Football is finished. The beautiful game that we’ve all come to know and love is being ripped away from the fans. Where next for football?
It was publicly revealed yesterday that clubs around Europe will break away from their respective leagues to form a new Super League (ESL) expected to begin in 2022.
The traditional big six from England, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will join together with the Italian trio of AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid will make up the rest of the league with Los Blancos Chairman Florentino Perez spearheading the new format. A further three teams are expected to be announced soon.
In response to this radical change, UEFA announced it would ban all teams from participating in European and domestic cup competitions. UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin also announced those players contracted with clubs who intend to participate in the ESL will be banned from any future World Cups.
However, there are notable absentees from the list of clubs planning to participate. This gives football fans some faith that these clubs still care about their history and its fans.
Paris Saint Germain
Perhaps the most surprising team not to feature on this list.
PSG are currently the only team left in the Champions League who are not part of the Super League which could mean that they’ll be awarded the trophy if UEFA decide to go ahead with their sanctions.
Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), owners of the Ligue 1 team, have invested hugely into the Paris-based club in the hope of achieving European dominance. Despite enduring much domestic success, they are still trying win their first European trophy, something which has continued to elude them.
PSG midfielder Ander Herrera was the first active player to openly condemn the proposed scheme.
“I cannot stay silent about this,” he said. “The rich are stealing from what the people created.
“They are going to destroy the most beautiful sport on the planet.”
It’s no surprise to hear that Bayern Munich have declined the invitation to participate in the ESL.
Mainly thanks to the 50+1 rule, the Bavarian club is owned by its club’s members – the fans. A clause in the German Football League (DFL) states that clubs will not be allowed to participate in the Bundesliga if commercial investors hold more than a 49 per cent stake.
Even the club’s CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, admitted he was not a fan of the European league.
“If the system changed, it could make it more difficult for many people to identify with football,” he said. “It could cause serious damage to the national leagues, that is why I have my reservations.”
“If I had to decide today for Bayern, I would decline.”
Alongside Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund have also condemned the formation of the European Super League. CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke declared that both German clubs rejected plans for the breakaway Super League and were instead in favour of the previously proposed reformation of the UEFA Champions League.
“The Super League plans have been rejected,” he said. “Bayern and Dortmund have 100% compatible views.”
“The clubs want to implement the planned reform of the UEFA Champions League.”
Despite the promise that the elite competition will generate £346m each year in ‘solidarity’ payments for the rest of European football, its greed from these money-grabbing owners that may ruin football as we know it.