Be warned, this is initially an angry football-related post, but it got me thinking very much about business. Please, read on …
It had long been discussed, but on Sunday, an announcement was made on the formation of a European Super League (ESL). 12 clubs decided to create their own closed shop and begin work on the ESL in earnest, aiming ambitiously to form it by August. I have never seen such a unified response of rejection. Rival clubs, fans, players, managers and even political parties giving this a huge, undeniable thumbs down.
Let’s be clear, this is complete and utter greed. Nothing else. The rich get richer, at the expense of nearly everything and everyone else. Players banned from playing for the country. A complete invalidation of the competitions fans follow. The destruction of the footballing pyramid as we know it. Even the heritage and history of these clubs, hundreds of years worth, would be destroyed. All for the owners of these 12 clubs.
The timing of this, could not be even more hideous if you planned it. Off the back of COVID-19, where football clubs, fans and many others have struggled in so many ways, the level of ignorance is off the charts.
As I write this, the house of cards is coming down …
Such is the buffoonery of the decision, already Chelsea and Man City are reacting and preparing their withdrawal. There are discussions the plan might be disbanded altogether by this evening. There will be carefully worded statements released and tails between legs. They will attempt to brush this under the carpet and expecting to go back to business as usual, if it does fall apart.
Either way, I am pretty confident that an inquest will be held and eyes will be on how such an arrogant move was allowed to manifest itself for entities which are much more than simply businesses. I for one would welcome the introduction of the German model, where no one owner can hold more than 49% of the shares of a footballing club, the rest remaining rightly with the fans.
Such is the attraction and commercial strength of football that it was a time-bomb. The formation of the Premier League, the introduction of oil money and evident corruption even with governing bodies. But this is a sign that there is something inherently wrong at its core. Complaints exist today about the tedium of VAR, but how football is being commoditised at the expense of its values is a much more serious issue.
This league may still go ahead, but I doubt it. With two of the six premier league teams dropping out, it’s lost a lot of steam. The European Super League is now very quickly turning toxic, so sponsorships and TV deals which were part of the appeal look difficult to achieve. Even Amazon are distancing themselves.
The “why” in business
The seismic ‘misunderstanding’ between these football club owners, their wants and what drives their business cannot be quantified. It seems everyone else on the planet was pretty clear that this would never be a good idea.
These owners in my mind neglected their “why”, to the point I believe they simply didn’t care about it. Massively. (on the topic of why,I would say it’s worth checking out this video about starting with why. It’s a fantastic concept)
Making money is an obvious goal in business. But making money should be a product of understanding and delivering your why. Servicing your customers, delivering excellent results and innovative products. These owners completely bypassed the why and went straight to the objective of money. And wow, it backfired.
These circumstances are unique, but every business should have a why to be successful and forget it at their own personal peril.
For example – when I think about what we’re trying to achieve with Mayflower Accountancy, our “why” is that we want business owners to have a fantastic experience backed by enthusiasm and quality. We try to be forward-thinking and commercially minded, underpinning what we do with technology and integrity, so our clients can really grow their businesses. It was good to revisit and reinforce that today and it’s enthused me for all the fantastic projects up ahead of us. It’s our mission and yardstick. It’s something we try to stretch for and perfect, every day we can, even in some small way.
So I ask you this. Do you know your why, are you connected to it, are your staff connected to it and does that connection make its way to your customers? Because if it does, the rewards will come … but the proper, correct way, without the furore.
Does your accountant help you deliver your why? Find out how we help our clients grow to deliver their why.