to be answered. When will it run? For how long? Who decides who goes in it? What do you get from it? How is this looking after player welfare by shoehorning yet more games? None of this has been answered by FIFA. Probably because they don’t care; a big sponsor has probably already come to them and offered them a nice big pot of cash and told FIFA to work out the details after they’ve taken the money. That’s how that corrupt footballing body work so I’d expect nothing less than to learn that this is how this decision has been made.
FIFA is not ‘for the good of the game’. It is not an entity that is fit for purpose and it certainly shouldn’t be given the power to set the rules of engagement when it comes to football. There needs to be a universal rejection of this World Club Cup competition, then after that there needs to be a rejection of FIFA as an entity. I have no idea how that would happen, how an alternative could be formed and set up, as I’m just a simple football fan, but the actions of FIFA – now just brazenly demonstrating what they are all about in broad daylight to us all, should show us that root and branch change should happen in our global game. But quite how that happens or how quickly it could happen, I’m not sure.
Bit of a ranty one today, but I just wanted to get that off my chest and do it whilst it’s a little quiet on the proper football side. The sooner we can get back to domestic football and the Premier League, the better, because I’m done with FIFA and this World Cup period.
Catch you lovely people tomorrow. Have a good one.