If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it

Sandro Rosell: The man suggesting radical reforms in European football

It may only be ‘just a game’ but let’s face facts, to many of us, football plays a massive role in our day to day lives. Over the course of a season it can take us from euphoric highs to shattering lows.

This weekly torture, in knowing that our mood will be defined by the weekend’s results, is something that we football fans strangely seem to thrive on.

While considering myself a patriotic Englishman, the international break did not quite have the same effect. Yes, I wanted England to do well. Yes, I was pleased with the back to back victories. However, did the results define my mood? No, international friendlies just don’t quite do it in the manner that club football does.

The point behind this article is that from the heart, I am passionate about English football. It may have been just two weeks without the bread and butter that is league football, but I have missed it. Now, taking that into consideration, you can see that I love our game in its current format.

When the eradication of promotion and relegation from the Premier League was mooted a few weeks ago I was horror-struck by the prospect. My view being, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’.

I was once again dismayed this week, this time by a suggestion from Barcelona president Sandro Rosell. The 47 year old Spaniard put forth the idea that the Premier League, as well as Europe’s other top leagues, reduce the number of clubs involved.

If, for example, the Premier League was reduced from its current 20 team format to 16 teams, each side would have 8 fewer games per season. This, as Rosell went on to state, would allow European fixtures to be played at the weekend, ‘We could perhaps play Barcelona versus Manchester United on Saturdays.’

Indeed, Rosell said that the free fixture dates ‘are for the clubs to organise friendly games or to increase the European competitions.’

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of European football. The Champions League and the Europa League make the gap between domestic football that little bit easier. Yet, the very thought of watching Barcelona versus Manchester United on a Saturday night at the expense of a Premier League fixture, no, it’s not for me. By all means, back in May, in the Champions League final, it worked for me. Yet midseason, instead of Manchester United versus Swansea? I’m actually quite content to keep things how they are.

Thankfully, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore calmed me down on Thursday night, as it seems he too, is happy with the game as it is.

Scudamore stated that, ‘Our clubs have no view whatsoever to be playing European football on a weekend. European football is a midweek competition, and domestic football is a weekend competition.’

In 2014 the ECA (European Club Association) and UEFA will have to negotiate a new deal to govern the structure of European football. Already the prospect of a breakaway European Super League has been mooted. Money talks and the top clubs may just be tempted when offered increased revenues?

I for one am fearful of a change, for me the current system works perfectly and European football is a healthy entity. I only hope that in a few years time I will still spend my Saturday’s watching the likes of Arsenal and Aston Villa play each other than Bayern Munich and Barca.

Do you share my fears for the future of English football? Will a European Super League be formed in 2014? Comment and follow me on Twitter @CamHumphries

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Article title: If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it

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