Everyone knows that football is a business, but probably many do not know who does it benefit or harm to taking into account that footballers are the ones who make the industry work.
According to the Annual Review of Football Finance, the top five leagues made 25.200 million euros in the 2019/20 season. This revenue was a 13% less compared to the previous campaign, as the total outcome was 28.900 million. This decline in the business was borne by the clubs due to the fact that they were unable to make profit from ticketing and merchandising.
Covid-19 stopped absolutely everything, but it did not change it. Regarding to football, it basically just postponed it. All the games that were put off because of the pandemic were eventually played during summer 2020. All the main European leagues but the Ligue 1 finished their seasons.
In the case of LaLiga, 10 fixtures took place in 33 days, which is overmuch for the players, specially after such a long lockdown period and a poor preparation due to the measures that were required to avoid contagion.
UEFA also finished the Champions and the Europa League. They also handled the Euro to Italy a year after. Spain will play this Sunday the 2020 Nations League Final.
The 2020/21 season was allowed to start a month later, but the finishing day was kept. All the European competitions and UEFA international breaks were held, which added up to an excessive quantity of games. The EURO 2020 was not over yet by July and several teams were already on preseason.
The Olympics were already kind of in the middle of everything. Five players from the Spanish National Team played every single match. They made it all the way to the final, which is six games in less than two weeks. Pedri from FC Barcelona, a superclass, beat all the records, as he played 73 games in total since September 13th 2020. Another excess.
And if this was not enough, Ceferín and his UEFA have created a new competition for the current season (What is the attractiveness apart from the revenue for the business of the UEFA?): The Conference League. They want to reform the Champions League by increasing the teams and the games. Furthermore, the FIFA has the intention to host a World Cup every two years.
¡¡¡UUUUUFFFF!!! I personally believe that there is not any footballer´s body that can put up with such many competitions and stress. However, there are many people who think that there are not that many players who compete at the top level. I could divide the players in three different categories, even though it might seem too simple:
1. Elite Footballers:
Super class players form this group. Those are the ones who play more than the 38-40 games that a regular season has. They also take part in international competitions both with their clubs and national teams.
They are also the ‘elite’ who play professional leagues and dispute between 30 and 40 games per season. There are four competitions in England of this kind (Premier, Championship, League One and League Two). In Spain, we could consider ‘elite players’ as the ones who are part from the brand new Primera RFEF on (not all of them).
2. Professional Footballers:
All those who make a living out of football, no matter what the level is. They do not play up to the minimum games to be considered as ‘elite’ (25-30 matches). I do not consider as professional to those who play football as a part time job and need another full-time position.
3. Amateurs Footballers:
All the others. I do not consider them as worst, but football is not their main activity. In this case, the quantity of games is irrelevant.
Do you know where the revenue is made out of in order to maintain such many Federations, UEFA and the FIFA? Exactly, from the first group, mostly the super class. Under my humble point of view, the improvement in every sense (business, show and sport) does not rely on increasing the quantity of games to see them, but instead taking care of them. This is exact the opposite of what they are doing.
They are not listening to the main character, the one who makes us enjoy every time he plays, the one who generates most of the money that maintains the football business, all in all, the ‘elite footballer’. Sooner or later they will end up either revealing or blowing up.
And what next? UEFA and FIFA support a decrease of games within the national leagues. Do they even know (Infantino and Ceferín) that the clubs are the ones who pay the salaries of the players?
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: PSG.
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