On 12 July 2011, England legend Rio Ferdinand was resting at home, recovering from another long Premier League season and Champions League football in Manchester United. He turned on his television, and was duly entertained by a group of guys across the pond congregating all over Phoenix, Arizona for a little light baseball.
Rio was watching 2011 MLB All-Star Gamea game in which a relief jug entered the game Running from the bulls and doing one-knee gliding on the hill (Note: This is not the normal way for relief shooters to enter the game) Much to everyone’s delight. While we may never know if Ryo appreciated this trick as much as anyone else watching, we do know he was looking forward to the game, having tweeted earlier in the day about it:
Baseball All-Star Game Tonight, TV coverage is quality. We need the PL All-Star game too…the forces we should talk about + develop….
– Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) 12 July 2011
Should this be deleted in the future, Ryo said that “All-Star Baseball [is] Tonight’s TV coverage is quality. We need a PL All-Star game too…the forces we have to talk about + develop this…”.
We need the Premier League All-Star Game, Rio said, addressing the idea to “the powers that be” and following it up with a tweet that they could easily “replace the Community Shield with #premierleagueallstarteam?”. Manchester Evening News Covered These two tweets have a total of 100 words, giving them minimal attention and no actual opinion or reaction.
Eleven years later, Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehle was on stage at a business conference, speaking to a host of other business types about revenue streams and making money to stay competitive in the age of state-owned professional soccer teams. Since joining our team at Chelsea, Buhli has repeatedly stated that he and the owner group believe (European) football is still ‘really retarded’ In terms of revenue generation for participating clubs and leagues.
Boehly raised the idea again, adding that one possible idea could be an All-Star game in the Premier League (be it before, after or during the season), which could generate large sums with minimal effort and disruption, adding that these millions could be used To support teams up and down the pyramid, not just the Premier League.
Very good, right? A fun and money game that everyone benefits from? What do you not like? Welcome to Rio!
As we have all seen, the response to this impromptu reference to a basic idea (not even a suggestion) was one timid step to declaring war on the USA, as many prominent critics and journalists did not try to hide their xenophobia. In their immediate reactions, childish, and often willingly.
Here is a selection:
I still say it but the sooner we get the regulator the better. American investment in English football presents a clear and present risk to the game’s hierarchy and texture. They just don’t get it and think differently. They also don’t stop until they get what they want!
– Gary Neville (@GNev2) September 14, 2022
Thoughtful responses – at least in line with strength but just an idea – raised valid concerns such as that we already had international players or that we already had enough equipment.
The latter was Jürgen Klopp’s objection when asked awkwardly (although he was willing to look into it by the time he finished talking and mocking), as well as the FIFPro, who certainly have a reason to point out the crowd. It really is a big problem.
In fact, if we could cut back on trivial competitions like the League Cup or whatever nonsense that national teams have to do constantly, that would be great. Doing so will leave plenty of room on the calendar for a one-off game and possibly another day of skill competitions, which are really the only interesting parts of any All-Star event. Few are interested in the game itself; All about the dunk contest, and run home derbyhardest slap, goalkeeper wars, etc.
“Football can’t keep pushing more and more into an already crowded schedule.
“We work closely with our fellow unions in major sports in the United States, so we understand the value and popularity of All Star events. Ideas should not be dismissed simply because they may be concepts we are not familiar with, especially if they have the potential to raise funds that can be used To bring interest around football.
“Ultimately, though, we cannot continue adding matches and events without a proper and extensive review of the calendar.”
-PFA spokesperson. Source: The Times via Mirror
And you can definitely say that football has all-star matches already. Each national team is practically an all-star team made up of the best players in one country. (Shock for players from different teams).
The difference is that All-Star games in the American sense are all about celebrating the sport, the league, the players and their skills. International players are lightly lined vehicles for low-quality football nationalism – and they take far too long in the schedule, with plenty of travel, ongoing injuries, and occasional corruption scandals or human rights abuses. (Players can get hurt at All-Star games too, of course, but it’s generally pretty rare because it’s a non-competitive festive event for all involved and everyone who might be interested.)
Some have pointed out that football has seen All-Star (or equivalent) matches in the past, which featured a select lineup from different leagues. We also have things like Soccer Aid or pre-season matches against selected XIs from different leagues (like Chelsea playing Thailand XI in both). 2013 And the 2015or MLS All-Stars in 2012). There are also various certificates and matches for fundraising and charitable benefits. The idea is neither new nor unique, which makes the massively exaggerated reaction to it even more overtly xenophobic.
Compound Association XI was proposed by the Englishman in 1961: yes this seems like an interesting element to start a new domestic campaign
Composite League XI proposed by the Americans in 2022: disgrace, does not understand the fabric of English football, this is our game, hands up.
– Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) September 16, 2022
Buhle claimed that the All-Star Game made $200 million for Major League Baseball this year. Given that the All-Star Games are never the most-watched game of any season in any sport, this is definitely a handsome windfall for a bit of fun, and could actually benefit the entire league or pyramid.
And I don’t even like all-star games.
Except for goal wars. We need more Goalkeeper wars.