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What led to the collapse of the European Super League? | Football Stories


Who would have thought that the huge sums of money made secretly among the 12 richest clubs in European football could have collapsed in the midst of a global crisis and documented economic instability?

Not the brains behind the desired European Super League, this is for sure.

Just days after the announcement and outrage of the Sabbath announcement that independent teams on the contract are out of the domestic competition to form their own league, not promoted or eliminated – yet visually rewarding TV rights – the plans had been shattered.

So what’s wrong?

Football players across Europe have been endorsed by former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, as his plans for promotion to Sky Sports began on Sunday night.

Neville’s comments sparked outrage among fans who were angry at the billionaire managers at their clubs, as hundreds came to stage demonstrations at stadiums across the country. Vitriol outside of this popular venue surprised players and teammates, many of whom had never been asked about the desired league, and players also began to speak out against the plan.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, fired by the strike and just weeks before the election, used the opportunity to speak out against the proposal, threatening to change competition rules to prevent the business community from disrupting the world’s favorite sports, and one of the sales. the largest in the UK.

The owners of the clubs had already gambled away, and they lost.

The success of the fans on the power of the boardroom? Probably not.

“I don’t think he expects the fans to be intimidated,” Paul Widdop, a senior business professor at Manchester Metropolitan University (and a Liverpool fan), told Al Jazeera.

“But I think this was about self-defense. We don’t know about legal issues that happen in secret, which are threatening [European football governing body] UEFA or FIFA [the world football governing body].

“It doesn’t seem to have any PR link to the ad. The website seemed to be running fast. It all looks like a bit of a cook.”

Instead, the ESL trial for PR was run by a former UK Conservative spin doctor. The article, which was released at 11:30 pm on Sunday, came from iNHouse Communications, a communications company run by Katie Perrior – former director of Communications for Theresa May when she was prime minister. They were just sitting ganyu initially on the same day.


The idea of ​​half cooking is the ultimate PR effort. So how big was the request in the first place?

“I don’t think it’s a distraction, or a distraction,” Simon Chadwick, a Eurasian Sport professor at the Emlyon Business School (and a Middlesbrough enthusiast), told Al Jazeera.

“A lot of people didn’t realize UEFA’s idea of ​​changing the Champions League, which was unveiled on Monday. And they’re not entirely different from the ESL idea. We’re talking about US financial institutions, as well as joining big clubs.”

As a result, even if Manchester City did not qualify for the Champions League at home, UEFA would not lose any money other than the international team in its major competitions – it could just give them a wildcard entry, ensuring a spectacular view of China’s wealthy audience and India, among other emerging markets.

“This is not the first time a terrorist organization has been targeted,” Chadwick said. “The last most important moment was 2007, then used as the basis for the major European clubs to negotiate a better place with UEFA. That is why I think there has been a lot of horse and bribe trade in the last 72 years.”

Widdop, co-author of Collective Action and Football Fandom: A Relational Sociological Approach, acknowledges: “If you look at the teams involved, they are heavily in debt. I do not know if [the ESL proposal] and earning the money they earn in the Champions League and making sure they do well … But this was driven a day before the changes in the UEFA Champions League seemed to be a success. ”

Economic tensions

“UEFA is always difficult, because the funding they receive is managed by a few rich teams, but it does not support only 12 or 15 teams, representing 55 organizations,” said Chadwick.

“As in the Premier League, a portion of the Champions League share money is shared by UEFA members. When Real Madrid and Manchester United play their last match in the Champions League, there is a financial crisis for the Maltese and Faroe Islands football associations. . ”

While the saved league would be a closed shop with the funds to share their teams only, there is a really big difference in intelligence in the game.

“What the Super League has done is to highlight some of the mistakes that are being made in world football here,” Chadwick said. “You should know that it is clear that Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are all American. That is why you are talking about free trade-off capitalism, which is run by business. Now, this is the opposite of, if you will, a democratic democracy in Europe, especially in Germany, where there is a democratic system.

“We live in a time of economic downturn, because what we have is economic connectivity, trade, industry and politics.”

Football is “a mirror in public,” Widdop said.

“The Society has changed and football in Europe has received foreign funding over the past 30 years with open arms,” ​​he said.

“And capitalists want to grow. Basically, they need to grow continuously, looking for new markets. And when they do start to see the market move, they have to look for new things. What better way to do this than to create a new league? ”

Legal failure?

Before the dust settles, it is inevitable that lawyers will take action. As it all started around Tuesday night, clubs wishing to remain in the league were likely to be reimbursing the potential loss of a 23-year contract and replacing them with clubs that were the first to leave.

However, any club that wants to commit a genocide can face a minefield, with clubs located in different locations. For example, the owner of Manchester City is Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (PDF), an independent company that employs only one person and has its headquarters in the free zone in the UAE.

“ESL is or has been given the status quo – to be governed by the relationship between the parties involved. In particular the clubs had to govern themselves – this will help create legal and commercial problems in the future,” William Bowyer, Sports and Entertainment lawyer at Mackrell Solicitors, told Al Jazeera.

“Despite their best efforts, UEFA or FIFA must also fight to improve ESL. This seems to worry UEFA and FIFA as evidenced by the courageous statements made in recent days.”

And they can’t be the clubs that think of monitoring.

“One of the participants, the players, seems to be left behind in the minds of the clubs,” added Bowyer. “It can be difficult with the existing alliance if the clubs violate their league, UEFA or FIFA rules. It would give players the opportunity to get legal advice on where to stand to participate in ESL and be banned from playing in the Euro or World Cup in the future. ”

Crime wheels crash abruptly at times in good times and in easy places. And in any case, for years to come, they could be judges, a one-hour charge, which would greatly benefit them.

Club owners may have a serious problem with the collapse of the league, but there is no doubt that many will sell out soon. European football is now seen as less attractive to US investors, says Chadwick, but it continues to be a lucrative business.

“I think the popular anti-capitalism transformation that took place on the streets of Europe this week has not gone unnoticed,” Chadwick said. “I think it was absurd and easy. We are still talking about high-stakes sports. And no government in the UK or the European Union can intervene in things that will disrupt financial institutions in their country and give them a chance to compete globally. and we find these organizations difficult to manage. “

Widdop thinks that what the government can do will never happen.

“I find it very strange that this government is following the principles of the right to abstain from all other companies except football, that football should be a socialist suddenly,” he said. “It’s funny, it’s true, it’s all just a lie when the government intervenes. Come on August, everything will be forgotten and in the end there will be no change.”

James Brownsell is a former European editor at Al Jazeera, and a long-suffering Watford FC fan. Follow me on Twitter: @JamesBrownsell


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