Sepp Blatter wants to impose a foreign player quota system on European teams to counter the dominance of England's Premier League teams in the Champions League. Blatter says:
"For the last two seasons, there have been three Premier League sides in the last-four of Europe's elite club competition and I fear a monopolisation of football, with the richest clubs buying up the best players from all over the world at the expense of domestic talent."
This dominance that he talks about is a cyclical thing and putting in a quota won't fix the supposed problem. The richest teams are still going to be able to afford to buy the best talent whether it is domestic or foreign.
The top ten richest teams as reported in Forbes on April 30th, 2008 shows that there are four English, two German, two Spanish and two Italian teams making up that list.
The 11th through 20th spots are occupied by two more English, three more German, two more Italian, a Spanish, Scottish and French side. What do these stats tell us? That the four big European leagues are the biggest and richest leagues and that is just the way it is going to be.
It is funny that Blatter is opening his mouth now that it is English teams dominating. Where was this idea in 2003 when three of the four final teams were Italian?
Where was this idea in 2000 when three of the final four were Spanish? Isn't the purpose of the Champions League to showcase the best talent? Does it really matter if an Italian is playing in Italy or England? Does it matter if a Frenchman is playing in France or Germany?
NO! The Champions League is there to showcase the best club teams.
The game is not always about the richest teams being able to buy the best players either. The 2004 final is proof of that. A final that pitted AS Monaco vs FC Porto. In fact, of the final four, only Chelsea was in the top 25 richest teams.
The ability to buy the best players doesn't always mean you will succeed in Europe. It may give those teams a better shot at winning but you still have to go out and win the games.
If the richest teams are buying Champions League winning teams then why is it the second richest team, Real Madrid, has not made the final four since 2003?
Why is it that the team who sits number five on the richest list, Bayern Munich, has not made the final four since they won the title in 2001?
Money is not the deciding factor in winning the Champions League. It takes a team playing together as a unified team. It takes some luck. It takes heart. It takes desire.
Money can buy a lot of things; a championship is not necessarily one of those things. Who cares where the players come from. We just want to watch the best game on earth being played to its highest level.
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