The European Super League and its Critics

by Emrys Westacott

The scheme

Two weeks ago European soccer world was rocked by an announcement that 12 of the top clubs had agreed among themselves to form a European Super League (ESL) to replace the existing European Champions League (ECL). The “dirty dozen” were Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham. These teams were to be joined by another 8, bringing the total up to 20. A defining feature of the ESL would be that 15 of its members would be guaranteed their place in the competition no matter how they performed the previous year or in their domestic competitions.

The backlash

The proposal unleashed a tsunami of criticism from all sides. Official organizations like EUFA and the English Premier League, clubs not included among the elite, respected players and coaches, pundits, politicians and fans all voiced their opposition. In consequence, the scheme crashed and burned on take-off. Within 72 hours the six elite English clubs involved had pulled out and their owners were issuing mea culpas and begging forgiveness from the fans. Read more »