2 scenarios for European sport in 2020

I was reading one of Europe’s best blogs about the European Union the other day and enjoyed a brilliant article about what Europe could be in 2020. Basically the EU would either implode, not change much from what it looks like in 2009 or become a powerful federation able to look at the United States and China straight in the eyes. I thought for a while of how European sport could look like in 11 years following the same path. Here is how it looks like.
1. Worst-case scenario: the return to the darker days
A total lack of economic and financial coordination among member states led to a long recession cycle. After the bankruptcy of the Champions Hockey League in 2009, Heineken bows out of his sponsorship deal with the European rugby leagues just a year later marking the end of the Heineken Cup. In the following years, the volleyball and handball elite leagues will disappear as well. In 2014, the main basketball teams – disgruntled by the disappointed media and sponsorship deals – make secession from the Euroleague like in the 2000-2001 season. The situation gets worse in 2019 when Real Madrid, Alba Berlin, Paris-Levallois, CSKA Moscow and Lottomatica Roma become the 5 latest NBA expansion teams. How about football? In 2020, all Premier League teams without exceptions are now owned by foreign billionaires. Like the purchase of Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema by Notts County has shown, no team from outside the UK can align with the money offered by English teams. All players nominated from the Golden Ball play there. The interest for the Champions League has dropped consequently. English teams refuse to play a poor man’s competition and most of the national champions cannot afford the lengthy and costly travels around Europe and decline to play the competition.
Governments’ reply to the depression has been to protect the local jobs and companies and to put new restrictions to the freedom of movements of the labourers. Soon after all European leagues adopted the 6+5 rule which compels every team to have a majority of national players on the pitch, the European Court of Justice changes its jurisprudence and denies the well-known Bosman ruling. Most leagues go back in time and set a new limit of 3 foreign players by team to develop and provide a job for young national players.
The European teams stop playing on a European scale and their rosters stop having a European flavour. The birth of a European identity through sport becomes the best joke ever.
2. Best-case scenario: Ich bin ein Europeer
Europe has managed to become a federation and after managing economic, financial, fiscal and social integration seeks to boost a European identity for his citizens through whatever is possible. The European anthem is even played at every national team game. One of the first measures taken by new European Commission President, Michel Platini. During the 2020 Olympics, the European Union delegation beats the US and China for the highest number of gold medals. And a European team led by Cesc Fàbregas, Theo Walcott and Mario Balotelli won the 2018 World Cup in Italy. Comparable to the Ashes in cricket, a series of exhibition games between Europe and the United States are organised in basketball. According to the Lausanne treaty about sports, every first division team in every professional collective sport has to have a player from a minimum of 6 different EU members in its squad. The enlargement to all Balkan states and Turkey in 2018 made it a lot easier for teams to adjust. All teams have the ability to loan their players in their 3-year exchange program where young players go to Ajax Amsterdam, FC Barcelona and Arsenal academies before returning to their teams at age 18. The fans daydream about those paneuropean teams. Other European events are organised. Most spectacular one is the creation of the Tour of the EU, the most-coveted cycling race that goes through Roubaix, Bastogne, l’Alpe d’Huez and San Remo.

I was reading one of the best blogs about the European Union the other day and enjoyed a brilliant article about what Europe could be in 2020 (French language sorry). Basically the EU would either implode, not change much from what it is now or become a powerful federation able to look at the United States and China straight in the eyes. I thought for a while and toyed with the idea of doing a similar sport with European sport. This is how things could look in 2020.

1. Worst-case scenario: back to the future

A total lack of economic and financial coordination among EU member states leads to a long recession cycle. After the bankruptcy of the Champions Hockey League in 2009, Heineken bows out of its sponsorship deal with the European rugby leagues just a year later marking the end of the Heineken Cup. Volleyball and handball elite leagues disappear as well. In 2014, the main basketball teams – disgruntled by the disappointed media and sponsorship deals – make secession from the Euroleague similar to what they did on the eve of the 2000-2001 season. The situation gets worse in 2019 when Real Madrid, Alba Berlin, Paris-Levallois, CSKA Moscow and Lottomatica Roma become the 5 latest NBA expansion teams. How about football? In 2020, all Premier League teams without exception are now owned by foreign billionaires. Since the purchase of Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema by Notts County in 2016, no team from outside the UK has been able to align with the money offered by English teams. All players nominated for the Golden Ball play there. The interest for the UEFA Champions League has dropped consequently. English teams now refuse to play what they call a “second class league” and most of the national champions cannot afford the lengthy and costly travels around Europe any more. They just decline to play the competition. In 2020, FC Dinamo Bender of Moldova wins the UEFA Champions League.

In order to fight the economic crisis and unemployment, European governments start protecting local jobs and companies and put new restrictions to the freedom of mouvement of workers. Soon after all European leagues adopted the 6+5 rule which forces every team to have a majority of national players on the pitch, the European Court of Justice changes its jurisprudence and denies the well-known Bosman ruling. Most leagues go back in time and set a new limit of 3 foreign players by team to protect the development of national youth players.

The European teams stop playing on a European scale and their rosters stop having a European flavour. And this blog has been long dead.

2. Best-case scenario: Ich bin ein Europeer

After managing economic, financial, fiscal and social integration, the European Union seeks to boost a European identity for his citizens through well… whatever’s possible including Esperanto courses in kindergarten. The European anthem is soon played at every national team game, one of the first measures taken by new European Commission President, Michel Platini. During the 2020 Olympics, the European Union delegation tops the US and China for the highest number of gold medals. And a European team led by Cesc Fàbregas, Theo Walcott and Mario Balotelli wins the 2018 World Cup. Regular test matches are held between USA Basketball and the “European Dream Team”.

Did I mention the Lausanne Treaty about sports? It makes it compulsory for every first division squad in every professional team sport to have a player from a minimum of 6 different EU members under contract. The enlargement to all Balkan states and Turkey in 2018 made it a lot easier for teams to adjust it is to say. Countless tournaments and other sporting events are organised to celebrate Europe’s unity. Maybe the most Pharaonic has been the creation of the Tour of Europe, the most lucrative cycling race of all time, which highlights the beauty and diversity of the European landcapes between Paris, Roubaix, Milan and San Remo.

Oh yeah and in 2020, 12stars is ranked #1 blog worldwide according to Technorati.

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