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Far-Fetched Friday: The European Super League Is on the Way
By: Jake Lofgren
The European Super League has become a hot topic again across social media. In Josep Bartomeu's recent resignation speech as Barcelona president, he slipped in a statement that the European Super League was of interest to Barcelona. This league would include only the largest clubs across Europe. A new competition like the Champions League had been rumored for a while, but here is why it might go beyond rumors and actually happen.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we look at a proposal that generates as much fear as it does excitement.
More Meaningful Games
The Champions League has lost some of its relevance as of late. The group stages are now very predictable, and big clubs are never really pinned against each other until the later stages of the competition. It makes you question how much of a "Champions" League it is when Lyon can make it to the semi-finals in the same season they place seventh in the French league. Or when teams from Spain and England can scrape into the top four to qualify for the competition instead of actually being "Champions." For the largest clubs across Europe, this competition would allow them to skip the games against Dynamo Kyiv or Ferencvaros and get right into the games against other big teams. Owners are starting to think to themselves now, why prioritize playing Sheffield United twice, and Club Brugge twice when they could instead play Real Madrid and earn much more money in the process.
The setup for a European Super League is still all rumors, but the goal would be to get all teams in the league to play meaningful games immediately. The competition would most likely function as a league, meaning a round-robin format where all the teams play each other twice at home and away, skipping the luck of knockout matches or predictable group stages. It would essentially be a European Premier League that features all the most famous clubs from around Europe. The European Super League probably would take over the Champions League, allowing these games during the week and domestic games on the weekends.
Lack of League Competition
For teams like Bayern, PSG, and Juventus, their goal for a while has been to win the Champions League. Winning their domestic leagues hasn't really been a struggle for them. Bayern has won the last eight league trophies, PSG has won seven out of eight, and Juventus is at nine in a row. So naturally, these clubs have shifted their focus on winning the Champions League. But this lack of competition could ignite a desire for the European Super League even more. So the involvement of these clubs and even Barca and Real Madrid is easy to see, but the inclusion of Premier League clubs could be more difficult. The Premier League currently has a disparity at the top and is already the most popular league in the world. Although the owners of the clubs in England that would get an invite are not going to turn this down if recent reports are to be believed.
Owners of the biggest clubs over Europe know the amount of income they could bring in by playing each other consistently. With a lack of competition domestically, it makes more sense for these bigger clubs to risk losing to each other than risk losing to a small club back home. Barcelona benefited more financially for losing 8-2 to Bayern or Juventus in a knockout loss to Lyon than either of those teams losing in La Liga or the Serie A. A closed league format featuring the likes of Bayern, Liverpool, Barcelona, and others playing a round-robin sounds like a competition that football fans would fall in love with.
Maybe after a few years, this competition will lose its excitement, but the profits are inevitably higher. Owners know they have a monopoly over their fans, where the Premier League can now start charging 15 pounds to watch a Sheffield United vs. Fulham game over in England. They have done this not only to make up for lost revenue due to COVID-19 but also because they know their fans will buy it. Fans are going to pay money to watch their teams play, so just imagine how an opportunity like the European Super League looks to the owners.
Although this is still nothing more than a rumor, with presidents of big clubs now having to answer questions about it, this is starting to feel inevitable. The revenue potential and opportunities for these big clubs look like too much for the owners to turn down. Fans might not be interested in this at first, but let's be honest, all fans would still eat up this competition.
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