So where does one begin? I’m still trying to catch my breath and organize my thoughts after Alessio Romagnoli did it again - this time in Udine, and it the 97th minute - but here goes: as I’m sure we’ve all heard by now, there was leaked documentation (aka some sort of memo/cover page) by German newspaper Der Spiegel regarding the formation of the long-since-rumored Super League.
So here is the first of the new #FootballLeaks stories from @EICnetwork : a suggestion that 11 European clubs have been negotiating to form a Super League. 5 Premier League clubs included. pic.twitter.com/Hq5hQLT71s— Dan Chapman (@DanFullContact) November 2, 2018
A Super League indeed, if we are to believe the involvement of the clubs mentioned - which include permanent occupancy by Barcelona, Read Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, both Manchester clubs, PSG, Juventus and our boys in red and black, AC Milan. Then, there are the “invitational” bids, such as Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, AS Roma and some club no one has ever heard of called Inter Milan. I’m sure most people are drooling at the thought of some type of competition that involves these guys playing against each other regularly. I mean, except for me, because you know, we have the Champions League.
Now before you all start hitting the “back button” and go read another article on AC Milan Offside - which you should still do, but after you finish hearing me out - let me explain why this is terrible.
First, let’s start with the logistics of this. This league has been pitched to operate more like North American Leagues such as the NFL, NHL, NBA, et al - which does not involve any promotion or relegation. It also stands to be independent of UEFA - you know, the all encompassing governing body of soccer nations on the continent - which seemingly would mean independent of FFP or the financial regulations governing the spending of clubs (mostly the aforementioned clubs, since they are the best and the wealthiest and definitely not Inter).
So let’s wipe that clean. Now you have the 11 most economically powerful clubs in the world (and once again, definitely not Inter), freewheeling and buying literally anyone they can afford. And who will they be able to afford? Well, let’s put it into context that these clubs are operating this League away from UEFA scheduling, and can orchestrate it as they please, provided it’s agreed upon by the participant clubs. Then whose to say they can’t play a Barcelona versus Real Madrid game in NYC or Los Angeles or Singapore or Dubai and charge as much as they want for tickets because people will pay it? Gate receipts would be through the roof, and there would be no mechanism in place to make sure it’s not distributed between those two clubs. So in essence, they’ll be able to afford literally anyone. And since there is no relegation threat looming over these clubs, everyone will want to play there - more so than they already do.
Secondly, what does this do to the Champions League, a merit based tournament that rewards club teams within their domestic system? It can’t possibly replace that, because this is just a rich boys club, and doesn’t function on merit. And there will be no minnow team vying to showcase their domestic talent on club soccer’s biggest stage. Those minnows will no longer receive their share of the CL prize pool money, which goes a long way in their smaller domestic leagues. Clubs like APOEL or Maccabi or Ludogorets would be robbed of the gate receipts for home games against giants of club football. But enough about the little guys, what about the rest of UEFA in general?
Which brings me to the last, and most obvious and important point: there is no f****** way you can remove these clubs from their domestic leagues. Period. It would be the death of continental soccer in Europe. No one will watch Premier League once you remove the Big 5. Ratings dropped for La Liga once CR7 left for the peninsula - could you imagine the viewership if you entirely removed the two most recognized clubs in the world? It would mean the complete economic collapse of every major domestic league in Europe, due to the biggest draws and money-makers leaving, and then essentially being able to cherry pick LITERALLY any player in the world due to their exacerbated prestige, depleting the rosters of whatever residual soccer system was left it the Super League’s wake.
So please, don’t fall for this. It’s just billionaire owners trying to get richer. They make enough money, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to spend 150-200 MILLION EUROS ON A SINGLE PLAYER.
I still think this is bogus/a hoax attempt for global soccer supremacy at worst, and at best, it’s a very blatant attempt by powerhouse clubs to threaten and extort UEFA for more money.
So I doubt this ever gets off the ground, and you can feel free to come here and rip me if it does. And if you’re sad about missing out on the prospect of watching AC Milan - Juventus playing soccer game, well have I got some good news about this upcoming fixture.