The European Super League returns

The European Super League returns

The European Super League has returned with new proposals, nearly two years after its initial plans were scuppered due to fan protests. The new plans vary significantly from the original ones but are still expected to go down poorly with football supporters around the world. 

Speaking to German newspaper, Die Welt, the competition’s Chief Executive Bernd Reichart has explained that the new format would be multi-divisional with 80 teams taking part. Every team taking part would be in the competition on merit and there would be no permanent members. 

Reichart has said that his company, A22, have consulted with around 50 different teams around Europe and have developed the new format with the ten key principles discovered from the consultation period in mind. He added:

“The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing. It’s time for change. It is the cubs that bear the entrepreneurial risk in football. But when important decisions are at stake, they are too often forced to sit idly by on the sidelines as the sporting and financial foundations crumble around them. 

Our talks have made it clear that clubs often find it impossible to speak out publicly against a system that uses the threat of sanctions to thwart opposition. Our dialogue was open, honest, and constructive and resulted in clear ideas about what changes are needed and how they could be implemented. There is a lot to do and we will continue our dialogue.”

Immediate backlash 

Unsurprisingly, the news of the Super League resurfacing hasn’t gone down well. La Liga, the top-flight division in Spanish football, has quickly released a statement slamming the new proposals. The statement read:

“The Super League is the wolf in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It is disguising itself as an open and meritocratic competition, but underneath there is still the same selfish, elitist and greed-driven project. Don’t let their tales fool you.”

The fact that La Liga have come out and been so forceful against the proposals is particularly interesting for two reasons. Firstly, two of the three clubs still pushing for a Super League are Spain’s two biggest clubs – Barcelona and Real Madrid. Secondly, the Super League shouldn’t have any detrimental impact on national leagues. The only competition that it would weaken would be the UEFA Champions League. 

The powers that be in Spain, however, obviously believe it is their moral duty as football people to try and protect the integrity of the game. 

The new plans are “ignorant”

The Football Supporters’ Association Chief Executive Kevin Miles has also come out to condemn the plans. He said:

“The walking corpse that is the European Super League twitches again with all the self-awareness one associates with a zombie. Their newest idea is to have an ‘open competition rather than the closed shop they originally proposed that led to huge fan protests. 

Of course an open competition for Europe’s top clubs already exists – it’s called the Champions League. They say ‘dialogue with fans and independent fan groups is essential’ yet the European Zombie League marches on – wilfully ignorant to the contempt supporters across the continent have for it.”

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