On April 18th, 2021, the news of the European Super League sent shockwaves around the world. The fans were shocked and felt betrayed by their clubs. Many fans protested outside the stadiums of their respective clubs, and there was a clear-cut campaign from sports media outlets against these clubs rightly accusing them of greed and taking advantage of loyal fans.
However, this felt very hypocritical as they were the first in taking advantage of the fans with ludicrous prices set which may be difficult to afford for a working-class fan. After the continuous backlash from fans, media, UEFA, and politicians, most of the clubs pulled out with only Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus remaining. However, this may not yet be the end of the Super League and it might a necessary evil needed in football.
The criticism of a European Super League came as many believed the competition was a sign of elitism and lacked competition as the founder members would get an automatic qualification. The fans hated the Americanisation of the sport. However, in the recent press release, the European Super League stated that there would be no permanent members, but qualification based on domestic league position as well as a second league with 20 teams.
A Super League is inevitable in football. There is too much money involved for it not to be. I believe if the Super League doesn’t happen, then the English clubs will just monopolise Europe in years to come with their fortune which other elite European clubs can’t compete with. The Premier League has the highest TV money, the best managers in the world as well as the best footballing talents.
The Premier League now has the best core of managers in the world with Pep Guardiola, Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp in charge. The recent appointment of Antonio Conte just goes to show the pulling power of these English clubs — Tottenham Hotspur will pay a hefty £20 million a year for his services after the Italian left the Scudetto winners Inter Milan.
The recent takeover of Newcastle United further signifies the financial dominance we are going to witness by the premier league the financial superpowers of the premier league clubs. Premier League clubs are spending at will whilst many European superpowers such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich are feeling the effects of the pandemic so are unable to compete with the premier league money.
Despite winning the Serie A, Inter Milan incurred losses of around £84 million in 2020 and this will reportedly rise to £127 to £178 million by the end of 2021. The club have already sold Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain for a reported sum of £50 million as well as star striker Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea for a hefty sum of 97.5 million. This pretty much sums up the poor financial position of many European giants.
The TV revenue of the Premier League winner Manchester city was £153.9 million in 2020/21 compared to the Bundesliga 2020/21 winners who made £105 million which is expected to go down to £90 million in the 21/22 season. The European clubs cannot compete with the money in the premier league.
The media and UEFA did an incredible job of making Florentino Perez look like a villain when he was in fact looking to save the future of Europe’s elites. The media broadcasters such as Sky Sports and BT Sport brainwashed the fans into thinking they cared about the fans when in fact they were just looking out for themselves as the European Super League would’ve put them out of business.
Personally, I was against the old proposed format of the European Super League as it was a sign of elitism and a lack of competition as the founding members will get automatic qualification. However, the proposed format of no permanent members and the qualification being earned through the domestic leagues has made me a fan of the project.
Also, the European Super League has promised cheaper streaming services for games for the fans, which will be great news for the fans who have to up to £89 a month in the UK to watch every game legally. Additionally, the European super league will finally put an end to UEFA’s corruption. UEFA are pretending like European Super League is about money when they have announced they will change the format of the current Champions League group stage from 32 to 36 teams.
This new format would mean that each team may have to play up to 10 games, a decision solely based on UEFA’s desire to fuel their own pockets, which will increase the chances of players getting injured significantly as well. Finally, the European Super League referees will have a mic so fans can see and understand every decision they’re making so there is no confusion and outrage among the fans.
It may not be perfect, but the European Super League may very well be the lesser of the two evils when compared to the football we are witnessing today and tomorrow.
By: Hayyan Alam
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Icon Sportswire