'European Super League'- the big debate

Jack Smillie and Sesha Subramanian debate the pros and cons of a potential 'European Super League'.

Jack Smillie
19th November 2018
Image- Flickr

Against- Jack Smillie

It was indeed a dark day for football when Der Spiegel lifted the lid on clandestine meetings between Europe’s elite tycoons. Imagine a world where greed runs rampant, hubris is the norm and betrayal is no longer punished. The rich can do as they please. Football’s death knell is just years away from knocking.

Whilst football clubs are businesses and not charities, club owners must owe a degree of diligence to supporters and spectators. It is undeniable that the new, secretive European Super League is fundamentally about making rich owners richer, billionaires multi-billionaires. It’s hard to actually find anyone else in favour of this idea.

Temporarily stepping aside from this, Premier League club owners have recently come under fire for moves which were seen to be purely financially motivated. Fulham, currently sitting at the foot of the table, have absurdly raised ticket prices once again this season. When this spirals out of control, to what extent are fans going to be priced out of the game? A similar question begs in regards to the supposed Super League. I highly doubt that a match ticket to watch the likes of Real Madrid v Manchester United will be inexpensive. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

Money is by no means the only issue with the League. A breakaway bandit league would devalue existing institutions and football as we know it. The Champions League and the vast incentives it offers would be no more. Europe’s top divisions would be weakened. International football would also be ruined, with FIFA pledging banning orders to any breakaway member.

If England’s so-called big six outcast Tottenham and leave as a five, there could be a genuine possibility that Spurs may dominate the Premier League for the foreseeable future. Whilst this could totally blow open an already fairly competitive league, the risk of a one team hegemony still exists a la Celtic.

Nonetheless, the League would portray a bad image for the sport. A competition - and I really do use that noun lightly - with no relegation for founding members would be categorically boring and exist to serve as nothing more than a cash cow. It isn’t unreasonable to suggest that, lacking credibility and integrity, this League fails to materialise. Perhaps it’s an elaborate bargaining chip which the El Classico clubs can use in order to take an even more preposterous share of La Liga’s finances.

For- Sesha Subramanian

The UEFA Champions League is a wonderful competition – no question about that. It’s given us many memorable matches and many wonderful moments. But maybe it’s time to move on.

The Football Leaks data revealed on German outlet Der Spiegel that some big names in European football, apparently spearheaded by German champions Bayern Munich wanted to start a new league with other big clubs across the continent including Juventus, Manchester City, and Paris St. Germain among others that would run for the entire season.

The German club vehemently denies the allegation but personally, I would not be averse to a new Europe-wide league that runs for 34 weeks featuring the best teams in the continent. From a footballing point of view, this is a fairer, more competitive way of deciding the best team in the continent. Right now, with the knockout rounds in the Champions League, there is sometimes a feeling that one team gets an easier draw than the other in the run to the finals – for example. That would not be the case when there is a 34-week season and the winner has to make it past the best teams in Europe. The winner would be a deserved champion and more  importantly, a worthy champion.

This new European Super League also would add to the excitement of football. Manchester City may not dominate European teams the way they dominate England last season. The league would feature close games, would have more unpredictability and a higher level of performances than the current Champions League sometimes provides. It can prove to be a stage when the cream will truly rise to the top and some of the best football – both from a playing perspective but also from a coaching point of view – will be seen.

Financially, the move is substantially more lucrative for teams and television companies than the current format. Having the best teams go at it every week against each other is bound to guarantee high viewing numbers throughout the year unlike now when television companies have to figure out how many people will watch Manchester City play Shakhtar Donetsk before deciding whether it is a worthwhile effort to televise the game.

In conclusion, the new European Super League is a much better advertisement for quality football than the Champions League and while some of the teams may not like it, it has the potential to be a more competitive, a more lucrative and overall a better league than anything we have seen before as football fans.

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