More than two years ago, in April 2021, the world of football was literally shocked by the announcement of a new league, the Super League, which would involve the top European football clubs competing with each other in a no-promotion and no-relegation league format.
The idea of the Super League came from the mouths of twelve founding clubs: clubs from the top flight of the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, and the Italian Serie A. And it was about to change European football—at least the way fans relate to their clubs or bettors wager on their favorite clubs in sportsbooks around the world or even in online betting sites Bangladesh.
The development of a closed, elite league for the top clubs of European football did not happen overnight. In fact, the idea was slowly coming into shape since early 2009 in the mind of Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez, who was rather openly ‘blaming’ the UEFA for its Champions League format and structure, which didn’t let clubs grow financially and also for not being fair to all clubs.
And just like that, amid coronavirus restrictions and policy measures, the launch of Super League was declared, with founding members being out there, ready to be ‘cheered’ – at least this was what they thought in the beginning- by the public. But things did not go as planned. In fact, the immediate reaction after the announcement was quite unexpected, forcing nine out of the twelve founding clubs to withdraw their support and pull out of the project.
In England, where football is worshiped and celebrated like no other sport, the public went crazy, and not in a good way. Fans protested, demanding that their favorite clubs abandon the launch of the Super League. Feeling angry, betrayed, and most of all disappointed, they called for the clubs to withdraw their participation and prove to them in this way that they really care about the sport itself and not simply about commercializing and making football a closed shop for the ‘few’.
Clubs heard their fans, and within three days, all six English members pulled out of the project that was about to materialize, if there were no riots and protests and if there was no negative reaction from every bit of football fan in their nation.
Very soon, other clubs also left the project, including Inter, Milan, and Atletico Madrid. They also foresaw, most probably, the negative impact that it would have on their fans and the support that they would get from people, and they announced that they were abandoning the project.
Despite nine of the twelve founding clubs echoing the voice of their fans, there are three top European football clubs that don’t seem to bother much. Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid have never pulled out and they are actually still attached to the Super League potential launch.
And this is in fact the main reason why many analysts still believe that the idea of a closed shop between the elite clubs is not yet out of the picture. Barcelona and Juventus, particularly, are in hot-tempered relations with UEFA, feeling that they are not treated fairly and struggling with all the financial regulations and strict impositions that the organization has been placing on them.
They don’t see many opportunities for growth—financial growth, that is—with the current format and structure of UEFA’s watched leagues. They want to make a bigger business, but they feel that they are not allowed to do so, the way things are at the moment.
Being still on board with the potential Super League gives them a twofold standpoint: first, they are openly opposing UEFA’s Champions League, and second, they are directly blaming the organization for the big inequalities of the top flight of European football.
Second, they are trying to lay the foundation and set the basis for financial growth. A financial growth that can, at last, approximate the levels of the English Premier League, the league with the highest revenues in the entire football world.
So, with these in mind, can we be sure that the Super League will not materialize at some point in the future? No, we can’t be sure, but we can bet on the willingness of all parties – UEFA and the opposing clubs—to work things out so that the elite, closed competition will not change things in football that we all love.