The Premier League and football in general, really, need more creative thinking. The headline today was the PL will discuss “radical” changes to the FA Cup and League Cup. The changes: scrapping third and fourth round replays in the FA Cup and requiring teams competing in Europe to field a U21 squad in the Carabao or not participate. Not exactly sweeping, innovative concepts.
New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly made headlines last week by suggesting, among other things, the idea of a Premier League All-Star game and that one of the relegation spots be determined by a playoff. Whether those particular ideas would work, how they would be implemented, and whether they’re good ones is immaterial (but please feel free to discuss in the comments). His comments also sparked a rather xenophobic discourse about the American owner, a newcomer to the PL, trying to change our great, noble and old game.
I’m not sure an All-Star game would be compelling. I think the “against” crowd on that one have made compelling arguments about why the Premier League isn’t suited to it. What about a small-sided, small space, streetball style competition? How about Goalie Wars?
I don’t care who he is. I don’t care what he says. And I don’t care whether any of his ideas become reality and in what form they do. The important part is that he’s floating ideas and starting (some) productive conversations.
I like the Premier League and football as it is. But it could probably be better!
There is no harm in brainstorming. Get everyone’s creative juices flowing. There is probably some brilliant idea for a change / tweak / innovation that we’ll look back upon in 5 or 10 years and think, “wow, why didn’t we do that sooner?” But we won’t come up with it if we don’t iterate, if we try to stifle discussion before it even starts.