The idea of a separate competition has been met with widespread criticism.
The announcement of the European Super League has shaken up the world of football. The concept of a breakaway European competition, one that aims to replace the UEFA Champions League by the founding club members has been extremely controversial to say the least.
Fans, journalists, experts of the game have all, in unison, voiced their disapproval of the concept. Their voices have been echoed by the governing bodies, led by UEFA, across the globe. The have threatened sanctions and bans to the participating players and clubs.
More details about the competition emerge by every passing hour. Reactions to the details and the changing landscape of football are in abundance. Here are five elite managers who has come forward and spoken against the European Super League.
5. Arsene Wenger
One of the legendary figures in football, Arsene Wenger had prophesied the emergence of a European Super League almost a decade ago. Now that his suspicions have come true, the Frenchman has expressed his opinion regarding the concept and its consequences at large.
“I would say that’s a bad idea. Football has to stay united, it’s the most important thing,” Wenger said while speaking to talkSPORT. “It’s based on sporting merit and overall to respect the history that has been built from European football. I believe, personally, that this idea will not go far. I don’t know what exactly is behind (it). There is a more dangerous idea behind it and it’s a big threat for the Premier League,” he continued.
Arsene Wenger was in charge of Premier League giants Arsenal for many years. He shared how the idea emerged back then during his tenure as well. “When I was still in charge it was a lot going on from other countries to diminish the dominance of the Premier League and a project like that would certainly accelerate that,” he quipped.
4. Carlo Ancelotti
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has expressed disagreement with the formulation of the Super League. He has expressed contentment with the current structure and the UEFA Champions League being the pinnacle of club football in Europe. He has warned that the new proposed tournament would increase the gap between the ‘elite’ founding members and rest of the competition while talking to a reputed English media outlet.
“It is clear that if the national competitions lose interest and entertainment, then the concept of a Super League attracts more power. But for me, the Super League cannot happen. We have the Champions League. It’s enough, right? The Champions League pits the best against the best already. But the future of football must value the national competitions more. The schedule is really tough as it is. The players never rest,” Ancelotti spoke in the context of the Super League.
3. Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick has won the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich during the 2019/20 season. The German understands the magnitude of the stage and how tough it is to lift the Champions League trophy. The tactician has also spoken against the idea of the European Super League by saying, “I’m focused on different topics but I can say that the Super League wouldn’t be good for European football.”
Two biggest German clubs, who were rumored to have been invited to join the European Super League, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, have rejected the proposal. Their intentions are quite clear and unified in this regard. The clubs understand the repercussions the new tournament might have.
2. Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp was one of the first coaches, part of a participating team to face the press ahead of his team’s Premier League clash against Leeds United on Monday. The German stood against the idea of the European Super League once before and his stance has remained unchanged.
“I hope this Super League will never happen. With the way the Champions League is now running, football has a great product, even with the Europa League,” Klopp said in 2019.
During the pre-match press conference, Klopp spoke on the matter again and said that, “My opinion didn’t change. Obviously I heard for the first time about it yesterday and trying to prepare a game, a very difficult game against Leeds and I knew so far we got some information, not a lot to be honest.”
“It’s a tough one. People are not happy about it and I can understand that, but I cannot say a lot more about it because we were not involved in any processes, not the players not me, we didn’t know about it. We will have to wait to see how it develops,” he added.
1. Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola spoke in regards to the idea of the European Super League in January 2021. The Manchester City boss had expressed his worries with the concept and insisted that, “We cannot kill the lower divisions or the Premier League.”
“I have the feeling we cannot lose the local leagues, what it means for the FA Cup, the leagues. What we should do is make every single league in Europe stronger than what it is, less teams, better championships, better League One, better League Two, better Premier League with less teams in every competition. Go to the quality over quantity,” the Spaniard added.
The former FC Barcelona tactician most recently commented regarding the concept by saying, “Sport is not a sport when the success is guaranteed, and when the relation between the effort and reward don’t exist. It’s not a sport when it doesn’t matter if you lose. It’s not fair if teams fight at the top and cannot qualify.”