The drama of the Super League


Adriano Grassi and Elias Swift

Recently, the world of soccer/football was rocked with the announcement of a European Super League.  The league, which was thankfully dismantled, would’ve included Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur. 

The European Super League was spearheaded by Florentino Perez (The billionaire president of Real Madrid), and was meant to be similar to the NBA, meaning that the team’s chairmen and owners would be able to have more control over the league and its rules. It would’ve also been much more profitable, with participating teams earning triple what they would’ve in the current Champions League. 

The owners of the 12 richest clubs were the ones who agreed to start this competition. The first sign that this plan wouldn’t work was the fact that UEFA and FIFA were against it. UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is the biggest football organization in Europe, and FIFA (Federal International Football Association) is the largest football organization in the world. The second sign was the anger that fans around the world showed about this disgraceful decision. They all knew that a breakaway league like this would ruin the competition of the sport. Players understood this too. Mesut Ozil (position for Arsenal), tweeted “Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League – not any Super League. The enjoyment of big games is that they only happen once or twice a year, not every week. Really hard to understand for all football fans out there.” 

It takes a lot of knowledge to know how the beautiful game of soccer/football works, but it’s also the passion of the fans that makes it the greatest sport in the world. Without an interest, or following around the world, the intrigue of the game is gone. The club owners of the twelve clubs who started the Super League seem to lack basic knowledge of what football is. The more football relies on money, the more people there will be who take charge of clubs without knowing a single thing about football. A tournament like the World Cup, for example, is an event where every fan around the world can unite to support their country. Just imagine where all that passion would go if countries bought their way into the World Cup, or if players wouldn’t be able to play for their home nations.

A big problem with the Super League from the start was that UEFA and all of the country leagues like the EPL, Serie A, banned any player or team from competing. Meaning that all 12 teams would be only able to play in their Super League, and not the Champions League, Europa League, or any other competition. FIFA joined in, saying that any player who plays on a team in the Super League, would be banned from the World Cup and banned for playing for their national team. This upset both fans and players alike, and many people began switching their support to new teams, and proclaiming “the end of soccer”.   

Many protested and created signs which included: Super greed,” “Football belongs to us, not you” and “1905-2021, thanks for the memories,” referring to the year Chelsea was founded. “Our members and football supporters across the world have experienced the ultimate betrayal,” said the Chelsea Supporters Trust in a statement. “This is a decision of greed to line the pockets of those at the top and it has been made with no consideration for the loyal supporters, our history, our future or the future of football in this country.

The first clubs to exit from the Super League were all from the English Premier League. Once they opted out, there were only 6 clubs left, which made the tournament useless. Soon enough, Barcelona and Real Madrid left, which officially shut down the idea for good. Even though UEFA was against the Super League, the organization still seemed embarrassed when it ended so quickly. So in order to pacify the larger clubs, the decision was made to change the format of the Champions League.

The format, dubbed the “Swiss-System” would make the Champions League look more like a league, and less like a tournament. It’s a very complicated system but is essentially a blend of the proposed Super League and the current Champions League. Many are not happy with the new format and argue that while not as harmful as the Super League, the new format would definitely hurt football/soccer.   

Overall, everyone is happy the Super League is dead, but there is still work to do in terms of all the corruption at FIFA, and the new Champions League formats.