The Return of the European Super League
The Super League is back, its corpse reanimated by Dr. Barcelona, Dr. Juventus and Dr. Real Madrid. The horrible thing about it is this time their support seems to have grown since this disaster was almost forced upon us. Faced with the immense spending power of the Premier League and with its two most prominent supporters in financial disarray, the renewed attempt to ruin football is much sleeker and better thought out.
The project has not died down since supporters gathered outside their grounds and held their clubs accountable; it has just morphed into another disgusting creation. This time, a league with 60 to 80 teams, is being proposed, which should, in theory, save European Football. A company called A22 is running this new attempt, which stems from the realization of the Super League’s proponents, that modern football fans are not sheep that can be herded around.
“The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing,” A22 chief executive Bernd Reichart told the German newspaper Die Welt. This blatant lie is just PR-talk, meaning, “We are here to save your football!”, whilst at the same time muttering “And secure our riches in the process” under their breath.
This new approach, combined with the bigger number of teams that can participate, seems to have better legitimized their approach, with many football fans buying into it. In the online environment, primarily fans of Italian and Spanish football teams deplore the Premier League’s riches and are willing to buy into this idea.
Another section of the Super League’s supporters are the so-called “plastic fans”, people who watch football because in recent years it has become fashionable and the sport has moved on from its grizzly appearance from the 1980s and 1990s. Combine this with the shift that media has experienced in recent years, where people’s attention spans have been reduced even further, and supporting a team over the course of ten or more years has become something of the past.
Nowadays, every football game has to be El Clasico, it has to be held in an exotic location that uses sport to mask its wrongdoings, with every moment of it being spread across social media. This climate is the perfect breeding ground for this perverse idea to take shape, where die-hard football fans are willing to sell their souls to the Super League, just to see their financially incompetent clubs succeed and where casual football fans need to be coddled and pleased.
The most irritating thing about this new proposal is the gall of the three clubs that are backing it. None of them has been faring well financially in recent years. Real Madrid seem to be the most stable out of the three, but are still paying the price for mistakes like the Hazard signing. Their rivals Barcelona, on the other hand, are coming off a period where they seemed unable to pay less than 100 million for any player, whilst at the same time choosing the ones who would flop the most, for their squad.
Meanwhile, in Turin, the city’s most successful club is being investigated for inflating transfer fees and financial irregularities, when it comes to player salaries. These are the clubs that want to reshape football. Lazy, incompetent, unimaginative institutions, that want to ruin the very foundations of European football, they are vowing to hold so dearly. A recent online comment really made my blood boil.
Whilst discussing the format of the Champions League, someone stated that they do not care to watch some Latvian peasants play in the competition. The beauty of football and the current pyramid system is that, whilst highly unlikely that a team of Latvian peasants might be better run than some super clubs and might even defeat them in a game.
This is what football is all about, everybody having a chance to compete and having a chance to rise to the top. And for all of those saying this never happens and the system is broken, they need to look no further than all the Champions League and Europa League upsets and to teams like Leicester and Lille winning their respective leagues.
These three gigantic teams are feeling the heat from the Premier League and are panicking, worried that they would lose their status. However, instead of reducing their spending and investing in youth development and data-driven scouting, they act like petulant children, refusing to keep playing, as soon as the game becomes difficult. They do not have the right to change the rulebook, just because their situation has become difficult.
If they truly are the footballing institutions they make themselves out to be, this period should make them come back even stronger, without tilting the playing field in their favor. Before I finish I would like to state that I am in no way defending UEFA, which is a despicable organization with its own issues. But as long as Maccabi Haifa can humiliate Juventus in the Champions League group stages, the current model has its legitimacy.
By: Eduard Holdis / @He_Ftbl
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images