How would the Super League work?
The proposed European Super League (ESL) is a 20-team breakaway league starting with 15 founding clubs and an additional five clubs who would be entitled to qualify each season based on their achievements in the prior campaign.
All matches would provisionally be played midweek with the teams being split into two groups of 10, each playing 18 games (nine home and nine away).
The top three teams from each group would then automatically qualify to progress into the last eight knockout stages with the clubs finishing in fourth and fifth filling the last two slots.
It is believed that the ties would then be played over two legs with the final being a single fixture at a neutral venue.
The story so far
The initial announcement of this project was shared with the world at the beginning of this week with the first 12 teams signing up being:
Manchester City Barcelona
Manchester United Real Madrid
Chelsea Atletico Madrid
Tottenham Hotspur Inter Milan
Arsenal AC Milan
Since this plan was devised, there has been lots of backlash from the fans, especially of the English clubs in particular who have made their feelings known to the multiple owners of the ‘Big Six’ by protesting outside of the stadiums on recent match days.
The passion that the supporters showed in such a short space of time had an immediate impact on the clubs themselves and made the big six all reverse their initial decisions.
As it stands, nine teams have currently pulled out of the project with only Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus still part of the plans.
Why is everyone against this new idea?
There are multiple reasons why people are against this new idea for the ESL with the main motive being that it is money-driven.
The Super League organisers have openly said that any clubs who agree to participate in the competition would receive a payment of $3.5bn.
This payment which was said to be split between all 15 founder clubs was described as an ’infrastructure grant’ to be spent on training facilities, stadiums and lost revenue during the pandemic.
Sky Sports pundit and ex-footballer Gary Neville recently had an interview and shared his thoughts on the plans for the new league.
Football is for the fans
As time went on, a handful of Premier League players began taking to social media to speak out and reassure the world that their view is, has and always will be that football is for the fans.
The Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and the rest of the first team squad collectively took to Instagram this week to share that they firmly disapproved of the league and that they didn’t want to be involved in any way.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne also released a statement stating that his childhood dreams were always to grow up playing football and that he wants to continue inspiring the next generation of fans who have the same aspirations.
What happens next?
Despite the competition collapsing just 48 hours after it was announced, the Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insisted that the Super League is not dead and has suggested that the project is simply ‘on standby’.
However, the ESL founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has said that the league can no longer go ahead as a result of so many teams withdrawing.
So, after a whirlwind week of criticism, the question is, where did it all go wrong and more importantly, just what happens next?