Life lesson from FIFA: There’s a point on the wealth scale where you, a massive European club, can have so much money that it begins to collapse in on itself, creating a swirling capital vortex so unstoppable that it blocks any sense of shame within 1000 miles.
You can be so rich that common sense itself ceases to exist. You can successfully convince other less rich people that your largesse is actually a hinderance to your success, and the only way to cure your ills is with more money. You will cry out into the dark void that the World Cup is somehow bad for your business — that business being the employment of popular soccer players — and the dopes with the money will accept it as truth.
Maybe you can even talk those dopes into giving you some of their money. Again, no shame. Take, for example, this, from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge:
“In serious and fair negotiations, the ECA has agreed with Fifa on a transparent economic and organisational cooperation until 2022. For the first time, the European clubs will have a direct say on the international match calendar, which was very important to me personally. As a result, the ECA will be actively involved and contribute constructively to the design of the calendar, especially for 2022.”
“Moreover, the World Cup club benefits will triple from $70m to $209m for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022. These payments will benefit clubs from around the world who release World Cup players to their respective national associations. From an ECA perspective, this agreement is a great achievement. It marks another milestone for club football as a whole!”
Lord, lord, lord! the Great Emancipator himself, European Club Association and Bayern Munich chairman Rummenigge has gotten reparations for the European soccer elite! They have overcome!
Under the visionary leadership of Rummenigge, the club alliance has stated its case that the biggest event in the sport — the grandest stage in the game, where stars are born and legends are made — is killing their vibe. That’s terrific.
How is this $209 million distributed? How was the payout amount calculated? When does it arrive? How can it be used? Why is this news? I don’t know and I don’t care.
The posturing of the face-scrunchingly wealthy versus the awesomely rich is white noise – static that screws up the experience when we’re trying to actually watch games. Today, the ECA crooks have proven to be better crooks than the FIFA crooks. Shout out to them.
Meanwhile, Russia is the anus of international soccer and Qatar seems to be a lovely place to go if you have a strong desire for other people to profit from your untimely death (though it won’t be as hot now). We’re three and a half years away from another World Cup, and stories like this are already letting all of the air of the fun balloon.