Fink: Maintain the rage, Karl-Heinz

ESPNSTAR.com columnist Jesse Fink believes more pressure not less should be applied to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Football News: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

European Club Association boss and Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hasn't quite withdrawn his one-time support for the idea of a breakaway European league but he's sounding a far more conciliatory note with FIFA than he was last July. 

Remember the call for a "revolution"? For the effective running out of town of FIFA president Sepp Blatter?

His precise words, in fact, were: "I don't accept any longer that we [should be] guided by people who are not serious and clean... Sepp Blatter is saying [that he is cleaning up] but the fact that no one believes him tells you everything you need to know."

Now, astonishingly, Blatter is the man for the job. 

"He has been elected by the federations, with a huge majority and standing ovations," Rummenigge told a press conference on Monday in Munich. "We have to recognise and accept that. Now he needs to show that he's willing to change. We should give him a chance to change; we should give him a chance."

Not coincidentally, Rummenigge met with Blatter in Zurich two days later to nut out a better deal for clubs releasing players for the World Cup. FIFA has reportedly agree to distribute €55m ($US70 million) among clubs for releasing players in 2014. 

Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. And so, it would appear, football loses another straight-talking maverick and Blatter gets some of the legitimacy he desperately seeks because money talks. It is highly depressing. 

Especially when others in less powerful positions have shown the courage to take on the status quo.

The Liga Primer Indonesia started as an outlaw league in 2011 amid threats of retribution from FIFA, which didn't happen. In fact the rebels ended up taking over the country's football association. Indonesian football is still a hopelessly fractured mess, with effectively two national leagues (the Indonesia Super League and the Indonesia Premier League), but the LPI proved FIFA isn't as dogmatic as it pretends to be.

And next month a new six-team competition, Premier League Soccer, backed by the West Bengal-based India Football Association and private promoter Celebrity Management Group, is kicking off in India with a gaggle of 30 big names including Maniche, Fernando Morientes, Robert Pires and Hernan Crespo. It will run from February 25 to April 8. 

What Indian Premier League was to cricket the PLS will be to football. And it will be running against the country's ruling All-India Football Federation and its I-League.

The IFA is a member of the AIFF and the PLS claims to have AIFF approval but - make no mistake - this isn't a love-in.

The power struggle between Kolkata and Delhi shows no signs of abating. And FIFA isn't stopping anyone.
Rummenigge held out the prospect of an elite European club competition not under FIFA or UEFA control.

No Mickey Mouse clubs. Just the heavyweights: the old G-14. In control of their own destiny. And he had the authorities worried. 

Now whether you agree with such a competition or not, it was a direct challenge to FIFA's hegemony and worth applauding. 

Sadly, this volte-face is not. Change will not happen at FIFA through appeasement and especially when Blatter or his acolyte, Michel Platini, in charge.

Dictators only topple one way: revolution. Rummenigge should go back to maintaining the rage. 



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