The only news in the world of football right now is the news that 12 European super clubs have agreed to breakaway from the UEFA European competitions in order to form one European Super League.
The new format will seek to rival UEFA Champions and Europa league, but it will not replace domestic leagues.
These 12 founding clubs include AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Spurs.
The league expects a further 3 clubs to join and says that 5 clubs a year will be able to join the league through merit. Meaning, there will be 20 clubs competing every year.
Bayern Munich and PSG reportedly refused to participate.
This comes as a response to effectively, the big clubs wanting more power and money from their European competition. Naturally, these massive clubs attract a lot of money and fans, but they are said to have been unhappy with how UEFA have ran their European club competitions.
“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.”
The new format will be financed by American bank JP Morgan. The founding clubs will receive a share of €3.5 billion to offset the impacts of Coronavirus. And, it is expected that the 20 clubs will receive a yearly share of €10 billion, based I would assume on their performances within the European Super League.
- 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
- Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
- An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals.
- Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.” – SkySports
Naturally, this has been a saga littered with controversy. When the news began to leak yesterday afternoon, there was uproar from all football fans and many public figures, including fans of those teams said to be joining the league. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, condemned the Super League whilst Gary Neville began a passionate rant on Sky Sports’ coverage of Manchester United v Burnley, in which he labelled this decision a “disgrace” and a “criminal act” against Football.
Many huge footballing bodies have also condemned the Super League. UEFA have said that any participants will not be able to play in UEFA competitions and some players may be refused the right to play for their national sides. The Premier League have also condemned this, as well as the FA and many other bodies across Europe. It appears that nobody wants this.
I think this is a disgrace. An absolutely violation of the sanctity and values of not just football, but all forms of sport. It is the complete commercialisation of Football. The game is no longer the thing we found so precious and dreamt of one day playing ourselves. It is now a business. If this deal goes ahead football will never be the same again. Most notably, the magic of football will truly be gone. The teams in the Super League have nothing to play for except money. I guarantee that that trophy will mean nothing to any of the fans. Furthermore, the team that finishes bottom of the league will have no punishment or relegation.
As Arsenal fans, we should all be ashamed of our club. This is a footballing genocide and the victims are the remaining Premier League teams, all the way down to the grass roots of English football in non-league. It jeopardises the entire integrity of the English footballing pyramid. Yes, these clubs probably bring in more money than they take away, but that is for the good of the game. Football is for the fans, and not for these “impostors” as Neville said who are Russians and Americans with no respect or care for the English game.
If we didn’t already have enough reason to despise Stan Kroenke, reports suggest he was one of the club owners most keen on making this move. How embarrassing does this look for our club? This time last year we were making employees redundant and refusing to pay Gunnersaurus. Yet all the while, these criminals were knowing we were set to receive a massive payday for this league.
I cannot think of Arsenal as our Arsenal anymore. We are a club the Kroenke has always treated like a business. As long as he is making money off us then he is happy. Arsenal now will have no resemblance to the Arsenal that began as Dial Square in 1886, full of workers of a local Royal Arsenal armament factory in Woolwich. But I’m guessing Kroenke wouldn’t even know that’s how we started. These owners will join this league, destroy relationships between our clubs and the major bodies, and then pocket the winnings all for themselves. Any fan thinking we will be going out and spending all this cash and dominating Football clearly has not met the spineless vandal that is Stan Kroenke.
That being said, he is not alone in taking the blame. The owners of these super clubs need to carefully consider whether they can make this next step. They hide behind the big names of their clubs, but in reality, it’s these owners who are responsible. Our clubs, and many other clubs throughout Europe, are the collateral damage.
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