HOW FIFA AND UEFA (AND OTHERS) ARE TRYING TO STEAL YOUR MONEY
(AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)
Mickey Blue Eyes
Those who think football should stay out of politics would do well to consult today's football judgment by the European General Court. See here:
Briefly, this protects your right to view certain international football matches on free-to-air TV broadcasts. It confirmed a previous British government definition of these matches as "events of major importance." Needless to say, that definition cut right across current ultra right wing nonsense about so-called "free" markets - which latter actually means rigged transactions in favour of commercial monopolies........such as FIFA and UEFA. Equally needless to say, it is highly likely the definition wouldn't be in place at all if the current lot of neo-con spivs had been in power. But beware, the judgment is subject to appeal. Nor would I be in the least surprised to see the neo-cons change the definition and therefore allow their Murdoch and Berlusconi monopolist cronies to rip off even more via pay-TV. Which is another reason I do not and never will have Sky TV in my home.
It is a tiny but important victory, perhaps only temporary, but nevertheless well worth having. It is worth it for its precedent. For as long as it is there it provides a foot in the door to change things, not merely in football but in other matters. For what it demonstrates is the importance of regulation based on social consensus and requirement. I very much doubt there will be many football fans who would want the judgment reversed. If it is, you can automatically assume the European General Court has been stuffed with as many neo-cons as the American Supreme Court, and for the same reason: profits and bribery for a few.
Regular readers will know I have been banging on about this kind of European and domestic legislation for years (see index). I believe this is the key to taking the game into community ownership where it rightly belongs, and out of the hands of ultra right financial institutions. Owners these days are little more than front men looking for a pension pot or a quick profits-kill. If the same system is kept and one owner replaced with another the game will not benefit. You pays your money, they take it, and you have no choice: It really is as basic as that. Equally, community ownership is easily isolated and bankrupted if the source of funding stays in the hands of ultra right financial institutions. This is fairly obvious common sense. In the present horrible era you will only receive funding if the interest payments provide "enough" profits for the lenders. Step outside the system and you get bankrupted anyway. Thus, as matters stand all footy fans are confronted with a raw choice between paying and not paying, and if you don't pay your club and its assets are liquidated.
Now, there are many other large and small problems associated with the game. But none of them even come close to the importance of the source of funding and the so-called financial model. The existing model is enshrined in and protected by domestic and European Union legislation. It rests in transnational banks and their profiteering. If that isn't changed the game will continue to be the plaything of financiers and rich barrow boys like Abramovich and the Al Nahyan family and others. Which is why its promoters will fight to the death to protect their interests, for once the precedent is widened the foot in the door could lead to you blasting the windows out too.
Hitherto, I haven't researched the members of the European General Court and their public service record, but I will now. That is where the battle for your club will be conducted. If you are interested in the future of the game you would do well to consult it. It will be a damned sight more useful to future generations than sounding like an ale house braggart or a member of the local watch committee.