European Super League Chaos

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The soccer world has been turned upside down in the last month, with the establishment of a European Super League enraging fans, players, and coaches alike. The Super League has made headlines recently and you’ve probably heard about it, but a lot of people don’t fully understand what it entails, so here’s a quick rundown. Florentino Perez, club president of Real Madrid, a Spanish soccer team and one of, if not the most dominant European teams, created a money-grab ploy, and got 11 other teams to take part in it alongside him. These 11 teams, labeled as “the founding clubs”, included teams from Spain, England, and Italy. The Spanish teams, excluding Real Madrid, were Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The English teams, comprising the majority of the group, were Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham, otherwise known as the big 6. The Italian teams were Juventus, Inter Milan, and AC Milan. Together, these 12 teams planned to create their own competition, which is a league with the format of any other domestic league, but only specially chosen European teams would be participating. In their minds, this would generate more revenue due to the appeal of the world’s best teams constantly at each other’s throats. The idea has been speculated about for close to a year, but it was never formally acted on until this month. Now some people may read this and wonder what the harm in it is. 

The answer to that is that it conflicts with both UEFA and FIFA’s policies, both of which are the most powerful organizations in the sport, and manage all of the major competitions in soccer. This includes the Champions League, domestic leagues in respective countries, and most importantly The World Cup. If these 12 breakaway teams were to move forward with the Super League, the players participating would be permanently banned from even playing in any of the competitions I mentioned. This would destroy the centuries of iconic moments, culture, and passion that millions of fans have lived for, and would most certainly change everything about the sport forever. The players would all be deprived of the passion and honor they feel when playing for their countries, and fans would all be deprived of the joy they feel when watching these superstars playing for their countries. This would be the NBA-equivalent of the top 5 teams in the Eastern and Western Conference breaking away from the NBA and forming a league of their own where the best teams constantly play against each other, but were banned from playing in the all-star game, the olympics, or and basketball competition outside of their private league. It just wouldn’t work and would decimate the organization and culture of the sport. 

Some of your classmates, like millions of not just soccer fans, but sport fans, had a lot to say about this. Dakota Jonke, captain of the St. Ed’s Varsity soccer team states: “My first opinion about the super league is the MLS. In the MLS, the professional teams are not able to be relegated nor promoted if they are at the top of the league. Every team stays the same and they play the same teams every year. But, if you have enough money you are able to join the league unlike leagues from Europe. This is the same thing as the super league, and European clubs and fans make fun of the MLS system because that is not the way the game should be played. Stars come from the lower ranks to the upper leagues through advancements and when the bad teams play the good teams. Stars are able to shine through those games which creates those opportunities for youngsters to step up in the world like myself. If this Super League happens it would ruin the beautiful game.”

Josh Cochran, also on the Ed’s soccer team actually favored the Super League, and he thought “overall, being an American, I don’t really have an opinion about the countries being affected, but as a viewer of the soccer games, it would be awesome to watch the best players in the world and the best teams in the world play against each other. I’d rather watch that then watch West Brom get crushed by Man City. Something like watching Messi play against Ronaldo right at the end of their careers would be great to see. It would be more fun for the viewers that are outside of the countries that would be affected.”

In the end, both opinions have validity to them, and sports fans can decide for themselves how they feel about the Super League. Still, it would have an expansive effect on fans, players, coaches, and owners in a way that has never been seen before, and, more importantly, it’s a really big deal across the soccer and world sporting landscape.