Football might not be quite the same anymore. Twelve of the richest and most storied football clubs in Europe announced that they had formed a breakaway European club competition that would change everything that we have known about the beautiful game for nearly a century.
The breakaway clubs which include Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Manchester United and Liverpool in England, and Juventus and AC Milan in Italy confirmed their plans last night and also added that they were planning to add at least three more founding members and hold matches between the clubs mid-week, that would go on to help the league pose as direct competition for the existing UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid club president Florentino Perez was named the first chairman of the ‘European Super League’, who went on to say that “we will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world.”
But on the contrary, the ideals that the Super League is structured around hardly look to do that. The league that has been agreed to be formed is an alliance of top clubs in Europe closer in concept to closed leagues like the NFL and the NBA than the current football pyramid.
According to the announcement, the founding clubs will split 3.5 billion euros (almost $4.2billion) for signing on to establish “a sustainable financial foundation.” Each founding club will receive about $400 million; a sum of money that is four times what Bayern Munich, winners of the 2020 Champions League took home.
The concept of the competition has been condemned by European football officials, as the Premier League as well as the UEFA labelled the proposal as a “cynical project” – and so did thousands of fans online.
Liverpool fans have further gone ahead with their protests as they placed banners outside Anfield opposing the formation of The Super League. Both the banners had clear cut messages against their owners as one read ‘LFC fans against European Super League’ and the other ‘shame on you RIP LFC 1892 – 2021’ –
Anfield right now. pic.twitter.com/NDYut0BWk8— Craig Austin (@CampioneeLFC) April 19, 2021
No French teams or German teams will take part in the inaugural edition, while FIFA on Sunday expressed its “disapproval” of the concept of a closed league. Whether the decision goes through or not, it is safe to say that the commencement of the tournament will stand against all of the ideals promoted by what we know as the beautiful game – where even the underdog can surprise the heavyweights.
Fairytale stories are at the centre of what we know as the magic of knockout competitions, and the concept of a closed Super League is against all the values that truly make the sport beautiful in its own way.