PART I: The Basics
There has been a massive overreaction to the creation of Super League (www.thesuperleague.com) in the last 36 hours or so.⠀
The basics of the European Super League are outlined as follows:⠀
- A 20-team annual competition, including 15 ‘top clubs’ as ‘permanent members’. The other five clubs would vary each season.⠀
- The 15 founding members would each get a share of €3.5Bn in ‘initial infrastructure grants’, with the money split among four tiers of clubs, with the top six each getting €350M.⠀
- The competition would begin with two groups of 10 teams, with the top four from each group advancing to a quarter-final stage. As the announcement points out, this would then guarantee each team 18 annual European Super League matches, compared to a minimum of ten in the planned new-look Champions League group stage – a plan that UEFA had intended to announce on Monday.⠀
- Each of the group and knock-out games would be played in midweek, as is the case with the Champions League — apart from the final.⠀
- This latest Super League proposal, as revealed by the PA, hopes to generate €4Bn annually from broadcasters, with the 15 founding clubs taking the greatest slice of broadcasting revenue.⠀
- Super League will be bankrolled by US banking giant JP Morgan and is the brainchild of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and the American owners of three leading English clubs.⠀
- Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who is believed to be the ‘brainchild’ of the format, will hold the chairman’s role.⠀
- Liverpool’s John W. Henry, Manchester United’s Joel Glazer, Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke, and Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli will all take up positions as vice-chairmen of the league.⠀
Commencement of the league is proposed for August. Next few days will be critical in terms of:⠀
- Stance taken by UEFA along with EPL, La Liga, and Serie A on these “rebel” clubs’ domestic participation⠀
- Reaction of these 12 founding clubs⠀
Stance taken by FIFA on individual players’ participation for their national teams⠀
Each stakeholder is motivated to get themselves a good deal. We are in for a roller-coaster ride.⠀
PART II: Decoding Owners Position
Few Points to ponder over:⠀
- It doesn’t replace domestic leagues; only the UEFA Champions League⠀
- On the point of people’s scathing attack on the owners of these 12 clubs, in particular the Premier League ones. The beautiful game lost it’s “integrity” when FA opened the doors to these billionaires. Profile of these billionaires was clearly known to the whole wide world. They were either serial owners of professional sport clubs in US or venture capitalists or oligarchs. So, it will be a bit delusional to say that they are “scavengers” by looking after their interests before the fans’. That has always been their business model.⠀
- On the other hand, how tastelessly UEFA & FIFA have managed the affairs of managing world football has been appalling to say the least. Corruption scandals, the management of awarding World Cup hosting rights, human rights atrocities hopefully will be the nadir of what we as fans have witnessed.
- So, ultimately it’s about Billionaire Owners’ methods of getting maximum bang for their buck vs destabilising the evil force of FIFA. ⠀
We are eager to see how these two factions face each other up this week considering UEFA Champions League semi-finals are scheduled for next week.⠀ ⠀
INTRIGUING STUFF INDEED!🤞⠀
PART III: The Learnings
Well, here we are!
After 48 hours of non-stop anger, frustration and feeling of deception
- Super League has been suspended, Manchester City and Chelsea initiated the pull-out
- Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Spurs followed suit
What was the catalyst behind it?
- Fans’ protests?
- TV Pundits’ incensed verbal attack on the owners?
- Threat of banning players from UEFA & FIFA competitions?
What we need to be very careful about now is this :
- What made this European League saga take place at the first place?
- Why did the “Dirty Dozen” owners even conceive the idea of starting a different league of their own?
- Did they really not foresee the backlash attached with such a move?
- By literally kicking the can of culture & tradition of football down the slippery road, did they not take into account the fans’ and their fandom?
By the looks of what has transpired in the last 2 days, answer is NO.
But again, what made them look out in search of like-minded people to come up with this audacious plan and take on the world?
It’s clear that UEFA has been ineptly running the show for the past two decades or so.
Take for example the new changes in the Champions League format announced yesterday. Total number of teams have been increased from 32 to 36. Total number of games have gone up from 125 to 225. Each team will now be playing 10 league games in the group stages (up from 6 earlier).
- impact of this increase in games and fixtures will drive up the prices for Champions League TV rights deals. This in turn, is predicted to drive down domestic TV rights deals – for the Premier League and EFL – hitting poorer clubs in their pockets
- What these changes will also do is create more congestion in an already packed fixture list for a Champion League playing team. The same Champion League playing team has to participate in the EFL and FA Cup in England. How on earth can a team possibly manage to play strong in all these tournaments in a year which has finite number of days?
- Premier league will most probably succumb to UEFA’s demands and as a result 4 clubs featuring in a Champion League will get flak for playing second string squads for the domestic competitions
- Another issue with these astronomical number of games is a high probability of player injuries which at times can be career-threatening or season-ending.
Football Federations aren’t happy with the way UEFA is arm-twisting them with such tactics. Will they all unite against UEFA like they did against the formation of the Super League? Will the TV pundits raise their voices against this like they did against the formation of the Super League?
Unfortunately, the answer is NO as everyone would look out for their own interests.
What SKY did during the pandemic (increased the monthly viewing membership by 25-30%) is nothing different from what the “Dirty Dozen” clubs were looking to do.
LOOK AFTER THEIR BALANCE SHEET.
LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES.
The Fans, without whom any sport can’t survive, need to continue in this united spirit and constructively take up these issues with the authorities.
Results won’t come as quick as the one against Super League but we the fans need to know that only through prolonged persistence can they force institutions like SKY or any other media group to get down their monthly membership prices.
We, the fans, can’t sit back and bask in the glory of destroying the Super League before it even existed. We, the fans, now need to pick up each issue and deal with it
With the same passion and fervor as seen in the last 48 hours.