Excuse me for the cynicism which follows, but hands-up those of you who saw the plans for a ‘European Super League’ and thought, “Yeah, right”? UEFA is livid. It will use “all measures available” to stop the “cynical project” of a breakaway Super League. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? But who’s kidding who?
The usual suspects are involved: the Spanish giants, the Italian giants and the English giants, plus Spurs and Arsenal. No German clubs yet because, by and large, they have a different and far better ownership system whereby all manner of dubious foreigners are pretty well barred from buying them. But, based upon little more than guesswork, I reckon that before long, Germany’s finest will soon be on board. I reckon it’s all a big bluff.
Make an outrageous new suggestion in order to prompt angry debate and threats. After a few weeks, or months, a ‘compromise’ proposal comes along, ensuring that the Big Clubs get what they wanted all along: more money. And the new European Super League looks just how they wanted it to look in the first place.
I have seen arguments against the new proposal and I agree with them. But I struggle when people use the argument that in a new Super League, you’d just see the same old teams every year. So, what’s different now? Every year, it’s Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, PSG, Juventus and so on, who always end up playing each other in the knockout stages. You never see PSG bumping into Valetta, as they might have done when the European Champions League, which consists mostly of teams that aren’t champions, was the European Cup, which consisted only of teams that were champions.
A new-fangled European Super League is just the logical successor to our Premier League, a breakaway competition to grab more money at the expense of everyone else.
It will end up being the old Champions League, but rebranded and on stilts; sold to the highest bidder (Sky, obviously) and a few hundred thousand people will fork out monster subscriptions for the pleasure.
These days, I only watch TV games when a team I like, mainly Liverpool and England, is on. I am not attracted by the vast majority of live games in whichever competition they are being played. My interest in this year’s Champions League ended this week when Liverpool went out at the hands of Real Madrid and renaming the trophy would make no difference to my football-watching life.
I could be completely wrong, but I think this is all a game to blag more money. The Big Clubs know the Champions League is where the big bucks really are. They won’t walk away from that: they’ll just squeeze even more cash out of it.