The desolation of the European Super League, a lesson for FUFA to learn

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By Alex Bossa

Earlier this week, FIFA and UEFA announced their intention to ban any club or player who would take part in the new European Super League from participating in competitions organized by both FIFA and UEFA. For starters, the Super league had plans to offer permanent spots to the European elite clubs.

The elite group were entitled each £258 million just for signing up as a founding member of the Super League. The financial bit of the deal was hard to ignore by the world football’s giants given the effect of Covid 19 and its curse on the financial status of the world’s elite clubs.

The disguise that they invest a lot and have the world’s top best players echoed the formulation of the now defunct VEK (Villa Express KCC) tournament which was introduced to only benefit the three clubs.

The early 2000’s formation of the VEK tournament saw a twist in Ugandan football which had for years been dominated by the three Kampala clubs for the past decade.

These clubs thought they deserved a bigger financial share irrespective of their league positions. They argued that they were the ones with a big fan base and their encounters had larger gate collections in all the matches they featured.

By the time GTV (the first pay TV to live stream Uganda Super League) started operating, these clubs had already convinced the stakeholders that their matches would take more live TV compared to the rest of the 13 teams.

Of course, this came with unbalanced resource distribution from the broadcasters and it would mean the rich boys of Ugandan football will only become richer and more dominant just like the Spanish La liga where both Barcelona and Real Madrid enjoy a lion share of broadcasting rights.

By the end of the current season’s 1st round fixtures, Vipers enjoyed a superior live tv beaming compared to the rest of the teams in the league as it has been the case for the past 3 seasons.

When you compare Vipers’ 10 games that have been streamed live with BUL, UPDF, Kyetume,, and Bright Stars who have appeared just once in the first round fixtures, it doesn’t add up.

Such unfairness has previously given birth to the exodus of players from other regions of the country to the central region which brought a gap in the number of clubs in the league from other regions compared to the central region.

Such imbalances have given false beliefs from big European clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus and the other elite members to think that they can have a league of their own after all they have the power to control the available resources.

Factor in clubs owned by government parastatals. These run big budgets and part of this budget is funded by the clubs they compete with through taxes paid. For long URA FC and KCCA have been the biggest beneficiary of such unfairness. They have the money to attract the best talent in the country because they are funded by government resources.

It would make some sense for clubs like URA FC, KCCA FC, Water FC, UPDF FC and Maroons FC to have their own league so that there is a healthy competition within the league.

The danger in having most of these government owned clubs is that once they change the MD, the incoming may not borrow the idea of investing in sports. Umeme FC and Coffee FC can bear witness as the current generation can barely recall if they at one time were the league’s finest.

The idea of community ownership of football clubs has been a success story in Germany football where a sense of belonging to a club was adopted. Football should always be about the performance on the pitch not the financial resources. That’s why the German Football Association took a clear stance against the concept of a European Super league.

As we have seen, money is needed in the sport but the recent protests against the formulation of the European Super League have shown us that competition, especially fair competition is what the game needs most. Resources should fairly be distributed for the game to strive and the fans to fill the empty stadiums.

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