European Super League A MARCA opinion piece
The dull but persistent murmurs behind the scenes of football of a European Super League, one formed by the most powerful clubs on the continent, became reality on Sunday, provoking an earthquake whose aftershocks were felt across the footballing world.
The news of an imminent announcement of this competition, revealed exclusively by MARCA sometime after midday, became reality in the early hours, sealing what could be one of the most critical moments – sporting-wise, socially and economically – in the history of this sport.
The “closed European breakaway league”, as FIFA described it, breaks the model of solidarity and redistribution that this sport is steeped in, generating a scenario of serious conflict between organisations that can gravely destabilise the industry.
Modifying the current formats in such a brisk way (without consent) suggests an almighty shake-up of the system that has been agreed on by a sport in constant development. The impact on domestic leagues in countries both with and without teams in this European Super League could be devastating.
Although the separatist clubs insist that their aim is to keep going with their domestic competitions, it’s difficult to imagine this revolution not affecting said competitions, with the majority of clubs and their fans extremely hard done by.
Football, a conservative and traditional sport, is needlessly tearing itself apart because of a selfish move with unpredictable consequences. The outcome of this war could provoke a deluge of sanctions and penalties, already threatened by UEFA, that would have negative repercussions in every sense. Not only in the footballing industry (which is flourishing, despite the current impact of the pandemic) but also in football as a game of emotions. It is having such a grave impact on the fans, who are the main pillar in the whole structure. Radically changing the whole system is going to make the building wobble precariously.
Sticking by the principle that you don’t fix what isn’t broken, we’re facing a threat to football that will demand urgent answers. The decisive step forwards by the rebel clubs have to be countered by the art of negotiation and agreements. The future of football is in play.