In the proposed Super League, the twelve (and three as-yet-unknown) Founding Clubs enjoy a complete immunity from relegation. This begs the question – will Super League destroy open competition for financial gain?
The European Super League (ESL) introduced last night plans to compete with and eventually replace UEFA’s Champions League. The UCL is currently the biggest European gaming form, with a large pool of European clubs participating.
Let’s first understand the UCL format and then a discourse on how the ESL may destabilize it will follow.
Champions League Format
The Champions League allows 32 clubs across Europe to fight for the UCL title every year. These 32 participants are determined by a relegation and promotion process based on their performances in the previous year.
So, it is clear that the UCL honours, to a great extent, a democratic approach to qualification. Every club must qualify based primarily on merit every year.
Indeed, UEFA plan to expand the format to include 36 competing clubs now. Moreover, they may also introduce two wildcard slots as part of the revamp.
Actually, last night’s Super League announcement came just hours before UEFA’s Switzerland meeting to arrive at a decision over this.
Will Super League Destroy Open Competition for Financial Gain?
This spirit of open competition in the Champions League is in danger due to the new Super League format.
ESL may side-line UCL, now striving to include even more clubs that previously, in terms of popularity and viewer ratings. After all, some of the very top European club giants will be permanent fixtures in the ESL.
But that, precisely, is the problem. These 15 Founding Clubs will enjoy an uninterrupted, unproven (on a yearly basis), monopoly in qualification.
Only five slots will be allotted to clubs actually qualifying based on yearly merit.
Already we see larger clubs attracting more revenue, and therefore buying the “better” players. These players then help them qualify over smaller clubs, and the vicious circle continued.
The new league implies a further threat to democratic, merit-oriented selection and promotion in football.
A Chelsea Supporters’ Trust spokesperson even said: “We are appalled that Chelsea FC are among the rumoured clubs who have allegedly signed up to a “Super League” as it would destroy open competition for financial gain.
“This proposal demonstrates the greed within football and as supporters, we are tired of the beautiful game being abused.”