Well, Ritchie won’t go for the German model

Re football clubs. This would be a deal breaker:

but helpfully the clubs were allowed to maintain their charitable status (and thus their tax benefits).

For as we’ve been told:

I sustainable club paying tax on its profits has a going term future that is of much more overall use to society

If you’re not paying tax then you’re not useful…..

23 thoughts on “Well, Ritchie won’t go for the German model”

  1. Just an idle thought. Aren’t modern football clubs a bottomless pit where proud billionaires can deposit their fortunes, never to be seen again? As such, they’re turning that money into wages for young teenagers.

    And those wages are taxed – heavily.

    What exactly is Ritchie’s problem with all this?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset


    Owning a football club is probably the only way that’s faster at devouring money than owning a boat 🙁

  3. There’s a fairly straight forward solution that would directly expose some of the tensions in the game.

    Players buy clubs. So top PL player wages go towards buying EFL clubs.

    Watch everyone’s head explode.

  4. For once a Guardian article with which I can not find any serious faults. Before 1963 the country was divided into regional leagues and the winners played off for the Deutsche Meisterschaft (won by Rapid Vienna in 1941). RB Leipzig bought “the rights” to play in the German 5th Division from a team just outside Leipzig and purchased the youth squads from another ex-DDR League team.

    I’m quite a fan of the German model and especially of their licensing system which is quite strict and designed to prevent Walter Mitties like the guy who bought Portsmouth from buggering things up ( my old Munich team 1860 went through exactly this process a few years ago).

    I have often wondered, though, whether it would allow German teams to compete on the international stage. Outside of Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig the German Bundesliga clubs don’t have the financial muscle brought by sugar-daddy sole owners and I fear a long-term decline in the country’s footballing fortunes. I hope that I am wrong and that some of these behemoths in the defunct Super League blow themselves up first and that someone gets a grip on players’ wages.

  5. It doesn’t sound obviously good to me this 50 plus 1 rule, what problem does it solve? They’re so worried about the commercialisation of the sport I’d worry far more about the politicisation of sport and the clubs themselves. As people run for elections, and different platforms etc. I can see quite easily for example… scouse vs non scouse liverpool fans will emerge in different factions which is a short hop to derrick hatton running the club.

  6. Nobody has the right to tell those businesses what they can do, within the law. And nobody needs to solve this ‘problem’. If you don’t like it, boycott it.

  7. “Nobody has the right to tell those businesses what they can do, within the law”. Aye but cartels are illegal, aren’t they?
    Except within the government sector, obvs.

    TW may be up to date on this.

  8. As Wilbur’s cartoon in the Speccie (Rod Liddle’s article) puts it:
    I hope professional football doesn’t become all about money!

  9. “the clubs were allowed to maintain their charitable status (and thus their tax benefits).” That’s awfully good. So when German clubs complained about the taxpayer subsidies that went to Real Madrid and Barcelona they were being a wee bit hypocritical? Wot larks.

    Anyhow the “German model” is NBG if it leads to Bayern Munich winning almost everything almost every season.

    Similarly the English model will be NBG if ManCity win almost everything almost every season, with the exception of a minor club succeeding occasionally – Leicester, Liverpool, that sort of outfit.

    And the Scottish model likewise if Glasgow Celtic can win the league nine times in a row. (It would have been just as bad had it been Glasgow Rangers.)

  10. “Aye but cartels are illegal, aren’t they?”

    How is football a cartel? Anyone can start a club and move up the pyramid. Or indeed start their own football association with slightly different rules etc and invite clubs to join. And if a Euro superleague with no promotion and relegation is created what’s to stop the left behind clubs creating a closed shop league of their own to compete with it?

    The only cartel in football is the one of ‘There’s only one Manchester City FC, they have a monopoly over football being played by an entity called MCFC’, which is of course true of every sports club in the land. If you are Lower Snodgrass FC, no-one else can be Lower Snodgrass FC, so if for some reason people are desperate to watch them play they can charge what they like. What you don’t have (and neither does MCFC) is a monopoly over football in general. There’s plenty of that and no barriers to entry, so by definition there can’t be a cartel.

  11. Incidentally I instinctively don’t like the idea of a perpetual Euro league, despite my team (Liverpool) having potentially been in it, but given the opposition to the concept I’m fast changing my mind………….

  12. Jim+100 (especially the second post – if the great and the good of ‘our game’ are against it it must be a good thing) and as a Spurs fan it would be the only way we could guarantee European football every season…..

  13. Jim, we at AFC Wimbledon did just that ( I am a shareholder, so the “we” is justified) and MKDons have renunciaterised their links to the corpse of the old WFC. Also WFC had a sole owner (Sam Hamman) who screwed the club over, stripped it of its assets then sold it to some Norwegians who sold it on to the record producer bloke at Milton Keynes.

    We are storming 5th from bottom in Division 3, ha ! so take that so-called Football Association.

  14. What exactly is Ritchie’s problem with all this?

    Working class people being paid fairly for the product they produce, I presume. And being paid far more than him.

    How is football a cartel?

    I presume this was a reference to the ESL.

  15. Jim;

    “How is football a cartel?”

    Followed by “Anyone can start a club and move up the pyramid“, which is where the cartel is.

    The league structures mean that it’s cartels all the way down, and more so at the administrative level, from the IFAB, through FIFA, then UEFA and the national and then county (in the UK) associations.

    The proposed ESL directly threatened the power of UEFA and the national associations under them, which is why they reacted so quickly and strongly.

    BTW, almost a week later, and Barcelona and Real seem to be sticking to the idea.

  16. Yep this is all about governing bodies like FIFA and who has control of the money.
    The various league/admins services suck a large amount out partly claiming to ‘redistribute’ it among the grass leagues and international development etc.
    Reality is that its a gravy train with people pushing pet project or campaigning for their share of the pie (the most brazen being the US women’s captain who’s main complaint seems to be she wants a bigger slice of the pie)

  17. If she were to get a bigger slice of the pie, presumably she’ll have to do a lot more running about.

  18. “Followed by “Anyone can start a club and move up the pyramid“, which is where the cartel is.”

    What about the fact anyone can codify the rules of ‘football’ as they see it and create another football association? As they do (repeatedly) in boxing? There’s about half a dozen governing bodies in boxing, there is absolutely nothing stopping another football governing body. You could set up the Association of Football Clubs, with its own set of laws of the game, and see if anyone wants to join it. Or indeed if the FA piss off enough clubs they could band together and create their own version of football. They might even create a version that has no off side rule and no VAR……..

  19. “Or indeed if the FA piss off enough clubs they could band together and create their own version of football.”

    Err, 1992-93 anyone?

  20. The Americans had a version of soccer with no offside rule (or rather a strange version of it ) when they had the league where Pele, Beckenbauer and Rodney Marsh played in it.

    It seems to have gone, alas, but Quentin Letts did a very funny programme on the rubbishness of the FA


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