Fan power rules

It is good news the sensible views of fans have prevailed in the row about the so called super Euro league. It is also good government need not now look for a power or excuse to intervene. I assumed the league would die a natural death. No club from any European country outside Italy, Spain and U.K. was involved which said a lot about a silly proposal.

102 Comments

  1. Augustus Princip
    April 21, 2021

    A non-story to keep Cameron’s alleged corruption out of the news.

    1. Peter
      April 21, 2021

      Definitely not the business of government.

      A diversion and a chance for government to latch on to a popular movement and boost its popularity.

      Governments did not get involved when the Rugby League split from the established rugby authorities over payments for players and professionalism.

    2. Ed M
      April 21, 2021

      A lot of middle class people don’t get the magic of football (including its culture – they just reduce it to pure pop-corn entertainment as opposed to possessing some level of soul or culture to it for the working class man (although I don’t want to exaggerate this point either). But also make point that ESL would damage the economy (in money sense) of football overall, including less revenue to inland revenue. And the point that teams need to earn the right through effort to be in a top league.
      Millions of people grew up with football from being young children. It isn’t just a passion they enjoy but is also an emotional release from the struggles of life. So it is very important to millions of people.

      1. Ed M
        April 21, 2021

        I would challenge a working class man in the same way who diminished the joy that middle class people get from things such as cricket, opera, fox hunting – whatever – all things I love along with football).

        1. Fred.H
          April 21, 2021

          I think ‘middle class’ people are barbaric if they enjoy having a fox chased and ripped limb from limb by dogs. ( I’ve participated in a fox drive for a farmer where we hoped to locate the fox and shoot it). A humane way of ridding the local chickens etc from the mass murder by a fox.

          1. Ed M
            April 21, 2021

            @Fred,

            I don’t think fox hunting is barbaric. But I respect your POV, sir.

    3. NickC
      April 21, 2021

      Augustus, Perhaps the EU had a hand in this – make the proles feel more like “EU citizens” by having an EU wide football super league? It has all thee hallmarks: centralised imposition; loads of dosh; ignoring the fans; poorly executed plan; subsequent debacle; bitter denunciations after English leave.

      1. Peter Parsons
        April 21, 2021

        The EU? Really? Look at the locations of the owners of the English clubs involved – USA, Bahamas, Middle East and Russian. Don’t see any connection to the EU myself.

        1. NickC
          April 21, 2021

          Peter, We’ll see won’t we? Mind, it seems you’re forgetting that England is a European country too. And the English clubs have now Brexited anyway. So what’s left but euro-trash? Moreover, aren’t you being a trifle xenophobic – what’s wrong with football club owners from the Middle East?

          1. MiC
            April 21, 2021

            Hilarious, just hilarious.

          2. Peter Parsons
            April 21, 2021

            Why have you singled out the Middle East? I simply pointed out the lack of connection between the EU and the ownership of the 6 English clubs involved. I wasn’t the one claiming the EU had any involvement in any of this. If there is xenophobia involved, I would suggest the place you might want to look is in the mirror.

    4. Roy Grainger
      April 22, 2021

      So, your contention is that Italian and Spanish newspapers have been filled with blanket coverage of this news to keep Cameron’s antics out of the news ? Interesting. A very Little Englander opinion there.

  2. Lifelogic
    April 21, 2021

    I rather doubt that the issue has gone away for ever, the financial logic for it remains, it will surely return in a new form.

    What is very clear is the public on balance want to unlock now, have lower simpler taxes, far less government, far less government waste, far less red tape and cheap reliable energy. Yes Boris and this government has the opposite agenda, Sunak is hugely anti-business a tax borrow and piss down the drain chancellor and only circa three years until the next general election.

    Weekly deaths well below the 5 year average, Covid deaths in the UK now just 0.1% of new cases rather than the 3% the NHS has on average (30 times better due to better treatments and the vaccinations). So what on earth are we waiting for from this allegedly Conservative government.? Listen to the public or they will not be fans even if there is no real opposition.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      April 21, 2021

      It is quite clear that we’re waiting for the rest of the EU to catch up with vaccines.

      We were told categorically that the way back to normality was vaccinations. Well this vaccination roll out has exceeded all expectations.

      Indeed, more people are killed per day on British roads than by CV-19. So why isn’t driving banned ?

      1. Lifelogic
        April 21, 2021

        Well certainly cycling, motor cycling, being a pedestrian, skiing, horse riding, hang gliding, rugby, climbing and descending stairs and other such highly dangerous activities.

    2. lifelogic
      April 21, 2021

      So vaccine passport ID card are to go ahead it seems. – no thanks.

      Matt Ridley is surely right as usual – Britain is in danger of repeating its post-war mistakes where rationing idiotically remained in place for years.

    3. Jim Whitehead
      April 21, 2021

      +1

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    April 21, 2021

    Perhaps the players should have done a tax deal with Johnson to do the right thing?
    Perhaps we all should?

    1. Peter Parsons
      April 21, 2021

      One wonders if such deals only apply to those who donate to Conservative party funds…

      1. a-tracy
        April 23, 2021

        Just have to pay the right ferryman.

  4. Denis Cooper
    April 21, 2021

    Off topic, this is a good article in the Belfast Telegraph:

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/crisis-of-confidence-government-has-a-lot-to-do-to-win-back-our-trust-40337296.html

    I would particularly highlight:

    “Brexit continues to divide opinion across Northern Ireland. But what voters have in common is a concern about its effects, particularly when it comes to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland signed off as part of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.”
    Etc ed

    The opportunity existed for the UK Government to avoid

    I don’t think that opportunity really existed because Boris Johnson wanted a free trade deal:

    https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/03/11/the-uk-single-market/#comment-1215362

    “EU deal ‘crass betrayal’ of Northern Ireland”

    “He has given the EU a trade deal which is of marginal economic value to both parties but about twice as valuable to them as to us, he has consigned part of the UK to continued EU domination, and he has put at risk the integrity of the UK.”

    Reply I would be happy to publish you on the important NI issues but I am not going to reproduce large chunks of newspaper articles published elsewhere who own their own copyright.

    1. nota#
      April 21, 2021

      +1

    2. Lifelogic
      April 21, 2021

      +1

  5. Everhopeful
    April 21, 2021

    Let’s hope that sensible views prevail regarding all the power grabs.
    But sadly too late for pubs and small businesses.
    The problem for the footie elite was that there was no way of buying off the fans.
    I imagine lockdowns would have been different had there been no blood money paid.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      April 21, 2021

      The Tories are making Britain a fun free zone.

      Boris is sucking the life out of the place.

      1. Everhopeful
        April 21, 2021

        Spot on!
        And I bet he has more misery up his sleeve…all “oven ready” for us.

  6. Andy
    April 21, 2021

    It depends on whose point of view you take as to whether the proposal was silly.

    The American billionaires who own most of these clubs are in it to make money.
    And a league featuring only the biggest clubs in the world would make massive amounts of money.

    It might be scorned here but the billionaires are not worried about here. They are thinking about China, the Far East, India, Africa, South America – where there are billions of potential new fans.

    And, like it or not, Chelsea v Real Madrid is a far more attractive prospect than Sheffield United v West Brom.

    What this matter does show though is the confusion of the Brexitists. Clearly they can claim not to like this because it had to word European in the league’s name. But they claim the whole point of their Brexit is Global Britain – and yet, at the first opportunity to have supported something which demonstrated their commitment to Global Britain – they turned into Little Englanders.

    Be in no doubt. The same type of ruthless money making American billionaires who wanted to mess with your football teams also want to mess with your food. They want to make money by selling you and your family cheap unhealthy mass produced tat. And their Tory friends want to let them do this. Why do I suspect the Brexitist outrage will be muted when they flood our country with chlorinated chicken and hormone injected beef.

    The Brexitists knew you’d notice football. They hope you won’t notice food, in the same way you didn’t notice fish or Northern Ireland.

    1. Richard1
      April 21, 2021

      It’s going to be funny laughing at you when we are allowed to import American food – which I’ve always been perfectly happy to eat without asking whether it meets EU standards when in N America – and people just make a choice as to whether or not they buy it. Perhaps it will be horrible as you claim in which case the word will get around quickly and no-one will want to buy it. Or perhaps it might be perfectly good – everyone notices they are getting more choice at lower cost, and yet another of the project fear lies bites the dust.

      You’ll have to think of something else.

      1. MiC
        April 21, 2021

        The exporters will not necessarily have to meet the US’s own standards, will they?

        For pity’s sake.

        1. Alan Jutson
          April 22, 2021

          Mic

          Are you really suggesting they will not have to meet the required UK standards which are already set down for such products ?

    2. No Longer Anonymous
      April 21, 2021

      There’s a lot to agree with in that. And on food… home reared UK food will be eaten by the highest global bidders and not at home, much like happens in any other poor country.

      What all of this greencrap is really about (“eat less meat” from Boris only this week) is a cover for us getting poorer in the Great Reckoning, telling us it’s for our own good and even trying to convince us that it was our idea.

      Genius move to put a young girl with special needs as a figurehead for the “get poorer” movement. It means you can’t criticise her without being called a bully. Therefore “everyone loves Greta” and there’s your mandate for the shift in spending power West to East.

      Boris is turning out to be even worse than the Corbyn we voted to avoid.

      And when will he get his size (CV) 19 boots off our throats ? I am SICK of wearing a mask.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        April 21, 2021

        PS, “China, India, Far East, Sth America… ” These nations have not yet anthropomorphised the animal kingdom and therefore have no empathy with other creatures, they haven’t even anthropomophised the slaves crewing fishing trawlers in the Sth China Sea.

        Whatever we do in the West regards greenism will be offset by a new, more rapacious consumerism that has no sentiment towards nature.

        We are done for whatever happens.

    3. a-tracy
      April 21, 2021

      Andy, we also have the same type of ruthless money-making European’s owning our flag carrying airline, Eurostar etc. that want the UK to bail out their losses but allow them to take all the gains. There was the European Union’s First Electricity Directive to stop UK state-owned monopolies and the postal crack down.

      UEFA and the FA also make me laugh they’ll fine Chelsea and Manchester City but allow PSG in France to get away with the same creativity in purchasing and using players.

    4. Nig l
      April 21, 2021

      You were doing quite well until your obsession driven by losing the vote kicked in. There is a very informed comment piece in the DT setting out the eye wateringly high amounts that the owners have had to put in to sustain their teams, demonstrating, what every one but one eyed fans knew, is that this declining profitability, now un profitability could not continue. Owners need value out of their investment even just covering opportunity cost so something needs to change. So this may be a short term victory.

      I guess our host being a market forces man and belief it is all about the fans would agree they should make up the owners subsidies through ticket prices and would support the very large amounts this would entail.

      If there is anything silly it is the normally well informed Sir JR commenting on a financial model he has little knowledge of.

      In other news an example of politicians being prepared to sell anything/body out to get up the greasy pole. Johhny Mercer ex army has fought a long and honourable campaign for the NI veterans ultimately being forced to resign (HMG fired him first, another cowardly act) having come against the look both ways, sloping shoulders of the jellies Boris and his ministers. I think we can assume broken promises etc and shows who is really running NI as does Brexit and it is not HMG.

      Who is taking his place Leo Docherty. What did he do previously senior officer in the British Army. So he is prepared to sell out ex colleagues and incidentally say nothing about current cuts to get up the pole. His office says he is his constituents voice in Westminster. He has said nothing nodding dog lobby fodder no doubt waiting for the promised job. The local association wanted Dan Hannan but Docherty was imposed on them. We can see why.

    5. Ed M
      April 21, 2021

      Andy,
      You’re an obsessed Europhile. Brexit / EU has nothing to do with reaction to ESL

      I voted remain (although would have voted Brexit if we’d been better prepared with a plan and a strong leader) and now support Brexit as the country voted to leave. I opposed ESL like millions of others as it would ruin football here at grassroots and a certain football culture including that teams should be in a top league because of merit. Also, I think it ultimately harms our economy as it would only benefit the money men at very top – and harm those near top, in the middle, and at bottom, and so less money to inland revenue too – same argument for millions of others too for opposing it.

    6. Hanky Park
      April 21, 2021

      I do hope the government will not now be emboldened to interfer even more with the way business owners choose to operate their businesses. Government should confine itself to what it does best which is not much.

    7. David Brown
      April 21, 2021

      Andy, as always a spot on commentary I also read a CNN report on line about UK exports and a very interesting read it was.
      This gives a good insight into how the current US administration is viewing the UK

      1. Fred.H
        April 21, 2021

        interesting because …..?

        1. David Brown
          April 21, 2021

          CNN report that UK exports are substantially down and many businesses are relocating to the EU, and the US companies are now looking to relocate.
          CNN state overall US investment is down and future investment in the UK is under review due to Brexit

    8. NickC
      April 21, 2021

      Andy, You may not realise it but “European” is not the same as “global”. Both the problems of EU control over Northern Ireland and UK fish are a consequence of a trade deal you advocated between the EU and the UK. Almost all Leaves that I know of – including most who comment here – advocated the WTO deal (which you hated), which would have obviated both. And been worse for the EU (in trade terms) than the current WA and T&CA.

      1. Andy
        April 21, 2021

        I advocated the deal we used to have. Where we could export fish and cheese – and where our musicians and many others could work visa free in a market of half a billion.

        You voted for a deal because that is what the leavers promised. They promised a better deal than we had and I think it is fair to say it has been a pretty spectacular failure.

        1. Richard1
          April 21, 2021

          On any reasonable analysis it is too early to say. On the one hand there have been some disruptions – in most cases created deliberately by the EU. On the other hand there is a big saving of money – £12bn pa rising for ever, minus £39bn (est) in ‘divorce’ payment, plus of course we are not on the hook for the euro bailout, €390bn of which is straight grants, almost all to the weaker eurozone economies. we’d have been on the hook for £10 bns, even though we aren’t in the eurozone.

          Other causes for celebration already are the triumph of Liz Truss’s trade deals, which have pretty much replicated what we had around the world with the EU – you will recall that you assured us for years that this would be impossible.

          And of course the triumph of the Boris vaccination programme. It is inconceivable that had we been in the EU – or indeed had a different PM – we would not have just gone with the flow and joined the EU commission’s vaccine fiasco.

          We will have to see. the ultimate test will be the performance of the UK versus the eurozone over the coming years.

          If – and I agree its a big If – the govt adopts the right policies, you must prepare yourself for the terrible eventuality that people will judge Brexit to be a stonking success.

        2. Denis Cooper
          April 21, 2021

          You advocated “ever closer union” leading to our subjugation in a pan-European federation.

    9. Peter2
      April 21, 2021

      There was a huge majority against this breakaway football competition Andy.
      Are you trying to claim only people who voted to leave the EU were against the idea?
      Seems you continually see everything through your obsession with Brexit.

    10. graham1946
      April 21, 2021

      Will they sell us horse meat for beef?

      1. MiC
        April 21, 2021

        That was largely an abattoir in Todmorden, Graham old chap.

        It doesn’t matter what the rules are if you won’t pay for inspectors or for enforcement procedures.

    11. Cliff. Wokingham
      April 21, 2021

      Don’t worry Andy, you’ll be able to rinse the chicken under our chlorinated tap water. Much of our supermarket salads are washed in chlorine already.

      Sadly and somewhat strangely, I find myself agreeing with the first part of your post.

      1. Andy
        April 21, 2021

        The chicken had to be chlorinated because its reared in cruel and unhygienic conditions.

        Why are you advocating animal cruelty?

        1. Cliff. Wokingham
          April 21, 2021

          Twisting my words to your own ends Andy.
          Perhaps you should stipulate that you are arguing for better husbandry standards rather than concentrating on the chemical.

          I find the suggestion that you feel I am advocating animal cruelty, to be rather offensive.

        2. Lester
          April 21, 2021

          Andy
          They aren’t reared in unhygienic conditions, the conditions in the slaughter houses are the reason for the chlorine, the carcasses are riddled with Salmonella and other organisms, hence the instructions to make sure that the chickens are thoroughly cooked, in reality the American chlorinated chicken is almost certainly safer than the chicken available here.

          Chlorine keeps our drinking water and our swimming pools safe so the fuss about chlorinated chicken was manufactured.

    12. Original Richard
      April 21, 2021

      Andy : “It depends on whose point of view you take as to whether the proposal was silly.

      The American billionaires who own most of these clubs are in it to make money.

      And a league featuring only the biggest clubs in the world would make massive amounts of money. “

      The proposal was silly and bound to fail eventually even if it went ahead because there was no possibility for promotion and relegation from this super league and after a while there would be no way of knowing whether the clubs were still the best teams in Europe, as well as becoming boring watching the same teams play each other.

      Without promotion and relegation these super league clubs and teams would become lazy.

      As Pep Guardiola, manager for Manchester City, said at his press conference yesterday “ A sport is not a sport when the relationship between the effort and the success and between effort and reward does not exist”

    13. Original Richard
      April 21, 2021

      Andy : “And, like it or not, Chelsea v Real Madrid is a far more attractive prospect than Sheffield United v West Brom.”

      Not necessarily.

      The EPL is watched and supported all over the world partly because of the excitement in the unpredictability of the matches where even a top team can be beaten by a team at the bottom of the league or for the excitement of two teams scrapping to avoid relegation.

      Furthermore, the promotion of teams brings new international players into the EPL and hence international interest.

    14. agricola
      April 21, 2021

      A very reasonable and sensible comment concluding with West Brom. After that, Andy the fantasist got out and it all became La La Land.

    15. Roy Grainger
      April 22, 2021

      So, your contention is that Italian and Spanish newspapers have been filled with blanket coverage of this news to keep Cameron’s antics out of the news ? Interesting. A very Little Englander opinion there.

  7. Alan Jutson
    April 21, 2021

    Not just the fans John, the managers and players as well.

    I agree let us hope the Politicians now also give up, but somehow I fear they will still want to pursue some sort of legislation, simply because that’s what they think they should do.

    I see it is being reported today that the new media Centre in Downing Street, modified at a cost of over £2,500,000 will not now be used for its original purpose. !

    Another great investment at the taxpayers expense.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      April 21, 2021

      I wish the Tories would sort out immigration first.

      An 80 seat majority mandate, out of the EU, a global pandemic… and still no changes.

      1. Everhopeful
        April 21, 2021

        They are signed up to immigration. Migration Pact.
        Hands tied.
        They decided for us.
        Country overflowing.

    2. a-tracy
      April 21, 2021

      Who needs a media centre when it’s better for Boris and our government to keep us all in the dark. Sick of it.

    3. Fred.H
      April 21, 2021

      I suspect SKY / BT sport made it clear they weren’t going to bid.

  8. Lifelogic
    April 21, 2021

    Voters want what works Boris & Sunak are pushing socialist policies that do not work. 5 million waiting for operations on the NHS it seems. Simple offer them all ~ 50% of the cost of the op to the NHS to go privately. Circa 50% will take it and waiting list halved and the NHS saves 50% of the cost of all those operation. Those who cannot pay get shorter wait times. Plus we get more real competition and money into the health system. Also go back to encouraging more to take insurance with tax breaks and killing the 12% IPT tax on premiums.

    Win, win for all, but alas we have the appalling NHS religion free at the point of rationing, delay and often gross incompetence religion.

    1. jerry
      April 21, 2021

      @LL; Good luck at the ballot box with that manifesto. Other than a few dogmatic capitalists, the public do love their NHS, they also understand how the self-same dogmatic version capitalism has often starved the NHS of funds -via the worship of “tax cuts”. If the taxpayer is to fund private hospitals, by way of your suggested 50% patient funding, why not just place them under the same sort of control as was used during wartime?

      Anyway, if 2.5m people descended on the private hospital sector what do you think the private hospitals will have to do, yes priorities who get what treatment, when and most likely where, just as the NHS does, I doubt the sector even has capacity for more than one million concurrent patients.

      1. SM
        April 21, 2021

        Jerry, if you want to know about cutting NHS funding, take a look at the period when Patricia Hewitt (Lab) was SoS Health.

        Many of the public ‘love’ the NHS until they come into serious contact with it – a friend is currently an emergency admission to her local NHS hospital because one department persistently gets her medical records wrong and much-needed regular treatment was denied her. So the NHS is paying for her to be partially treated while she remains in hospital for at least 7 days, but will then have to refer her to another hospital for the surgery she needs which normally only requires a 2-day stay. Having used both private and NHS so-called ‘care’ myself over the years, I can’t help thinking private hospitals would manage the whole thing better for both patient and tax-payer.

        1. jerry
          April 21, 2021

          @SM; I can tell you similar failings happen in the private health care sector too, I lost my father to a preventable cancer due to a private consultant/hospital miss diagnosing a benign tumor, missing the actual malignant tumor until it was inoperable (despite the best efforts of the NHS to save him) – and no, that is not why I have a distaste of private medicine, errors happen.

      2. NickC
        April 21, 2021

        Jerry, I do not think that “the public do love their NHS“. What the public love is the concept that whether you are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or not, the taxpayer funds healthcare so that you will never have to choose between medicine for your child or food for him.

        1. jerry
          April 21, 2021

          @NickC; What you describe, what you say the public love, is the NHS, as laid out in the Beveridge Report, duh! What is more, they love it even more now (after the last 12 months), if some on the political right think there are votes in wanting fundamental changes to, or the diversion of funds away from, the NHS they are totally deluded.

      3. Lifelogic
        April 21, 2021

        If these patient did indeed seek help from the private sector it would respond and supply to meet the demand. This getting more competition and money into healthcare. Rather unlike the communist, rationed by delays NHS.

        I am not seeking votes at the ballot box just pointing out what works and what is not working.

        1. jerry
          April 21, 2021

          @LL; If the private health industry can ‘react’ so could the NHS, assuming politicos allow it, they are basically doing the same things after all. The only problem, the logistics of making extra facilities available, and the same problems would face both private and public health services, s shortage of hospitals and the staff to run them…

  9. Mike Wilson
    April 21, 2021

    I missed the piece on the Finance Bill a couple of days ago.

    Mr. Redwood- in your impassioned plea to the government you mentioned various reasons for how difficult it is to forecast the performance of the economy. One major factor you did not even mention is the government’s obsession with high immigration.

    Reply I have often dealt with that in other arguments. It is not the main reason they get the deficit wrong.

  10. Newmania
    April 21, 2021

    Yes now we can go back to the pure Corinthian spirit of the Premier League and the incorruptible probity of FIFA and UEFA. I was pleased to see that as usual Arsenal conducted themselves in a decent manner , explaining that they feared the consequences of being left out and only wished to safeguard the future of the club. Entirely understandable
    By the way John Redwood ( who knows about as much about football an I do about East Enders )can pause his sneers at all things European. One of the things that strikes me about my boys is how closely they follow the European game as do their peers . The minds of young people do not stop at the channel .

  11. nota#
    April 21, 2021

    It has now given the UK Government the opportunity to address the other big imbalance. This where the UK Sports Fan(That’s all Sports) has to pay a super premium to watch there favorite sport on TV.

    Its important as it is all sports in general that rely on TV financing and it is the UK fans that pay over the odds while in the rest of the World they pay very little or nothing at all for exactly the same broadcast. All that happens in the rest of the World is that their Governments seek fairness for their citizens.

    1. nota#
      April 21, 2021

      Other parts of the world English football along with other World big game sports are ‘free’ or in some cases a subscription to the equivalent of £77 per annum. UK fans for UK Coverage (exclude the rest of the World) £492.00 per annum.

      1. Fred.H
        April 21, 2021

        where do you get your football coverage for £492? Sky or BT or Amazon …

    2. Lifelogic
      April 21, 2021

      This is because UK customers are prepared to pay more so they have to. Such are markets. If they were more price sensitive it would be cheaper.

  12. Nig l
    April 21, 2021

    Ps and we now see from Johnny Mercer’s resignation letter that the Prime Minister reneged on the Veterans Pledge he gave. As we see time and time again. Says anything to bat away a problem. I can see why so many people who have had personal dealings do not trust him. I don’t either.

    1. Alan Jutson
      April 21, 2021

      Nig 1

      Well at least we have uncovered an MP who will stand up for his principals, and is prepared to be sacked for them.
      Boris will not, and should not be allowed to renege on this promise to the armed forces, he is glad enough for their manpower when things need to be sorting out properly and efficiently.

  13. glen cullen
    April 21, 2021

    Fan Power Rule = Consumer & Market Forces Rule

    Shame we can’t apply the same principles to the 2030 ban on the Internal Combustion Engine and consumer choice

    1. Alan Jutson
      April 21, 2021

      +1

  14. Ed M
    April 21, 2021

    Talking about the great game of football, what about the great game of chess.

    England only has 23 grandmasters compared to Germany which has 72.
    Chess is huge in being able to sharpen the intelligence of children and adults and in different ways (strategic thinking, tactical thinking, creative thinking, intuitive thinking, memory etc).
    Be great to see the government do more to promote chess here in the UK – in schools and in general (and along with chess, coding too – as coding is a key skill in the High Tech / Digital Sector).

    More people playing chess, doesn’t just help indirectly the economy but also makes people sharper and more creative thinkers in general. And good for mental health, reducing cost on NHS. It’s also great fun.

    1. MiC
      April 21, 2021

      You stick up for these things Ed.

      And the British invented cryptic crosswords too, I read.

  15. Mark B
    April 21, 2021

    Good afternoon

    Fan Power came in the form of the German clubs. Their ownership model is very different from ours.

  16. Dave Ward
    April 21, 2021

    Football has never interested me – when I saw the post title I assumed it was to do with an EU “Eco” regulation about domestic ventilation devices…

    1. dixie
      April 21, 2021

      +1

    2. NickC
      April 21, 2021

      Dave, Or bird mincers . . .

    3. David Brown
      April 21, 2021

      Dont mention Ventilators lol

  17. Denis Cooper
    April 21, 2021

    Off topic, and without quoting extensively from the Evening Standard article here:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/northern-ireland-mps-ian-paisley-great-britain-irish-sea-b930943.html

    it is being argued that the alternative arrangements for the Irish land border that were proposed in 2019:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-48884436

    were based on Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic aligning on food and plant health standards.

    Not for the first time I must refer back to the Mansion House speech given by Theresa May on March 2 2018:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union

    in which she threw away some of our most important negotiating cards.

    Firstly she gratuitously accepted responsibility for making sure that the Irish government would not erect border infrastructure of their side:

    “We have been clear all along that we don’t want to go back to a hard border in Ireland. We have ruled out any physical infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls.

    But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.”

    And guess who would decide whether any solution we proposed would be acceptable?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-49488844

    “Brexit: Backstop plan by Sir Jonathan Faull dismissed by EU”

    “EU officials have poured cold water on alternative proposals for the Brexit backstop by a former British European Commission official.”

    But secondly she also accepted that whatever standards were required for goods exported to the EU should also be applied to all goods circulating within the UK:

    “Our default is that UK law may not necessarily be identical to EU law, but it should achieve the same outcomes. In some cases Parliament might choose to pass an identical law – businesses who export to the EU tell us that it is strongly in their interest to have a single set of regulatory standards that mean they can sell into the UK and EU markets.”

    So in this classic europhile view of the universe the management of our national economy must revolve around the interests, or convenience, of the small minority of UK businesses which export part of our production to the EU, and those which export to other parts of the world, or do not export at all, must fit in with that.

    And now, of course, the Irish protocol applies to all goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on the presumption that they are all potentially at risk of being carried on down to the Republic.

    1. Grey Friar
      April 22, 2021

      You seem to think, Denis, that the UK can leave the EU, stop applying EU rules but that the EU should leave its market open to UK goods as if the UK had never left. Can I respectfully suggest you do not live in the real world

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 22, 2021

        As far as I’m aware at the moment the UK is still in full regulatory alignment with the EU, so, yes, if the EU wanted to be “pragmatic” and “flexible”, words Brandon Lewis repeatedly used in the Commons yesterday, then it could just let in the same goods from the UK produced to the same EU standards as when the UK was still an EU member state and then during that oxymoronic “transition period” during which nothing actually transitioned . But the EU does not want or intend to be “pragmatic” or “flexible”, it wants to be “dogmatic” and “inflexible”, as any sensible person could have realised long ago, in late 2017. When the UK does start to diverge from EU laws then that will be a different matter, but even then the legitimate interests of the EU will not extend beyond the nature of the goods which enter its territory.

        1. Grey Friar
          April 22, 2021

          Try this then, Denis. You resign your membership at the bowls club. You stop paying subs. You try to book a game. You are told you can’t, since you are not a member. Your reply – “look, my ability at bowls hasn’t changed, why are you being so dogmatic, why can’t you be pragmatic and flexible?” How do you rate your chances . Denis?

          1. Peter2
            April 22, 2021

            It’s a very odd bowls club GF
            27 members all get a vote yet only 9 ever put in any fees.
            The rest get handouts.

          2. Denis Cooper
            April 22, 2021

            Why should I try that? The UK has not resigned its membership of the WTO, and nor has the EU or any of its continuing member states, and all are still just as bound by the WTO treaties as they were when the UK was one of those member states’

            Including the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement:

            https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/tradfa_e.htm

            Try reading its Article 7.4, which starts:

            “4.1 Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control.

            4.2 Each Member shall design and apply risk management in a manner as to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or a disguised restriction on international trade.

            4.3 Each Member shall concentrate customs control and, to the extent possible other relevant border controls, on high-risk consignments and expedite the release of low-risk consignments …”

        2. Len Peel
          April 22, 2021

          Seriously matey? 5 years on from the referendum and you STILL dont know what you voted for? We are out of the EU, out of the single market, we dont get free trade any more, we get red tape and borders. That is LITERALLY what Brexit is

          1. Peter2
            April 22, 2021

            Amazing Len how many non members import billions of value into Europe.
            India China America Australia North Korea and many more.
            How on Earth do they manage to do that?
            “Red tape and borders” doesn’t seem to thwart them.

  18. adam
    April 21, 2021

    I still get this error on American websites

    “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”

    1. hefner
      April 21, 2021

      Use a VPN, it should do the trick.

  19. XY
    April 21, 2021

    Yes, the government should not be getting involved in this, it is a commercial decision.

    However… should it be? Seeing communities’ football clubs gobbled up by rich people who treat them as fantasy football, only with real clubs and people… this is not how it’s supposed to be.

    When a football club floats on the stock exchange, it’s really not a good idea for somsone to buy up all the shares needed to control the club, effectively ownership by only buying 51%. And often taking it back into private ownership (their own).

    The Board people making the decision to float have already lost sight of the fact that the club is not and was never intended to be a business, it is part of a community being represented in a sport.

    When a sport guarantees success it becomes simply a commercial “show” and loses its appeal. We see the same in rugby, with the business people owning these clubs now talking of ending relegation “because it threatens their business”. Sorry, but people don’t care.

    For years the “top” football clubs have tried to game the system to keep themselves at the top. The so-called financial fair play (FFP) rules always include the ability to spend more based on “historical success” and they even now talk of the new Champions League format having places for clubs based on history.

    All this, to watch a game behind a very expensive paywall which regularly produces 0-0 draws. It stopped being interesting for me a long time ago.

    As JR says, this league would probably fail all by itself and take down the clubs that formed it – which might be the best thing that happened to football for a long time.

  20. Fred.H
    April 21, 2021

    off topic.
    from BBC website.
    Heathrow Airport has refused to allow extra flights from India before the country is added to the UK travel red list on Friday. It turned down down the requests from airlines because of concerns about queues at passport control. The airport told the BBC that it did not want to exacerbate existing pressures at the border by allowing more passengers to fly in.
    From 0400 on Friday arrivals from India must quarantine in hotels for 10 days.
    Last week, a director at the airport said the situation at the border – which is operated by the Home Office – had become “untenable” because of delays in processing arriving passengers.
    Four carriers requested to operate an additional eight flights from India as travellers seek to fly before the enforced quarantine comes into effect. Currently, 30 flights a week are operating between the UK and India.
    The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that it also received applications for charter flight permits from India to the UK – but these had been refused.

    1. glen cullen
      April 21, 2021

      more off topic
      BBC news reporting that we are still giving £900,000 of taxpayers money to China…that’s the same China with a space programme that’s surpasses NASA and a blue water Navy which is now the biggest in the world

  21. Mark
    April 21, 2021

    I am encouraged that fan pressure was enough to get politicians on board and to end the super league. I thought the public had lost its ability to make its views clear. Now we need to see the same pressure applied to end the absurd net zero nonsense. I note that several journalists are now being allowed to publish assessments that this will be very expensive and deeply unpopular when implementation begins to bite. The reaction to a tweet by Mr Zahawi announcing the new 78% target for 2035 was universally negative. The coffee is smelling stronger. Time for the government to wake up. To be woke up is the wrong answer.

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    April 22, 2021

    They might come back with a modified proposal that incorporates promotion from and relegation to national leagues. The Super League teams would play each other home and way although it’s hard to see how this could replace the existing Champions League.

  23. Roy Grainger
    April 22, 2021

    You can only claim that “fan power” defeated this if you believe those owners could care less about the views of fans. The fact they even proposed the ESL shows that they don’t. A far more likely cause is the government threat to refuse work permits for foreign players and managers. So, another great Brexit benefit, in addition to the 10,400 lives saved by not being in the EU vaccination scheme

  24. Fred.H
    April 22, 2021

    Sir John – I think you will find German clubs were involved, but due to their differing owners structure chose to hold back from joining ‘at this time’.

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