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European Super League Announced Along With First 12 Founding Members

Football
Monday, 19th April, 2021

European Super League Announced Along With First 12 Founding Members

It’s been talked about for years so it’s perhaps no surprise, but football’s European Super League was announced last night, with further developments coming today and undoubtedly more to come.

It’s been met with almost universal disgrace and disappointment from supporters, ex-players, pundits, UEFA and the heads of the leagues involved.

Here’s what happened so far.

[UPDATE The Super League Is Over]

Yesterday we heard of yet more talks of a European Super League with certain teams guaranteed spots in it. These teams would be the biggest teams in England, Spain and Italy, the so called big 6 in England, 3 from Spain and 3 from Italy with a further 3 to join down the line as a founder member.

These clubs are: Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool Tottenham, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.

What Happened Yesterday

This was being talked about as it was unfolding on Sky Sports, with Gary Neville as exuberant as ever, condemning the idea. This was also condemned by other Sky Sports Pundits Micah Richards and Roy Keane stating it was all about greed.

Gary Neville said that they’d be re-writing their press statements because of the bad sentiment of the rumours, and that the people involved in this break-a-way were “bottle merchants”. It emerged later in the night that he’d be wrong.

The Premier League, English FA, Spanish FA, La Liga, Serie A, Italian Football Federation and UEFA issued statements also stating their displeasure at such a competition. They went on to say that as they’ve previously stated, any teams competing in a breakaway competition would be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or World level, including a possibility of players not being able to represent their nations.

Politics even got involved, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemning the plans.

Late last night all the clubs involved put out statements confirming their intention of forming what’s officially being called The Super League. Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez will be the first President of the league.

Today (so far) Ed Woodward, who is involved with The Super League has left his position with UEFA. Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli, was president with the ECA (European Club Association) who has left along with clubs announcing their decision of leaving the ECA. Andrea Agnelli will also become a vice-president of The Super League.

This Is How The Proposed Super League Will Work

So far, these are the main details of The Super League which we know.

  • 15 Founding teams, 12 already announced will form the league, with 5 annual qualifiers making it a 20 team competition.
  • 20 teams in 2 groups of 10, playing home and away throughout the season in midweek games
  • 8 Clubs will qualify from the two groups, which will then form a knockout format
  • All Teams will remain in their domestic league, playing as usual
  • Solidarity payments will grow in line with the league, and is expected to be 10 Billion Euros.

The information is now available on their official website, which you can find here.

Premier League condemns European Super League proposal

The Premier League have condemned the idea of a European Super League. They have said:

“The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.

Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.”

You can read their full statement here.

My Opinion

It’s a sad time for English football, for European football, for football fans. I’d like to say I’m shocked, but I’m not.

This is all about money, money and/or greed, but that is what football at the highest level has turned into. That is what top tier, top level football has become over the years. We arrived here years ago, and it’s got to the point where there’s a power struggle and money struggle at the top of the game.

The Premier League is about money. There’s effectively been 2 leagues within the EPL for years: There’s the race for the top 4, and the others who don’t want to be relegated. The top 4 gets you into the Champions League and all the trappings that come with it, staying in the Premier League gets you money too.

As a fan of a team which is not considered one of the big 6, I don’t even pay much attention to the Champions League. We can’t qualify, there’s too much money with the big 6 clubs which makes it impossible to compete over a 38 game season.

The Champions League has effectively became a closed shop already. Almost always there’s a rotation between the big 6 English teams who get the top 4 spots, in Span it’s always Real Madrid and Barcelona, in Germany it’s always Bayern Munich.

The so called big teams who don’t win their domestic league are automatically placed in the group stages of the Champions League, while champions of what’s perceived to be a lesser league have to battle it out to reach the same position.

In the old European Cup format it was a fairer competition, with teams such as Red Star Belgrade, Steaua Bucharest and PSV winning Europe’s biggest competition. There’s little chance of that ever happening again.

Is it right on sporting merit to have a ‘European Champions League’ when the 4th placed team in Spain or England plays, but the champions of Scotland, Serbia, Sweden etc. have to play qualifiers against each other to get to the same stage?

Is this fair?

This is done because people want to see the biggest and best teams in the competition, and it so happens that some leagues have more, bigger teams than others. This of course has a knock on effect, because all that’s happened is the bigger teams have become even bigger, and can attract big name players with more money and the promise of Champions League football.

The smaller teams from lesser leagues haven’t been able to grow, they don’t get the money available at the group stages so can’t grow, or attract the same players with the offer of Champions League football or better wages.

Then there’s seeding, to keep the best teams apart from playing each other too early on.

Now those bigger teams are so big that they’re thinking they’ve outgrown the current Champions League format, and are starting their own.

I think that The Super League is a very serious thing. This is not simply a threat or bargaining chip, it’s a genuine proposal. It will probably all be played out in the courts rather than having a sporting or sensible outcome with people sitting down.

It’s interesting to note that the teams intend to stay in their domestic leagues, they have not said they will leave, they have said the opposite. But the leagues are stating that they would not allow it. If the leagues effectively kick them out it would make the leagues weaker and in turn less of a prospect to broadcasters and sponsors.

I love football, I love the football pyramid which England has. It’s unique and special, and not found in many other places. But I think this has sadly been a long time coming, and if it doesn’t happen at this time, something like this will happen at some point (whether it’s reform of an existing European competition or something new).

I think that football needs reform. It’s interesting that the German clubs have (so far) said they are against this idea. The German clubs also have the 50+1 rule in terms of ownership.

In my opinion, if football wants to belong to the fans again, we need reform and implement the same rule. We need 50+1 or something similar.

Fans having a steak in their club would mean they would at least get a say and a seat at the table of such matters. It would then be up to the fans which direction they want things to go.

Premier League without the big 6? This is what happened when I simulated that. That’s what some angry fans have had to say on social media.


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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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