The much talked-about concept is based on the idea of creating a separate continental league consisting of European giants.
Europe is undoubtedly one of the powerhouses of football in the world. Over 2500 professional football games happen in the continent per season. Almost all of its countries have football league systems that accommodate scores of clubs across multiple tiers, and in addition, there are also the intra-continental competitions presided over by the Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA as it is more popularly known.
Teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have decades of experience in the game and are regarded as some of the biggest names in world football. While United along with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and so on reign over England, Real Madrid and Barcelona come from Spain and Bayern Munich comes from Germany. Each of these teams has become the champions in their own land numerous times, but they rarely face each other, making it difficult to find out who among them is the strongest in Europe.
Since the onset of continental competitions, it has been easier to measure the relative strength of these teams. The resultant Champions League and Europa League not only paved the way to intense top-drawer clashes, but it also attracted much more viewers and established themselves as the benchmarks of the game’s quality in the continent. However, of late, it looks like the elite European clubs are still not pleased, as they continue to try and explore ways to compete against each other on a more frequent basis. And that, in turn, has led to the idea of a ‘European Super League’.
Here, we take a look at the proposed European Super League plan and tries to answer some of the most popular questions connected to it.
Why was the idea of the European Super League created?
According to a report recently published by the Spanish outlet Marca, the leaders of the main clubs in Europe believe that the age of domestic competitions have been “left behind,” as neither fans nor players are as excited as they used to be in the earlier days. According to them, this poses a challenge for the clubs to function smoothly, as they will no longer attract investors and revenue.
The leaders of these clubs reportedly feel that playing against other clubs of equal stature is probably the only solution to save revenue, which is why they feel that the European Super League is the way forward.
When did the idea come into existence?
It has been about two years since the idea of the European Super League was first heard across public platforms. According to the Football Leaks magazine, a lot of elite European clubs have been moving away from the UEFA model (Champions League and Europa League), in a bid to lay the foundation for a new league.
Which teams are part of the project?
Multiple outlets have claimed that a number of teams have been involved in the meetings that proposed the development of the European Super League. One of them is FC Barcelona, as confirmed by the club’s ex-President Josep Maria Bartomeu in his resignation speech last week.
In his speech, Bartomeu revealed that the club had agreed to join the European Super League one day before his resignation. However – apart from Barcelona, only a few other clubs have adhered to the project so far. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are two clubs that have agreed to participate in the competition. In England, the list of potential entrants include Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. AC Milan and Inter Milan would join from Italy, while Bayern Munich would be the German representatives.
Would these clubs stop participating in their respective leagues?
Initial assumptions indicate that the clubs who will participate in the Super League will continue to take part in their respective domestic leagues as well. But it is worth noting that this would occupy several weekends, as Saturdays and Sundays still belong to the current leagues and federations. This, in turn, would therefore cause serious conflict and we will hence have to wait for the final project proposal to see the approach of the various leagues.
What is the prize money involved?
There is a talk of the winning team potentially receiving close to €1b, in the proposed European Super League. It will hence leave the current Champions League much behind in terms of prize money – for comparison, the Champions League in its current format distributes €2.04 billion amongst the 32 teams who participate every season. The 2019-20 winners Liverpool won €111m, which includes both prize money and commercial revenue.
How have FIFA and UEFA reacted?
After Football Leaks reported the initial developments in 2018, FIFA issued a statement that completely distanced themselves from the competition. UEFA, meanwhile, are at the other end of the line, as they believe it is a selfish gesture made by the big clubs.
When would it start?
The year 2022 has been generally suggested across public media, but no specific start date has been finalised yet as the complete plans have not been so far. Following Bartomeu’s sudden revelation of Barcelona’s plans in the Super League, clubs are expected to fast-track their own decision making, leading to a positive update by mid-2021.