What is the European Super League & why are football fans so angry about it?

Big moves.

Nyi Nyi Thet | April 19, 2021, 12:43 PM

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If you are a football fan, you might have sensed a disturbance in the force today.

In unrelated news, here is the big announcement gripping all of football.

A Super League.

The clubs are: Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and Tottenham.

According to the announcement, three more clubs are expected to join.

According to media reports, PSG and Bayern Munich are not backing the proposal.

What is the structure?

The aforementioned 15 clubs (including the three unnamed teams) will serve as the founding members of the ESL.

Another five clubs will be granted entry to the competition, via a still unannounced annual qualifying mechanism based on "achievements in the prior season".

The tournament will be divided into two groups of 10.

The top three clubs in each group automatically qualifies for the the quarter-finals, teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions.

A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.

The teams are still expected to compete in their respective national leagues (i.e. Arsenal continue to play in the EPL, Madrid in the La Liga).

Which raised some other questions:


Real Madrid president, and chairman of the ESL, pointed to the "more than four billion fans" of football, and claimed their "responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires”.

According to Reuters, the league said they are expected to make "solidarity payments in excess of 10 billion euros over the 23-year commitment period the clubs have entered into".

The league said they will make "solidarity payments" to the rest of European football, which will exceed those currently offered by UEFA and which "are expected to be in excess of 10 billion euros" over the 23-year commitment period the clubs have entered into.

The founding clubs will receive a pool of 3.5 billion euros solely to support "infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic".


Overwhelmingly negative.

The loudest voice against the proposed league has been Manchester United legend, Gary Neville.

In particular, he took umbrage against Liverpool, and his own club, Manchester United.

“I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool most. Liverpool they pretend, you'll never walk alone, the people’s club, the fans club.

Manchester United, 100 years, born out of workers around here, and they’re breaking away into a league without competition, that they can’t be relegated from.

It's an absolute disgrace and honestly we have to wrestle back the power in this country from the clubs at the top of this league and, that includes my club."

Calling the move a "criminal act against the fans", some of the measures he called for included docking points, and "deducting money" from the involved clubs.

Giuseppe Rossi, who actually started his career at Manchester United, tweeted his anger at the move.

According to Reuters, European soccer's governing body UEFA has warned clubs linked to ESL they face being "banned from domestic and international competitions" if they go through with the league.

Image from Getty