Over the last week, the breaking news around the sports world was that the European Super League collapsed right in front of our eyes. When it was announced that 12 squads had confirmed themselves as the founding members of the 20-team organization, fans basically rioted. Since then, the Super League is basically dead in the water. How did this happen?
What would be the Super League?
If you’re a little later to the party here, you’re not alone in wondering what would be the Super League? Essentially, it was going to be a league that would combine together some of the biggest and best clubs from all over Europe. The plan was for these 20 teams to breakaway from UEFA and compete against one another. This meant we would have seen teams like Liverpool and Real Madrid face off more than once or twice a year.
The project had billions of dollars in backing from JP Morgan. Indeed, there was some serious interest in this going down. However, once UEFA found out about this, they understandably and rightfully lost their collective minds. There were reports surfacing stating that teams involved in the Super League would be eliminated from the Europa League and Champions League this season if things went through.
In case you missed it, the 12 teams that were the founding members were Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus. These are all among the biggest clubs in the world. So on one side, fans were intrigued about the top players doing battle consistently.
However, this would take away from the love and tradition from respective soccer leagues. Indeed, fans all over the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A were furious when these Super League announcements took place. You better believe those same folks are happy things have basically done a 180.
Super League teams dropped out left and right this week
As you probably were able to see in the news, Super League teams dropped out left and right this week. One by one, all of the six English Premier League teams from England announced through their social media outlets that they no longer wanted to participate. Things got so bad over in Manchester, that United chairman Ed Woodward actually announced he was resigning at the end of the season. That was monster Premier League news.
Woodward received plenty of blame for being among those from the Premier League to power things through for the Super League. He was already a hated man all over England, and this just sent things over the top. Countless players even came out with statements going up against the Super League. This included Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, who didn’t hold back in his statement.
“We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen,” Henderson posted in an emotional message on his Twitter page. “This is our collective position. Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional. You’ll never walk alone.”
Henderson of course wasn’t the only English Premier League, La Liga or Serie A player to speak out against the Super League. Plain and simple, the players didn’t want anything to do with a new league that would cause division among the fans. Remember, this new Super League would have basically flipped the Champions League upside down. FIFA even came out and said anyone in the Super League could not play in the World Cup. That was drastic.
Ilkay Gundogan slammed the Champions League for the new proposals
While the Super League controversy was one thing, it also led to UEFA proposing and approving a new format for the Champions League, which will take place starting in 2024-25. Many players are not happy and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan slammed the Champions League for new proposals that were presented. In essence, the tournament will grow to 36 teams from the original 32.
A massive change here is that there would no longer be four groups of eight as we’ve seen over the years. Instead, It will be one single table, with teams playing 10 games to start instead of the usual six in the group stages. The teams would also play 10 different clubs, and there will be no repeat matches. It’s a huge difference and Gundogan didn’t hold back in going after UEFA for approving the above changes.
“With all the Super League stuff going on, can we please also speak about the new Champions League format? More and more games, is no one thinking about us players? The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League,” he said on Twitter. “The UCL format right now works great and that is why it’s the most popular club competition in the world for us players and for the fans.”
Gundogan clearly didn’t hold back, as the Manchester City star couldn’t be less happy with what’s going on. It will be on UEFA to answer to the players. All in all, though, it’s been a rough week for European soccer, the governing body for UEFA, FIFA and the Super League. Plenty of questions remain unanswered here.