The formation of the European Super League was announced in April 2021
The 12 European Super League founders will each receive 3.5 billion euros
Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid are all set to compete in the inaugural ESL season
The moment that football fans around the world dreaded finally came on April 18th 2021 – the formation of a European Super League is very much alive.
Despite criticism from supporters, managers and football’s governing bodies, the European Super League has moved one step closer to completion after 12 clubs officially signed up to play in the competition.
European Super League:
There have been discussions surrounding a European Super League for years but an official statement regarding the tournament has sent shockwaves across the football universe.
Here, we look at the European Super League competition in detail and consider what the move would mean for football betting fans in England and across the continent.
What Is The European Super League?
Essentially, the European Super League is a new midweek competition that will see 12 of Europe’s leading football clubs compete in a bid to be crowned Super League champions.
The European Super League proposal involves these 12 ‘Founding Clubs’ forming their own competition to rival the UEFA Champions League and the ESL is set to change the landscape of European football.
According to the proposal, the founding clubs would be guaranteed their places in the ESL – and that was confirmed on 19th April 2021 with teams agreeing to join the European Super League for an initial 23 years.
With no relegation from the competition, these 12 clubs will be secure in the Super League for the entire 23 years. According to reports, each founder team will receive a whopping 3.5 billion euros for committing to the European Super League venture.
How Will The Super League Be Financed?
American bank JP Morgan has committed to financing the European Super League project, with around $5 billion going to the creation of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the 12 Founding clubs released a statement, claiming that the breakaway clubs will receive 3.5 billion euros to support infrastructure plans following a difficult year for the biggest football clubs in the world.
European Super League Founding Clubs
According to the latest news, 12 football clubs from across Europe have signed up for the European Super League – including six Premier League teams.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – widely regarded as the ‘Big 6’ in English football prediction tips – are set to compete in the Super League’s inaugural campaign.
Meanwhile, European giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have also joined as European Super League founding clubs, along with fellow La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid.
Over in Italy, the European Super League has managed to acquire Juventus, AC Milan and current Serie A leaders Inter to partake in the new ESL competition.
As of April 19th 2021, there will be no German club in the European Super League after both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund rejected an approach to join the Super League.
European Super League Format
According to the official Super League website, the Super League would consist of 20 of Europe’s biggest football clubs, with 15 founding clubs and five annual qualifiers.
The proposal states that there will be two groups of 10 clubs each, with home and away fixtures within the group each season.
The Super League website states: “Following the group stage, eight clubs will qualify for a knockout tournament, playing home and away until the single-match Super League championship, in a dramatic four-week end to the season.
“Games will be played midweek, and all clubs will remain in their domestic leagues.”
That point is particularly interesting given the Premier League, UEFA and other governing bodies have condemned the proposal and a legal battle looks likely.
The European Super League statement from the 12 Founding clubs also refers to a plan to continue competing in their respective domestic leagues, preserving the traditional match calendar which is still very much at the heart of club football.
Why Has The European Super League Been Formed Now?
Reports claim that the 12 founding clubs have been heavily involved in the planning of the European Super League and a statement was released in the ESL announcement on 18th April 2021.
The Super League founding clubs claim that the formation of the competition has been accelerated due to instability in the existing European football model.
Furthermore, the 12 Founding clubs believe that the Super League fulfils the objective of improving the quality of European football competition, with the new format encouraging top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
However, critics have hit back at the Super League founding clubs, suggesting that financial greed is the main reason for the formation of a European Super League competition.
According to some reports, the European Super League clubs will receive huge sums of money for participating in the competition – figures that dwarf the financial reward for competing in the UEFA Champions League.
Who Is The Chairman of The European Super League?
As confirmed on April 18th 2021, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is the first ever Chairman of the Super League.
Perez has been President of Real Madrid for two terms, the first was a six-year stint from 2000 to 2006 while his current spell at the helm started in June 2009.
However, Perez is not alone in the European Super League hierarchy. Here is the current list of figures in charge of Super League proceedings:
Florentino Perez – European Super League Chairman
Andrea Agnelli – European Super League vice-chairman
Joel Glazer – European Super League vice-chairman
European Super League Statement
The European Super League released a statement on 18th April 2021, with Founding Clubs offering their support to the venture.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the inaugural Chair of the Super League, said: “We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world.
“Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
Meanwhile, Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has been appointed vice-chairman of the Super League and he said: “Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies.
“We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”
Finally, Joel Glazer, Co-Chairman of Manchester United and also vice-chairman of the new European Super League revealed: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
What Does The Super League Mean For The Champions League?
The creation of a European Super League would effectively replace the Champions League and that is why UEFA, European football’s governing body, have condemned the proposal.
The Super League developments on April 18th came just 24 hours before UEFA were set to reveal their own Champions League reforms, which were set to compromise with those clubs in favour of a breakaway competition by offering more matches.
Media reports claim those reforms were due to come into effect in 2024, with an expansion to 36 Champions League teams and increasing number of games from 125 to 225.
Furthermore, reforms were likely to favour many of the clubs central to the European Super League formation, with a safety net of four qualification spots for clubs based on previous European performance.
Unfortunately for football fans across the continent, it looks like those reforms were not revolutionary enough for Europe’s biggest football clubs – certainly not for the 12 founder clubs anyway.
Ramifications Of European Super League
While Super League founding clubs state that they wish to continue playing in their domestic leagues, the individual competitions may not allow teams to compete in both tournaments.
For example, Premier League rules L.9 says clubs must obtain ‘prior written approval of the Board’ if they wish to enter a competition other than the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, FA Community Shield, Carabao Cup or any other competition sanctioned by the county association.
In addition, any player whose club formally agrees to join an unsanctioned competition is at risk of not playing in any UEFA or FIFA tournament, including the European Championships and World Cup.
Back in January, FIFA revealed that a breakaway league would not be recognised and that “any club or player involved in such a competition as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation.”
FIRST PUBLISHED: 19th April 2021