Blatter Batters The Big-Budget Boys
While I agree with Blatter that it's a shame that football has turned into some business instead of just sport, Mr. Sepp should be the last person to be making such comment since I recall a certain pointless competitions that resulted in the unfortunate passing of Marc Vivien Foe (Rest In Peace ).
- Blatter Batters The Big-Budget Boys
10/12/2005 1:19:00 PM
FIFA president Sepp Blatter launched a blistering attack on some of the wealthy club owners who he claims are threatening the future of football.
In a remarkable broadside published in the Financial Times, Blatter vows to stop "greed ruling the world of football," claiming that the "pornographic amounts of money" being bandied around by some hugely rich club owners could suffocate the sport.
Blatter said: "A fortunate few clubs are richer than ever before. What makes this a matter of concern is that, all too often, the source of this wealth is individuals with little or no history of interest in the game, who have happened upon football as a means of serving some hidden agenda.
"Having set foot in the sport seemingly out of nowhere, they proceed to throw pornographic amounts of money at it. What they do not understand is that football is more about grass-roots than idols; more about giving entertainment and hope to the many than bogus popularity to a predictable few; more about respecting others than sating individual greed, whether for adulation or money."
Blatter goes on to declare that a new FIFA task force set up to deal with corruption and multiple ownership issues within football will deal with the excesses.
He adds: "This cannot be the future of our game. FIFA cannot sit by and see greed rule the football world. Nor shall we.
"The time has come to take action to curb the excesses and ensure that the sport protects its roots.
"If nothing is done, this new money could suffocate a sport that has no fewer than 1.3 billion active followers around the world.
"The professional game is now shot through with practices that, at best, expose the ugly side of club football and, at worst, threaten its very existence."
Th FIFA president condemns the practice, in South America especially, of speculators buying the commercial rights to promising child players as an unacceptable "new form of slavery."
He also attacks players and agents for demanding "insane" wages, saying: "Equally unacceptable are the sort of wage negotiations that can produce the spectacle of semi-educated, sometimes foul-mouthed, players on £100,000 a week holding clubs to ransom until they get, say, £120,000.
"More often than not, these players are guided in these endeavours by unsavoury agents.
"It is simply insane for any player to 'earn' £6 million-£8 million a year when the annual budget of even a club competing in the Uefa Champions League may be less than half that. What logic, right or economic necessity would qualify a man in his mid-20s to demand to earn in a month a sum that his own father - and the majority of fans - could not hope to earn in a decade?"
Another prime target for Blatter is the influx of mega-wealthy owners, whose wealth he blames for making football too predictable.
"Unlimited cash has given a handful of club owners the wherewithal to control the global club game by splashing unimaginable sums on a tiny group of elite players. More than ever before, the majority are fighting with spears, while the greedy few have the financial equivalent of nuclear warheads.
"No wonder empty seats in stadiums and saturation live television coverage of matches have become issues. What is interesting about a league whose champions can be predicted with confidence after about five games?
"Why is it good for football to take the excitement away from fans by overcharging them for tickets to see 'their' team? And is it really still 'their' team when one club in England has a squad with 19 nationalities?
"What we are faced with today is a football society of haves and have nots."
Since Blatter is the head of the most powerful football organizations, he should lead by example, starting by eradicating pointless friendlies and competitions. Only then, he'd have walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
It seems Mr.Blatter doesnt want players or teams to make money unless he is getting his cut...
I would accept this argument from any other person that isnt the head of FIFA
- FIFA In $425 Million U.S. TV Deal
11/3/2005 1:51:00 PM
Wednesday FIFA announced a record $425 deal with U.S. market media groups ABC/ESPN and UNIVISION.
The agreement represents the biggest TV deal in a single country in FIFAís history, consisting of a record cash payment of $425 million from the broadcasters for all FIFA events. It is the first time that FIFA has entered into a broadcasting deal of this scale.
"ABC/ESPN and UNIVISION came to us with a comprehensive package that will not only guarantee coverage of the FIFA World Cupô in 2010 and 2014 and all other FIFA tournaments in the menís and womenís games but also promote football and the FIFA brand even at those times when no tournaments are taking place. With these two well-known companies we have ensured that images of our events will be seen by the widest possible audience across the USAís steadily growing football market. I am extremely happy with this momentous deal. It is a major milestone in our new TV approach," commented FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
ABC Sports and ESPN have been granted the exclusive English language rights to cover the 2010 FIFA World Cupô and the 2014 FIFA World Cupô in full within the US territory as well as the FIFA Womenís World Cups in 2007 and 2011 and all 11 other FIFA events. At the same time, UNIVISION has secured the equivalent Spanish language options.
Blatter hypocracy indeed, Ziyad!