Leaked schedules paint a nightmarish picture for top clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea. They could face a gruelling seven-match slog in four weeks during the summer of 2025.
Spearheaded by the World Leagues Forum, the Premier League sent a scathing letter to FIFA.
Representing 44 major domestic leagues, the Forum wields considerable clout, and its complaint accuses FIFA of a litany of sins.
Chief among them is a flagrant disregard for player welfare and a cynical prioritisation of financial gain over footballing integrity.
The new format throws traditional calendars into disarray. The final is slated for just three weeks before the next domestic season begins, and there is the looming possibility of player burnout.
The Premier League and its European allies point to the gruelling demands already placed on top stars, fearing this additional burden will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Beyond player fatigue lies a deeper concern – FIFA’s blatant self-interest.
The Forum’s letter accuses the governing body of treating clubs and leagues as mere revenue streams, pawns in a game aimed at lining FIFA’s coffers.
The astronomical prize money being touted – a reported £2 billion, with £50 million participation fees and a £100 million jackpot for the winners – fuels these suspicions.
FIFA’s commercial windfall comes at a steep cost. Broadcast rights and sponsorship deals remain unsigned, leaving the Club World Cup’s financial viability shrouded in uncertainty.
Fans, already reeling from ticket price hikes and fixture congestion, face the prospect of seeing their beloved players run ragged in a glorified exhibition tournament.
The backlash has been swift and fierce. However, it is unclear if this collective outrage can force a course correction or whether the new Club World Cup becomes a reality.
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