There was no way it was going to die a permanent death.
The original European Super League, proposed back in 2021, fell through after a handful of invited clubs – including Arsenal, Chelsea and both halves of Manchester – dropped out in the wake of a public backlash.
If fan sentiment had been more positive, you wonder if they’d have taken the money and joined in….
A22 Sports Management, the company that brokered that original ESL plan alongside bosses from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, has gone back to the drawing board and come up with new blueprints for a European competition outside of UEFA sanctioning.
They promise an ‘open’, more democratic Super League, with all clubs given the chance to qualify – it won’t be ringfenced for the founding members only.
Bernd Reichart, the head of A22, has promised that the new European Super League will be based upon sporting performance. He said:
“The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing. It’s time for a change. It is the clubs that bear the entrepreneurial risk in football.
“But when important decisions are at stake, they are too often forced to sit idly by on the sidelines as the sporting and financial foundations crumble around them.”
That is thought to be a dig at UEFA, who have sat by idly twiddling their thumbs as Premier League clubs once again smashed transfer spending records in January without any fear that the governing body might actually punish them for breaking Financial Fair Play rules beyond a meaningless fine.
What are the New European Super League Proposals?
A22 claim they have undertaken ‘comprehensive stakeholder dialogue’ to ascertain a system that is more appealing to clubs, fans and commercial interests.
A press release from A22 reveals that their feedback has suggested that a ‘European football league that is open [and] based solely on sporting merit’ is the order of the day, and that the multi-dimensional competition could have as many as 60 to 80 clubs involved, with a minimum of 14 games each per season.
Curiously, the proposal would allow for clubs to remain in their domestic leagues – this would be, effectively, a replacement for the Champions League, Europa League and any other competitions UEFA has up its sleeve.
It’s a deliberately divisive idea that would, effectively, cut UEFA out of continental club football if many of the big clubs gave it the green light.
How will the governing body react? They have enjoyed a monopoly for decades, and have provided an opportunity for their member clubs to engage in financial doping without fear of sanction – if European football was a fair and level playing field, discussions of a ‘Super League’ would never even surface.
Reichart has said that clubs involved in the European Super League will only be allowed spend money on transfer fees and salaries ‘….based solely on the funds generated and not on competitively distorting capital injections.’ That is another thinly-veiled insult aimed at UEFA.
So yeah, here we go again. A new European Super League that promises democracy and fairness. Those behind it will need to convince football’s decision-makers that they can practice what they preach before any such competition sees the light of day.