The European Super League(ESL): Boon or Bane?

Introduction

Bygone are the days when the football fans have witnessed many fairytale runs of smaller teams into the semifinals and quarterfinals of the Champions League and Europa League. Bygone are the days when you see smaller clubs defeating larger clubs and knocking them out of Europe’s elite leagues. Every year it comes to us with different anticipations about which club is going to script a fairytale. Now with the possible inception of the money-making ESL, these things are surely going to be part of football history soon. Literally, the whole world is in such a position of providing the rich with more resources. The riches are going to be richer beyond imagination while the poorer ones are plunged into acute poverty.

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It’s the same case in football now as this nonsense ESL is trying to provide more money to large clubs. The smaller ones yet are destined to remain in their previous level and their situation will not be improved by this. Amidst all these, there is a glimmer of hope about the benefits of ESL in the near future.

We at BTM are bringing to you a detailed analysis of the large limitations and little benefits of the ESL.

What the European Super League actually is ?

The ESL is largely going to be a league in which the big clubs from respective domestic leagues will be participating. The clubs taking part mainly are the European giants from the nations of Spain, England, France, Italy. The confirmed 12 founding clubs which will be playing in the League (as of now) are:-

The European super league

German heavyweights Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have declined to join the league while the position of PSG is still smoky. There will be 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding members (Clubs) and a qualifying mechanism for the further 5 teams to qualify. The matches will be in midweek with all the clubs still competing in their respective national leagues. Though UEFA said it will ban the clubs from participating in respective domestic leagues, it is not officially confirmed.

The 20 clubs will be divided into two groups of ten each and they will be playing home and away fixtures. The top three teams from each group will automatically get the nod for the quarterfinals. The fourth and fifth-placed teams will engage in a two-legged encounter to decide about the remaining four places. So it’s quite crystal clear that there will be no place for the comparably small enthusiastic European teams.

Arguments in favour of ESL

Well, the ESL didn’t born out as something with no intentions. The present situation of the world has forced the big clubs to boost their financial conditions by making greater revenues. We take a quick look at the various beneficiary points of the ESL:-

First and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic has immersed all the clubs of the world into a deep financial crisis. They are trying to force their way out of it , but in no way are successful in doing so. Earlier, when this pandemic wasn’t there, the clubs used to make a lot of revenues from fans at the stadiums.

But this pandemic came as a bolt from the blue with no clubs being prepared to face it. And because of this, they could not find a way to increase their earnings. With them being crippled by the ongoing situation. The clubs are forced to initiate such a league from where they could earn large sums of money. Such is the situation that they have to rethink twice before buying a player having a market value of 100-150M. 

Perez and Juve president in favour of ESL

No one would want to miss matchups between big teams and this would surely help them in having profits. So it’s definitely a good idea if one is considering it from a financial point of view. Inputs from popular sources say that the winner of the Super League will receive a sum of £400 million. Teams joining the league will also be rewarded with similar huge amounts of money. This would in turn help them to buy players at a high price from the transfer market which is presently near-impossible.

Another thing that should be kept in mind is that the league is going to be played among Europe’s biggest teams. Whatever might we might say outside, anyone can’t deny the fact that we are more or less attracted to big matches. The heavyweights will be squaring off against each other and it will definitely be a delight to watch.  After all, the main thing is to understand that ESL is mainly designed for the bigger teams to gain money. Any benefits unrelatable to money will be deemed as weird here literally. Frankly speaking, there are no progressive sides of the league other than earning money and having fan’s blind attraction towards big matches.

Arguments against ESL

Let’s have a short introduction before we start with the arguments against ESL. To be honest, apart from a few bright sides of the league, it’s totally disastrous for European football. The exciting and challenging competition we have been witnessing in the European leagues is at the threat of extinction because of this. The greatest characteristic of the European club competition was that any small team can upset the big ones on any given day. Though it was not so pleasurable for the respective fans of the club, it was quite enjoyable for others. In all, there was no absolute monopoly of any team. Otherwise, Leicester City wouldn’t have won the Premier league in 2015-16 where their odds in favor were 1/500.

Porto made another dream possible when they won the UCL in the 2004-05 season. These things are one of those moments that will be cherished for a long by their fans. Although the happening of such moments is rare, they add much more charm to football where u can’t take anything for granted. But as we are entering into the topic properly, you’ll get to know how this league is damaging all these.

The most heartbreaking takeaway from the league is that no smaller clubs will be allowed entry regardless of their performances. It is proposed that only five clubs would be chosen on the basis of their shows in the domestic leagues. It is quite biased to keep a whopping 15 clubs as permanent members and engaging only five through competitions. Undoubtedly, this league is destroying the ultimate motto of football to keep this beautiful game impartial. The creators of the sport made it clear that there will be no bigotry and favouritism in it.

UEFA and FIFA Against ESL

But, today it’s being undermined in all respects by these selfish clubs who are abandoning their legacy only to earn money. The fans are by far the biggest powers of a football club. Their opinions are no longer being respected who in every aspect want this league to get abolished. In all, excluding smaller teams from participating in any league is just as bad as racial discrimination. Here, the big clubs no longer want to play against them and thus want to get them left out. They just literally want to make a league of their own and earn revenue with its help.

The second shortcoming that comes to one’s mind is the financial condition of the smaller clubs that they will be facing. They are not going to earn any more revenues by dint of advertising their game against the top-tier teams. And their paralyzed financial situation will remain the same as was before. They will also not be earning from the Superleague and thus all possible sources of income are closed for them. It’s really egoistic for the big clubs not to stand by them and help them in tough times. Fans will also not be watching their games anymore as they are struck off from playing against big teams. This is just another sad reality from a selfishness ravaged league.

Also, the most abhorrent fact is that the founding clubs will remain as always. The fifteen places will remain constant whereas the other clubs have only five places to compete. There will no no relegation for the founding members. That’s actually against the spirit of football where always relegation has been a part. If there was no relegation, we couldn’t have seen ManCity, Southampton, Juventus( bcz of fixing scandal)etc. dropping down to 2ndtier. Without relegation, one part of entertainment in watching football goes away as watching big clubs always doesn’t make sense. This is how the so called “reformers” of football are trying to get football back to its glory days. It’s so shameful for the game which has given us so many beautiful memories. It’s now upto the football players and clubs to apply their common sense by not playing in the money-making competition.

Last but not the least, keeping the interests of the fans in mind, they will definitely not wholly enjoy this. The excitement and emotion for a big match remain so much as it’s being played a maximum of 2-3 times yearly. When it becomes a regular affair courtesy of the ESL, it will no longer bring such levels of excitement. Then it will turn into a normal match as it’s going to be held every midweek. So, there can be surely an ebb in the presence of football fans watching these games.

Conclusion

” Football without fans is nothing. They are the life and blood of the game”. As the lines suggest, the fans are the heartthrob of any game. Without them, the sport is destined to collapse. The virtual destruction that will be brought by the initiation of this cash-rich league is beyond imagination. It will just make football a rich man’s game where the smaller clubs won’t have the authority to enter. Our ancestors created the sport with a view for equal participation and dignity of all.

The present businessman administrators of football don’t have the right to change this trend. They are doing this for the sole increase in earnings of the big clubs. But you have to look at the other side of the coin too. In these present difficult times, it is absolutely necessary for them to bring substantial amounts of money in order to splash out big on players. Not only players, the clubs have to revamp their own infrastructure and financial condition also. They have lost almost $2 billion in two years because of the pandemic. Joining the league will give them £3.5 billion as financial aid to tackle their economic footing.

There are benefits as well as shortcomings from the league. To be honest, the limitations outscores the beneficial ones. Still, there is time to monitor the situation and see what happens in the near future. We just really can’t talk against a league without seeing the results of it. So, it’s an earnest appeal to all the fans to please remain patient and carefully watch the upcoming consequences of the league.  Till then, just hope that may the beautiful game of football doesn’t get demolished by the selfish administrators.

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