The European Super League, a multibillion-dollar company went down dramatically in the middle of the pandemic and an economic inequality crisis.
All six teams involved in the European Super League (ESL) have formally dropped off from the competition. Manchester City was the first to quit, followed by Liverpool, Manchester, United, and Tottenham, and Arsenal teams. The six teams were part of a league that also included Italy’s Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan. There was also Spain’s Barcelona and Atletico Madrid counted in the league.
As part of the midweek competition against UEFA’s Champion League, ESL announced plans to form a breakaway league. Perhaps their proposal did not go well either with fans, famous football clubs and not even the English government. Fans, the English government, and the Royal Family expressed their anger over European Super League. They believed that it would be an unfair competition that would keep top teams out of European football.
Backing their disapproval were the critics who said that the move was motivated by greed to make more money for the world’s major clubs.
“The European Super League (ESL) stands cancelled, after UEFA, the European Football governing body, stated that they would have zero tolerance for the project. With the public outcry and objections from plenty of other clubs and footballers around the world, the league couldn’t see the light of the day,” accoring to Kate Richardson, expert in sport.
How was the ESL competition supposed to look like?
Before being scrapped, the European Super League seemed to have been ready and raring to go. The Super League was to have 20 teams with 15 founding leagues and an additional five sides. They would have qualified annually according to their domestic achievements. The European Super League was to commence in August every year and play midweek games and would have had clubs split into two groups of 10.
The top three teams in each group would then qualify for the quarter-finals. From there, ESL would have followed a similar knockout format used in the Champion League. Here comes the most controversial part that did not sit well with people. In the above format, the founding 15 clubs will have been guaranteed to play in the league every year. It does not matter how good or bad they performed in domestic leagues.
What do the clubs have to say?
- Chelsea said they took their time to consider the matter thoroughly. They decided that the continued participation would not be in the best interest of either the club or the whole football community.
- Liverpool stated that the club had discontinued its involvement in the proposal.
- Manchester City withdrew their name from the Super League and acknowledged that it was ‘a mistake’ to join the Super League.
- Arsenal carefully studied the entire backlash and apologized to their fans, stating that they never wanted to cause such distress.
- Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy expressed regret for the anxiety caused by such plans. He further extended his gratitude to supporters who presented their opinions.
- Manchester United said they listened to their fan’s reactions, the key stakeholders and the UK government and decided not to take part.
Why did the ESL fail?
FIFA, the group that runs football, expressed their disapproval of the proposed competition. The group said that any players involved with the Super League might have the possibility of not participating in the World Cup.
UEFA, the organization responsible for European football, warned that players involved in the Super League would be banned from every competition, whether domestic, European or world level. The organization could further prevent players from representing their national teams.
UEFA released a joint statement with the Premier League, England’s Football Association, La Liga, Spanish Football Federation, the Italian Football Association, and Serie A. The message voiced out that they will remain united and stop the breakaway using ‘all measures available.
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The reactions of the fans
No less than 48 hours passed since The ESL laid out the proposal, fans took to the streets and staged protests despite the ongoing pandemic. The Football Supporter’s Association, representing UK fans, said that it opposed the idea of the European Super League. They believed that the proposal was not motivating the sporting merit or the world’s game but feeding into the league’s cynical greed.
Each of the six official Supporters clubs was candid with their statements regarding the disputable league. The Manchester City FC Official Supporters said that such a move would disregard the game’s tradition. Spirit of Shankly, a group supporting Liverpool, exclaimed that they were ‘appalled’ by such a decision.
More than 1000 Arsenal supporters gathered outside Emirates Stadium to protest against owner Stan Kroenke’s participation in a failed European Super League.
Players’ reactions to the European Super League
The rage against the proposal isn’t just felt by the fans but also by the clubs involved. Leading football players from the six clubs showed their disapproval at the planned breakaway league. Ex-Manchester United player and defender Neville stated that he wants to keep football united. He believes if this plan goes into action, it will change the football community forever. Jordan Henderson, Liverpool’s captain, took to social media and expressed that his side’s ‘collective’ position does not want the Super League to commence.
The European Super League took three years into the making. It collapsed in mere 48 hours, surrounded by backlash and rage. There is no denying that the league shook up the football community, garnering disapproval from fans and key players of the club. You can read more about the latest football news and what the crapping of the ESL means with us.