Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 8 student
Money is the most important thing in sports today. You can argue that talent is important but, without money, you can’t buy talent. Professional Football is a sport with exciting unpredictability and if you take away this quality then, of course, it will get boring and unfair. And this is what happened when Real Madrid’s president, along with JP Morgan Bank, launched the European Super League.
What is the European Super League?
It is a league that has the best 20 football teams in Europe and, has no RELEGATION. There are 15 founding teams. 5 teams will join the League on merit from the previous year’s competitions. Super League matches will be played in the middle of the week and the traditional leagues will be played on the weekends. This will allow the Super League teams to play matches in other leagues as well.
This sounds really fair, then why the backlash?
The twelve founding teams of the Super League are AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. Well, the fact is that these are the richest teams in Europe, NOT the best performing this year. Tottenham Hotspur sits 7th in the Premier League, and Arsenal the 9th, which confirms that Super League is all about BIG money.
The Big Attraction
A club that joins the Super League gets a “Welcome Bonus” and will get a lot of revenue which will give these clubs an unfair advantage over others.
FIFA, UEFA and the national league bodies are planning to ban all the teams that join the Super League. Fans too are angry as they don’t want to see their clubs ruin the heritage of their leagues, and not play in these traditional competitions.
The 12 clubs that joined the Super League faced protests and anger from their fans and other European clubs. This caused all, but Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, to leave. The worst part was that the owners of the clubs made the decision to join the Super League without consulting the players and managers of their clubs. The UEFA, FIFA and national bodies threatened expulsion which made the withdrawal of the clubs from the Super League all but inevitable. Even after the clubs left the Super League, they were met with protests by their fans and the teams they faced. For example, Leeds United wore training shirts showing the UEFA Champions League logo saying “EARN IT” and on the back, it said, “Football is for Fans”. In Chelsea’s game with Brighton, club legend Petr Cech had to convince Chelsea fans to let the team bus get inside Stamford Bridge stadium for the match.
What’s the Future?
Managers of most of the 12 clubs have said that a League with no relegation is not good for the players. Others feel that the Super League widens the gap between these top teams and smaller teams. Well, the European Super League is all but finished but professional Football’s problems are far from over.
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