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Plans unveiled for the new European Super League

2024.01.13 05:47:13 Yuchan Shim
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[Stadium Soccer Football Aerial View Football Pitch. Credit to Pxhere]

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) or Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) may not block the development of a breakaway competition, leading to the formation of a new plan for the European Super League (ESL).

The new tournament, proposed and developed predominantly by A22 Sports, aims to feature 64 men’s and 32 women’s teams playing midweek in a league system with no permanent members.

 

Initially suggested in April 2021, the ESL was designed as a competition where the top twenty teams from Europe would compete every week.

 

However, it was met with immediate opposition from fans and some clubs, resulting in the plans collapsing within a few days.

 

One major criticism was that the competition prioritized financial gains over genuine entertainment.

 

The new format addresses previous concerns regarding the relegation system, ensruing that certain teams are not protected from relegation.

 

The men’s competition contains three leagues: Star, Gold, and Blue.

 

The Star and Gold leagues consist of 16 teams each, while the bottom-tier Blue league includes 32 teams.

 

A22 Sports states, “This vision is based on extensive consultation with a wide range of football stakeholders across Europe and built on our core principles including participation based on sporting merit (and) no permanent members.”

 

Clubs are organized into groups of eight, with the top eight teams qualifying for the end-of-season knockout stage.

 

The two teams making the final of the Blue and Gold leagues earn promotion, while the bottom two teams are relegated.

 

The 20 worst teams in the Blue league lose their place in the ESL and are replaced by other European clubs.

 

Furthermore, the streaming of the ESL games would be available on a free digital platform, aiming to publicize the competition further.

 

Despite these changes, the ESL remains unpopular among clubs and fans.

 

Manchester United issued a statement regarding their stance, stating, “Our position has not changed. We remain fully committed to participation in UEFA competitions, and to positive cooperation with UEFA, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA on the continued development of the European game.”

 

Players’ health remains a concern due to the additional midweek games, increasing the players’ workload and making fatigue challenging to manage.

 

The ESL is viewed as a challenge to football governing bodies, accused of greed by fans.

 

On the positive note, the competition may provide a fresh atmosphere for competition and entertainment, with only the best teams in Europe.

 

A22 Sports expressed that “The new European Super League aims to be the most exciting football competition in the world.”

 

While it is still yet to be seen whether the formation of the European Super League will go through, some of the clubs are already backing out.

 

The French and Italian governing bodies are working on regulations to prohibit their respective league clubs from joining the ESL, and the Premier League has also voiced opposition.

 

The European Super League may not be the transformative competition for European football leagues, but following the European Court of Justice ruling, it may have opened up further opportunities for other tournaments in the future.


Yuchan Shim / Grade 10
Cornerstone Collegiate Academy of Seoul