European Super League: a “hostile takeover” of Champions League

28 Oct 2020

A European Super League has ceased to be a vague dream on the part of Europe’s elite clubs and is on the verge of become reality. Josep Maria Bartomeu’s final act as Barcelona president was to announce during his resignation speech on Tuesday that the Liga giants had agreed in principle to join a breakaway league involving the richest teams from the wealthiest leagues on the continent. Among those clubs who have reportedly also expressed their support are Real Madrid, PSG, Atlético Madrid, AC Milan, Inter, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester United.

The new European Super League, which is being mooted under the working title of the “European Premier League,” is intended to be an independent NBA-esque 18-team style competition with final play-offs in one venue and backed by JP Morgan bank, who have offered to stump up a €5 billion credit line to the organizers of the proposed league.

If it goes ahead, the first edition of the European Super League is scheduled to take place in September 2022, a couple of months before the World Cup in Qatar. According to various media outlets including Sky Sports and Sports Illustrated, Real Madrid and Atlético have been actively pursuing such a scenario along with Barcelona. The owners of Liverpool and Manchester United, the Fenway Sports Group and the Glazer family respectively, are said to be the main players in seeking financing from Wall Street for the venture.

UEFA will do “everything to ensure Super League never happens”

UEFA has responded to what amounts to a hostile takeover of the Champions League by saying it goes against the values of football, solidarity and equality. “First of all, we will do everything that Super League never happens,” Ceferin told Reuters. “I’m not sure if the clubs want a Super League, they are just pushing it with threats….and they succeeded.

“Those changes are clearly not in favour of small and mid-sized associations,” he said. “The process was not good. The clubs didn’t know anything about it and that should be changed in the future.

We should tell them that the majority of good players in the world are not just from a few countries and that without including all the small ones football will lose,” Ceferin added. “The gap is wider and wider and I agree it will be worse and worse.”

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