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Platini Against the Grain

UEFA President Michel Platini, "the highest ranking critic of the game," lives in an entirely different world from the reality of European soccer, says USSoccerPlayers' J. Hutcherson. Long gone are the days when soccer teams were small businesses that barely made money. Soccer today is a global business, which makes many of Platini's proposals to reform the game anachronistic at best.

One of his more controversial ideas is to ensure that more champions participate in the Champions League instead of virtually reserving a space for the same super clubs by allowing the top four from Europe's three biggest leagues qualify for the competition. Platini wants to see the domestic cup winners take that fourth spot away, a proposal that has the super clubs crying bloody murder. He also wants to see them limit the number of foreign players on their rosters, a move that has actually drawn the support from the likes of Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

At the end of the day, Hutcherson says that Platini is likely positioning himself against an immovable force. As the super clubs grow richer, the more they'll likely distance themselves from the organizations in which they play. Which means that one day soon, we may see a European Super League, organized by the world's richest clubs.

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