It’s fitting that football’s European Super League, founded on greed, collapsed so quickly

News Letter editorial of Thursday, April 22:

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:35 am
News Letter editorial

The European Super League was announced to an unsuspecting sporting world on Sunday but little more than 48 hours later, on Tuesday night, it was effectively a dead duck as, one-by-one, clubs from England, Spain and Italy pulled out.

Twelve of Europe’s richest clubs had signed up, including six from England’s Premier League, with greed unashamedly their prime motivation.

Currently, clubs across Europe qualify for the lucrative Champions League competition by either winning or finishing in the upper echelons of their own domestic league. The idea behind the Super League was to remove that element of chance, guaranteeing the elite a seat at the top European table every year (and of course eye-watering riches) regardless of where they finished every season.

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Ultimately, the clubs involved, including giants like Manchester United, Liverpool and Inter Milan, badly misjudged the mood of their own supporters. They might well have expected the fans of rival clubs, who were not invited to the elite group, to react angrily, but they seemingly didn’t anticipate the vitriol from their own fans or indeed their own players.

Above all else, the Super League’s swift demise was a victory for the traditional football fan, for the supporter who followed his or her club through thick and thin and to all corners of their own country or beyond.

Fans of Super League founders, including Manchester City and Chelsea, told their rich owners both on social media and in the case of Chelsea outside Stamford Bridge on Tuesday that they didn’t want specia7l treatment,that they didn’t want their own domestic leagues to be undermined by a project which would effectively render their results against the likes of Burnley or Southampton irrelevant.

Thankfully the owners listened, and reacted more quickly than anyone probably expected.

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Alistair Bushe

Editor