These are awkward times for many European fans all across the world. For what seems like the first time, there is an actual organized effort to monopolize an entire international football league. In the past weeks news came out of American sports executive Charlie Stillitano wanting to completely change the way the Champions League is run.
Stillitano, who works with the International Champions Cup in the United States, a tournament which brings many European clubs over on pre-season every summer, is pushing for what would be the first closed system in Europe. This newly proposed Super League would have cemented places for European power house clubs, ending the fight to qualify for chance to play European competitions. Fans across Europe and all over the world are largely opposed to this sectioned off league for the elite only.
What many people don’t realize is that in America, this is the type of system we have to suffer with every season. There is no promotion and relegation between the “professional” leagues in this nation. The only opportunity you have to make it to the top in this system is to give division one league, Major League Soccer, a lucrative hundred million dollar down payment; but first they have to tell you that your market is big enough for them to make a profit out of it.
It’s quite a sad in a time where MLS is in an expansion phase, seeing clubs beg this allegedly top league for a spot in their clubhouse rather than being able to make it to the top based on merit alone. While European fans fear something like this could one day cross the pond, we have to continue to fight for the rights they have every day.
The media in this country is pretty much completely pro-MLS; no one seems to have the cojones to take a stand against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). Our system does not honor the American people, it only seems to exist to protect the MLS, whose own existence even goes against FIFA law. The past FIFA president allowed USSF to operate against the grain; a new president has been elected but will the protection to the MLS continue?
We can’t sit around and wait for things to change any longer. We are tired of being told that the sport is still growing here; hence give it time. The sport is already here, if so Stillitano wouldn’t draw millions of people to his ICC tournament every summer. We want the same opportunity those clubs have -a chance to make it to the top based on what our clubs do out on the pitch, not who the front office bribes.
We are starting a grassroots movement to advocate for a better football pyramid system. We are over sixty North American supporter groups united for an inclusive pro/rel scheme. We want our call for openness, excellence and competitiveness. Show your support for the message, make tifos, engage and share with other people what we are trying to accomplish. The American dream was not created for the elite or in certain communities that are deemed huge markets. The American dream is for everyone. The sport is here, let’s make it free!