Change The Record: A Premier League Parity Plan

Ben SharpeCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2008

Well, the Premier League season is underway again. Cosmic! It's early doors yet, but soon it will pan-out to be the usual top four ruling the roost.

The Premier League is not a fair competition. It's not about football, coaching or ownership. It's simply about money. Whoever spends the most, does the best, and gets the most rewards. Well done for being rich.

Things wont change this year, next year or ever. The only chance of anyone rubbing shoulders with the top four would be if Joe Millionaire steps in, buys a club and throws a shed load of money into it.

How can fans be proud of their team being rich? That's not what the game should be about. It should be about beautiful football games, great players, fantastic competition.

In light of this, I have devised a radical plan for the future of the League. It will NEVER be implemented, because it's fair. The Premier League does not like fairness. However, if I was in charge, this is what I would do with the league. Just imagine if this were to be the future.

Firstly, I would salary cap a team on what they can play the players in wages. Each club would have the same set limit and would be punished in points if they went above it. Imagine Chelsea on the same wage budget as Stoke City? Wouldn't that be interesting.

Speaking of the players and budgets, I would also banish players transfer fees. I'm not saying that a player wouldn't be able to move clubs, but just that no money would change hands between the clubs. Instead, the clubs would have to work out a trade. Player for player(s). A contract would obviously be worked out with the player himself, as long as it falls within the salary cap.

This ruling may also encourage players to honour their contracts more and would promote more Club/Player loyalty.

My next change would be a call for shared revenue between the Premier League clubs. The League would own all the rights to the teams logo's. The proceeds from all Premier League shirts and merchandise would be shared equally between all the clubs. Yes, those billion Manchester United shirts sold in China last week would benefit the League as a whole. Not just United. Pre-season tour money will also be shared out. The League will organise the tours, not the teams.

While I'm at it, I'd ban shirt sponsors. It should be that a club is recognisable for their badge and their colours, not for having "Fly Emirates" emblazoned across their chests.

Getting more controversial, I would put an end to promotion and relegation as we know it. Instead, I would honour the present clubs with 4 year licences to play in the Premier League. In those four years, all aspects of the club would be monitored. Their performance on the pitch, their adherence to the rules and laws of the game, attendances, management etc. If a club were to be lagging behind consistently for those years, it may lose it's licence and be banished back down. Teams from the Football League could apply for licences every four years when they come up for renewal. Every Premier League team would have to apply to renew their licence. Yes Liverpool, Spurs and Villa, even you.

Because the standard required for a team to obtain a Premier League licence would be so stringent and high, imagine the good it would do for the Football League clubs who aspire to get into the big time. It would also ward-off any complacency from top flight teams, on the field or in the board room.

The League structure itself would be revamped. There would be no more draws. Every game will have a result, one way or the other.

The fans don't come to see a stale-mate, they come for a result. It would promote more attacking play, more ambition and just imagine the excitement. I know people have a poor opinion of penalties, but like it or not, they are a football skill. And if the score is still level after extra time, then penalties it is. Pure excitement, week-in, week-out.

Now don't worry, all this extra time will not impact on the players' health. In fact, teams will play less games under the new regime because Premier League teams will only contest the League and the FA Cup, nothing else.

Sorry Liverpool fans, but Europe will be gone. The plan for my Premier League is for it to be it's own entity. I honestly believe it would be bigger than the Champions League anyway if this plan was put in place.

Forget the Carling Cup too, after all it's a Football League cup anyhow. Why are Premier clubs contesting it in the first place? To get into Europe. Why play in Europe? Money. Sorry, but that way of making spare money is not conducive to the new fairness and parity laws.

The reason for this new radical proposal is so teams all play the same amount of games at regular intervals. All games will be on a Saturday or Sunday. Midweek games will be a thing of the past. (I may afford those lovable rogues at Sky to screen a weekly Monday night game).

I would also have a play-off system at the end of the season for the top teams, a bit like how they do for Super League. This would result in a Premier League Final showdown for the best two teams. The winners to be crowned Premier League Champions. Imagine the fervour that would stir up. It could be bigger than the Super Bowl.

If these changes were implemented, the Premier League would be the king. It would be what every team wants to win, every player wants a medal for winning and what every fan would want to see. It would create an level playing field for all teams. all clubs will have an equal slice of the pie.

It's only a pipe dream. It will never be a reality sadly. For now, we'll just have to make do with the predictable, boring, soulless league it is right now.