The financial forces behind the abomination of football’s Super League cannot be ignored
Purcell believes football has gotten itself into this mess due to weak regulatory oversight and a lack of proper governance. No individual club could afford not to participate in the arms race for fear of underperforming on the pitch. It was up to sports officials to put an end to the collective madness.
It remains to be seen if the Super League still has a future. A compromise was always unlikely as opening the league would defeat its main purpose. “Promotion and relegation goes against the only thing these guys want to accomplish, which is eliminating risk,” Purcell says.
And this is where the catch lies. Greed is neither good nor bad. It’s just. The only way to temper her is with an equal and opposite emotion: fear. It has been rightly pointed out that safe sport is not really sport; it is a sporting effort reduced to the status of content on social networks. But capitalism without risk, without the cleansing power of creative destruction, is not capitalism either.
The new Super League is not rampant commercialism; it is mutant commercialism. If he doesn’t collapse on his own, and the football authorities are powerless to stop what looks, swims and quack like a cartel, all sorts of future distortions in this once-magnificent game will inevitably follow. Moral danger is not Eden’s promising younger brother.