Just mere hours ago, rumors were swirling about the creation the European Super League - a closed-off league featuring some of Europe’s traditional blue bloods and elites. It didn’t take long for the rumors to solidify into action, as officials from Arsenal and eleven of Europe’s elite soccer teams convened and confirmed the breakaway league, shocking the soccer world.
We are one of 12 Founding Clubs of the European Super League— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 18, 2021
Joining Arsenal from the Premier League are Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea - the traditional Big Six. Many of Europe’s top teams from La Liga and Serie A have announced their inclusion, but noticeably absent are Paris St. Germain, Bayern Munich, and any clubs from both Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga.
Details have begun to emerge, with some confirming what we already knew, and others clarifying the league’s plans. As reported by multiple outlets, beside the 12 founding members, the league will aim to include 20 teams - 15 permanent members and five rotating members. The league is aiming to begin by as early as the 2023-2024 season. Monetarily, this league will bolster the participating clubs with an initial upfront net grant of €3.5 billion (yes, BILLION), or approximately €291m per club.
If initial reports are to be believed, there is no other way to describe the format of the competition as anything but exceedingly American - teams will be placed into two groups of ten, with the top 3 teams from each group placed in a playoff style bracket, with each team playing a best-of-three series until the final, which will be a single match final format.
This move is an unprecedented one that has been met with immense backlash and criticism from all corners of the sports world. FIFA and UEFA, two of the sports major governing bodies, both released statements in opposition to the move.
After the #SuperLeague statement, this is the UEFA position: "Every club and player participating in the Super League could be banned from all UEFA and FIFA competitions, European or International level". #UEFA— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 18, 2021
FIFA official statement— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 18, 2021
"FIFA can only express its DISAPPROVAL to a 'closed European breakaway league' outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles".
So, UEFA and FIFA are both *against* the #SuperLeague.
The timing also raises many eyebrows as UEFA was set to announce a 36-team Champions League expansion this week. With the inclusion of some of the most successful clubs in the history of the Champions League, the creation of the European Super League has the potential to throw the world’s most celebrated international club cup competition into jeopardy if the participating teams are indeed barred from Champions League.
This is just the beginning, but expect this situation to progress tremendously over the next weeks.