As announced in recent hours, 12 European clubs formalized this Sunday evening the upcoming launch of a semi-closed Super League. With a new format and the objective of garnering more income, by competing with the UEFA Champions League.
It’s a bomb that shakes the entire football planet. In rather colossal proportions. As announced in recent hours, twelve European clubs have decided to organize themselves to create a semi-closed Super League. Real Madrid, Barça, Atlético de Madrid, Inter, AC Milan, Juventus, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham have agreed to launch a new competition, as they let it be known this Sunday evening. Three clubs will be invited to join them, with the idea of starting “as soon as possible”.
The goal? Earn more income by competing in the Champions League and the Europa League. No French or German club is part of this first casting. PSG have so far refused to be part of it, as have Bayern Munich.
“The creation of the Super League comes at a time when the pandemic has accelerated the instability of the current economic model of European football, we read in a joint press release. For several years, the founding clubs have aimed to improve the quality and intensity of the existing European competitions, and in particular to create a tournament where the best clubs and the best players could compete. In recent months, a dialogue has been held with the institutions on the future European competitions and their format. The founding clubs of the Super League believe that the solutions proposed by the institutions do not resolve fundamental issues such as the need to offer better quality matches and generate additional resources for the whole pyramid soccer.”
A competition with 20 clubs and playoffs
The clubs participating in this Super League will be subject to “a regulated expenditure framework”. In return, they will receive “a one-off payment of around 3.5 billion euros intended solely for infrastructure investments and to offset the impact of the Covid crisis.”
The competition is scheduled to host twenty clubs, the fifteen founders and five additional, qualified each year through a system based on the performance of the previous season. Two pools of ten will be set up from August to create a regular season, with two-way matches that will be played during the week, to allow teams to participate in their national championships. The top three in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The 4th and 5th will compete in a jump-off for the last two tickets. Playoffs with two-way matches will then be organized until the final, which will be played in May, on neutral ground.
Florentino Perez, Real boss, has been named the first president of this Super League. “We will help football at all levels to take it to the place it deserves, he believes. Football is the only global sport and the only one with 4 billion fans and our responsibility, in as big clubs, is to meet the expectations of the supporters. ” Joel Glazer, Manchester United Co-President and Super League Vice-President, explains: “By bringing together the biggest clubs and the biggest players in the world to compete against each other throughout the season, the Super League opens a new chapter in European football, which will ensure world-class competition and stadiums and increased financial support for the football pyramid as a whole. “
UEFA supported by Leagues and governments
The twelve clubs, which have also announced the upcoming launch of a women’s Super League, say they want to dialogue with UEFA and Fifa in order to “find the best solutions” for their tournament and “football as a whole”. Even before this formalization, UEFA had stepped up to the plate by ensuring that it would fight to defend its interests. The European body, which was to announce its reform project on Monday, denounced a “cynical project, based on the interest of a few clubs”. By leaving serious threats to the clubs concerned, such as exclusion from their national championship or the impossibility for their players to represent their country in selection.
In UEFA’s wake, major league federations and leagues have stepped up to voice their opposition to the Super League. Even if no Ligue 1 team has yet accepted to participate, the FFF and the LFP have joined the collective sling. Just like the German authorities.
Some governments have also expressed their disagreement with this attempt at an elitist revolution. The Élysée has indicated that it will support all steps aimed at “protecting the integrity of federal competitions, whether national or European”. Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister for Sports, spoke of “a real danger for the world of football”. Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, has also expressed his reservations. Just like the association of European supporters, which speaks of a “last nail in the coffin of European football”.