International media has been busy throughout the whole week as news of the launch of the so-called Super League featuring Europe’s most elite clubs have been confirmed, in a direct response to the new model of the UEFA Champions League.
The announcement of the new breakaway league has shaken the football world as some consider it a move that is set to change football as people know it for ever. But it is now at stake of collapse after several teams have withdrawn.
So what is the Super League? What is its format? Who is financing it? And what has been the reaction?
What is the Super League?
The European Super League is a new competition involving 20 clubs – with 15 permanent ones, called the “founding clubs” – and five guest teams who will be selected for involvement each season based on the results of their previous domestic seasons.
The teams are Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.
Notably, Germany’s Bayern Munich and Dortmund have not signed for the proposed competition, founded and chaired by Real Madrid’s President Florentino Pérez.
The League’s format
The European Super League will feature two groups of 10 playing home and away and three qualifying for the quarter-finals.
The fourth and fifth-placed clubs will play off for the quarter-final spots and quarter and semis will be played over two legs. The final will be a single match at a neutral venue.
The UEFA’s new “Swiss model” for the Champions League is to change its format from a group of 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four to a group of 36 clubs in only one large table.
The clubs would be ranked by club coefficient and assigned a group of 10 matches against different opponents, five home and five away, with the top eight in the table advancing to the knock-out rounds.
Pérez claimed that he looks forward to seeing the Super League a real as soon as possible since it aims to “save football”.
However, he gave no details on the funding of the breakaway league.
In his interview with the Spanish TV show El Chiringuito, the Real Madrid president accused UEFA as “a monopoly”, as well as with lacking of transparency and not having a “good image”.
He revealed that the move had been made because young people are “no longer interested in football” because of “a lot of poor quality games”.
The Super League move has been blasted by football authorities and government ministers in the UK, as well as the UEFA and various leagues associations.
Also, football legends and fans criticised such a move which may kill the spirit of the European football heritage.
The competition is now at stake after Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan have withdrawn.
This came after all six English Premier League clubs have pulled out, namely Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool Manchester United, and Chelsea.
Only four clubs — Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan — stand deserted in the face of UEFA.