– By Elijah Golding, mr.play Partners
The European Super League.
The four words that can make a man’s skin crawl at the moment.
But what is it all about?
Why is it the only thing people are talking about?
And if it goes ahead, will it really destroy the sport we know and love forever?
Those are the questions on everyone’s minds and unfortunately the decisions may be truly out of our hands.
A mere few days ago, an official announcement was made that a breakaway competition known as the ‘European Super League’ would be established in order to rival UEFA’s premier club football tournament that we all know and love, known as the UEFA Champions League. This would be a mid-week competition that would take some of the world’s biggest teams (including the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Premier League’s ‘Big Six’, plus another three others) and turn it into a closed shop where no team can be relegated, nor promoted.
But little did they know (or maybe they did), that the ramifications of entering this competition would be so dire, that it would strike fear into the hearts of football fans, players, and pundits worldwide.
Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA President said: “This idea is a spit in the face of football lovers and our society as well”.
The Duke of Cambridge Prince William even took to Twitter in his role of FA President and said the following: “Now more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core. I share the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.”
Ex-Manchester United & England players Garry Neville and Rio Ferdinand spoke out two nights ago on Live TV stating that “those six clubs should be punished heavily” and that this is “embarrassing” and “a war on football”.
The news has seen a backlash of extraordinary proportions on Social Media and even locals in the UK have taken to the streets of England and outside their team’s football stadiums in protest of these changes.
It makes you think, how could the owners of these football clubs agree to such catastrophic changes at such a difficult time? The answer is bitter as it is short, money.
Many tabloids are saying that the Super League clubs can earn up to $400 million per year just for participation in the competition.
President of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez defended his actions in an interview saying “€5,000 million has been lost by the clubs; we’re on the edge of ruin”, adding: “We don’t want the rich to be richer and the poor poorer. We have to save football. Everything I do is for the good of football, which is in a critical moment.”
On top of that, he also explained on a Spanish TV station yesterday afternoon that young people between the ages of 16-24 are “losing interest in football” and that they need to make the sport more interesting by removing the “more modest” teams from the equation.
However your stance on the situation, it is common knowledge that football has always been known as ‘the working man’s sport’. And by owners taking matters into their own hands, not only shows the greed and lack of respect for their only players and employees, but indeed the fans that revolve their lives around them.
If these changes do indeed come into effect, we may be entering some dark times ladies and gentlemen, as sport we know and love…may never be the same again.