Everton take on Arsenal on Friday night, but in the theme of all the footballing conversations this week, Carlo Ancelotti’s pre-match press conference and the closed briefing after were heavily Super League oriented.
Ancelotti went on record to say that he thought the Super League was a joke, but also added that though he thought the Premier League was competitive, there was more lveling of the playing field that could be done.
“The Premier League, it is the most competitive league in the world, but it can be more competitive. Why not?
“This season is really, really competitive, a lot of teams are fighting for fourth place...[it is really competitive] apart from the first place, which is already decided.
“That means it is really, really exciting and competitive. But can the Premier League be more competitive? I say yes, it can be more competitive and can the Champions League be more competitive? I think yes.
“Open a discussion between clubs, between Uefa, between FIFA, between players, between managers and try to have more competitive competitions, that’s it.”
With Ancelotti having played for and managed some of the biggest clubs in the world, what did he think was a good way to achieve that competitiveness?
“You have to have the weaker teams, stronger. That’s it. Give more power to the weak teams.
“I don’t know how but I think this is the way. The teams that are at the bottom of the table or at number 10, number 11, number nine, they have to be stronger to be more competitive for the top of the table. How? I don’t know.
“I am not a politician to talk about this but there are a lot of instruments that you can use. One, for example, is a salary cap that could be used to improve the competition.”
When asked if he thought the biggest clubs and their top players would be okay with this, the veteran manager laughed -
“I don’t know, I don’t know! The salary caps means less money for the manager, means less money for the players. But to try to equalise, a little bit, the competition I think it can be an idea. It can be a solution but there can be other solutions, really I don’t know.
“It can be a good moment to talk about this. The new format of the Champions League is put in place to have a more competitive Champions League because now the Champions League is only competitive from March until May.
“Two months. The last 16. The groups now, after three games, it is already decided who is going to be first and who is going to be second. The new format keeps the competition more exciting from the beginning. But I think they can do better.”
So far there seems to be no repercussions towards the six teams that attempted rebellion this week from the Football Association or the Premier League, and it remains to be seen if any sanctions will be placed against the lot.