What happens when all the top clubs from Europe decide to come together and create a tournament that could ruin football forever? The European Super League
I am sure you must be hearing about this topic day in and out in every international news channel, social media platforms, sports channels, and websites etc. So, what exactly is the European Super League?
The proposed tournament was supposed to be a 20-team tournament with 15 teams fixed and 5 teams to play qualifying rounds. Out of those 15, 12 clubs which were finalized were:
These 12 teams had signed up to share an amount of 3.5billion euros ($4.2 billion) which would boost their revenue. Clubs had faced severe losses due to the ongoing pandemic, and this tournament came as a light in the dark.
Popular German and French clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern and Paris-Saint Germain were believed to have not given their approval.
The proposed tournament sent a wave of anger worldwide among the fans, pundits and stakeholders of these clubs. The decision was solely taken by the club owners, and even the coaches/managers or players were not involved or informed.
UEFA (The Union of European Football Association) decided to suspend these clubs from the prestigious Champions League tournament.
FA (Football Association), which runs the English football, also decided to suspend these clubs from Premier League. The Premier League is considered the best league globally. The suspension of the big clubs means heavy losses in sponsorships, TV rights, branding etc., from both ends.
Even FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) decided to ban players of these respective clubs from representing their national teams to show their disapproval towards the ESL (European Super League).
Various protests from fans worldwide indicated the clubs that their most significant stakeholders, the fans, do now want this tournament. It was regarded as a tournament formed on the lines of greed and lacked competition. It did not involve the concept of relegation. It was not created on a merit basis but only on monetary terms. The idea of top clubs playing each other every week would also kill the excitement and anticipation of a top football match. If I explain it in cricketing terms, it would be like India playing Australia, England, Pakistan every other week in the same tournament. As cricket fans wait for these matches, and if they are to be seen every week, it would kill the game and make the concept of competition monotonous.
Some even highlighted that UEFA also must be blamed for such a happening. This is because they do not disburse the funds received appropriately among the clubs, which led these top clubs to get together and take such a step.
Chelsea was the first club to withdraw its name from the ESL, followed by Manchester City and the other Premier League Clubs. After the withdrawal of 6 teams out of 12, the tournament stood cancelled. It was dissolved in a time of 2 days from its creation.
It is fair to say that the fans won the battle here and once again proved that they are the most crucial part of a football club.
Written by: Aditya Paharia