Introducing ‘US Sports Supremo’ Charlie Stillitano: The Man Who Is Actively Trying To Destroy Football

Chris Wright

4th, March 2016



Charlie Stillitano (right) is a man on a shitty, shitty mission

Earlier this very week, we were told that high-ranking officials from five of the Premier League’s biggest cash cows met at a super secret location (the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane, Mayfair, London) to discuss potentially forming some sort of axis-of-evil breakaway Super League with an American billionaire.

It later emerged that Ed Woodward, Bruce Buck, Ivan Gazidis, Ferran Soriano and Ian Ayre actually met up with Charlie Stillitano, the US sports mogul behind the creation of the International Champions Cup – little more than a glorified, monetised pre-season tournament.

The topic of conversation was exclusivity. Money and exclusivity. You see, Stillitano is trying to ring-fence football in order to protect the business interests of the game’s major franchises, i.e, the clubs he’s heard of.

In short; if you love football, you should despise him and everything he is. Our friend Charlie wants to “re-structure” the Champions League to prevent the likes of Leicester City, PSV and Ghent sullying it with their lacklustre global brand potential.

Speaking to US satellite radio station SiriusXM, Stillitano outlined his plans while simultaneously displaying a fundamental absence of understanding of his supposed field of expertise:

What would Manchester United argue: did we create soccer or did Leicester create it?

Let’s call it the money pot created by soccer and the fandom around the world. Who has had more of an integral role, Manchester United or Leicester?

Stillitano’s understanding of football is that of a capitalist playground. A sham-meritocracy with a cut-off point. Uppity oiks like Leicester are an enjoyably kitsch anomaly, but not to be taken seriously going forward.

He dribbles on:

[Leicester’s ascent] is a wonderful, wonderful story – but you could see it from Manchester United’s point of view, too.

Maybe it is absolutely spectacular unless you are a Manchester United fan, Liverpool fan … or a Chelsea fan.

I guess they don’t have a birthright to be in it every year but it’s the age-old argument: US sports franchises versus what they have in Europe.

There are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful elements to relegation and promotion and there are good arguments for a closed system.

He just doesn’t get it. He can’t see it from any other perspective than a money-making exercise. Sounds very NFL-ish to us.

He’s a sports mogul, for crying out loud. How can he have such a cack-handed grasp of the underlying principles of competitive sport? The highs, the lows, the fallow years, the meteoric rises. The human endeavour.

But wait, there’s more:

This is going to sound arrogant and it’s the furthest thing from it … but suddenly when you see the teams we have this summer in the ICC you are going to shake your head and say, ‘Isn’t that the Champions League?’”

No, the Champions League is PSV and Ghent.

Dunno. Sounds pretty bloody arrogant to us Charlie, dear boy.

Posted in Champions League, Newsnow, Opinion

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  1. Tom says:

    “Maybe it is absolutely spectacular unless you are a Manchester United fan…”

    Well as a United fan, I’d say it’s still pretty flipping spectacular. After watching the boring, one dimensional, goalless football we’ve played for 95% of this season, and seeing the quick, fluid football Leicester have played I’d say the Champions League would be a much better spectacle with them in it over us.

    Also, Liverpool? Why’d they get an invite?

  2. Sjakie Meulemans says:

    Awful. Just awful. If this results in a war – yes I know, that escalated quickly – , I will sign up straight away.

  3. squiggle says:

    What would Preston North End argue? That Manchester United and Liverpool were parvenus who shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from the work of clubs with real tradition?

  4. Pete says:

    As an American all I can do is hang my head in shame.

  5. Rob says:

    Moron, he’s probably against Leicester because he doesn’t know how to say it.
    So if Leicester were taken over by some dodgy mega billionaire like Chelsea and Man City instead of winning the league on their own merit they’d be let in? makes sense now.

  6. juan lunair says:

    Get away from our sport your cu*t!

  7. Fnarf says:

    No one who has ever seen this ICC in action has ever confused it with the Champions League, or even the MLS, where three of the teams came from last year. These are preseason friendlies, with unlimited substitution, so you’re not really getting much of “Barcelona” besides the shirts on the backs of a bunch of 16-year-old kids who might get a real game in a decade from now. It’s a joke, everybody knows that. These big clubs come over in their off-season and “expand the brand” or whatever the F they call it, sell some shirts, and go home with a sack of money for hardly any work. This prong is a promoter of sleaze, that’s all.

  8. Fnarf says:

    Oh, and Rob, I hate to be the one to tell you, but Leicester City FC are already owned by a dodgy mega billionaire, Mr. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

  9. Glarf says:

    Within 5 years this guy will 2 balls on the pitch, hip-hop music playing during live play, nets the size of end-zones and cheerleaders rushing out on the pitch each time a player goes down. As a traditional top 4 supporter living in Canada, I can honestly say that the threat/reward of relegation/promotion is why I love watching any match in the Prem and closed loops are why I find the American Pros to be all about the money…bottom teams will often just give up if they know they won’t make playoffs.

  10. Nick says:

    The fact that Leicester has the opportunity to embarrass the large clubs IS what makes football exciting and superior to American Football. This guy is totally missing the point and his arguments are, capitalistic yes, but utterly anti-american at their core (for those of us that still believe in the american dream).

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