The Super League: One Year Later

By Lucien Betancourt

In 2009, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez started up a draft for what he termed a “Super League,” claiming that the Champions League was “an obstacle preventing clubs from growing their businesses and developing infrastructure.” After over a decade of planning, Florentino Perez started attracting clubs to join the Super League in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial problems for clubs everywhere. He contacted American bank JPMorgan Chase for funding, of which he received $5 billion. On April 18th, 2021, he announced the formation of the Super League. 

The league consisted of 12 inaugural teams: Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid from Spain’s La Liga, Juventus, Inter Milan, and AC Milan from Italy’s Serie A, and Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal from the English Premier League. He also wanted Bundesliga and Ligue 1 clubs to join, but they all rejected the offer due to the clubs’ majority owners– their fans– voting against the idea.. 

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Now, what exactly would have happened if the Super League was officially started? All the best players from around the world would have left their clubs to play in The Super League, draining the smaller clubs of their star players. The top leagues would have lost  their best teams, with the Premier League having only Leicester, Aston Villa, West Ham, and Wolverhampton as their top contenders. The Champions League would likely have almost always  been contested between Bayern Munich and PSG. The Europa League would be as boring as ever, with mid-table teams challenging the title. The Europa League would practically die out in terms of competition and viewership.

Every single team not in the Super League would have been neglected, slowly losing players and money as they fuel the super giants’ stacked rosters. No non-Super club would be safe. That’s the power that The Super League would have wielded, had it existed.

When the news came out, European soccer’s governing bodies in UEFA, and European Cup Association announced that they would prevent these clubs from splitting away, threatening to deduct points or relegate them to the second division in their respective leagues. Fans and former club legends led protests against the clubs, threatening to boycott their games. It all came to an end when the national governments threatened to get involved as well, with United Kingdom’s prime minister Boris Johnson condemning the English clubs.

On April 20th, Chelsea left the League, with all the other clubs except for Real Madrid and Barcelona following suit. Today, the European Super League is officially disbanded, and it looks to be permanent.