So, you’ll no doubt have heard that football as we know it could be about to change forever, but what exactly is the new European Super League and what’s all the fuss about?
It’s not yet entirely clear how all the plans will come together, but read on for our round-up of everything we know so far…
What is the Super League?
It’s a new breakaway competition being set up by some of Europe’s biggest football clubs.
Which clubs are involved?
At the moment, it’s just 12 teams: Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Some big names seem to be missing…?
The likes of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have so far said they don’t want to be a part of it, but Man City were saying the same yesterday, so things can and probably will change quickly.
We want to hear your thoughts on the #SuperLeague
First up, be honest – good idea or bad idea?
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) April 19, 2021
Why is this happening?
The clubs involved would say plans have been accelerated due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but talk of a Super League has been brewing for well over ten years.
So there’s a lot of money involved?
You can say that again. A statement from the Super League website said: “Founding clubs will receive an amount of €3.5bn solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the Covid pandemic. The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football … and [solidarity payments] are expected to be in excess of €10bn during the course of the initial commitment period of the clubs.”
How will it affect the other big leagues and competitions?
This is still not entirely clear. The clubs involved want to continue playing in their domestic leagues and competitions like the Champions League and the Europa League, but UEFA and FIFA have made it clear they’re strongly opposed to these plans and could threaten to kick the teams out. Whether they follow through on that threat is another matter.
When is it due to start?
The Super League website states that the plan is for the new tournament to kick off in August this year.
When would games be played?
The current idea is that they would be midweek games, but the scheduling might depend on what happens to these teams with regards to their futures in FIFA and UEFA competitions.
Why is everyone so angry about it?
Several reasons. Mainly because the rules state there’d be no relegation from the Super League, and it could lead to, for example, the big six being thrown out of the Premier League. And even if not, it devalues the integrity of other competitions if these big clubs can remain part of their secure, super-rich bubble regardless of their performances in other competitions.