European Super League: what is it and how does it work?

European Super League: what is it and how does it work?

Here’s an overview of what you need to know about plans and why they’re important.

The league would include 20 clubs, including 15 founding teams, which would be permanent members. Five other clubs would qualify each year based on their achievements from the previous season.

It’s unclear whether these five clubs would be relegated from ESL regardless of their performance.

Who is involved?

Among the clubs involved are the traditional “Big Six” of the Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Spanish giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are also reportedly featured, alongside Italian teams AC Milan and Inter Milan, as well as Juventus.

2020 Champions League winners Bayern Munich are not part of the plan, while Borussia Dortmund president Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed the club are against ESL training.

Bayern and Dortmund are represented on the board of the Association of European Clubs and, according to Watzke, both Bundesliga teams are backing a new Champions League format, which was due to be approved by UEFA on Monday.

Paris Saint-Germain are also not included, with The Guardian reporting that their reluctance “could be due to a proposed tough financial settlement in the new competition which would be similar to UEFA’s financial fair play.”

Why now?

Timing can be critical to understanding the announcement, as UEFA was set to release details of the expanded Champions League format today, depicting an increased number of football matches in an already fixture list. crowded.

Football editors and analysts have speculated that the oddly timed statement of plans for ESL could be a tactical opening salvo in negotiations with UEFA, used as a negotiating tool to discuss more big slice of the cake for the best European clubs.

From a fan’s perspective, the timing is horrible and amounts to owners exploiting a system weakened by the pandemic. Grassroots football and the game’s wider pyramids across Europe’s national leagues are hemorrhaging money and threatened with no supporters present for over a year.

The owners of the biggest clubs in the world have long struggled for a greater share of television football revenues and other financial rewards, as the growing importance of in-game money has grown in popularity. popularity with more traditional supporters.

Over the past decades, multibillion-dollar takeovers of several teams like Manchester City and Chelsea have widened the gap between the haves and have-nots in football, and it is extremely rare for a team outside of the small elite group wins major league trophy.

This disparity has led to “super league” rumors for years, and some have suggested that the clubs involved may be convinced to put plans aside in favor of a financial compromise. But Sunday’s announcement is by far the closest football to such a drastic breakaway.

READ: Jose Mourinho sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager

How much money is involved?

JP Morgan confirmed to CNN on Monday that he would fund the new breakaway European Super League, but declined to provide further comment on the nature of the deal.

The official statement from the 12 founding clubs said: “The founding clubs will receive an amount of 3.5 billion euros ($ 4.21 billion) just to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the Covid pandemic. ”

“The new annual tournament will bring significantly greater economic growth and support to European football … and [solidarity payments] are expected to exceed 10 billion euros ($ 12 billion) during the clubs’ initial commitment period. “

When would it start?

In the statement, the current clubs involved presented plans to potentially launch the competition in August 2021.

Shock and outrage as world reacts to European Super League breakaway plans

All clubs in the new ESL format would face each other midweek, both at home and away, in much the same way as the current Champions League knockout stage format.

Details released so far have not included a broadcaster to support the separatist competition, but the seismic development bears similarities to the creation of the Premier League – which was key for BSkyB to exercise its role as a football broadcaster. dominant British.

With the growth of powerful tech giants and popular streaming services such as Apple TV +, Netflix, and Amazon’s Prime Video, the new ESL competition could provide a similar opportunity for these platforms to enter the sports market. European, while increasing the huge financial distribution agreements. which have continued to grow over the past decades, forming the basis of the game’s wealth.

READ: Breakaway competition throws elite play into turmoil

What was the reaction?

The condemnation of the proposals has been generalized.

A FIFA statement said: “FIFA can only express its disapproval of a ‘closed European separatist league’ outside international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.”

A previous FIFA statement in January went so far as to say that “any club or player involved in such a competition would therefore not be allowed to participate in a competition organized by FIFA or their respective confederation”.

It would mean that many of the best players in the world couldn’t play for their country – and would leave the next World Cup without stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kevin De Bruyne and many more.

UEFA – which oversees all European football – along with the governing bodies of England, Spain and Italy and the top leagues of these three countries have co-signed a statement.

Football fan groups condemn 'ultimate betrayal' of European Super League

“We wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, English FA, RFEF, FIGC, Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will stand united in our efforts to stop this project. cynical., a project based on the personal interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever ”, we read in part.

“We will look at all the measures at our disposal, at all levels, both judicial and sporting, to prevent this from happening. Football is based on open competition and sporting merit; it cannot be otherwise . “

The Premier League said: “Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream of their team being able to climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy that dream. “

The English Football Federation said: “It is clear that this would harm English and European football at all levels and attack the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are fundamental to competitive sport.”

Speaking of ESL’s plans, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “They would strike at the heart of the national match and concern fans across the country. The clubs involved must respond to their supporters and the wider football community. before going any further. no. “

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement, according to Reuters, “The President of the Republic welcomes the position of French clubs to refuse to participate in a European football Super League project which threatens the principle of solidarity and sporting merit” .

CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed reporting.

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