How Did The Super League Idea Collapse So Quickly?
n what was a whirlwind 60 hours for football fans across the globe, the withdrawal of six English Premier League (EPL) teams from the proposed Super League competition made it very difficult for the competition to continue at the digression of those in charge.
Current Real Madrid president and inaugural chairman of the new enterprise, Florentino Perez, led a theoretical competition essentially rivalling the UEFA Champions League and potentially alienating players and coaches from domestic leagues and from representing their national teams.
Perez has remained adamant through the process that the Super League is the future of football.
“This Super League is not for the rich, but it’s to save football,” Perez said.
“If this continues, football will disappear and by 2024 would already be dead.
“This is the only way to save everyone: big, small and medium clubs,” he said.
So how did such a certain idea become ruined in only a matter of days?
Outcry from the majority of football fans alike put business owners at the head of clubs on notice, with the first casualty being Manchester United’s executive vice- chairman, Ed Woodward, who is resigning at season’s end.
Liverpool FC owner John W. Henry offered a social media apology to all fans whilst Arsenal provided a statement, reading: “as a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League.”
“We made a mistake, and we apologise for it,” the statement read.
The main quarrel fans had against the competition was that it was tailored for rich business owners of the “big” clubs, all whilst leaving “lower” football club’s battling to survive after reduced revenue globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The players and coaches
On the back of more pressing rumours that the news could be true, those involved professionally stepped forward to administer their displeasure.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp was firmly against the idea when asked by the media: “We were not involved in any processes, not the players, not me, we didn’t know about it.”
During the Leeds United versus Liverpool match, Leeds players wore warm-up T-shirts with the message: “football is for the fans.”
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola reiterated the negatives behind the Super League: “It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it is not a sport when it doesn’t matter where you lose.”
Perhaps most famously, Sky Sports pundits lamented the decision, with Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand going in hard on club owners.
The former, a Manchester United player, took aim at the English club’s involved.
“I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool most – I mean, Liverpool, they pretend “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, the people’s club, the fans’ club,” Neville said.
“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 pure greed,” he said.
The end of the Super League?
Despite the setbacks of English clubs pulling out of the proposal, those in charge do not believe that it is the end.
Perhaps the most informative words regarding the future of the project came from the organisers in a joint statement: “Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project.”