The Qatar Super League: the end of football as we know it?


QatarWith plans for the new Qatari Super League of football announced this morning, I’m asking the question, whether or not it is right and if the future of football lies in Qatar?

Plans to tempt teams once every two years, from the top flights of European divisions. Not just that, they will offer £175m of revenue that avoids fair play rules, so clubs will be able to spend it as freely as they like. That means the top clubs who participate will have some real spending money, which will, in metaphoric terms, avoid the tax man that is FFP. They will be able to buy the best of the best players in the world and no buy out clause would be able to halt the sprending spree that would be ignited in the top clubs.

I am very content to see this super league come off and work, as it would obviously be great for football, and be great to watch, however with such massive amounts of money flying around, it could increase the gulf in class between the very top teams and those on the fringe, effectively destroying competitive football as we know it. Isn’t the gap big enough as it is? Would you really want a Barcelona and Real Madrid in your League, with the rest consisting of low budget clubs like West Brom and Swansea? That is what it will be, unless the Sheikhs of Qatar stop trying to ruin football and flaunt their cash.

If this plan is to go ahead, football as a whole will be converted into the Scottish Premier League, whereby the Celtic’s of the world would win every year, simply due to the availability of funds, that no one else will ever have access to.

It will also completely undermine the whole setup FIFA and UEFA have been building up for years, with the Champions League and Europa League. It will do this by making teams possibly play second teams in the Champions League, as they would prefer to win the QSL (Qatar Super league) and claim the huge quantities of money that come with it. Think about it, if you win the UCL you will receive £40-£50m or so, but if you simply partake in the QSP you will receive £175m. This is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

Now we all know Qatar are desperate to build their sporting image up to the top. They will spend billions, on what will be the best world cup, with the most expensive stadiums in the world, apparently. Then, when the world cup is finished they will destroy about half of those stadiums, just to show their wealth and that they can.

I want to express that without the money of many Qatari Sheikhs, we would not have these teams who have been able to splash the cash to make a mark on the footballing world. Man City and PSG have turned pretty average teams into world class propositions. Money will always change the game. FIFA are too weak when it comes to money, because, at the end of the day, FIFA are a profitable business who can always be persuaded by a bit of green, or in our british case, some purple and white (a £20 note of course). I think in some cases Qatar’s money has improved aspects of football, but in other cases it will increase the gulf in inequality in certain leagues.

Now if you want to become the next best club in your country, find a rich Sheikh and persuade him to invest in your club. Imaging a business pitch, ‘I want you to invest in my business. I’m not making money at the moment, in fact we have huge debts. After the first quarter you will already have invested millions and not seen any return, in fact you will never see a return from this business. You will spend hundreds of millions on this business and you will have to pay for its running. It is not sustainable in economic terms and you may be subjected to criticism ongoingly from all the fans. My business is a football club, would you like to invest?’

At this point, if you chose to invest, you clearly have more money than sense! It is absolutley ridiculous, in an economic sense. Unless you are Arsenal or Manchester United, who have found success through profitable means and sustainable plans. I Digress.

I am trying to express that this league is certainly bad for football. Research the facts and you will be shocked. Hopefully I have persuaded you to consider some key points, the bad and of course the good. It needs to be a balanced argument, otherwise people will not be persuaded. Money talks and once this plan gets into action, there will literally be nothing we can do. It will definitely be too late. If you want to see football turn into a cash fest then support his idea, if not don’t its simple.

I would love to see an amazing league with all the best players and teams in the world, but not like this. Not in a way that will destroy football as we know it…

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I am a Football Writer on Spain's best La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga. I Speak French, Spanish, Dutch and English (obviously), I love everything football related and hope to provide insight into the european ligues! on Twiiter @RobinVanKloezej