My View and The Reality behind the proposed breakaway European Club Football Competition

As a student who studies Sports Business who has a few unnameable industry leaders as contacts, over the past two days I have been repeatedly asked for my view on the hottest news story in European Football of a group English Football clubs meeting with an American Businessman (Stephen Ross) over the idea of creating a new Invitation only-European Super League competition… however this is not a new concept to be thrown around. (Apologies for the way in which this has been written as I have adapted this from messages I have sent various people.

This new league at the moment is going to be like a Champions league for the Elites like in Rugby Union when the British and French clubs made the Champions Cup rather than continue with the Heineken Cup.

There is a group called the ECA (European Club Association) of the biggest 220 clubs in Europe headed by the Chairman of Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the vast majority of their priorities and power lie with the largest clubs within such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona. This group pretty essentially wants only the biggest matches happening because they make more money. But this group and especially the leader of it are getting annoyed by not having teams like Inter Milan, AC Milan and Valencia in the Champions League and rather having small Belarusian and Bulgarian Clubs that very few have heard of outside of their countries. They feel that due to the size of clubs like Valencia and the Milans they have a right to be in the top competition. So they are the ones behind this long standing vision, and this American business man/investor will just be the initial financial backer and plan creator for the whole thing. It would mean Rangers from the second division in Scotland with Celtic and possibly Aberdeen would go in to it. At the moment it will look like another Champions League but it may turn in to a massive European league if they can win over all the environmentalist activist groups as the travel for all of these cross continent matches will undoubtedly contribute to increasing football’s carbon footprint.

When I was asked about my opinion on the effect of what this would have on English Football I simply replied with: I think it will absolutely terrible. It may make the push for the Premier League and La Liga and Bundesliga closer but they will all become second rate competitions. If they market this new competition correctly then they will garner large enough television and sponsorship deals to raise the clubs’ income enough so that they can subsidise ticket and travel prices for nation local fans as some English teams are considering of doing with the new TV deal starting next season (2016-17). I can’t see any of this new concept coming in to practice until after that huge Premier League TV deal finishes. With such a vast amount of money involved it will be near impossible to compensate the Domestic and Overseas broadcasters involved in the current detail, therefore I believe within this time we may only see a Champions League replacement competition before it then being developed in to a complete League system.

So, what about other sports, what impact will this possible change have upon them? As my secondary sport is Rugby Union I can greater explain in terms and situations relating to it. That being said I believe Union has made the beginning of the transition already, with the Champions Cup and with so many teams like London Welsh and Irish struggling financially this kind of thing could be a last resort for the remaining teams. In Rugby League they have matches between the major English teams (Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos) and the largest Oceanic teams (Queensland and the Rabbitohs) which draw a lot of support from both hemispheres and with that interest comes money so that kind of thing is happening there to draw the sponsors and offers the chance to exploit one off match-day revenue streams. Despite that League is still a long way behind Union with the even greater coverage of Rugby Union this season but I can see the international club matches become a regular occurrence in Union before any major league rises up. And with this European League concept I believe that they would wait until it is established in football before seeing if it is a success or not before implementing it I their respective sports.

Please comment on this post or message me if you would like me to explain my views further or provide more information. Also if you could spread this message around social media it would be much appreciated.



Train Like a Pro 2016- February Review

I never would have imagined that one of the months upon this Programme would have such an effect upon my life and exercise habits as this. Not only has this month been incredibly fun but has also highlighted how little control that I actually have over my own body.

The first item which I learned within this months exercise was that the difference between Yoga and Pilates was that Yoga focussed more upon spiritual enlightenment whereas Pilates is more inclined towards providing physical health benefits such as improving strength and flexibility. Over the course of the month I found that although Yoga was more relaxing with the Savasana and controlled breathing however I did not connect with the Hindi and Buddhist spirtual moments.

With regards to my progression over the month I found that my flexibility predominantly within my lower back and legs improved drastically, secondary to this I found that within controlling my breathing my core became strengthened as I was required to balance and hold various positions which relied on core strength and posture maintenance. I feel that I would have progressed further in this month had I not suffered a virus and was required to travel for  a week which minimised the opportunities to take part in the activities.

Linking back to my overall goal set at the beginning of the year of reaching 150 pounds by the End of May through building clean muscle mass. I estimated that as this months theme was bodyweight focussed I would have fallen short of the average gain required to be on course to reach the goal. However I have been pleasantly surprised that I am still very much on track, weighing 143 pounds where my end of month goal was to weigh 143.5 pounds, the same difference as seen in January.

Should I do this month again I would make sure that some kind on Yoga/Pilates activity took place every day with sub-themes within each week or over a few days such as being solely dedicated on improving flexibility, strength or muscular endurance, Arm Balances or Stretching and specific body areas.

The source for the majority of my yoga workouts and guidance over the month was the Youtube channel named SarahBethYoga (Link attached below). An account that not only focusses upon generic yoga workouts but tailors them to different audience needs such as for those with sciatica or joint problems as well as offering a variety of takes upon performing a range of poses and flows. I whole-heartedly cannot endorse this channel enough, while there are hundreds of other yoga and pilates based channels on Youtube and other Video sharing platforms this one stood out for me and would recommend anybody interested in yoga to have a look at.

I would love to add Yoga/Pilates to my daily life and existing workout routines, however in the interest of maintaining a level of control, allowing each of the sports and exercise types to have a fair attempt of being evaluated I cannot continue with this until next year.

In March I shall be undergoing Gymnastics focussed Training, hoping to capitalise upon the increased range of flexibility that February has given me, I have set myself three micro-goals over three levels with: Level One-Being able to stand on one leg while holding the other high as close to my head as possible, Level Two-Being able to do the Box Splits and Front Splits and Level Three: Being able to do the Scorpion pose (Different to the Pose found in Yoga). Who knows whether I will be able to achieve any of these or even whether I will be able to hold myself in my first ever handstand. Cannot wait to work alongside some past and present rhythmic gymnasts and see if they can put me through my paces.

Link to Sarah Beth Yoga (Check her out):