After a crazy week in football, Leah Langley, Label volunteer writer, tells exactly what the ‘Super League’ is, or would have been!
The Super League was a planned annual club football competition which was set to be contested by twenty European football clubs. It was planned to rival the UEFA Champions League with 12 clubs establishing the league, in April 2021, and a further 3 clubs were anticipated to join.
The 15 “founding clubs” would have been permanent participants in the competition, which they were set to govern, and would have included: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan, Juventus, Milan, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. A further 5 clubs would have then been able to qualify annually for the competition based on their performance in their domestic leagues. The teams would have then been split into two groups of ten, with clubs playing home-and-away in a double round-robin format for 18 group matches per team. The fixtures were set to take place midweek so that clubs were still able to play in their domestic leagues. The top 3 teams of each group would have qualified for the quarter finals with the teams finishing fourth and fifth, from each group, battling it out in two-legged play-offs to determine the last two quarter finalists. The quarter finals and semi-finals were set to feature two-legged ties with the final being contest as a single fixture within a neutral venue. Each season would have seen 197 matches being played.
Plans for the creation of a super league date back to 1998 after Italian corporation ‘Media Partners’ illustrated the idea which subsequently failed following the expansion of the UEFA Champions League. There has been little success with the different proposals that have been brought forth since then, but this latest one was one of the most successful. The league was announced on April 18th, 2021, on the eve of a meeting in which the UEFA Executive Committee were planning to expand the UEFA Champions League, from the 2024-25 season, to increase the number of matches and revenues, after much criticism had been received from elite European clubs. Chairman Florentino Pérez had claimed that the league would help clubs to recover the earnings that they have lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he claimed that it would feature uncapped solidarity payments to the clubs which could increase in line with league revenues. The new league was set to introduce a promotion and relegation system whilst also improving VAR and refereeing.
Following much backlash, all six of the English clubs announced their intentions to withdraw prompting The Super League to announce that they would “reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project.” However, just days later, it was announced that all Super League operations would be suspended.
Edited by: Lois George
Header by: Christos Alamaniotis