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Monday, 20 June 2011

A look into the future (Part I)

It couldn’t happen........  could it???
The NFL are in the midst of ‘negotiations’ with their players and the game is ‘locked out’..........  The NBA are just a few short steps away from something pretty similar....  The two other major US sports’ collective bargaining agreements (agreements by which the Clubs, their players and the owners and league agree on all the major issues in the sport #cashmostly) come to end within the next season.  Lawyers are going to be very busy!!
Over the other side of the Atlantic, the major powerhouses of the European soccer scene are flexing their transfer muscles with bids for the various jewels (or other shiny-ish objects) currently available for team improvement.  Successive years see higher and higher amounts spent on buying players - with equally higher and higher amounts leaving the game (via myriad of purchase options).

European soccer clubs are about as far away from a ‘lock out’ (the term effectively means that - due to a breakdown in agreement/negotiation - the players have hugely reduced interaction with their clubs - and there is a growing possibility that the league season will be cancelled) as is possible right now - with no collective bargaining agreement in place, and the roller coaster out of control.  So to think of a time where the sport might face its own ‘lock out’ seems silly.  Doesn’t it???
Uefa’s ownership guidelines come into play across European soccer in the near future - clubs will have to find new ways of ensuring they achieve their owner’s goals.....  The fate that has befallen a growing number of clubs - across Europe though more prominently in the UK - namely administration, will soon claim a major scalp we feel......  Player salaries rise, TV revenues rise.....  A Premier League Chairman publicly calls for an introduction of a salary cap (with no doubt others agreeing in private)..........  All of these issues are likely to push Soccer clubs towards more equitable business ideals. 
Leaders in sports ‘should’ want what is best for their club (business), for their owners (their shareholders), for their supporters (their customer base) - whilst looking after their employees (their players etc).  As salaries spiral ever upwards, as clubs go out of business to pay for these employees - at some point (quite possibly a lot closer than many believe), someone is going to take the first step towards control.  Either individually for a club in crisis (there are many that are not and will never be, but there are many that are) or collectively (when finally ‘individuals’ think about what is best for the ‘whole’).  But, the escalation of income and wage will eventually need control.
Sports leaders have the power to control their actions, have the power to control the actions of their clubs and to lead their sports forward to the betterment of all.  At the moment, 2 (and maybe 4) American sports are battling over who has the most control (both now and into the future).  Once British/European soccer clubs realize the lack of control that exists in their futures, a ‘lock out’ may well become a very real possibility.

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