European Super League — The Americanization of World Football (Soccer)

Anish Kaushal
5 min readApr 22, 2021

First posted on my personal website (here).

A small group of people are trying to ruin football for the world. All in the name of greed.

(For all the North Americans reading this, when I say football, I mean soccer).

If you’ve missed what’s happened this week, there’s a new proposal for a new European Super League. All of the rules and such are here.

I’m not going to go through all of them but the premise is this: the top clubs in European football are trying to split from the Champions league and their domestic leagues to create a new super league.

The Super league will be composed of the top 6 English clubs (Liverpool, United, City, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal), the 3 top Spanish clubs (Athletico, Barcelona, Real Madrid), and the top 3 Italian clubs (Juventus, AC Milan, Inter) as the initial founding members, as well as 3 additional clubs.

However, the biggest clubs in Germany (Bayern Munich and Dortmund) and France (PSG) have said no to this proposal. Kudos to them for standing up for their fans.

This has infuriated many people around the football world. Football media personalities, the prime minister of Britain and even British royalty have expressed their disgust for what’s happening.

Let me present both sides as I see it.

First, here’s what I think the owners are thinking:

We make tons of money. We can travel around the world and host games in the Middle East, Asia, China and America where we can make way more money than we do in the domestic league and Champions League.

We control most of the revenue generation for our local competitions and European football so why are we not given even more money. The domestic leagues and Champions league are nothing without our clubs.

We have been riddled with debt during Covid. We had to take out massive loans because of Covid in order to sustain our clubs during the pandemic.

We can charge TV stations way more money than the domestic leagues and Champions league can charge, all of which goes to us and no one else.

This is a great idea

This is what I think the owners are thinking.

Let’s be honest, they’re all businessmen at heart who are disconnected from the clubs. The Glazer family, who are American, own Manchester United. John Henry and Fenway Sports Group, Americans, own Liverpool. Abramovich, a Russian oligarch, owns Chelsea. Sheik Mansour, the deputy prime minister of the UAE, owns Man City. Stan Kroenke, an American, owns Arsenal.

As you can see from these countless examples, these are billionaires who have no connection to the cities in which the clubs operate. They are billionaires who are used to bullying people with their wealth. They don’t care about people’s feelings, because in their eyes, these are businesses. Businesses are about maximizing shareholder’s profits, not about feelings.

Here’s what they miss:

They miss the history. They fail to understand how these clubs were built. They were built by poor, working-class people who lived for their local club. Football is embedded into English culture, just like it is in Spain, Italy, and all the other countries around the world. Football is a religion, just like American Football is in America.

Working-class people spend their hard-earned money every week to watch their local team play. They gather with their family and friends to watch the club they’ve supported their entire life. They’ve grown up playing soccer in the playground and watching their heroes play on the weekend. They live for the weekend when they can see their local team play.

If the super league goes ahead, it also eliminates the spirit of relegation. Football has been built on relegation. There are multiple tiers of football leagues across Europe that breed competition. You’re rewarded if you win and punished if you lose. If you’re at the bottom of the table, you’re eliminated from the league and sent down to a lower division. This gets completely eliminated with this new Super league. If you’re a part of it, you can never get eliminated from it.

This super league spits in the face of the cities and history of the clubs, particularly ones like United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus who have such rich history. It disconnects them from their local community. It effectively ruins grassroots football. Domestic leagues are created so that money can get trickled down to the lower divisions and youth sports that inspire kids to get involved with football.

If the biggest money generators are gone from the Premier League, do you think media companies are going to be paying top dollar to show Burnley vs. Leicester? Nope, they won’t.

This effectively ruins the rest of the football world. It makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. You’ll never get another Leicester City winning the Premier League ever again.

There’s also the question of international competitions. FIFA and UEFA have stated that if this were to go ahead, none of the players who are involved for those teams can play in any Euros or World Cup. That’s going to cause huge uproar for players who grow up in countries around the world dreamed of representing their country on the biggest stage.

It ruins the World Cup forever. It ruins the Euros forever. Do fans around the world really want to see an English B team play a German B team? No way. The World Cup is the biggest event in the world for a reason. We get to see countries around the world pick their best players and compete in a tournament that brings everyone together.

Right now, my take is there’s a lot of posturing going on. Classic negotiation tactics between the owners of the big clubs and the football organizations. On one side, FIFA and UEFA are trying to bring down the harshest rules they possibly can to make sure this won’t go through. They’re banning teams from domestic competitions and players from international competitions. But on the opposite side, money talks and the owners know the value they bring to the domestic and European competitions. They know without the top teams, the leagues will fail.

Arsene Wegner, Arsenal’s old manager, predicted this was going to happen over a decade ago. Eventually, the big teams were going to get so much bigger than the rest of the competition and they were going to branch out into their own league.

The biggest teams in the world want to become franchises that compete in their own league where the owners make tons of money and never have any threat of getting relegated. Does this sound familiar? It should because it’s exactly how American sports are run.

The Americanization of world football is happening in front of our eyes.

Hopefully it never comes true, but money talks.

Let’s see what happens.

Update April 20, 2021 (two days later):

Multiple teams pulled out. It’s dead. Thank god this didn’t continue for much longer. Now the question is how will these teams be punished. Sanctions are likely coming but who knows.

Hopefully this idea is dead in the water.

Keep Going, You’re Doing Great

-AK

Check out my Twitter, Instagram, and Website to stay up-to-date with my journey

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Anish Kaushal

Doctor | Venture Capitalist | Amateur Sports Analyst | Lover of Oreo Mcflurries