So Platini wants the finals to be "spread across Europe ... with maybe one city [or stadium] hosting the climax [ie semi-finals and final]".
Yes, that could work. In fact it would be brilliant. Furthermore, it would allow the Euros to have 32, not 24, finalists. And each would host at least one game, in the finals.
Here's how it could work.
In the first round of the finals, the 32 finalists would be drawn into 16 groups, and would play two matches each, at venues to be determined by, ooh, let's say where each side played their home games.
Group winners would progress and then the first round procedure would be repeated in a second round, then a third round, by which time there would only be 4 groups, and 8 cities to host 1 finals game each.
Then yes, one predetermined city (London?) could host 3 climactic games, the semi-finals and final.
Of course, the whole finals tournament couldn't take place over just three weeks, the games and arrangements involved would mean stretching it out over, say, six months.
But it would be bloody exciting.
I think they used to call it the "European Nations Cup".
Last Edit: 25 Sep 2012 19:33 by Rogin the Armchair fan.
You could say that UEFA simply weren't happy with any of the candidates (Turkey being the most prominent, or you could say that it is simply UEFA's affirmation that a "business as usual" attitude isn't viable in an Age of Austerity when business as usual includes massive taxpayer subsidies for new grounds and infrastructure.
I wonder, however, whether it also is an indication of a fundamental shift in the way UEFA thinks about a "tournament", with the model no longer being the World Cup, but rather the NCAA Basketball tournament (and its soon-to-appear gridiron equivalent), which pour billions of dollars into the NCAA's coffers. It's a "model" that puts the interests of television and on-line viewers well above those of travelling supporters and the teams involved, and it's one that I find quite troubling.
It's a pretty TV friendly tournament as it is. Europe is also fairly easy to crisscross - not much more arduous than the US, which is the same size and hosted a successful 24 team tournament on its own.
On the other hand, if they had embraced realism, they could easily hold the tournament in any number of countries, just in slightly older grounds. This way they get to have their choice of brand spanking new shiny stadiums for their sponsors and guests.
It's easy to be cynical or optimistic about the choice.
a "business as usual" attitude isn't viable in an Age of Austerity when business as usual includes massive taxpayer subsidies for new grounds and infrastructure
Those massive subsidies for vanity projects annoy me even more than Platini's antics do. Flynnie wrote:
On the other hand, if they had embraced realism, they could easily hold the tournament in any number of countries, just in slightly older grounds
And only slightly smaller if at all, in most cases. You're right that the tournaments could easily be more widely shared*, most pairs of adjoining countries could provide eight venues.
Alas, the move from 16 to 24 finalists (which, IIRC, got unanimous support from all 53 members), contradicts that and must be a factor in this decision?
* NI staged the Euro U-19 finals a few years ago. Basically everyone bar the village countries could manage U-21 and the women's senior tournaments, with Svensjokstrup et al getting the younger age-group equivalents.
How many likely host nations actually need to upgrade their stadiums? At least half a dozen countries in Europe could host a tournament without having to spend anything extra on doing up or building grounds at all. Stupid, stupid decision.
I would hope that they would keep supporters travelling by land in mind. E.g., one group could be based in the Benelux, and play matches in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Brussels. Another group could be based in NW Italy and SE France and play matches in Milan, Torino and Marseille.
So Euro 2020 will be based across an entire continent, and the World Cup in 2022 will be based in one city in the desert.
Yeah, from listening to Platini it seems that he's planning on having matches in London, Paris, Madrid, Milan, etc.
With oil not getting cheaper, one has to wonder how affordable airfares will be in 2020.
"There are budget airlines available," was Platini's unbelievably crass and somewhat ignorant response to a question of this nature.
He's clearly banking on the Easyjets of this world denying themselves standard commercial opportunities based on basic 'supply and demand' principles in order to ensure that supporters are transported at reasonable cost.
Blatter's a conniving crook but he's rarely this stupid.
But from this perspective, spreading the tournament across the big cities would enable a much bigger pool of spectators to access the tournament, resulting in fewer miles travelled per spectator.
Well that's fine for the hosting countries, which will all no doubt be fairly affluent Western European nations anyway. What about the fans from countries that may qualify but have no hope of hosting the tournament, such as Croatia, Slovakia Romania, Bulgaria etc? Maybe there will be a couple of outsiders such as Cyprus or Georgia. In a one or two nation country at least they only had to travel to one country and could base themselves there. Having to hop on a plane to see a game in three different countries is likely to be way beyond the means of most of those supporters. It puts the whole thing completely out of reach to most average fans.
The whole thing is a huge corporate jolly. Don't be surprised to see some major airline become the "Official airline of UEFA tournaments" very soon, maybe along with some pan-European hotelier.
Fuck UEFA. Lots of flying for them, but they don't give a flying fuck about fans.
I'd guess that Platini doesn't have much of a post-secondary education.
I'd say that it has more to do with him never having to book or pay for his own flights in his life, never having to queue anywhere, and being picked up from every airport by a hired limo, before being whisked to a five star hotel that he didn't have to book, or pay for.
it's the let them eat cake approach to travelling to football matches.
As I said before, this change isn't about accommodating travelling supporters.
It's about moving to a North American model of hosting major sporting events, where the target audience is primarily comprised of sponsors and the very well-heeled (locals, "big game" junkies, and some actual fans of the teams involved who can each throw away several thousand dollars on a weekend), and the real money is made from television and sponsorship.