I would like to present a modest proposal to prevent the complete ruination of the football league; to revive the public interest in the game of football; to raise copious monies for the grass roots of the game and to level the playing field for all of the clubs concerned.
It is my contention that the present inequalities in the current set-up of the Premiership leads to a gap in the ability of all but a few clubs to compete at the highest level . This not only causes the impoverishment of the majority of clubs even in the Premiership division itself but will eventually lead to a decline in support for the game as a whole.
This inequality is further compounded by the recent installation of a two-fold transfer window, effectivly a double glazing, which prevents the balmy draughts of competition and impedes the sunny rays of competitiveness.
My modest proposal will not only revive the happy days of childhood and fond memories of the playground but reinstitute the spirit of the Hiring Fairs which formed an important part of the rural landscape after the Black Death. At these both labourers and craftsmen with the tools of their trade would gather at country markets to present themselves for hire for the forthcoming season.
My modest proposal is that we abolish the transfer windows and long term contracts, which are never honoured in any case, and proceed as follows:
On August 1st each year at Wembley Stadium all footballers seeking work in the Premiership Division shall present themselves with their boots, and goalkeepers additionally with their gloves and caps and stand around the perimeter of the pitch. This has been accurately measured and I am assured that their will be adequate room.
Premiership managers will stand on the half way line in the order that they finished this season. Any player or manager failing to attend will be deemed to have made themselves ineligible for the 2009/2010 season. A reserve pool of Championship managers and players will be held in a holding area under the stands in the event that too few managers or players are available to fulfil the requirement of 18 teams. ( The proposed new limit for Premiership membership)
At the signal of the blowing of a whistle by the head referee Keith Hackett each manager will pick a player in turn, beginning with the Premiership winners, and that player will stand behind his manager in a straight line to avoid confusion.. This process will continue until each team has 24 selected players.
A number of senior referees will station themselves at regular intervals amongst the, as yet, unselected players to ensure that neither by gesture or sound, or any other means, mobile phones having been impounded, can players influence the decision of the managers. Jostling, jumping up with arms raised and shouting the name of the manager will be expressly forbidden, as will the words 'me, me'.
Tickets for the event will be sold and the event will be broadcast by the highest bidder (Sky Sports)
Naming Rights, Image Rights, Branding Rights, Corporate Hospitality Rights, Rights to any other Rights, ticket sales and advertising should raise several billion pounds from this event alone. These monies to be allocated to the lower leagues, Academies and youth training.
The first 18 players selected will receive a maximum wage of £60.000, the second 18, £55.000 pounds and so on down to the tenth position where a minimum wage of £15.000 will be reached. The proceedings will be concluded by a match between the first two elevens chosen, in future to be branded 'The Annual( insert name of sponsor)Hiring Day Experience'
This process I am confident will make the Premiership more equal and therefore more competitive; will substantially decrease the number of foreign players and therefore increase the opportunities for native players and substantially improve the balance sheet of all clubs.
It is estimated that season ticket prices and prices in general will decrease by some 50% and attendances increase by 25% because higher quality players will be spread more evenly throughout the division. Special measures will be needed for the collapse in the market for agents and contract lawyers.
These arrangements will last initially for 3yrs with no changes of players or managers permitted (except in the event of death or bankruptcy.) Additions to the squad will only be permitted by recruitment from their own Academies, 50% of whose entrants to have been born within 5miles(urban) and 25 miles (rural) of the Club's main stadium.
I am sure that correspondents will be able to refine and reform these measures but I commend the basic arrangement outlined here in the interests of the game which we all love. Suggestions for the second 3yr phase are welcomed.