European Super League?

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Guest Post by William from the comments! Enjoy!
Morning compadres!  Hope Everyone is lovely.  I certainly am.  With arsenal news stories being recycled more than an Eastenders storyline I thought it might be nice to talk about something else, albeit something that could end up having huge repercussions for Arsenal in the tangibly near future.
That’s right. Today I’m talking about a European Super League , oh yes.

 The basic concept as I’m sure you know is that the big boy teams in Europe play together in a league that mirrors domestic competition.  20 teams, 38 games, one ultimate champion of the elite.  The unlucky teams at the bottom would be punted back to their respective leagues to fight it out for re-promotion with the riff raff back in their own yard.
What do you think? Could it actually work?
The idea was bandied around in the nineties but with UEFA expanding the current Champions League around that time most of the talk was put to bed. There have been notable advocates of it in more recent times however.  Real Madrid president Florentino Perez put an official proposal together in 2009.  He said that he will push for a ESL (that’s what I’ll try and refer to it as from now on)  if UEFA can’t find a way of guaranteeing that the best clubs in Europe play each other every season, which the champions league arguably does not. His point (and I think it’s a valid one), is that a cup competition can’t accurately reflect who is the best in Europe. Consistency shown over a season certainly could.  Unsurprisingly our own manager has had his say on this back around the same period. He said he thought it would become a reality within the next decade.  That’s only 4 years away Arsene, hope you didn’t put a bet on it….well I hope you did actually…. a big one.
Personally when I first heard of the plan my instant reaction was one of complete disdain.  I thought it was a terrible idea on every level. Although as time goes on  my opinion is thawing slightly on the matter, but perhaps that’s just global warming doing it’s thang…… However,  with Arsenal news thin on the ground and Fifa looking as shaky as my nerves around the girl in my local coffee shop, the idea of a break away league has started to draw my thoughts again.
First lets look at what I think the positives of it could be, as I’m generally a positive chap, except when my mum wakes me before 12. I think financially the idea makes sense.  Money from television would be ridiculously huge and (you’d hope) it would be spread you’d hope evenly among the teams,  providing much more parity among the elite.  The global market for the top teams would be bigger too.  For example the Asian demand for inter- European football is massive and there is mega money and branding potential out there as we know.  I think in terms of finance a super league would benefit any club lucky enough to actually be in it.
Another huge positive to me would be the inevitable lowering of premier league ticket prices due to the bigger teams not being around to hike them up. We are all aware that prices have become absurd recently.  So much so that your average family man with couple of kids can’t dream of going to games, even on a semi regular basis.
 Maybe a super league would shift the prawn sandwich vibes away from the Premier League culture and redress that balance?  That would certainly be nice.
 I alluded to it already but there is no more true test of a team than a full league season. There is no where to run, no excuses. Every team has the same fixtures, the same logistics, the same everything.  An absolute decider of the best. Imagine some of the spectacular football we’d see! Unmentionable things happen to me at the very thought of it.
   I think there is a small argument for saying that the Premier league would also improve in certain respects with the addition of an ESL. More teams would get to challenge for the title and big teams would still be left, challenging to be promoted to the big daddy Euro league. There would also be the added bonus of having visits from continental away fans every other week which would be great for local tourism and stadium atmosphere.
Symbolically I think also joining together with the rest of Europe shows progression on a Human scale. It would hopefully bring cultures together in a positive way as we enter more uncertain times politically and economically.
There are also many negatives to consider;  A big part of me thinks national leagues would suffer, they’d certainly lose global appeal and possibly domestic too.  The powers that be would certainly have to ensure that perhaps they the ESL fixtures are played mid week and the national league fixtures on weekends to avoid any clashing. The idea being that people would still watch their national leagues, rather than being tempted to stray off and watch Barca play Man U.  “Hmmm, Stoke v Hull or Barca v Man U……….?”.
Additionally, if we played all the best teams in the world twice a year, how long would it be before it lost it’s excitement factor? Fergie famously hated the idea and made some quip about European football being the icing and “not the whole bloody cake” and I get where he’s coming from.  Maybe it would make those European nights less magical and turn them even more into a corporate driven, excess driven wealth festival designed to squeeze every penny from potential revenue. I dread to think how much it would cost to watch the games, legally that is; not that I advocate streaming and that sort of thing. I wouldn’t ever consider not paying Mr Murdoch insane amounts of money each month to watch football that is cheap to watch in every other country, you’d have to be pretty stupid to not want to do that….
For the teams in the ESL travelling to away games would be so expensive that only the super rich could afford it. You want real locals going to these games, so some plan would have to be conceived.  Maybe previous season ticket holders could be put into a draw for each game and offered the tickets at the beginning of the season so that every one has a chance to go to the games. It would take a lot of planning though and be a logistical nightmare to accomplish smoothly.
The fact that 28 countries exist in the European union would mean it would be hard to decide who gets to qualify in the first place.  How would that even work?   As far as the league itself  goes the only fair way to operate it would probably have to be a system of relegation and promotion just like in domestic leagues.  It in no way should turn into a closed league, which has been suggested before. For me that would kill any competitiveness outside the elite.  My suggestion would be that each year 6 or even 7 clubs leave the league and the same number come up.  The most essential thing would be to avoid the ESL becoming stagnant and never changing.  The chance of relegation has to be a real possibility for at least half the teams, conversely the chance of actually reaching the promised land has to be an attainable reality to others.
Both relegation and promotion would again come with logistical problems .  What would happen if for example one year all English teams were relegated?  An imbalance would certainly be created that’d have knock on effects as to who could be promoted from the championship to the premier league!  It bakes my head just thinking about it, and like time travel into the past presents way too many paradoxes for it to work, surely?.  Unless some clever chap comes along and finds a solution of course!
How would you make it work as a fair system?
Could it ever be anything other than bad for the national leagues?

 

211 Responses to “European Super League?”

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  1. Jim Lahey

    Also, would club like Barca, Real, PSG, Juve and Bayern want to join a league were they could go 5 years or more without winning? I highly doubt it! Clubs that are winning every other year don’t want increased competition, they just want to win.

  2. MadeToLoveMagic

    Jim , many people would say that we don’t have a chance if winning the champions league but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want to be in it right?

    I think that competing in a league with Europe’s best would make us a stronger team

  3. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser

    Saying there is just one Messi etc isn’t a good argument for why they can’t make it a fair imo

    At least in a super league we would get the chance to play those teams twice a year. Consistency would be the key..

    I dont see how an ESL is more unfair than the current system.

    The champions league is a cup comp, it takes an element of luck to win it..

    An ESL would show the true best.. Who’s to say Barca could be as consistent as they are in LA liga?

  4. MadeToLoveMagic

    Why would it ruin international footy Keyser?

    The have milked their league dry yes, but they win it every year so why as Jim said would they want to go in a league that they are less likely to win?

    I expect it’s because they know that the global marketing opportunities would be better in an ESL than they are now…… but maybe you are right , they should try and improve their own league first..

    I think the first couple of years of an ESL would see better football than what we are used to in the Champions league.. but i do think that the novelty may wear off pretty quick

  5. Jim Lahey

    If it meant the best teams leaving their countries own leagues, it would be the death of european football. Who would pay to watch a league where Spurs, Liverpool or Everton are the dominant sides? TV money would dry up around every league in Europe except for the super league.

    And as I said clubs like Arsenal would never have a chance of winning it, why would we leave the league we are in now? We would effectively be condemning ourselves to mid-table mediocrity, becoming the spurs of this new ESL.

  6. Keyser

    Because the same thing that prohibits them from making their own leagues fairer now, ie their greed, would win out.

    Only 11 players can play, and you’re condensing the viewing experience even further. It’d be worse than it is now.

  7. MadeToLoveMagic

    No Jim

    We would leave the Prem and enter the ESL…. I expect they could make it so we could still be in the Fa cup though…

    So the champions league would go entirely and the ESL would replace it, probably on tuesday and wednesday nights…..

    I’m not against the idea as a 5 year experiment

  8. Jim Lahey

    @MTLM – I say if it did go ahead and Madrid or Barca went 5-6 years without winning it they would look to leave and go back to the Spanish league.

    Also any chance Barca are all for it because they want to leave Spain anyway?

  9. MadeToLoveMagic

    Jim, ,

    That just isn’t true.. There are a lot of fans left in england even without the top 3 sides.. As long as they played the ESL games on different days to the national leagues then i don’t think that tv money would decrease that much. Ticket prices just may though….

    Mid table mediocrity in an ESL would be no different.. In the eyes of Europes elite we are that anyway….

    Plus personally I think Arsenal would stand a better chance of doing well in an super league than the champions league..

  10. Jim Lahey

    “I’m not against the idea as a 5 year experiment”

    What happens to domestic leagues in that time? Does the Premier league become only 16 teams? With Arsenal, Chelsea, City and United leaving for 5 years? If it fails and said teams want back what happens? Do they have to start from the bottom and work up?

    And 5 years is a long time, could do irreparable damage to the domestic leagues.

  11. MadeToLoveMagic

    Because the same thing that prohibits them from making their own leagues fairer now, ie their greed, would win out……………………………………….

    How, when the Tv money from the league would be split equally between the teams?

    And how would the viewing experience be more condensed than it is now>? sorry i’m not understanding what you are trying to say 🙂

  12. MadeToLoveMagic

    No Jim the Prem would stay at 20 teams i guess. teams from the championship would come up…

    After the 5 years the teams would be “relegated” back to their own leagues…

    As the article said there would be a lot of problems with finding a fair system for promotion and relegation but it is not an impossible conundrum….

    I dont see how the domestic leagues would suffer. People would still watch their teams, yes globaly the brand may suffer but that would be the same for everyone…..

    Doesn’t the idea of seeing Arsenal playing Barca then real, then PSG then Ajjax al in the same month appeal to you at all?

    I can see your points though. The change could cause some damage but with careful planning it shouldn’t

  13. Jim Lahey

    @MTLM “i don’t think that tv money would decrease that much”

    Really? I don’t think anyone outside of England would give a shit about the league without the top 4 teams. How much foreign support do the rest of the teams left (outside of liverpool) have? I would say very little, Tv money is gone.

    “Mid table mediocrity in an ESL would be no different.. In the eyes of Europes elite we are that anyway….”

    Yeah but it would to us fans? How long will Arsenal fans go to watch us get beat by Europe’s best? How long until the Stadium is half empty after the excitement of it all wears off?

    The CL is a knock out comp (eventually), we have a far better chance of winning it, we have come close on a few occasions. We have struggled to win the PL in the last ten years, why would we have a better chance in a super league?!

  14. Keyser

    If they wanted TV money split fairly, they would’ve already done so, and they’re actually trying. What’s the likelihood they’d accept a more fairminded league, when they’ve actively destroyed he one they’re already in.

    People don’t care about the FA Cup now, they’ll soon stop worrying about domestic leagues, and the you’re left with what ? The best in Europe who play each other week in week out.

    It’d be tedious.

  15. MadeToLoveMagic

    Jim, yeah I see your point, but you have to remember if they did a super league it would probably be 2 teams Max from the prem in it.. ( i dont know how it work)

    You would still have a lot of interest from abroad. Not as much though I agree but you’d still have big teams left at home.

    If they could make promotion to ESL a reality for the teams left in England then that could increase the excitement and competition of winning the premier league?….. Like the article states, if they had at least 7 teams a year going down and coming up then it could work

    It’s pretty negative that you think we would get beaten every week in an ESL.. I don’t think we would. Some games we may find easier than some of the rougher english teams

  16. Jim Lahey

    “Doesn’t the idea of seeing Arsenal playing Barca then real, then PSG then Ajjax al in the same month appeal to you at all?”

    Yeah for the first few months, but after that it will just be same old. Thats why the CL is so exciting because we get to face different teams than we do week in, week out.

    Global TV money would be all but gone, sponsors will be heavily cut. The money going into the domestic leagues will dry up and the leagues will suffer. Sure local fans will continue to go see their teams, more so than ever maybe because they now have a chance of winning something, but overall there will be a marked decrease in people watching.
    “After the 5 years the teams would be “relegated” back to their own leagues”

    This would be a huge legal problem, teams that would be playing in their domestic leagues aren’t going to like the idea of being relegated just to make room for returning teams, and those returning teams are not going to start in League 2 and work their way up.

  17. daz

    How would the promotion/relegation in ESL work? If an Italian team were relegated out would it have to be an Italian team promoted in?

  18. Keyser

    “I can see your points though. The change could cause some damage but with careful planning it shouldn’t”

    Lol this is like you’re argument about Wenger 11-13, the only reason they’d contemplate it now is because they’ve damaged what they have/are insanely greedy to begin with.

    It’s like saying ‘Yeah this junkie absolutely screwed his life, but I believe if we give him purer shit, but in smaller doses, he won’t abuse again’

  19. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser

    Yeah i see your point, it could become tedious..

    Although when you say , “nobody” cares about the fa cup who are you referring to? Are you saying that that kind of apathy would apply to the Premier league with the intro of an ES? If so why?

    Every other team in England would still care about the Prem, and the carrot to win it would be even greater//

    The only reason I think it could become tedious is that we would be bored of seeing the best vs the best every week…. That could lose it’s appeal quite quickly potentially and become the norm

  20. Jim Lahey

    @MTLM – It sounds like a good idea, but I can’t see how Arsenal would benefit from it, and I’m not saying we would be beat every week, but come on, we’re never winning it. And what big stars could we attract without even the threat of being able to win something?

    I can see how it sounds appealing, watching the best teams in Europe play against each other each week. But we already have that in the CL!

    Personally I am completely against it and as I said, I don’t see what Arsenal would get from it.

  21. MadeToLoveMagic

    Lol this is like you’re argument about Wenger 11-13, the only reason they’d contemplate it now is because they’ve damaged what they have/are insanely greedy to begin with……………………………………….

    You are very good at making points that sound like they make sense Keyser but actually have 0 substance.. In fact i’d go as far as to say you are expert at it..

    How on Earth did you get that from me saying that it could cause some damage to the national leagues??, unless you were talking about Barca/Real , in which case you took my comments out of context and put them in another.. Not in anyway is it similar to my argument about wenger 11-13

  22. Keyser

    “Every other team in England would still care about the Prem, and the carrot to win it would be even greater//”

    Look what’s your favourite cake ? Lol..

    Except the paygap would be eve larger and the risk involved between making and missing out on the Super League would be greater.

    Sorry dude, bee watching the Daily Show clips and you’re starting to sound like the FOX News presenters.

  23. MadeToLoveMagic

    Jim, I know what you mean. Attracting stars may be even harder than it already is…

    Im not that in favour of an ESL either, just playing a bit of devils advocate….

    I can see that it would be pretty exciting, but like you say that may only last a while…..

  24. Jim Lahey

    I just typed a nice long paragraph out and must have used a banned word because it didn’t publish 🙁

    With that I am out, enjoy your evening gents.

  25. Keyser

    “You are very good at making points that sound like they make sense Keyser but actually have 0 substance.. In fact i’d go as far as to say you are expert at it..”

    Read the point, the above is superfluous.

    It’s similar to your argument because you’re incapable of seeing the opposing view.

    The same teams are winning their respective leagues because they’ve skewed them to their own ends, instead of addressing the problem, you’re saying lets just give them their own league.

    Why wouldn’t they assert the same bias in this new league ? Why would we try to make a ew league fair, when we haven’t tried it with their old leagues.

  26. daz

    Mtlm

    You would guess the 4 English clubs would finish in the top half every year so then how do a Liverpool who would probably win the English league most years get into the ESL without the 4 dropping out, I can’t see a fair way to get it to work myself

  27. Keyser

    MTLM – Yeah Lol you do, search youtube for Jon Stewart vs Varney. Or on the Wealth gap seriously you’re one step away from blaming the teams below us for not having the spirit to challenge the teams above.

  28. MadeToLoveMagic

    Harsh Jim!

    I am not even especially for an ESL , so saying i’m incapable of seeing the opposing point is just silly…… Ever thought that you may be stuck in your own mindset just as much as you accuse me of being?

    How could they assert this bias in a new league? How are Barca going to get the majority of the TV revenue in a super league? It would have to be split equally….

    Your whole argument seems to be based on the fact that spain have screwed their league so why instead of sorting the problems out would you ever want to “give them their own league”….

    I see this point but La liga isnt the only league in europe. There could be huge benefits for some of the other lesser known countries

  29. MadeToLoveMagic

    What Keyser?

    How is me advocating a league that would be more more equal in terms of sharing revenue make me like one of them?

    You’ve totally misread my sentiment , there is no way i would want football to become more unfair and just suited to the elite.

    Im just looking at the alternative viewpoints in favour of a super league.

    and you have failed to convince me that it would be this disaster like you say it would

  30. MadeToLoveMagic

    Daz , yeah it’s hard.. It would be a little like when spurs qualified for the Champions league but liverpool won it. Even though spurs finished fourth they to all intents and purposes were moved down a place to accommodate pool.

    I expect though that only 2 english teams would be in it anyway. Therefore the damage done to the prem would potentially be minimal imo

  31. Keyser

    MTLM – Because they already reside in leagues that could be fairer, and they’re averse to doing anything about it.

    Its’ that simple.

    Do you think they’re open to a European Super League because :

    A. They really want to move to a newer, more progressive, fairer minded league.
    B. They’ve saturated the shit out of their own league so they want new revenue streams to sate their own greed.

    There really isn’t much going for the league.

  32. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser

    the answer is more likely B……

    But some considerations for A……. when you say they have “saturated” their own league what does that mean?

    They win it every year, so why would they want to move to a league that would a lot harder for them to win? is that greedy?

    Plus… they compete every year in the champions league and come close to winning it often…..

    Why on earth would the Spanish top 2 want an ESL which would kill off the champions league and make winning anything harder>?

    For more revenue?

  33. Keyser

    MTLM – To be honest, I’ve been looking for the right word, as in they’ve soaked up all the revenue they can, or the league has little left to give, I think Saurated’s right, just not sure from what angle.

    Which is also why they win it every year, and why they go close in the Champions league.

    “They win it every year, so why would they want to move to a league that would a lot harder for them to win? is that greedy?”

    Yeah, what would be their incentive ? If they were concerned about fairer competition, they have plenty to work with in La Liga.

    Which is why it’s B, we’re going in circles here.

  34. MadeToLoveMagic

    ok Keyser

    I do think you have valid points though

    Its an interesting question as to why exactly both Barca and Real have championed a Super league. Maybe you are right and its because they have soaked up all potential revenue and are looking for more, but conversely they would be joining a league where winning is harder therefore maybe the chance of diminishment of global brand..

    who knows what the deal is….?

    Anyway it’s all pie in the sky as I’m reasonably confident a Super league would not come about any way. People in general clearly hate the idea!

  35. Keyser

    MTLM – This is the point though, and why it’s similar to Wenger, you can guess or you can look at their history.

    If they have a global brand to begin, then their prospective revenue streams won’t resemble other teams. Mate there’s a myriad of reasons and paths they could explore.

    But like Wenger who had innovation in his past, wasn’t afraid to spend money, what is Barcelona’s and Reals history, you don’t have to guess in either situation really.

  36. MadeToLoveMagic

    Their prospective rev streams will be bigger than others of course. That’s hardly the point. The point is that by moving to a super league Real and Barca are diminishing their chances (percentage wise) of trophies, yet they have both shown support of the idea. This is quite paradoxical..

    You can look at their past yes, but when you are entering something new, an undiscovered territory, then looking back to previous behaviour can only give you a certain amount of information in regards to predicting future behaviour, as new undefined factors take hold. Entering a super league would be a blind alley for everyone and a risk for everyone….

  37. Keyser

    MTLM – No dude, the bottom line would be they would earn more to begin with, then they can think about how they exploit any advantages they have. Like fanbase, global recognition ad so on.

    These are massive money making machines, they would have angles worked out beforehand, the idea they would go in blind is ridiculous.

    Either way I wouldn’t want it, all it does is escalate what we see now.

  38. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser

    all teams in it would have strategy for maximising revenue potential.

    My point was that it would be new territory for everyone. Equal risks , equal rewards.

    but I concede that the bigger teams would be able to exploit more advantages than the lesser ones.

    Anyway besides all that, do you think a super league is a potential reality in the next ten years?

  39. mysticleaves

    daz June 20, 2015 22:15:24
    Mtlm
    You would guess the 4 English clubs would finish in the top
    half every year so then how do a Liverpool who would
    probably win the English league most years get into the ESL
    without the 4 dropping out, I can’t see a fair way to get it to
    work myself”

    Here’s how it could work. If the top four are admitted, then after the league, the 2 last placed teams from the various domestic leagues, regardless of their position in the overall league table go down. And the first and second in the domestic league table come up.

    with that being said, it’s a no no to ESL

  40. Thank you and goodnight

    Rumours where, according to a couple of papers, we were genuinely in for kondogbia. But apparently we put a bid in for 9m and have been gazumped by a 20 m bid from AC Milan and kondogbia will join today. I so hope this is media bullshit as was hoping our penny pinching days were now behind us.

  41. nasri's mouth

    @tyag

    Sounds like he went for around £28m. Not convinced by that.

    Us bidding £9m sounds BS, even by our standards. Which papers?

  42. Thank you and goodnight

    Sun, mirror ……. I find that hard to believe as well. As much as I’m not an AKB and a massive wenger fan these days, I can’t believe he’d bid 9million as he’s not stupid and knows true value of kondogbia.

  43. Bamford10

    WE

    Looks like Kondogbia is “overrated” in Milan as well as on Le Grove. You should call and straighten these chaps out. LOL.

  44. Dream10

    Bamford

    Still likely we’ll sign a CM over a #9. We need both.
    A midfield of William Carvalho, Ramsey and Coquelin would be fantastic for trips to places like Stamford Bridge, Anfield and the Etihad.
    Will be disappointed if Atletico Madrid pay Jackson Martinez’s buyout clause.
    Much better than Giroud.

    A summer of Cech, William and Jackson Martinez and AW deserves at least a 9/10. Three new players in our starting XI