Soccer: European Super League

European Super League: What's happened? Which clubs are involved? What's been the reaction? How likely is it? What are the potential ramifications? What would be the format and who is financing it?

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Remarkable news indeed though there was chatter months ago.

I'm old school and hearken back to the days when European play was earned in the last century via Champions League, Cup Winners Cup, and UEFA Cup each. The first two were top tier tournaments in their own right and the UEFA Cup was secondary but still laden with top talent.

Then as we know around 2000 came the expansion of Champions League combining the first two, and then they turned the UEFA Cup into Europa League but then expanded that.

The latter is where UEFA erred such that top sides ended up playing many lower sides for years across Europe, and though only now UEFA mercifully paring down the awful Europa League here they are creating a tertiary competition as well.

And their proposal now is to enlarge Champions to 36 sides, and well, greed wins of course though I can't blame the top sides including my Liverpool.

It was better in the old days when places indeed were earned and the best were usually playing the best anyway.

A lot of people are saying "is the FA Cup important these days" so much football in England and Europe and so many cups. But people love it and the more the better

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Ah well this shall get interesting. Noteworthy also, as the proponents of the UEFA tournaments in current format will overlook, is how UEFA are going to expand the Champions competition to so many more games than already as they expand to 36 teams from 32! We already have too many games involving many sides that are not mid-tier at the European level for that matter.

But now the top sides can play each other for a whole lot more money, PLUS the national associations do not have to follow necessarily UEFA any more and can continue to stage their own competitions all the same and dissociate from UEFA as well if UEFA wants to play hardball.

The national cups retain just as much importance to most fans just as you indicate. They have always been for the fan and the players another chance at a championship and bragging rights of course.

For the FA Cup, I am a big fan of going back to the replay system, for say the 4th round through the final 16, if the first match is a draw. Then go on aggregate goals away goals break the draw.

Similarly in Italy the Coppa Italia had somewhat greater appeal for years as well and was regarded just as important as the league title (aka Lo Scudetto).

And so through the protest by the national associations now is understandable, there is more room now for the FA and all national associations to reform internally also without UEFA.

UEFA's moves have rendered the fabulous FA Cup of less attention and importance outside of the UK over the years, so turnabout is fair play now once the understandable emotions cool off.

Shots were fired 'round the world on Sunday, fire returned today, and a court rules that many of the threats made by UEFA and FIFA that involve banning players will not stand until all litigation is heard.

I also do see FIFA enacting any ban such that the value of their record investment and that of sponsors in the World Cup in Qatar in November 2022 is severely compromised.

A World Cup without the very best will go over about as well as a bigger global FIBA tournament. Who cares about third-rate!

Looks like it's already splintering

Apparently Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are wanting out too.

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And quicker than the reaction to the news late Sunday, this Super League will be burnt toast tonight in this edition.

I bet you it comes back in less than two years for another run given UEFA's lousy new plan for 2024.

First and foremost greed is driving this one way or the other, so either side can spare me the romantic talk about "saving the beautiful game."


And now all 6 EPL teams are out

All this in about 48 hours after this announcement. Biggest bluff in the sports world right now.

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...maybe there’s still hope for the European Super Duper League?

Well in fact there is indeed, for it looks like as rumoured AC Milan did not drop out and the remaining six clubs released a statement this morning in Europe:

Super League to "reconsider" project

The remaining members of the proposed European Super League said they would "reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project" following the withdrawal of all six English teams.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus released a collective statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change," the statement said. "We are proposing a new European competition because the existing system does not work.

The best take I heard all day, and all those who are behaving like UEFA and FIFA are such upstanding organizations that are truly looking out for the little guys are full of it, though all too many are happy to take their bones (or more bribes), is that this effort only failed not because underlying the new league was a financially unsound idea but rather because the announcement and preparation were executed poorly and packaged improperly.

JP Morgan Chase had raised $5B for the new league. That money did not disappear and is still sitting there. And in the next go-around there will be even more I will bet right now.

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This SuperLeague just seemed like a garbage proposition from the get-go. I'd rather soccer's more typical meritocracy came to North American sport than for the US style rich man country club franchise buy-in system migrate to Europe.

What gives Arsenal (9th place currently in England) the right to permanently claim a spot amongst the "best" teams in Europe?

We are the best because we say so.. garbage.

I'm happy this crumbled.

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Ah but the closed system is already done in sports in North America. There is no promotion or relegation. Arsenal have far more than a history and a brand, as do all the other sides involved but for two more recent ones Man City and Tottenham, than this seasons 9th place.

And Arsenal did win the FA Cup last season and have managed to stick around in Europa into the semifinals as well. Such happens in many of a season of these sides as opposed to many others.

And no MLS is not going to be a top global league for some time. Having more fans around the world for your brand than even in your own country is the next-level these sides are at now.


I said as much..

I'm not buying into a new closed league of teams that happen to be popular because they used to be good. Champions league already exists and you have to qualify for it by winning at home now.

This isn't a SuperLeague it's a league of teams you've heard of before.. famous for being famous on previous success earned in competitions they now find obsolete.

They claim they're fixing football. I fail to see any value added. They wanted to have 15 permanent clubs in this competition and 5 qualifier teams? How ridiculous would it look year in and year out when some permanent teams finish well behind the qualifier teams? And would a qualifier team winning the tournament even be invited back if they failed to win their league the year prior?

How does one justify that? Sounds like a bunch of rich cry baby clubs that want the revenue from European games without the effort to qualify.

No wonder this was met with intense enough condemnation from all quarters that more than half the league folded up in 48 hours.

Champions League is a bloated piece of crap that pits underserving competition against far better sides year-in year-out plus if you want to defend the crap that is Europa as well, along with the new Confederations League, by all means go ahead.

That system is broken. There is a need for reform, there is money to back it, and there will be reform.

I'm in a minority view, but if the national associations are wise they do not need UEFA so as to boost their domestic competitions including with the Super League and regular league play intact.

I go back far enough to remember when the FA Cup and Coppa Italia, and still the Copa de Los Reyes mind you, were held by fans and by players in equal regard in their countries to winning the league or in international competition. UEFA ruined that and is not an ally but an enemy as are now FIFA as well.

It does not matter what value YOU see or I see or any given individual sees. $5B are being it already and more is coming. Millions upon millions of fans outside of North America and Europe see more value now than do we.

If you don't get that, oh well the train goes on with or without you or me or anybody in the countries themselves, for football is already global.

UEFA and FIFA have exploited matters to their end with all their corruption, so spare me any sanctimony for their benefit.

It will end and there is money and will be enough power before too long to make it happen when it is executed properly.

And the national associations will figure out they will benefit as well.

As for UEFA and FIFA, they can burn in their current forms.

What do Europa League and the new lowly Confederations League sound like to you now? Or is it different because it's all those small clubs nobody but homers care about plus of course all the folks whom UEFA and FIFA can bribe at those small levels. Yeah.

If reform is needed, then those clubs or reformist federations can come up with something better than what was proposed in that Super League. Something that isn't so insulting to the game's meritocracy.

Perhaps Champions league needs to be parsed down so better clubs are featured more often. But they should qualify nonetheless

Meritocracy! You must be joking now! My gosh it's like UEFA corruption and FIFA corruption never happened! Why do you gloss over all that now for this romantic notion that has not existed ever since the clubs went global in brand over domestic!

And is Confederations your solution to assisting the mythical meritocracy? The big clubs will continue to get bigger and you know what? They do make room for others in the new league.

It's not IF reform is needed it is and that's how $5B and an army of lawyers went about it here because $5B do not see the light of day lest there is ample diligence like for far smaller business investments even down to a few thousand dollars!

Oh indeed you can still have your po-dunk token Champions League just without your gravy train on the brands of the big clubs that are without UEFA.

That's what UEFA's cries and this crap about meritocracy are all about not any given romantic notions of the merely pub game of football that once was in the last century.

The game has been global, as have these brands, for some time.

I like to point out also to especially American and British critics of also AC Milan that AC Milan had a global brand even before many a PL side and still does.

I would wager that Man U versus AC Milan was the most watched Europa League match outside of its countries than any other in this year's tournament. Why? Because those fans have existed long before this era of global football and still do around the globe!

All the sides who qualify, plus the two in Germany plus PSG who backed away early and unscathed, have a global brand outside their country than within indeed. Man City and Tottenham are relative newcomers to a consistent history of winning in this century, but the rest have quite the historic legacy to date.