The announcement of a proposed European Super League this week followed by its collapse in a matter of days resounded through the world of Football.
Unlike the Champions League - which teams must qualify for - the ESL proposed including the same 12 teams every year (rising to 15 eventually), with the remaining five qualifying annually. Theoretically Liverpool and Arsenal could finish in their current positions of 7th and 9th respectively and Leicester could finish in the top 4 but the latter would not be guaranteed to participate in the ESL. This would have been terrible for football as a closed competition goes against everything any sport stands for when certain clubs will always be included, regardless of merit. The ESL would have been comprised of 6 English clubs, 3 Spanish and 3 Italian with Florentino Perez the Real Madrid Present as the chairman of the ESL. As the English clubs withdrew one after the other due to fan backlash, the super league was over before it started.
The owners of these clubs in England, predominantly American should still be ashamed. They were disregarding the views of the managers, players , fans and staff just to line their own pockets and have now paid the price with the backlash. I am so happy that the fans, players and staff alike have been vocal in pushing greedy owners out of the club. Seeing #GlazersOut #FSGOut and #KroenkeOut trending on twitter has brought rival fans together in a rare moment of unity. It doesn’t matter who we support, we have to get these parasites out of our football clubs so football can be what it is designed to be. A large number of these owners are using our clubs only for the purpose of making more and more money, making football more into a business than a sport every passing year.
Let me be clear however, although I am against the super league that doesn’t make me pro UEFA or FIFA. These two gigantic institutions were only against it because they were on the verge of losing their power and profits. UEFA really know how to make big statements when they have a vested interest in things, namely when they are going to be hit very hard financially. They have had the monopoly their whole life and while I disagree with the ESL proposed format, UEFA and FIFA need to take a good look at themselves and change otherwise they should be next to face uproar.
It is really sickening when UEFA have come out crying about injustice when the ESL threatens to derail their money train but they are silent about racism or their corrupt officials. City and PSG have breached FFP for years and got away with small penalties. Moreover, UEFA give 70% of champions league final tickets to corporate clients and sponsors so they are just as much an enemy of football as this proposed super league. They are no different to the rest of these billionaires. It has become a sad situation of the ‘lesser of two evils’ which is a disgrace as we should have options that on a basic level do not have terrible impacts for the sport we love. How sad is it that it has become a choice between greed vs greed? We need to carry on these protests and make sure the new Champions League proposed format for 2024 is abolished as that is literally the super league with slightly less elitism.
Ultimately, Football has undeniably become more and more about the money with every passing year. Whatever happens, I want the essence football to survive. I want football to live on for the fans and communities who are the heart and soul of the beautiful game itself. As for the Super League, Perez has come out saying that the project is not dead but on “standby”. Whatever the future of Football in Europe holds, we will have to wait and see.