Dubai: As if the football season wasn’t crammed enough, Chelsea have had to endure a 24-hour round trip to Japan mid-season, only to lose the final of the Fifa Club World Cup 1-0 to Corinthians on Sunday.
Even if they had been officially named the best club in the world, that title would have had little significance for a team already out of the Uefa Champions League and lying third in the English Premier League, 13 points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand.
Fifa can boast viewership and commercial appeal in the millions as they court new markets using names as bait. But the fact that Santos were considering playing 72-year-old Pele at last year’s event shows what a Mickey Mouse, tin-pot competition it really is.
The vibe host nations get from holding these events is probably off the scales in terms of feel-good factor, and clubs should of course be looking to globalise their brand with the current Eurozone crisis. But the average Chelsea fan can’t be too upset at losing the meaningless Club World Cup.
Sunday’s final was Chelsea’s 61st competitive game of 2012 and they still have four matches to play in the remaining two weeks of the year.
That’s an average of a game every four days once you take into account the 14-week summer break, within which seven of the club’s players featured in Euro 2012 and the rest still trained and played in five pre-season friendlies.
We’re constantly talking about the need for a winter break to improve quality and improve performances at crucial moments of the season.
As such, let’s scrap European pinnacle competition, and there would be no need to rewrite the calendunnecessary competitions and keep a skeletal one-league, one-cup system filtering to onear.
You might cut commercial lifelines for smaller clubs in scrapping competitions like the League Cup or Club World Cup, but then this game is ultimately about the winners.
In spreading yourself so thin to incorporate more cash under the guise of developing the game, you risk lessening the appeal of your initial product at home, which is meaningful competition supported by real fans.
Clubs can always go on Asian-brand strengthening trips in the off-season.