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            EUROPEAN                                                                                                               his old club and the intended     leaving the old First Division   money coming in from ticket
                                                                                                                                   break-away. By Monday
                                                                                                                                                                                                      sales. It is rumoured that the
                                                                                                                                                                     because they wanted more
                                                                                                                                   lunch, some of the biggest
                                                                                                                                                                                                      most successful club of the
                                                                                                                                                                     control and more money. If
                                                                                                                                   names in the sport had openly
                                                                                                                                                                                                      past two decades – Barcelona
                                                                                                                                                                     memory serves correctly,
                                                                                                                                   decried the league. At 2pm,
                                                                                                                                                                     Everton was on board for that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - has debts of over one billion
                                                                                                                                   UEFA president Aleksander
                                                                                                                                                                       It is rumoured that the
                                                                                                                                                                                                      super clubs would not only
                                                                                                                                   Ceferin had condemned the
                                                                                                                                   idea, calling the instigating     most successful club of          euros. With the ESL, these
                                                                                                                                                                                                      have guaranteed admission to
                                                                                                                                   presidents “snakes” and           the past two decades –           the most lucrative competition
                                                                                                                                   immediately pulling his trump     Barcelona - has debts of         in the world, but also a joining
            SUPER L
            SUPER LEAGUEEAGUE                                                                                                      the ESL would be banned from      the ESL would remove any         courtesy of the league’s
                                                                                                                                                                     over one billion euros.
                                                                                                                                   card: all players suiting up for
                                                                                                                                                                                                      payment of Euro 400 million,
                                                                                                                                                                       The difference here is that
                                                                                                                                                                                                      American backers.
                                                                                                                                   international football. The
                                                                                                                                   UK government stepped in,
                                                                                                                                                                                                        All of this made the move
                                                                                                                                   Downing Street saying it would
                                                                                                                                                                     equation. Effectively, the ESL
                                                                                                                                   do whatever it could to stop      notion of merit from the         attractive at board level, but
                                                                                       By Tim Mottram                              this breakaway (though there      would have been a closed         the knock on would have
                                                                                                                                   are credible reports that British   shop. The founding clubs       been disastrous. A natural
                   magine this: It is a        and posts that brighten the      that some kind of breakaway                        PM Boris Johnson thought it       would have been guaranteed       consequence of entrenching
                   glowing evening in          front of his phone, as fans and   Super League was forming.                         was a “good idea” before the      inclusion. Football has          the founding clubs in the
                   April 2022. Flood           executives send through their    Behind the scenes, the founding                    backlash).                        traditionally been based on      premier club competition
              Ilights illuminate               messages of gratitude.           members were being cajoled                           By Tuesday, the cracks          a system of promotion and        would be a stratification where
             colossal stadiums around           For he has saved football.      and enticed, phones were                           started to show. Fans were        relegation. Of course, today     the national leagues would
             Europe: The Camp Nou, Old          There are possibly only         buzzing and numbers being                          protesting in the streets, and    the super clubs hold all the     effectively be made up of
             Trafford, San Siro. Fans slide    three individuals in the world   presented. No one really trusted                   clubs were worried. Like a        good cards. They have the        feeder clubs. Quality players
             through the turn-styles,          who may have enjoyed this        anyone else, and no one club                       teenager not invited to a party,   support, disproportionate       would be skimmed from the
             finally back in their tens        fantasy back in April of this    wanted to jump before any                          the second tier clubs started     revenues from broadcasters,      other clubs, and the ability to
             of thousands to support           year: Juventus president         other. But finally, the message                    to complain bitterly about the    global support networks and      break into this elite would only
             the greatest teams on the         Andrea Agnelli, his Barcelona    was made clear: this bullet train                  elite having it their own way,    limitless sponsorship deals.     be possible if a petro-nation
             planet after the harrowing        counterpart Joan Laporta and     is leaving the station NOW. Get                    and how they wouldn’t have        They gobble up the best talent   came along and bought it out.
             days of the pandemic.             Perez himself. The brain-trusts   on, or miss out.                                  gone even if they had been        and managers. But against all    So called Legacy Fans would be
             The giants of European            of the other 13 teams who                                                           invited. By midnight, all the     that, they still have to qualify   stuck with a team that played
             football kick off, the times      signed up for the breakaway        Fans were                                        English clubs are out, and the    for the Champions League.        under a low ceiling, while the
             staggered of course, to           European Super League were       protesting in the                                  ESL is effectively dead.          Every year at least four of the   elite effectively colonised the
             ensure that fans at home          most likely just experiencing                                                         To an outsider, the visceral    founding twelve scramble for     global market. It would be a
             get to watch every single         whatever board-level FOMO        streets, and clubs                                 reaction must seem a little       fourth or fifth in their domestic   dystopian sporting nightmare.
             minute of every single            looks like.                      were worried...                                    odd. This league would            leagues just so they can make      Perez, Agnelli and Laporta
             game. The biggest names in         The rise and fall of the Super                                                     basically replace one European    it into Europe. This can make    have not backed down, flailing
             world football run, tackle,       League is a story of the times,    By the evening of that                           competition with another.         accounting in these clubs        wildly as they threaten the
             hit the post, and score goal      where smug entitlement and       Sunday, six clubs from England,                    Twenty teams would play           enormously difficult. With       other founding clubs that they
             after beautiful goal.             self-perpetuating greed finally   three from Italy and three                        midweek in group stages until     hundreds of millions on the      are obliged to join. UEFA has
               High in his box, overlooking    hit a wall - hard. Locked away in   from Spain will be founding a                   a knock-out phase, then a         line, organising the incomings   leverage against them in the
             this triumph of commerce and      their sleek towers and towering   so-called Super League, which                     final with huge coverage and      and outgoings for a club like    short term, but compromise
             community, sits Real Madrid       boxes, the boards of the         would effectively replace the                      grandiosity. The biggest clubs    Tottenham Hotspurs affects       is needed. In a world where
             president Florentino Perez.       founding clubs forgot two hard   Champions league.                                  in Europe would make up most      everything, but particularly     money means everything, the
             Smiling benignly down on          truths about football. One is      By Monday morning, things                        of the spots in the quarter       player wages.                    ghost of the European Super
             the crowd like some secular       that you need fans. The second   were not going to plan. The                        and semi finals. Besides,           Then add in the Covid effect.   League will haunt European
             Pope, he only pauses from his     is you need competition.         day before, Gary Neville,                          breakaways have happened          Clubs are over-leveraged as      football for years to come.
             enjoyment of the beautiful         On Sunday, April 18th, leaks    commentator and Manchester                         before. The Premier League        player wages become ever
             game to glance over the tweets    and rumours started to emerge    United supporter, castigated                       was a consequence of clubs        higher, and there is virtually no

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