European “Super League” Controversy Stuns Fans

New football “Super League” falls apart as fans express their displeasure


Emilio Garcia on Unsplash

The proposed “Super League” would allow the richest teams to make even more money, take part in more exciting high-intensity games, and drastically change the world of professional soccer.

On April 18, 2021, twelve of the largest and top clubs known to soccer around the world announced their intent to create a new league called the Super League. Twelve teams announced their partial commitment to the new league being created, which has been recognized as the “Dirty Dozen” by many due to the betrayal that soccer fans all over the world have witnessed. The “Dirty Dozen” includes the top teams from the top leagues including AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Tottenham.

The Super League was created with the intention of replacing the major competitions including the UEFA Champions League in order to bring in massive amounts of money for the major teams. This concept embodies the idea of the rich getting richer, as the top clubs would be the major focus and would bring in most of the money out of soccer teams around the world. The hopes behind this league involved the excitement of fans. The idea was that the money would come from the fans being interested in watching the top clubs play against one another constantly throughout the season. These clubs were hoping that the fans would be able to look past the money aspect of the new league and focus on the excitement of the high-intensity games that would take place. The Super League was not seen in this light by the fans.

Though the Super League would provide games that would always be exciting and intense due to the strength of the clubs within the league, the stakes would not be as high which would take away from the excitement of the game. The top 15 out of the intended 20 clubs in the league would not be up for relegation, meaning that there would be no penalty for these top 15 clubs coming in last in the standings at the end of the season; they could not be replaced or relegated. The other 5 clubs could, however, as these clubs would not be as powerful as the main clubs and would be invited to the league based on their league performance leading up to the decision. The issue with teams not being relegated or promoted lies in the fans along with their excitement and hope. Hoping, in suspense, that their smaller team might one day be able to compete against the top clubs through promotion and relegation is one of the many factors that keeps soccer alive and thriving all around the world. If there are no stakes for their teams, there is not much for fans to be excited for.

Along with this, there are many other holes in the Super League concept which the fans around the world were quick to realize. This league has the potential to ruin soccer for every team besides the main teams in the Super League. If the idea behind the Super League is to bring in supporters and money to watch the top teams of the soccer world, there will be no interest in the other clubs that are not a part of the Super League. This includes the smaller, less popular clubs, which do not bring in large amounts of money, but still have fans and supporters, fueling the sport around the world. Along with taking away from these teams due to the fact that they are not as financially powerful as the “Dirty Dozen,” the impact of the league on the other teams is a major flaw in the concept that could have negative effects on the soccer world. According to a poll by YouGov , 79 percent of fans oppose the Super League idea, and 68 percent of fans strongly oppose the idea. This issue primarily lies in the 88 percent of fans of teams that are not a part of the Super League opposing the new league. as they recognize the negative effects that the Super League will have on the club that they support.

As of the time of this article being written, all six teams from the Premier League have dropped out: Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Arsenal. Atletico, AC Milan, and Inter have also dropped out. These clubs have seen the backlash from the fans and the negative consequences, and decided that the Super League is not the desired concept that they had hoped it would be. Although the controversy surrounding the Super League is dying down as the league itself is dying, a bad taste has been left in the mouths of soccer fans around the world. Snakes in the sport have been exposed, including the club owners who have been exposed for valuing money over the integrity and health of the sport. As of now, the Super League is not completely gone, only suspended. It is unclear whether the project will re-emerge and how fans will react to the changes to be made in the future.