European Super League. I half expect that Levy sacked Mourihno now because he knew it would be a footnote on the BIG news of the week! 😂
The thing is though, when you get past the romantic🌹rose-petal🌹view of the league system we’ve become accustom to over the years, something stinks. 💩 In every major league in Europe, the simple fact is, hegemony rules. In France, who’s gonna win the league besides PSG? 7 out of the last 10 seasons. The Budesliga, Bayern München, 8 from 10 with Borrussia Dortmund winning the other two. In Spain’s La Liga, only thrice during the last 20yrs has the title been won by a team which was not either of Barcelona (10) or Real Madrid (7). England, only due to the creation of the Premier League (that the whole world loves as it is by far the most viewed football league in the world) and the money pumped in by licensing, Oligarchs, Oil rich states and American sports moguls are we afforded a sort of competitiveness. Yet in the last 20 years only once (Leicester) has the dominance of the Big 6, Man Utd (6), Chelsea (5), Man City (4, soon to be 5), Arsenal (2), Liverpool (1) not held sway (“unluckeeey” Spurs!🤣), and let’s be honest if not for the big money injections I referred to just a second ago, United & Liverpool would be well on course to create La Liga 2.0 in England. As much as we may hate to admit it, in many ways our league was saved from predictable monotony because of big money. Also, let’s not forget that the Premier League came into existence on pretty much the exact same arguments being stated by the “..founding members…” of the proposed Super League! Serie A, if you’re not Juventus, 9 consecutive titles to date, or one of the Milan clubs, you’ll never win the title!
The money from domestic TV rights and/or Champions League involvement has created a skewered playing field, where the rich clubs will, and are, slowly become richer, especially those who have cajoled the system in their favour due to historically being a big club and/or belonging to an elite cabal of domestic european leagues. For example, a lower tier team, let’s say Eredivisie’s Ajax or PSV, make it to the semi-finals of the CL. The revenue generated and the cut they receive from UEFA will be dwarfed by the sum received by the likes of Barcelona if they were knocked out of the competition at the same stage! Even though Ajax & PSV dominate their leagues much in the same way Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate theirs, who outside of the Netherlands watches the Eridivisie?! And thus, this is how the money is distributed between the clubs and whether you like it or not, commercially, the clubs with the most “pull” have a right to demand more of the spoils. I know I would. If many of you reading this, had a product that was the bomb you’d want a larger slice of the cake because it’s your specific ingredient that draws the crowds. You see, we’ve all created the monster. We all want to have that star player in our teams (who comes with an astronomical price tag and associated wages), we all want the dream of playing the European Elite via a top 4 finish, and so on, and so on. We seem to forget the aspirations and subsequent conformity of reality telling the fans of “the other” 14 teams in the PL, every season, to know their place! Imagine being the fan of a club who will NEVER win the Premier League, how do you even get excited about a new season?! Everton, West Ham, Aston Villa, clubs with rich history, do you think they’ll ever win the Premier League as it stands, much less the Champions League, should they qualify?! And then even if they won, or qualified, would they receive the same sized slice as a Man U, City or Liverpool in the same position? No. The Elephant has been in the room for the past 20yrs, inconspicous only because of the rose-petal view I mentioned at the start.
UEFA & FIFA, the FA & Premier League, Sky & BT, along with other domestic national football associations & broadcasters, all in their own ways, have fed the elephant increasing amounts of the muscle-inducing protein rich peanuts over the decades and now not even rose coloured glasses can hide the behemoth it has become! Yet, their commercial mismanagement and subsequent distribution of said peanuts has not been enough to satiate the hunger. They’ve sorely underestimated the voracity of The Elephant’s appetite and the strength of the chains they assume bound it!
The harsh reality is, maybe, just maybe, putting all these elite clubs into their own sandpit will in someway level the playing field across the board. You see, I believe that in one way or another, the creation of an arena where the elite get to truly pit their wits against each other on a regular basis, is the potentially unwanted, yet inevitable evolution of the football pyramid. You see, #MoneyTalks. However, in the name of hope, aspiration and at least an attempt to seem fair, this cannot and must not be a closed shop, AND, the solidarity payment structure must be overhauled to truly benefit grassroots football across all of Europe! There has to be a way for fans, players, chairpersons and all involved in any club… to dream! To dream of one day joining that Elite league! Also, for the love of ever increasing standards and competitiveness, there has to be a way for even an Elite club, to fall from grace and suffer for any complacencies on their part!
The David & Goliath stories. The rags to riches stories. This is the pyramid of football! This is the very essence of the game! This is where the real romance lies!
Without it, football dies.