Two wild days of football have left their mark following the attempt of 12 major European elite clubs to create their own Super League.
The debate has shown how fragile the billion-dollar business can be and ruling body UEFA emerges strengthened for the time being. But the economic problems of several leaders of the football leaders havent’t been solved. The top clubs will be looking for new answers.
What was really behind the Super League plans?
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli planned the project long in advance. The official announcement, made the night before UEFA executive committee meeting to approve a Champions League reform, was then a deliberate coup. The expected changes in the top European competition were not enough for them. However, they underestimated the fan factor and the football culture.
In retrospect, it’s now clear what motivated them all – money. New markets are necessary to offer a solution to the billions in debts they have amassed. English clubs followed, not out of conviction, but as sympathizers.
Is the Super League off the table once and for all?
The clear answer: No. The massive rejection will certainly be followed by a time out. After a period of reorientation, the top clubs are likely to reassert their influence, presumably within the UEFA hierarchy – or at least with the backing of other stakeholders. The Champions League is getting closer to the Super League idea from 2024 anyway and FIFA is prepared to implement the global Club World Cup.
Perez isn’t giving up yet. “They’re completely wrong,” he told SER radio about the critics who have declared the project dead. He doesn’t think the other football clubs have left the Super League because “it’s clear in the contract that you can’t leave.”
How will the fans deal with the twelve founder clubs in future?
There are unlikely to be any major protests like fan demonstrations in the streets of London for the time being. Several bosses expressed their remorse clearly. And in the final spurt of the season it’s all about titles. That’s probably what draws the supporters in. But organised fan groups sense an opportunity to point out their interests even more forcefully. “The real battle begins now,” the Football Supporters Europe (FSE) network wrote.
Should the twelve founders fear any punishment?
It doesn’t look like it at the moment. The loss of influence at UEFA and the European Club Association is punishment enough for now. And UEFA doesn’t want to damage its current competitions such as the Champions League and the Euros in summer. The Champions League semi-finals are coming up with Real Madrid playing Chelsea and Manchester City playing Paris Saint-Germain. No superstar will be suspended for the Euro 2020.
Will German and French football get more influence in the future?
German and French football are definitely crisis winners. Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge returned into UEFA executive committee, while Paris Saint-Germain boss Nasser Al-Khelaifi was appointed chairman at the European Club Association. Both clubs had said they would not join the Super League. Whether and how this pays off in everyday football remains to be seen.