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Three cheers for the European Super League!

Nothing official yet but it would appear that there are plans for a European Super League. Yes, I know you’re thinking, “Don’t we already have one of those?” Sort of, except that the Champions League is not a league let alone one of champions. This, on the other hand, would be a proper week-in, week-out competition to determine who – really – is the best team in the world.

Shockingly, some people don’t seem to like it. UEFA doesn’t like it. FIFA doesn’t like it. The British Government – you really would have thought that Boris Johnson would have bigger things on his mind right now – doesn’t like it. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “If *a**e*s like FIFA and the British government are against it, it must be a good thing.” And you know what? you are absolutely right. But there are other reasons to like it. What it means is that ordinary people will be able to watch the best football in the world on a weekly basis. It also means that the footballers who people actually want to watch will get their just rewards. In many ways it is just as revolutionary as the creation of the Premier League in 1993 or the creation of the world’s first league in 1888 or the decision to ban handling and kicking people in the shins. Frankly, it’s about bloody time.

Of course, it is bad news for rubbish teams. But who cares about them? As it happens, I do. I support one of them, well, when they’re not promoting communist thuggery (but that’s another story). But I don’t expect the world to be discombobulated just so I can watch them pulverise the best team on the planet every once in a while. I will still be able to support them – subject to semi-permanent Covid restrictions, of course. They’ll just have to cut their coat to suit their cloth that’s all. Who knows, maybe the competition will stir the game’s organisers to improve it. Perhaps, we’ll see an end to the ridiculous offside rule or sin-bins instead of bookings or even the re-introduction of handling and kicking people in the shins.

36 comments to Three cheers for the European Super League!

  • APL

    This, on the other hand, would be a proper week-in, week-out

    Good god. As if we needed more football.

  • John Lewis

    The insatiable greed of players and agents was already alienating supporters well before Covid. Add to that the kneeling and lecturing by uneducated multi-millionaires who are feted for telling governments how to spend taxpayer money without noticeably donating any of their own.

    UEFA is another culprit endlessly expanding the size of its already bloated competitions. The Europa is good for nothing other than blooding juniors and squad players. The group stages of the “Champions” league are no better. As for the premier league insisting on 20 teams when most other countries have settled on a top division of 16……

    FIFA’s mandatory and meaningless “friendly” weeks are no help at all. We knew they were irredeemably corrupt and incompetent. It has clearly permeated downwards.

    The game, it’s administration, structure and participants are all guilty. Let it burn.

  • Patrick Crozier

    For the record the French, Spanish and Italian leagues all have 20 teams. The Bundesliga has 18.

  • Penseivat

    As clubs have to be invited to take part in the FA Cup competition, all the FA has to do is not invite those British clubs who join this super league. Accrington Stanley for the Cup, 2022!

  • John Lewis

    Thank you Patrick. I stand corrected.

  • Stonyground

    I don’t see why more football is a problem. I’m not remotely interested in it but if others want to play it and watch it it isn’t doing me any harm.

  • Mark

    A lot of ball kickers on £100k a week or whatever seem to be getting very upset at this disgusting, cynical greed.

    Ditto those who happily pay £40 odd for shirts made by pound a day slaves in India.

    Am I the only one who couldn’t give a toss?

  • Lee Moore

    I was amused to see that the Premier League was reported to be amongst those complaining – since the Premier League was itself created by an almost identical “coup” against the Football League.

    I suspect Boris is on the right side of this politically though. Agin the fat cats.

  • Dan

    No. It’s gonna be boring af. The best football in the world, are you kidding me? Liverpool vs. Real any other week? I’d rather watch second tier football.

    And it’s not gonna happen anyway. Just scare tactics so that UEFA makes amends to their already outrageous Champions League changes.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Yes, one of the amusing things about this has been the sight of highly-paid pundits and administrators accusing others of “greed”.

  • James Strong

    These football businesses are misnamed as ‘clubs’.

    A club has membership, membership fees and voting rights for members.

    None of that applies to top level professional teams in England.

    Supporting your ‘club’ against my ‘club’ makes no more sense than supporting Sainsburys because you shop there against Morrisions where I shop.

    Re-name them ‘franchises’ and perhaps the loyalty of supporters, which I regard as absurd, would be diluted.

    But it’s their choice, I suppose.

    No skin off my nose if the West London Franchise (formerly Chelsea) wins, loses or draws against the Merseyside Franchise (formerly Liverpool.)

  • Lee Moore

    While we’re on sports, btw, I’d like to recommend for those who haven’t spotted it yet – Women’s Rugby. I’ve been watching the Women’s Six Nations and frankly it’s a much better spectacle than the Men’s at present. (With better refs too – I’m looking at you Pascal.)

    The Men’s is now 78 mins of slugfesty WW1 style tackle and recycle for half a yard lost, alternating with kick tennis, sprinkled with entirely random penalties, and 2 mins of actual rugby.

    The Women’s is no longer the patacake it was a little while back. They pass to the three quarters quite often, there are line breaks, good tackling, rucks and counterrucks, and plenty of real athletes onshow. Plus a lot more watchable legs than the Men’s.

  • Steve Turner

    I look forward to 2031 when Liverppol, Man City and Man United will be fighting their way out of the North-West Counties League after their vaunted Super League collapses.

  • pete

    ‘What it means is that ordinary people will be able to watch the best football in the world on a weekly basis.’

    Or watch it on subscription TV.

    This proposal risks making football like rugby union, cricket or American football in the USA – an endless round of games between the same few sides, meant to appeal to armchair fans with little real interest in the sport but who like to be associated with something fashionable.

    The premier league has already taken football a long way down this route and now the money men want to complete the process.

    It’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me. I’ll abandon support for my ‘big’ club and choose another local side.

  • bobby b

    If you’re the best of the best, and you know that you could be making much more money if you didn’t have to carry all of the mediocre players along with you – that there are plenty of well-heeled folk out there willing to pay a much higher ticket price in order to see only the best – why wouldn’t you pursue that path?

    I always get a kick out of people who want others to perform their arts and crafts “out of love” for the activities, which coincidentally gives those people what they would like to buy at a cheaper price than it otherwise would be.

  • Ferox

    For me, it’s simply too cringe-inducing to watch a grown man drop to the turf like he was picked off by a sniper, followed by a minute or two of histrionic convulsions and rolling around in “agony” (hands covering his face so the ref can’t see him grinning), every time he gets bumped by a player from the other team.

    Having to watch someone so completely surrender their personal dignity that way is too high a price to pay for viewing a sporting event.

    In that regard women’s soccer is much much better. They are not as skilled or as physically able but at least they don’t continually humiliate themselves to draw a foul.

  • Patrick Crozier

    In football grown men dropping to the turf is tradition.

  • Snorri Godhi

    They can do whatever they like as far as i am concerned: I do not watch them play now, and won’t watch them play in the Super League.

    Out of curiosity, though: will/would the Super League be open to other teams that demonstrate that they are worthy to play with the best on a regular basis?

  • Patrick Crozier

    I believe so, “There will be 20 participating clubs with 15 founding clubs, and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.”

  • Snorri Godhi

    There will be 20 participating clubs with 15 founding clubs, and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.

    Next question: will there be a mechanism for kicking out a ‘founding club’ when it shows obvious signs of decline?

  • Mr Ed

    The Sage of Kettering told me, many years ago, that the first country to have a ‘Minister for Sport’ type position was Mussolini’s Italy. Quite appropriate, yet now the British government (at a time when it is illegal to leave the country on a whim, stay in a friend’s house, or watch professional sport in person – mostly) deems this move so terrible (and so much of its business) that it will do (per The Telegraph – paywall) ‘whatever it takes‘ including denying policing to football matches (even though it has banned spectators) and deny work permits (to those African chaps who happen to be quite good at this sport, one assumes) and it says it without blushing.

    More on the Oliver Dowden statement
    The Government has announced a “root and branch” review of football governance and promised to use every power at its disposal to stop England’s six richest clubs from joining a European Super League, writes Jeremy Wilson.

    In a statement to the House of Commons, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden condemned the “appalling..tone deaf” proposals that would see Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur become ‘founding members’ of a new €10 billion breakaway competition.

    Accusing “a small handful of owners” of wanting to create a closed league “based on wealth and brand recognition rather than merit”, Dowden said that there was now no choice but to launch an immediate review of the national game.

    “We will put everything on the table to prevent this from happening,” he said. “We are examining every option, from governance reform, to competition law, and the mechanisms that allow football to take place. Put simply, we will be reviewing everything the Government does to support these clubs to play.” Work permits for players and the policing that is provided to stage matches are among the practical areas on which clubs are dependent on regulatory help.

    Dowden has also appointed Tracey Crouch MP, a former sports minister, to oversee a fan-led review of football governance. “It’s clearer than ever that we need a proper examination of the long-term future of football,” he said. “Season after season, year after year, football fans demonstrate unwavering loyalty and passion by sticking by their clubs.

    “Their loyalty is being abused by a small number of individuals who wield an incredible amount of power and influence. These clubs have made it clear that I have no choice. They have decided to put money before fans. I have been left with no choice but to formally trigger the launch of our fan-led review of football.

    “It will cover the financial sustainability of the men’s and women’s game, financial flows through the pyramid, governance regulation and the merits of an independent regulator. Crucially, in light of this weekend’s proposal, it will also consider how fans can have an even greater say in the oversight of the game, and the models which might best achieve that.”

    Theft, threats and blackmail, from the UK government. Investors take note. And there are even some mutterings (in some circles) about the ethnicity of some of the breakaway team owners, but to give the British politicians their dues, they haven’t gone there yet.

    Perhaps we should have general elections to determine where clubs finish in the League, and who wins which Cup, if not, why not?

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    Patrick, you’re a bit out on a limb with this one. Just about everywhere else I’ve looked, the news of the Super League has been greeted with a collective wailing and gnashing of teeth. Personally, I’m not bothered how football (soccer) chooses to organise itself, but I feel it’s symbolic of how we are over-governed, that the Prime Minister feels he needs to get involved.

    Stonyground, you wrote (April 19th, 2021, 11:11am): “I don’t see why more football is a problem. I’m not remotely interested in it but if others want to play it and watch it it isn’t doing me any harm.” Spoken like a true libertarian, Sir!

  • Fraser Orr

    As a long time supporter of (Glasgow) Rangers, nostalgizing about days with my father in the “stands” when “stand” wasn’t metaphorical. Feeling especially buoyant from last season, I can’t help but imagine the Boys in Blue taking on Europe. A chorus of “We’re on the march wi Ally’s army” ringing in my ear, oblivious to the disposition of the aforementioned Ally’s army, and knowing THIS time it’ll be different.

    Somehow, I think only my Scottish brethren will understand this sentiment. @Naill, will you sing along with me?

    For your enjoyment, you might consider Billy Connolly’s take on football. One of my favorites:


  • bobby b

    “For your enjoyment, you might consider Billy Connolly’s take on football.”

    Is there an English-language version?

  • John Lewis

    “The the wailing and gnashing of teeth”.

    If politicians, media and those hangers-on vastly enriched by the status quo are all vehemently against something my reaction is to support it.

    Maybe i’m wrong though and people will be standing in the street and applauding “our football” for five minutes each week. It is the envy of the world after all. I’m sure Boris would find the time to join in.

    P.s. the loathsome telegraph has seen fit to discard Covid and the Markles instead flooding its front page with numerous talking heads spitting venom at the football clubs they previously idolised.

  • Mr Ed

    One thing that I would wish to point out is that the Football League in England (the ‘governing body’ of the sport) is absolutely riddled with degenerate Marxism (i.e. political correctness), right down to football for children aged under 10. There are endless ‘initiatives’ and propagandising about racism being kicked out of football, the problem presumably being the perception in the minds of those who run football that the white working class are heinous and need to be watched and coached (in the right ‘skills’ – but not on the pitch) at all times.

    The notion of a sport having a governing body is particularly absurd to me. By all means establish a ‘code’ and say, if you want to play ‘our’ sport, here are the rules. That is easily done by amateurs and doesn’t even need a premises, never mind staff. I am baffled as to why so many clubs adhere to these governing bodies and their endless rules, absurd pomposity and costs.

  • Jussi

    I wish the Prime Minister was as passionate about 2-tier policing, teachers allowed to speak up without dead threats and issues similar to that.

  • Paul Marks

    The government is denouncing the move – the basic principle of limited government, that ordinary life should be nothing to do with politics, is totally forgotten in the modern world.

    My own view? I have no opinion on this matter – I am not interested in Association Football.

  • Paul Marks

    The totalitarianism, the belief that government must be “total” (cover all aspects of life) continues – it is not just sport, it is everything.

    For example, the BBC environment correspondent was just on during the BBC 24 (1300) news – not just saying that we must have different cars and heat our homes differently, but even saying we must eat less meat and cheese – because of “Climate Change” ideology.

    So the government is going to tell people how much meat and cheese them may eat – and what they should eat instead. No doubt children will be taught in school to denounce their parents if the parents have the “wrong” opinions – perhaps a youth organisation could be set up called “The Spies” (as in the book – “1984”).

    Several people talked about the government plans (which are really decided by officials, both national and international – not ministers) – but no one opposed them. Dissent is not allowed by the BBC or the other television stations. Apart from the “dissent” that the plans do not go far enough, that liberty is not being destroyed enough.

    The justification for all this is “science” – but not science in the Western tradition, that of open debate and honest data, but rather “science” as a new religion which can change historic data to fit an agenda, and which no one is allowed to question.

    Germany is worse – there all nuclear power stations are to be closed, this will increase (not reduce) C02 emissions – but people are not allowed to say that, as the Greens dominate all political discourse.

    The German people might as well formally elect the Greens as the government in September – as they already de facto rule. Certainly when they tell the CDU to jump, the only response from the CDU is “how high?”.

  • Stonyground

    “The German people might as well formally elect the Greens as the government in September – as they already de facto rule.”

    Isn’t the UK in the same boat? The government want to ban ICE cars in the very near future. If people actually wanted electric cars there would be no need for the government to impose them by force.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Chelsea and Manchester City have pulled out and the CEO of Manchester Utd has resigned.

    So that’s the end of that then.

  • Patrick Crozier


  • AndrewZ

    “So that’s the end of that then”

    Looks like it. The fans will claim it was down to their protests, but the deciding factor was probably the ability of UEFA and FIFA to pressure the clubs by threatening the careers of their players. Very few players would be willing to stay at a club that was excluded from other competitions, or to risk being personally excluded from international tournaments, just to be in the Super League. The clubs might have taken legal action, but they would have faced a mass exodus of their star players if they lost or even if the case dragged on for a long time without any resolution. The wider lesson, and one that’s very relevant to politics, is the importance of identifying your own vulnerabilities and how a determined opponent might attack them before you launch your own offensive.

  • Lee Moore

    the deciding factor was probably the ability of UEFA and FIFA to pressure the clubs by threatening the careers of their players. Very few players would be willing to stay at a club that was excluded from other competitions, or to risk being personally excluded from international tournaments

    Good thing there’s no anti-trust law in the EU…….er

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    It looks like the European Super League is now over, in no small part because of protests by the fans. The organisers realised they simply could not carry on in the face of such furious opposition.

    For may part, I just wish people cared as much about their liberties as they clearly do about football.

  • Paul Marks

    Stonyground – as I pointed out the German government are actually at the stage of banning nuclear power whilst pretending to care about C02 emissions. So it is a bit worse there.

    By the way the Prime Minister said something about Association Football at PMQs today – but I was too upset by his praise for the Show Trial in Minnesota (also none of his business) to listen carefully to what he said about Association Football.