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European Super League


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1 hour ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

Should the Super League be canceled, it'll be a huge win in stopping monied overreach. And yes, I see the irony in FIFA and UEFA appearing to be the "little guys" in this particular situation. It's absurd.

 

The money behind this scheme is from none other than JPMorgan. Once upon a time, the world thought America was going to ruin soccer by running the clock backward.

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13 hours ago, Rockstar Matt said:

Speaking of money, JP Morgan is funding this European Super League by pledging $5 billion dollars to the 12 founding clubs.

 

If anyone had any delusional thought that this venture wasn’t about purely about money, there you go. 
 

Disgusting level of greed.

This is what annoys me too, the amount of English fans attacking this as a purely American idea, because JP Morgan Chase is subsidizing it. Barclays supports the Premier League and Santander supports La Liga, do you really expect them to start trying to help this? It's a conflict of interest. Maybe Don Garber needs to ask JP Morgan to help subsidize the MLS teams and get rid of these stupid TAM, GAM and DP rules that no one in Miami apparently understand. Sarcasm, of course. Don Garber doesn't need to be in charge of more money, he needs an actual soul so he can become a real boy. 

13 hours ago, Digby said:

I’m not one of those weirdo pro/rel Twitter jihadists but I do think the MLS model is closer to closed-off superclub league than it is to the current Euro club model. It’s nice that MLS clubs are doing well in CCL for once but our own continent’s moneymakers want to nuke that one too.

Concacaf needs a lot of fixing up, including finding ways to get money to the smaller federations instead of kissing up to US Soccer and Mexico. The reason the Gold Cup is always in the USA is because the other countries stadiums and infrastructure aren't good enough, and Mexico makes money playing in the US and doesn't have to shell out for all of the costs associated with putting the games on other than advertising. Antigua FC, a top flight team in Guatemala that won the league championship last year, plays in a stadium without permanent lights because it is literally in the middle of a neighborhood and the city doesn't allow it. 

Partido de ida Antigua y Cobán, semifinales del Torneo Apertura | Diciembre  2019 | Guatemala.com

KCwTqON.png

the cost of renting floodlights for night games is such, do the necessary height and access costs, that the team simply plays all their games during the day. Concacaf wouldn't even allow these guys to play at home if they made it to the Champions League and they'd have to travel 2 hours up the road to Guatemala City. 

7 minutes ago, Digby said:

That’s not really how the loan system works....

 

More like the Dodgers have a hot prospect OF who can’t get playing time, so they send him to Oklahoma City... except in this scenario OKC is an independent club and may even potentially be an opponent for a game or two this season. 

With an EPL loan system, that is how it works. Other leagues and competitions wouldn't force the team the loan player is at to sit him. 

3 minutes ago, nickp91 said:

the European Super League is like the power 5 schools in college basketball leaving the NCAA to form their own league

classy bender - Imgflip

I'd agree with that. They say they want to remain in their domestic leagues and just skip doing a Champions League instead. Somehow I think the end state, not the intent, will be it's a 24 team league that locks in the top (X) amount of positions for the Big 5 leagues (not teams) and let's a couple league winners from the next group below them in for the other spots after a playoff. Then the 36 team renamed Europa League, then the Europa Conference below that with another 36 teams. 

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14 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

The money behind this scheme is from none other than JPMorgan. Once upon a time, the world thought America was going to ruin soccer by running the clock backward.

 

Not to mention Americans own three of the defector teams.

 

12 of the initial 15 teams have been identified. I wonder about the remaining three, and how they're feeling about now.

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5 minutes ago, LMU said:

UEFA is not messing around.

 


As they should. There needs to be serious consequences for even attempting this. 
 

In their domestic leagues, they should have their points deducted or taken away entirely. 

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5 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

Not to mention Americans own three of the defector teams.

 

12 of the initial 15 teams have been identified. I wonder about the remaining three, and how they're feeling about now.

PSG is rumored to be one of those, though they currently have conflicts of interest with BeIn Sports and their attachment to Qatar. 

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8 minutes ago, Rockstar Matt said:


As they should. There needs to be serious consequences for even attempting this. 
 

In their domestic leagues, they should have their points deducted or taken away entirely. 

Why stop there?  The domestic leagues should just flat out indefinitely suspend every club that signed onto this until they either change their mind and come crawling back with a point deduction or bleed cash for several years until whoever hasn't caved by that point can officially start the thing.

 

Another thought that shows some of the naiveté here - do these clubs honestly think that any club would accept one of the at-large spots when the second they're relegated they're homeless?

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21 minutes ago, LMU said:

UEFA is not messing around.

 

Imagine winning the Champions League because the last 3 other than you got kicked out. I guess that means Manchester United and Arsenal are risking getting kicked out of the Europa League semi-finals, too? UEFA kicking teams out for a competition that doesn't technically exist yet could sink them as well if CAS overrules them. I'm sure they'll point to some regulation in the league by-laws however. 

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As we now know, and contrary to initial reactions, the European Super League would not remove the teams from their domestic leagues.  It would replace the Champions League as the European competition.

And I am all for it.  

 

Actually, I would have been for the big clubs leaving the domestic leagues. The big clubs have more in common with one another than with the minnows of their domestic leagues.  To be perfectly frank: the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal should not have to be bothered with playing against the likes of Brighton and Burnley.  (And, I don't care one bit if I am going to be accused of a "hot take".)

 

If the big clubs left their domestic leagues, grassroots support would still exist for the remaining clubs.  Would those clubs earn as much as they used to when they were in store for a share of the income generated by the Man Uniteds and the Barcelonas? No, they would not.  But that does not mean that they would collapse or cease to exist. They would just have to operate within their means.

 

The clubs that shuttle yearly between the top flight and the second tier live off the "parachute payments" that they get for going down. (At least that's how it is in England.)  So, when these clubs are in the top flight, they don't need to try to win in order to grab a share of the revenue created by the biggest clubs. Those yo-yo clubs, which expect payments even though they themselves contribute virtually nothing to the generation of revenue, have no standing to accuse anyone else of greed.

 

The solution for "small clubs" is simple: get better owners. Of the six English clubs that joined the Super League, three (Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham) were not "big clubs" until they were bought by rich owners who were serious about winning.  A decade ago, people talked about the English "big four" clubs, which did not include Man City or Tottenham.  Go back before Abramovic, and Chelsea were no one's idea of a "big club".  These teams joined the global elite stratum of clubs in the right way, by being bought by owners who could compete at that level.

Fulham, Southampton, and even Newcastle are owned by owners who could perhaps transform those clubs into big clubs, by following the model of Abramovic and Mansour, namely, by spending lavishly on players.   These teams would be the new elite of the Premier League if the "big six" left.

 

Alas, the "big six" are not leaving.  So no one should be complaining.  These clubs are simply taking the reins of the European competition.  Just as the Premier League itself was created to take control of the top flight away from the the Football League, and to keep the revenue amongst the Premier League teams, the new European Super League takes control away from UEFA and keeps the European revenue for the clubs that generate it.

 

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Losing the Champions and Europa Leagues was already the plan for the ESL clubs. I understand what UEFA is doing but it doesn’t mean much in the big picture. The only way I believe the Super League fails now is if the domestic leagues ban the ESL clubs from competition. I don’t believe they’ll do that.

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19 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

As we now know, and contrary to initial reactions, the European Super League would not remove the teams from their domestic leagues.  It would replace the Champions League as the European competition.

Technically incorrect. The intent is not to leave the domestic leagues but FIFA/UEFA will look to force that as a sanction.

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14 minutes ago, LMU said:
35 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

As we now know, and contrary to initial reactions, the European Super League would not remove the teams from their domestic leagues.  It would replace the Champions League as the European competition.

Technically incorrect. The intent is not to leave the domestic leagues but FIFA/UEFA will look to force that as a sanction.

 

Ah.  Well, let UEFA and FIFA do that, then.  That would be a good way for these bodies to delegitimise themselves.

 

Even if FIFA decide to take the drastic step of banning players with Super League clubs from the World Cup, then the big clubs could organise an alternate tournament amongst alternate national teams that involve only players on the Super League clubs, a competition that would feature only top internationals, and would thus instantly have greater legitimacy than the "official" World Cup.  This would drive players even more strongly to the big clubs, thereby undercutting not only FIFA itself, but also the national FAs.

So, if it's going to be a battle for who controls world football, then bring it on.  The big clubs have both right and might on their side, and can prevail.

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I think if you want to do the analogy to American sports right, you have to take it 10 years back in time — yeah sure, it's one thing to say "well, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma running off to do their own thing sounds a lot like the college football playoff", but 10 years ago, Clemson wouldn't have been in the conversation for such a fate. It's a similar thing with, say, PSG if you would've gone back 10 years in time — they were a perennially underachieving team, not one of the handful of elite clubs in Europe.

 

In truth, I think the analogy to American sports falls somewhere between college football, which is structured to entirely remove parity in a way that even goes beyond what the soccer world can do, and college basketball, which is structured to have an absurd amount of parity, but also better reflects the historic structure of soccer (a handful of top leagues with top programs in those leagues, but also the opportunity for there to be strong teams from weaker leagues). Perhaps college football is the better analogy for soccer in 2021, college basketball for the sport in, say, 1991.

 

---

 

All of that said, the thing that makes this a largely untenable situation (IMO) isn't necessarily the integrity of a closed-shop competition, it's that the financial and prestige side of it would mean that even the most poorly run Super League club is going to outperform a well-run, non-SL club. At the end of the day, as a Villa supporter, the Champions League is mostly a dream anyway — very little changes immediately for my club if this goes through. But after 20ish years, we finally have a Premier League where the Arsenals, Chelseas, Spurs and Uniteds of the world actually get punished for poor management. Leicester have won a title and are in a Champions League place; West Ham are right in the thick of the UCL race and ahead of four of the six "Super League" clubs. Similar trends have shown throughout Europe, where Atalanta are now one of Italy's best sides; where Lille lead Ligue 1; where Sevilla have more or less been step-by-step with Spain's three "Super League" clubs.

 

In the long run, a closed-shop Super League would necessarily return domestic leagues to the annual contest to be "best in class" that they were a handful of years ago, which would be a massive detriment to the game — at least in the current system, there's a hope and a prayer of being the "next Leicester"; that a Super League takes that away makes kicking the Super League clubs the only tenable option for the rest of the PL, La Liga and Serie A clubs.

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17 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

As we now know, and contrary to initial reactions, the European Super League would not remove the teams from their domestic leagues.  It would replace the Champions League as the European competition.

And I am all for it.  

 

Actually, I would have been for the big clubs leaving the domestic leagues. The big clubs have more in common with one another than with the minnows of their domestic leagues.  To be perfectly frank: the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal should not have to be bothered with playing against the likes of Brighton and Burnley.  (And, I don't care one bit if I am going to be accused of a "hot take".)

 

The clubs that shuttle yearly between the top flight and the second tier live off the "parachute payments" that they get for going down. (At least that's how it is in England.)  So, when these clubs are in the top flight, they don't need to try to win in order to grab a share of the revenue created by the biggest clubs. Those yo-yo clubs, which expect payments even though they themselves contribute virtually nothing to the generation of revenue, have no standing to accuse anyone else of greed.

 

The solution for "small clubs" is simple: get better owners. Of the six English clubs that joined the Super League, three (Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham) were not "big clubs" until they were bought by rich owners who were serious about winning.  A decade ago, people talked about the English "big four" clubs, which did not include Man City or Tottenham.  Go back before Abramovic, and Chelsea were no one's idea of a "big club".  These teams joined the global elite stratum of clubs in the right way, by being bought by owners who could compete at that level.
 

 

Alas, the "big six" are not leaving.  So no one should be complaining.  These clubs are simply taking the reins of the European competition.  Just as the Premier League itself was created to take control of the top flight away from the the Football League, and to keep the revenue amongst the Premier League teams, the new European Super League takes control away from UEFA and keeps the European revenue for the clubs that generate it.

 


 

It’s not that they’re “leaving” their domestic leagues it’s that they’ll be banned from participating in them. As with any domestic cup competition, or any competition outside of the “Super League”. The Premier League itself actually has rules written into the contracts every team agrees to that no PL club can join a competition without express permission from the league, else face expulsion. 

 

One of the arguments I’ve seen in support of this is that these clubs want to compete against the best in Europe every year, but how can that argument be made when the German giants and the French giants have refused to join? Or the fact that Arsenal and Spurs have done nothing this past decade to suggest they’re even among the best English clubs, let alone Europe’s? Or the fact that 4 of the six English clubs joining this “elite” league are currently in positions in the PL that wouldn’t even see them qualify for next year’s CL? 

 

I know FIFA and UEFA are not champions of good, and they’re are extremely corrupt, but having a closed tournament excluding the Champions from smaller European countries and other teams who are better than some of these 12 clubs in England, Spain and Italy is not the way to combat those organizations.

 

For the record, FIFA stated back in January that any player who participates in the ESL will be banned from representing their country at any competition. There’s no “if they will be banned”, it’s been explicitly stated that they will. 
 

Anyone in support of the super league has to understand you’re supporting the richest clubs in the world lining their pockets with even more cash. You’re in support of billionaires becoming even richer. This is simply a cash cow, nothing more.

 

If they were truly about having the best teams competing against each consistently and just improving Champions League, it would not be a closed league and it would not include some of the teams who are “founding members” who are thoroughly unqualified to be facing Europe’s best clubs (Schalke, who is being relegated to Bundesliga 2 this season, is rumored as being the 13th team to sign on). 

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Even if the Super League began smoothly and the teams stayed in the domestic leagues, the increase in Euro games / prestige therein makes that such a priority over the domestic leagues. Maybe that increases by parity by sandbagging? I don’t know. But treating a league game against the likes of West Ham as one of those League Cup-type annoyances feels very monkey’s paw.

 

 

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1 hour ago, crashcarson15 said:

All of that said, the thing that makes this a largely untenable situation (IMO) isn't necessarily the integrity of a closed-shop competition, it's that the financial and prestige side of it would mean that even the most poorly run Super League club is going to outperform a well-run, non-SL club. At the end of the day, as a Villa supporter, the Champions League is mostly a dream anyway — very little changes immediately for my club if this goes through. But after 20ish years, we finally have a Premier League where the Arsenals, Chelseas, Spurs and Uniteds of the world actually get punished for poor management. Leicester have won a title and are in a Champions League place; West Ham are right in the thick of the UCL race and ahead of four of the six "Super League" clubs. Similar trends have shown throughout Europe, where Atalanta are now one of Italy's best sides; where Lille lead Ligue 1; where Sevilla have more or less been step-by-step with Spain's three "Super League" clubs.

While money is obviously the primary goal here, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this is secondary in the minds of some of the owners, especially the more soccer-inclined ones. As far as I can tell there is no relegation in the ESL, and very very limited chances (if any) for any other clubs to break into the league*. And even if there is, there’s no way the founder clubs would be removed from the league on a purely competitive basis. 
 

All of which is to say, in the ESL, the Arsenals and Chelseas and the Spurs and the Uniteds no longer have to worry about the consequences of poor management. What competitive punishment will there be? Sure the fans might complain about not being competitive but the very fact that this league has been created shows that the owners don’t care about the fans. The goal isn’t just to make more money; it’s to make more money while expending less effort to make it. 
 

*I apologize for not being very well-informed on this, I haven’t read much on the ins-and-outs of the league beyond the “why this sucks for soccer” pieces almost every sports site has been tripping over themselves to write. 

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14 minutes ago, Rockstar Matt said:

Anyone in support of the super league has to understand you’re supporting the richest clubs in the world lining their pockets with even more cash. You’re in support of billionaires becoming even richer.

 

The last time I commented on this sort of matter, I paraphrased a pithy quote about the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which absurdly got me one "warning point" for "inappropriate language".  So I will refrain from employing pop-culture references that might go over the heads of the ignorant, and I will say explicitly what I mean to say, with no metaphor at all.

 

The billionaires are forces of evil. The owner of Chelsea, the team that got me into football, is a criminal who appropriated the wealth of the former Soviet people.  The owner of the team that I currently consider my top team, NYCFC, is part of the royal family of the UAE, where women are second-class citizens and homosexuality is illegal.  So I am perfectly aware of what I am dealing with.  And this is nothing new.  Growing up I was a fan of the Yankees, whose owner was an illegal Nixon contributor.  And Trump himself wound up owning the USFL's Generals, a team which I initially didn't care for on account of its military nickname, but which I came to root for despite that name (and despite Trump) because of Doug Flutie.


The point is that big-time sports require big-money owners.  And there is no moral way for a person to get as rich as it is necessary to be in order to be a competent owner of a top club in any of the top leagues.  So this is a compromise that I have accepted.  Despite my contempt for the super-rich, I unapologetically welcome these types as owners of the clubs which I support, because these sorts of owners sustain the sport in question at the highest level.

 

If someone else refuses to make that compromise, I can respect that.  I have supported enough small teams, from the Newark Bears when they were in the Atlantic League, to the AUDL's New York Empire, to ill-fated defunct teams in the Arena Football League, MISL, NLL, and NAL, to know that there is joy in that.  But I also like some big-time clubs; and I am under no illusion about what that means: it means compartmentalising one's thinking, and accepting the presence of evil people as the owners of the clubs that one supports.

 

So, yeah, this Super League would make the richest owners even richer.  I don't care.  What I care about is that this league will promote the highest level of competition, the competition amongst the biggest clubs, and also that these clubs will have to pay players a great deal of money in order to keep up with their gargantuan peers. This is unquestionably in fans' interest.  And I, being a fan, approve.

 

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