I’m just responding to your suggestion on the podcast for last week for a La Liga round table discussion.
I’m a young football journalist on the first steps of my career and I would love the chance just to talk with knowledgable people about La Liga for a while as it is something I rarely get the opportunity to do in English.
I am Scottish by birth but I studied in Spain for a few years in Pamplona and always took the chance to go and see Osasuna or Athletic on the weekend as Bilbao was only 2 hours away. My knowledge of all European football is pretty deep and I’ve done small bits for Spanish press before when they have been Scottish teams playing Spanish teams in Uefa competition. I’ll also be attending the Scotland-Spain match next month so maybe I could report on some of the build up or even get one or two interviews for the website if you would be interested.
Here my lastest blog piece on la liga from the opening weekend so that you can get a feel for my type of writing.
Thanks guys and I look forward to the action getting started again this weekend after a pretty dull international break.
I’m a long time listener to the podcast, and you asked on the 3/7/11 podcast what listeners think about your revenue sharing proposal.
Well, I respectfully disagree with you. I believe your sentiment is due to being a fan of a smaller club. I don’t want to beat you up for that or anything, but I think the status of being a small club fan may slant your perspective.
La Liga is not comparable to American sports leagues. There, the best teams in a particular sport are all in the same league. For example, the best 32 American football teams in world are in the NFL. Thus, a discussion of revenue sharing makes sense there. Revenue sharing allows the best 32 teams to compete with each other. It’s the same story for baseball, basketball, and hockey.
However, when we talk soccer, the best teams in the world are spread out among several European domestic leagues. The point is that the peers of the major clubs are not the small clubs of their respective domestic leagues, but rather the other major European clubs. Thus, if you were to discuss revenue sharing for the purposes of being fair or competitive, you would need to discuss sharing revenue only among the big European clubs, which is not necessary.
I can appreciate the sentimentality to want to see a small club succeed. It takes much hardcore courage to support a small club such as Espanyol, but what you are proposing would impede the two major Spanish Clubs from competing with their peers, of which Espanyol is not one.
Please don’t take that in a snide tone; I am simply pointing out that it is important to recognize that Real Madrid and Barca carry the banner for Spain, and to hamper this by taking away their revenue to share with clubs like Espanyol would ultimately leave the league without a team that could compete with the best European teams, which in turn would harm all Spanish clubs, including the small ones, like Espanyol, in the top flight.
Your sentiment is noble, but sharing something like TV revenue is not going to benefit the smaller clubs enough to build them into clubs capable of competing with the likes of Manchester United. Such revenue sharing could, on the other hand, take a Real Madrid out of competitiveness in the Champions League.
So, I hear you Armando, but the important thing is to first realize which clubs represent the true peers of Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s Inter Milan and Manchester United, not Malaga and Valencia. The second thing is do nothing to hamper the ability of your league’s flagships to compete against their peers (including revenue sharing) so that the league can put its best foot forth.
On a secondary note, both Real Madrid and Barcelona are fan owned. It’s not like a Russian billionaire is behind the disparity in the revenue of big clubs and small clubs. The disparity is driven by years of direct fan support. Why punish the majority of fans for simply supporting their clubs by giving their earned revenue away to other teams that simply have not done this. I mean, not to get touchy, but there’s a historical political reason why Espanyol doesn’t have the socios that Barcelona has. I believe you also damage the legacy of clubs, one of the things that make La Liga clubs great (all the clubs are more than a club), by taking away the advantages a particular club enjoys precisely because of its historical positioning.
Otherwise, love the podcast. I do wish you guys didn’t rip the kid for complaining about the “uhs.” I refrain from judging you guys based on that because I don’t know if he was rude or what. I do wish you guys spoke a little slower to avoid them, but I’ve learned to not get distracted by them and I rather you uh away than not produce the podcasts. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the comment Conner. I hope you don’t mind but I quoted it in full on our latest blog and responded there. Here’s the link: