The European Super League: More than just Rumours?

You may have heard the rumours circulating in the press about several high profile football clubs wanting to leave their current domestic league structures and form a so-called “Super League” that would be independent of UEFA.

Despite UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, making it very clear that the Super League “will never happen,” the rumors seem to resurface constantly. There are also some high-profile voices in the football community, like Arsene Wenger, who seem to believe that it is inevitable that the Super League will replace domestic competitions – on the weekends at least. While it appears to be a very long way off, if it even happens at all, there is no doubt that a European Super League would have a massive impact on European football.

Just in case you haven’t heard of the European Super League, we thought that we’d put together a post detailing everything important you need to know.

What is the European Super League, and how will it work?

Pep Guardiola giving instructionsImage source:

Based on a report published by German publication, Der Spiegel, the European Super League will be a breakaway football league, which will be formed independent of UEFA. It would consist of 16 teams, made up of 11 core-founding members and five “guest” teams.

The 11 founding members will be exempt from relegation and guaranteed a place in the Super League for the next 20 years, while the guest teams would play in a promotion/relegation playoff. How that would work is unclear at this stage.

Where have we seen this before?

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You may have heard of EuroLeague Basketball, a 16-team basketball competition which sees the likes of teams such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona Lassa, Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow compete against each other in a league format.

In 2000/01, a rift in European club basketball formed which saw the development of a new league – the EuroLeague. This meant that there were now two European basketball leagues running simultaneously. The EuroLeague and the FIBA SuproLeague.

This split saw top clubs from around Europe taking part in both the Euro and Supro leagues, but with the EuroLeague holding most of the power. Outside of the USA and the NBA, the EuroLeague is the most popular basketball league and contains, what is considered, the top teams in Europe.

Which teams will make up the European Super League?

Manchester United celebrateImage source:

According to the report in Der Spiegel, the 11 founding teams would be Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus, AC Milan, PSG and Bayern Munich. In addition to the founding members, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Roma and Marseille would also be invited to join the league, but would be eligible for relegation.

How the league would work is still unclear at this stage, but there are several possibilities. Either, the Super League would see the founding teams leave their current domestic leagues to play exclusively in the European Super League against the top teams in Europe or it would run as a separate competition similar to the Champions League. The other alternative is a “best of both worlds” where the teams remain in their domestic leagues and play domestic football during the week, while the weekends would be reserved for Super League games.

Why a European Super League?

Suarez and Coutinho celebrateImage source:

There are two main reasons that the bigger European clubs want to start the Super League. The first is that it allows for more matches against the best competition i.e. the best regularly play the best. While the Champions League still offers the best teams from around Europe, many feel the competition in the group stages is watered down. Additionally, teams can only play a maximum of 16 Champions League matches. However, the Super League would allow for 30 matches against top competition.

The second reason is that more games between bigger teams presents an opportunity for the teams to earn a lot more money from ticket sales and generate revenue from sponsorships. Added to that is the opportunity for broadcasters to fill their schedules with premium footballing content – an opportunity many would be willing to pay a lot of money for.

Regardless of the format and how the competition is run, there is no doubt that – should it take off – the Super League would have a massive impact on football all over Europe. What do you think of a Super League competition involving only the best teams from around Europe?

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Published: 12/05/2018