The footballing world has been blindsided today as top European teams announce they are joining the European Super League.
Six Premier League clubs will be joined by some of the top teams in Europe, with the inaugural season starting as soon as is feasible.
What is the European Super League?
The European Super League will consist of twenty of the top European football clubs and will be played midweek to rival the UEFA Champions League, while not affecting the domestic leagues.
In the words of Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president and chairman of the ESL:
“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
The league will be governed by its fifteen founding clubs: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, and a further three clubs who are expected to join before the inaugural season commences. The five remaining spots will be filled by annual qualifiers.
The proposed format will be devised of 2 groups of 10 with teams playing each other home and away, this will be followed by a knockout stage.
Backlash and Harsh Criticism
The announcement has been met with harsh criticism by the domestic leagues and UEFA alike, with proposed bans from all other competitions for players who take part. Legal action has also not been ruled out should the formation of the League go ahead.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded, saying:
“We’ll do everything we can to make sure Super League does not go ahead.”
Fans, clubs and organisations the world over have spoken out against the formation of the European Super League, with most saying that money is the driving factor. Clubs are said to make 3 to 4 times as much as they make competing in the UEFA Champions League.
FIFA has also condemned the new league saying:
“In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution.”
With the amount of money in the game, FIFA, in partnership with UEFA and the domestic leagues, has policies and guidelines in place over the years to make football as fair as possible. With the huge amounts of income these teams are set to gain from the Super League, it may sway the balance they have strived to create across all levels of football, making it impossible for teams outside of the Super League to compete.
The founding clubs will be holding talks with both UEFA and FIFA in the coming weeks and months in an attempt to work together for the betterment of football as a whole.
Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, commented:
“By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
The decision by the founding clubs to form the European Super League would change the face of football forever. With so much opposition ahead of them, fears of this causing irreparable damage are justified.
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