I’m going to be taken to the cleaners for this, but I don’t care. Have a read here if you think I only have a johnny-come-lately perspective on football.
I don’t hate the idea of a European Super League.
People think that all clubs are currently part of some fabric of the game, but they are gravely mistaken. Whatever these clubs’ roots before 2000, in the 21st Century you are absolutely kidding yourselves if you think these 12 clubs were pillars of the community right up until yesterday.
They are corporations. The elite clubs are super businesses, nothing more. A Champions League final between Toyota and Apple would be no different to one between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. In all cases these are businesses headhunting the best employees.
At least in England, take a look at the home-made banners draped around by travelling fans watching England matches at the World Cups. These banners are never dedicated to Manchester United, or Manchester City, or even Liverpool.
They are usually scribbled with club names like Grimsby Town or Gillingham FC.
Real fans don’t support Manchester City or Tottenham. They support local clubs where you actually have a chance of having a beer with your centre-back after the match.
Teams like Manchester United’s main ‘fans’ are glory hunters in Japan, and on state-less internet forums elsewhere.
Are they letting down some imagined community by upping stumps and leaving the Champions League?
They would still be a part of their domestic leagues. But, secondly, what is a domestic league at this point? Juventus have won the last nine Italian league titles, Bayern Munich the last eight German ones.
Most domestic league matches are Real Madrid versus Recreativo Huelva or whatever, the best teams money can buy versus glorified pub teams hoofing it forward. It is barely competitive sport even as it currently stands.
Meanwhile, in Spain, where I admit people do support the two big clubs purely for lack of alternatives, Real Madrid and Barcelona have had two mediocre years now but are never a chance of collectively losing the Spanish League. Oh, Atletico won one in 2014, wow you sure showed me.
As for the alleged current prospect of an outsider upsetting the status quo that will be taken away from us: currently such teams each season have exactly two months to win a championship before they are financially decimated by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Co.
Ajax was the most recent possibility in 2019. Within about three seconds of Lucas Moura’s goal for Tottenham on May 8, Ajax pillars Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt were suddenly playing for Barcelona and Juventus respectively.
The last time an Eastern European club had any possibility of global success was Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv in the 1998 and 1999 UEFA Champions Leagues. Take a wild guess what happened even back then? Milan purchased Andrii Shevchenko, themselves won the 2003 Champions League on his back, and we never heard of Dynamo again.
The UEFA Champions League isn’t some pristine golden age where anyone can dream. Some countries have four entrants, some one entrant if they are lucky. And what’s the difference between a dead rubber in the Champions League Group Stage between Inter and Real Madrid and one that’s part of a Super League?
The super clubs are already Harlem Globetrotter circus acts, hoarding the world’s best players (including their reserves). Just last week we saw Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria versus what used to be the entire Borussia Dortmund first team.
So I say: let’s cut the bull of them using the majority of their time beating Derby County 8-0, or Lorient 7-1. Let them all play each other and enjoy the show.