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5 things to know about the Super League

How the new competition can change the European football scenario

5 things to know about the Super League How the new competition can change the European football scenario

"Football is dead. Long live football!" the French would have said if the Super League had been born in 1400. The birth of the Superlega has aroused the same reaction: there are those who sanction the death of football as it is known now and there are those who toast to a new era, a new beginning. The news of the union of intentions of the 12 Founding Clubs represents a turning point in the world of European football, which for the first time has to deal with a separatist drive that delegitimizes the power of UEFA and FIFA. The out of the blue did not reach suddenly and the institutions of world and European football are not exempt from blame (from the scandals for bribes to the creation of more or less necessary tournaments), yet few expected such a bold move at the end of a very complicated season for football. Today news feeds and homepages are flooded with definitive opinions and statements about the future of football in Europe and the ethics of The Beautiful Game. Here we have collected five discussion points on the news of the day.


Who, What, Where, When, and Why

On Sunday evening the birth of the Superlega was announced, a new football competition that will be managed by the Founding Clubs - AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and United, Liverpool and Tottenham - to create a new football business model. The format will consist of 20 teams, with the 12 founders (3 will be added soon) who will always participate and to which another 5 teams will be added that will be selected each year based on the results achieved in the previous season. There will be two groups of 10 teams and after home and away matches, the first 3 of the two groups will qualify for the quarter-finals, while the fourth and fifth will go to a play-off (home and away) to complete the draw of the final phase. It will start in August and will end with the final in May on a neutral pitch.

Florentino Pérez and Andrea Agnelli, respectively president and vice president of the Superlega, explained that one of the aspects that pushed the teams to create this new system is the economic one. The league's revenues are estimated at around 10 billion euros on an annual basis, there will be no spending cap for clubs and participating clubs will receive 3.5 billion to join the Super League.



Like any big change, there are those who are indignant and there are those who celebrate. The most reactionary part is against a system that through power games has taken possession of football, looking only at the business it is able to generate and not at the history of a sport that for many is a symbol of social revenge. In addition to the natural visceral reactions of the fans, the possible sanctions of the federal bodies against those who will join the Super League have also arrived. In Italy, for example, Cagliari, Verona and Atalanta have already proposed exclusion from the championship for Inter, Milan and Juventus. Disciplinary interventions that could also involve individual players and not just teams.

Those who today believe that "football is dead" sees the fundamental values of sport such as competitiveness, meritocracy and the intrinsic beauty that only football brings with it, broken. Political forces such as Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron also took the pitch to demonstrate their disagreement on the matter, putting fans and not stakeholders in the front row as done by the Super League's founding committee.

On the other hand, there are those who look to the future with satisfaction, separating themselves from institutions that have shown problems and impartiality over the years. A separatist push that should lead - conditionally obligatory given the quantity of if and buts that exist - to an innovative, new and market-demanded system. The most inconvenient truth, as we read in English tabloids such as the Guardian, is that this format, which is far from traditional football, is the one that is most comfortable for everyone in terms of use.



The problems that the Super League has not yet solved at the moment are different and on several levels. A closed or semi-closed and exclusive league does not lower competitiveness in absolute terms, but the modalities of access to the new format are still to be established: simply saying that "they will be selected each year based on the results achieved in the previous season" contributes to create only confusion where clarity is needed. The lack of meritocracy seems to be today the knot to be solved from an almost ethical point of view. The modalities of access as well as the modalities of exit from the Superlega have not yet been revealed in detail and this can make a difference. Proof of this are Arsenal and Tottenham (currently 9th and 7th forces in the Premier League, with an almost compromised path to Europe) and Juventus, not sure of a place among the top four in Serie A. In other words, a discourse more of economic power than of sporting merit.

Even if in the unified communiqué issued by the Founding Clubs we read of the need to start this path as soon as possible, a problem could be represented by the sponsors of the companies that adhere to the new project. The moral aspect that many partners are proving to have in the last two years would represent a discriminating factor for those who make their main driving force behind the revenues deriving from sponsorships.


Visual identity

The Super League will also and above all reinvent the visual part of the new football that it intends to promote and develop. The beginning is not the most promising. In its first official document, the Superlega's brand identity appears very similar to that of the Champions League, to all intents and purposes the main rival on the football market. A breaking league, which wants to cut ties with a football in which elite clubs no longer identify themselves, could dare more and choose at least a different color palette from the one that the number 1 competitor has been using for years. a bit as if the rebranding of Milan started from Inter's black and blue.


NBA? Euroleague?

In these hours, many are comparing the Super League model and that of the NBA. While there are obvious similarities (inclusiveness of the league, fixed participation of the teams, format with two groups), on the other hand there are abysmal differences between the two systems. One of the many is represented by the fact that the NBA is managed by a super partes commisioner who safeguards the good of all 30 franchises and not by owners of two teams, avoiding a conflict of interest that would be detrimental to the integrity of the league itself. The NBA is a sustainable model, which has a salary cap and which has very different economic guarantees from those that the Super League clubs can offer: just think of the fact that Inter are looking for new investors, that Barça has a 1 billion in debt and that Juve must find 100 million euros by June. These assumptions are the abyss that exists between two models that are similar only in appearance.

A case much closer to the Super League can be represented by the Euroleague and the Euroleague-FIBA clash, something very similar to the fight that Peréz-Agnelli and the UEFA and FIFA lawyers are preparing. Even in that case, which has been in the archive for two years now, the competitions managed by two different poles of power have led to the coexistence of two competitions: the Euroleague and the Champions League (organized by FIBA, FIFA basketball). The push and pull did not lead to anything fruitful, but only to the creation of the fourth European competition. At the moment, the Euroleague seems to be the closest success story to the Super League in terms of dynamics and objectives.