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Football Reporting
Football Reporting

Bayern Munich

The lessons learned from the Super League

The footballing world, united by the tight bond of the game and the emotion it brings, suffered a shock to the system on Sunday when the birth of the Super League was officially announced.

It smelled more like the carpet and hardwood of an upscale office than that of grass, with a plan that was secretly forged a couple of years ago. It was an attempted coup of the footballing oligarchy that, with inexplicable audacity, turned the system upside down. It is incomprehensible that 12 clubs of this calibre would present such a huge project in such a sloppy way.

The terrible handling of communication, bordering on the childish, has been one of the weakest pillars from which the project eventually collapsed.

There is nothing more disastrous and humiliating than seeing a ship sink in its launch. And that is what has happened to this project that, far from “coming to save football”, denatured this sport, ignored its meritocratic essence, devalued the national leagues, damaged the industry and punished emotion.

The promoters of this attempted revolt overlooked these important factors, sheltered by their fragile armour of a private poll that attributed 70 percent of popular support to the cause. They could not read the room. Another big mistake from an infinite list.

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They did not know how to put themselves in the shoes of the fans who are the most important part of the whole sport.

How could they think that the fans would happily accept a plan that would benefit the few and leave the rest adrift? This shows that they did not want, did not know or did not even try, to listen to all parties.

It was significant that Florentino Perez, president of this fleeting venture, attributed the monumental stance against it to private interests, expressed by all the press. There is a blindfold over his eyes, sewn with gold thread, preventing him from seeing the fierce reaction of all those who make up the great football family.

While demanding transparency, Perez could not explain why the project was born without two fundamental pillars such as Bayern Munich and PSG. Did anyone think that the Qatari-owned PSG were going to abandon UEFA and FIFA with a World Cup set to take place there in a few months?

Nor was it clear how they were going to develop the aforementioned solidarity mechanism towards the rest of the teams, so Perez continued to flutter this greedy idea.

The very structure of the tournament was so fragile that any blow would have brought it down. We knew the 12 founding clubs but nothing else. Which other teams, and chosen based on what criteria, were going to be part of the unsupportive project> It seemed that the 12 had secured their own fates but ignored the rest.

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All these reasons roused the footballing world, which raised its voice in unison to overthrow this ‘rebellion of the generals’. Even the players of the teams involved voiced their opposition. It was so fierce, and the messages of the ‘separatists’ so imprecise, that in less than 48 hours the idea was overthrown.

England, the birthplace of football, was the ground on which the great battle was fought, and won. It was very difficult for a sport as conservative and traditionalist as this to bear such an affront. The supporters took to the streets and overthrew the coupists. It was a beautiful victory for the fans and their emotions, over the arrogant and dehumanised power of money. Football will long appreciate their efforts.

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