The brand new European Super League has officially been announced and Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among twelve teams who have agreed to join.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have joined six other leading European football clubs to create the brand new European Super League.
Organisers of the new football league claim that the ESL will generate even more money than the Champions League, praising the "significantly greater economic growth and support" it will provide European football. In a statement provided by president of Real Madrid and the first chairman of the Super League, Florentino Pérez also shared that “We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world." He also added "Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
However, the news of the European Super League has been met with overwhelming amounts of criticism. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new league would "strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country." Adding his belief that "The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps."
The announcement has also caused outrage across social media, particularly amongst fans associated with the six English clubs involved. In relation to the news, the hashtag #RIPFootball is trending across all channels, followed by the repeated phrase "created by poor, stolen by the rich."
One fan on Twitter wrote "These clubs have taken our passion for granted and are exploiting our loyalty to make money." Liverpool's fan club Spirit of Shankly (SOS) have also spoken out, sharing that they were "appalled" by the decision, writing "FSG have ignored fans in their relentless and greedy pursuit of money. Football is ours, not theirs. Our football club is ours not theirs."
Additionally, the news of the new competition has strategically come just a day before UEFA were set to announce exciting changes to the Champions League, including a proposed 36-team expansion. In a joint statement between the UEFA, the FA, and the Premier League they made their opposition to the new league very apparent , writing that they "will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever." They also added "We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this" and called upon "all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced."
As it stands the league consists of 12 founding members but it's expected that three additional clubs will added to lineup soon. It has also been proposed that the competition will feature a total of 20 different teams, five of which will have to qualify annually and the rest will be made up of the eventual 15 founding members. The format will then see the clubs split into two groups of 10 where they will play each other home and away in midweek fixtures that would aim to begin in August each year. The top three in each group will then quality for the quarter finals and the fourth and fifth placed teams will undertake a two-legged play-off for the two remaining spots. After that point the competition will use the same two-leg knockout format used in the Champions League, ending in a single-leg final in May at a neutral venue.
News has also just broke out that Jose Mourinho, Head Coach of Tottenham Hotspurs has been sacked, just hours after Tottenham were revealed as one of the major Premier League clubs to participate in the ESL. Former England striker and football legend Gary Lineker sarcastically responded to the news of Mourinho's departure via Twitter, writing "Jose Mourinho is fired. He is the first of the European Super League managers to lose their job."
With the exceedingly negative reaction from the public, players, politicians and other organisations, it's hard to predict how the future of the ESL will map out.
Do you think fans will ever get onboard? Will the ESL be able to get the plans passed despite the major opposition from other leagues and organisations? Is this really the end of Football? And are you personally in favour of the European Super League?
Join the conversation and let us know what you have to say on the matter.
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