A European Super League is coming.
That is what everyone is saying, anyway.
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs, including the big six in the Premier League have already signed up to the new 20-team competition that could start as early as next season.
It could be worth hundreds of millions to the clubs involved, but could also be the death knell for the Champions League and Europa League as we know them right now, while the Premier League are against the plans for the ESL that have also been condemned by the Government.
And where do the supporters stand on all this too? They have not been consulted, not been asked what they think about their clubs joining this new league, at least not by the clubs themselves.
Here at Reach we are running a survey asking you, our readers what you think of the proposals, and it’s fair to say you’re as against them as we are.
We asked our writers to give us an indication of the feeling on the ground.
The Arsenal perspective – Chris Wheatley
Imagine a league with no relegation, no financial consequences and regardless of the results you’ll always be guaranteed a seat on the table.
Welcome to the European Super League.
This won’t come as a huge surprise to football fans of the clubs involved, but the speed in which the announcement has been made and board members having resigned from the European Clubs Association suggest it is serious – and it is happening right now before our eyes.
Disgraceful yet inevitable, the sterilisation of football has been ongoing since the early 2000s and we’re now at the tip of the iceberg moment with the Super League threatening to destroy the 60-plus-year history and tradition of European football as we know it.
A generic statement posted on Arsenal’s website suggests that the competition could start as early as August.
With the wheels in motion all to serve the self-serving interests of the billionaires at the helm of Europe’s top clubs, the European Franchise League will be the final nail in the coffin of everything that competitive sport is all about. And it must be stopped.
The Chelsea perspective – Adam Newson
We have always been by Roman Abramovich that the European Cup was his nirvana. And the smile on his face when lifting that big-eared trophy in 2012 suggested as much. Now he’s ready to walk away from it?
And for what? Well we know, money. It’s all about the money.
That’s why not a single member of the group most affected by this decision has been spoken to: the supporters. There’s been no consultation, no canvassing of opinion. The views of those who have supposedly been missed at Stamford Bridge over the past year were completely ignored.
Roman, this decision irreversibly changes the club’s future – and devalues its past – for money alone. You will lose so much, undo so much of the excellent work you’ve done.
Please listen to Chelsea’s supporters. Please tell us why the Champions League dream we all appeared to share is no longer important. Why the drama created by the Premier League, even in just chasing a place in the top four, can be tossed aside in favour of a closed-shop cabal at the top of the European game.
Quite simply, this is the biggest decision you will take as Chelsea owner, Roman. Don’t make it alone.
The Tottenham perspective – Alasdair Gold
I can understand why Tottenham would want to hang on to the coattails of the European Super League because the feeling must be either you’re in it and among the world’s richest clubs or you’re left behind.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s right and it doesn’t make it palatable for anyone watching on.
The European Super League has an American franchise feel to it, run by the clubs and without fear of relegation or failure as the bulk of money comes from simply taking part every season.
The financial imbalance it would cause in the Premier League and across Europe would be so harmful for the game.
On the flip side, something needs to happen among the current powers-that-be, because they can’t do without most of these clubs.
All the posturing about throwing them out of domestic leagues or banning the game’s best players from the World Cup or Euros is a ridiculous notion and destroys their own product.
Who would buy the rights for a Premier League without those clubs involved or watch a World Cup without the best players in the world?
Hopefully it’s just all part of an elaborate bargaining tool, because if it’s not then it could be disastrous.