Twelve European clubs formed a European Super League on Sunday night. But while they named it “European”, only clubs from England, Spain, and Italy participated as Founding Clubs. Here’s why German clubs rejected Super League.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were notably absent from the list of clubs participating in the Super League. So were any other Bundesliga giants like RB Leipzig.
However, six English Premier League clubs joined the league, and clubs from La Liga and Serie A made up the rest.
Why Did the Twelve Clubs Join?
The coronavirus pandemic has wrecked chaos on the world of football financially. Cancellation and delay were the fates of all football seasons in 2020. Even after football resumed, it did so partially- fans are still not allowed to enter stadiums.
With matches cancelled and no fans to fill the stands after buying tickets, all football clubs are in financial trouble.
Meanwhile, the Super League offered a £3.5bn payout to its fifteen Founding Clubs.
This may be why clubs like Barcelona, in deep debt due to the lockdown, signed up eagerly for the league. Also, US investors own four of the six Premier League clubs that joined. These American owners seemingly jumped at the offer of a payout.
Here’s Why German Clubs Rejected Super League
The two biggest Bundesliga clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund abstained from joining Super League. So did every other German club, and Hansi Flick even told off the league before quitting as Bayern coach.
Why did clubs from Germany keep off Super League unanimously?
The vast majority of Germany’s professional football clubs are governed by the 50+1 rule of club ownership. Under this rule 50+1 percent of ownership of German clubs must always remain with the majority members.
What or who are the majority members? Fans. So, with a minimum of 51% of ownership guaranteed, Germany enshrines the ownership of their fans over most clubs. This is true for Bayern and Borussia, too.
The two days after the Super League’s announcement were enough to convey fans’ displeasure at the idea. They were also enough for fan power to shut down the whole project, which is likely to happen soon. So, there’s no question where fans, and thus fan-owned German clubs, stand on this issue.
In spirit too, German clubs have always closely associated with their fans. They have always been concerned with keeping their fans happy than with chasing European titles. As such, any ambition for German teams to join a Super League is minimal.
The Case of PSG
While Paris Saint-Germain also refused to join the Super League, their owners, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) are among the richest. PSG do not lack in money and thus the temptation to join the ESL would not be significant for them.
Moreover, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the PSG president, seemingly has strong ties to UEFA and FIFA. Also, Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup 2022. Still, it’s something to say that all clubs from France steered clear of the new league.