The world stood still, shockwaves ringing around the globe at around 11:30 on the 18th April, 2021. An unthinkable proposition, one so firmly opposed to the idea of sport and competition, it blindsided the football world, players and fans alike.
12 Football clubs, including 6 Premier League clubs, announced they would be forming their own competition – the Super League. A midweek tournament, featuring 15 top European clubs who are guaranteed a spot each season, plus 5 lucky clubs who will be invited, with each team offered a mouth watering £350,000,000 just for the first season alone. It’s easy to see the allure that hundreds of millions of pounds to these greedy, greedy owners, but the worst part of the endeavour is the discovery with just how little the owners of the clubs really care about us, the local football fan.
Led by tyrannical Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, the Super League have completely disregarded the fans of their clubs – or as they call them, Legacy Fans – by forming this competition of Europe’s Elite. Clubs were formed, over a hundred years ago mostly, by local workers as a place for, and part of, the community. Over the years, money and success have diluted the connection between fan and club, and the influx of foreign owners into the Premier League and the Championship has blurred the lines even further. Is the club still the local communities club, which is owned by an American Owner, with a squad full of millionaire foreigners and a millionaire foreign manager at the helm? With a board of directors from all over the globe with no connection, and who couldn’t care less about, the fans of the club that line their pockets.
The Super League spells disaster for the English football pyramid as a whole. As if the worldwide plague known as Covid-19 has not struck lower league clubs as hard as possible, now the Top 6 clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Spurs – have committed to this multi billion pound farce, the money generated in the English league is set to plummet. The billion pound Television deals from Sky, BT and the like, are heavily predicated on the fact that people want to watch the top teams. When Burnley get to play live on Sky Sports, unless they’re playing a Man United or Liverpool, then the viewership levels drop immensely. The big 6 clubs are a draw, and they know exactly how much of a draw they are, or else the Super League idea would not be at all possible. The question left begging is that can the league survive without them? Can the struggling, debt ridden club afford to keep running without the big money trickling down, giving them a lifeline and a hope of getting to the big time?
The decimation of competition is the saddest part of all. The UEFA Champions League, even in it’s diluted form, letting about 15 English clubs in a year, is still the pinnacle of club football, where the big boys go to test themselves and see if they match up to the Bayern Munich’s and Barcelona’s of the world. Winning the competition not only nets you hundreds of millions, it gets you glory. You know whoever won that league is the best. Leicester City were in the championship a couple of years ago. They narrowly lost to Atletico Madrid in the quarter finals after their historic Title win (which could have been the catalyst for this very idea) and everyone knew that they had earned their place and deserved to be there.
They could win the Premier League for the next 10 years, and not get a sniff at the Super League. If Perez and Glazer don’t want you in, then you’re out of the league and with it miss out on the biggest payday in football. It’s a closed shop, with the richest and most arrogant bankers, princes and trust fund kids in charge, and their only goal is to make as much money as possible, football worldwide be damned. They don’t care if the sport people love is destroyed forever, the thing communities are built upon, the thing people spent their week dreaming about, base their lives around. One executive at the clubs said that “the wider footballing world is secondary” to making a bajillion pounds on a league that everyone hates already, before a ball has been kicked.
From Gary Neville, Gary Lineker and Bruno Fernandes, to James Corden, Boris Johnson and Prince William (Meghan Markle’s lack of comment has not caused any outrage yet) people from up and down the country and across the globe have condemned the Super League and condemned the owners of these pathetic clubs. Lets hope something gets done about it.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.