The European Super League; When The People Won

by Johanna Roelich

To say the last couple of days of football updates has been eventful would be a massive understatement. If you haven’t been able to keep up, we’ve pulled a lowdown of the past 48 hour madness.

Right, firstly; Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City signed up to a breakaway “Super League”.

The deal would have marked the greatest revolution in European football since the 1950s, and could have killed the lucrative Champions League. This announcement understandably caused heartbreak with fans and sporting heroes around the country, calling this break away a selfish act by the wealthiest people in the sport. The rage was high as people took to social media, the stadiums of these top six English clubs and the streets, to protest their anger.

England’s “big six” signed up with six other European teams for a plot which would change the game as we know it. They are joined by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid from LaLiga in Spain, plus Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan from Serie A in Italy.

The Super League would see two groups of 10 clubs, with the top four from each group going through to a knockout phase that would be similar to the current Champions League. Matches would still be midweek and could continue alongside traditional domestic competition. The main advantage for the 15 founders is guaranteed entry – and the revenue that goes with it – each year.

Even with the proposed changes to the Champions League, there remained a possibility teams could fail to qualify. The proposed European Super League would have eliminated that risk.

So, how has football reacted to the Super League news?

Almost universal condemnation from everyone but the clubs involved. Gary Neville, the former Manchester United and England defender, was among those outraged by plans which could cause untold financial damage to smaller clubs – but create billions more for the top clubs.

“I’m a Manchester United fan and I have been for 40 years of my life but I’m absolutely disgusted,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool most. Liverpool, they pretend ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, the people’s club, the fans’ club. Manchester United, 100 years borne out of workers round here, and they’re breaking away into a league without competition, that they can’t be relegated from? It’s an absolute disgrace.”

Neville was just one amongst, pretty much the entirety of the football industry that spoke out against these plans. I haven’t even began to touch on Spurs sacking manager Jose Mourinho for expressing his opinion on this. Madness.

Liverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson had said on social media his side’s “collective position” was that they did not want the breakaway to go ahead.

“We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen,” read a message that was also posted by many fellow Liverpool players.

“No To Super League” was trending on every social media channel going for around 48 hours. A social media managers worst nightmare.

So, following this outbreak of furious fans, the people actually won. All six Premier teams withdraw from the competition.

Manchester City were the first club to pull out after Chelsea had signalled their intent to do so by preparing documentation to withdraw. The other four sides – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – have all now followed suit. The Super League said it would reconsider “the most appropriate steps to reshape the project”.

It is still uncertain whether the remaining six clubs, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid and Italy’s AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus will withdrawal too.

The people won. Now, they’re looking for an apology.

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