On April 19, twelve European top clubs came with the news that they were going to form a new top league. This news led to a lot of criticism and indignant reaction: why do these clubs want to form a league of their own and why should it be done in such a way? The twelve clubs that have agreed to the proposal are: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester city, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Milan, Internazionale and Juventus.
Structure of the Super League
The moment of the announcement of the Super League is no accidental timing. UEFA would today present the plans for the new format of the Champions League for 2024. The twelve clubs presented the plans for the Super League earlier on the same day and the competition should start from next August. The clubs would then play in the Super League on Tuesday and Wednesday and continue to play in their own league on the weekend.
In total, twenty clubs should participate in the competition, so at the moment there are twelve. Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG have reacted skeptically and do not seem to want to be part of the new competition. Rumors have it that Porto and Leipzig will fill these spots.
Guarantee of income
One of the main reasons for the clubs to start a new league is the guarantee of European football at the highest level every year. At the moment, all of these clubs are subject to UEFA’s standard placement requirements. By finishing in their own league within the top four, these clubs qualify for Champions League football and guarantee themselves a large income.
Because the big clubs play with huge budgets, making it to Champions League football is crucial. When they have a bad season, they miss this income and often run into problems with the budget. Clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona had previously filed a claim with UEFA for a guarantee of placement for the Champions League, regardless of their position in the rankings at the end of the season.
Criticism from Gary Neville
The clubs plan has met with much criticism. Former football player and Sky analyst Gary Neville went viral last night with a fiery speech. As a former Manchester United footballer, he finds it a shame that his club is also just participating in the plans. His biggest rival Liverpool, who, according to Neville, ‘has always taken good care of the supporters from the city’, also shows that he is not in reality at all. “We are in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, smaller amateur-level clubs and Championships are going bankrupt and the only thing these clubs can think about is more money,” said the former defender.
“Clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United don’t deserve to play in the Champions League. Arsenal has been mismanaging for years and cannot even qualify for the top five, and now they want to play in the biggest league? My club Manchester United also does not deserve it in recent years, give them a fine, let them be relegated! And a club like Leicester that has a great season is not allowed to participate? It makes me emotional and is the complete opposite of what football should be ”.
Neville’s response clearly reflects how most football supporters think about it and on social media people are massively saying that they support Neville’s words.
Criticism from unions and government
UEFA has now announced that they will implement harsh sanctions and threatens to exclude the clubs from the national football association. They also threaten to exclude the players from every UEFA tournament such as the European Championship or the World Cup. The KNVB also announced that it agreed with UEFA, just like other European associations. Whether the Super League will continue or whether it will only be used as a blackmail tool against UEFA will become clear in the coming weeks. The fact is that the vast majority of people are against the arrival of the Super League.