Organisation & structure

Amazingly, not everyone in Europe has welcomed the proposed super league. WSC correspondents sum up reactions in three of the key countries

Germany
When the plans for a European super league were first presented in the German media, reactions were as vague as the proposals themselves. Most Bundesliga club officials grieved over the loss of morality in sport in a rather populist manner, knowing that the vast majority of German teams would be excluded from the feeding troughs of the ESL and may have their very existence threatened. But even for those who will be involved in it, the new era may bring about just as many problems as advantages.

Things could be about to change in Scottish football, as Gary Oliver analyses what the future holds for the SPL

Tony Blair may have no intention of repealing trade union legislation, but that has not prevented ten Scots hankering for a closed shop. And far from being Old Labour dinosaurs, these protectionists are the thrusting ‘entrepreneurs’ who chair Scotland’s Premier Division clubs: in the crusade to create an autonomous Premiership, their latest threat is to sever all links with the Scottish Football League and dispense with promotion and relegation.

Roger Titford gives a unique insight into the proposals for league reform

On December 11th, the Football League Working Party On Structure published its report on the five options for the future structure of the League. By giving each name option the name of a planet, and adding in some extraneous guff about giving points for half-time leads, they attracted a huge amount of (largely) negative publicity and very little critical analysis.

Richard Mason and Christoph Biermann study two countries where there is a significant gulf between big and small clubs

ITALY
In overall charge of the whole game in Italy from top to bottom is the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Gioco Calcio) under its president, Luciano Nizzola. Although the FIGC is the umbrella, the various leagues are and always have been separately administered. Serie A and B are run from Milan, Serie C 1 and C2 from Florence, and Serie D from Rome.The other categories are run by regional or provincial committees. Separate administration means that they have their own referees, their own disciplinary committees and procedures, their own version of the Coppa Italia.

Scotland's biggest clubs are threatening to resign from the league. Paul Hutton details their bizarre plans

Even the most casual observer of Scottish football can hardly have been surprised by the news that Scotland’s Premier League teams were planning to resign from the League at the end of the season. It was, after all, common knowledge that they had already employed an accountancy firm to investigate how the Scottish game might be improved (bless ’em). More importantly perhaps, almost five whole years had elapsed since the leagues were last tinkered with.

Non-league clubs are being taken over by new, rich chairmen. Simon Bell looks at their attempt to buy success

One of the most irritating things about the Vauxhall Conference is the way it wants to be – really wants to be – the Football League. It’s a bit embarrassing. The Football League bars a club from entering because its facilities aren’t up-to-scratch (Kidderminster); bless my soul if the Conference doesn’t follow suit abjectly (St Albans and their now infamous trees). The Football League applies a raft of strict financial criteria for would-be entrants, ignoring the fact that most of its members are perennially skint. As does the Conference, consigning Enfield and Boston Utd to the never-never for a few more years.

Football is becoming more popular in Wales, but Chris Hughes thinks there will soon be an unhealthy rivalry with the country's favourite sport

It’s never taken much to make the men who run Welsh football act like battery hens following an appointment with the guillotine. But it was still impossible to predict that the game in Wales would once again lapse into farce after the signing of a new, lucrative television contract... for rugby.

Neil Rose wonders if the high profile involvement of lawyers in the administration of the game may be causing more problems than it solves

Graham Kelly and the ‘Gazza Rap’. An unsavoury pairing if ever there was. The connection? Lawyers. As a breed, lawyers may have committed many sins on this earth over the centuries, but these two surely rank among the greatest.

Neil McCarthy explains why Arsenal's attempt to buy a teenager from Paris St Germain has incurred the wrath of the French football authorities

On the eve of Paris Saint Germain’s Super Cup match against Juventus, PSG announced that Arsène Wenger was attempting to “poach” one of their youth players, the 17-year-old Nicolas Anelka. The televizing of the Super Cup match was an excellent opportunity for eminent figures in French football such as Michel Platini and Noël Le Graët to denounce Arsenal’s move and, as PSG certainly hoped, the affair has become a major issue.

Responding to the article in last month's WSC about Wimbledon's proposed relocation to Dublin, Colm McCarthy insists that such a move would be welcomed by many football fans in the Republic of Ireland

Robert Rea, in WSC No 108, voices opposition to the proposed move of Wimbledon FC to Dublin. The FA, he writes, should say “. . . loudly, clearly and immediately, that they will be opposed” Robert would love the FA of Ireland, who have said precisely that. But the proposed move has no shortage of supporters in Dublin, and I am one of them. There is a crisis in the senior professional game in this country, and it has its origins in the structure of league football presided over by various national associations and UEFA.

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