Opinion: Does European Super League spell the end of football as we know it?
By Thomas Carter
It was the announcement that took the footballing world by storm. The proposed formation of a European Super League, in which 12 of the continent’s powerhouse clubs (including six English teams) compete in a division of their own. Somewhat inevitably, the reaction to the news has been one of uproar and resistance.
Members of football communities took straight to social media to voice their discontent, with the new league coming under fire from pundits, managers and players alike.
Among the larger concerns is the idea that the formation of a Super League would create further separation in a climate already riddled with financial division, in what would be the most seismic shift football has observed since the creation of the Premier League in 1992.
As of today, the 12 clubs that would make up this new division include: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
They are known as the ‘Founding Clubs’, with a further three teams expected to join the list in the coming days.
While the resistance from the fans has been evident, there is no denying the Super League’s financial backing, with American giants JP Morgan investing $6bn into the project.
As more details are revealed and the fury within the football sphere intensifies, a glaringly-obvious issue is getting lost in the adversity – this was inevitable.
Football is no longer the game of the people, and hasn’t been for years. Instead, it is controlled by a select few at the top of the financial chain. With that in mind, it has surely just been a matter of time before something of this nature took shape.
In England, the Premier League has long been known as the ‘top six teams and the rest’, as though either ends of the table are different divisions. This has been observed across Europe for decades, with powerhouse clubs dominating their respective leagues. Taking this into account, the formation of European Super League, in which these clubs only play those of the same quality, is hardly an unrealistic step within a game driven by revenue.
Another issue, however, comes with the new league’s proposed format, which would see no promotion or relegation – this is not football.
The very core of the sport is reliant on opportunity and progression, with teams battling it out to climb higher than they are, regardless of their stature. If a select few clubs play in their own exclusive league, one they are only in on a matter of wealth, then the soul of the game has been sold.
Ultimately, the formation of a European Super League, while a natural progression in a climate that facilitates greed and profit, would be a sad moment in the history of football.
Through further economic division and the very desire to progress being removed for almost all teams, this new division would certainly see the beautiful game enter its darkest hour.