Fans of English football rarely put their rivalries aside, but as the concept of a Super League becomes increasingly viable, Reds and Blues alike are joining forces.
One week before the Champions League semi-finals kick off, chairman of Real Madrid Fiorentina Perez announced a new European competition. At its core, the tournament will feature 20 teams – 12 of which are founding clubs, five which will qualify annually based on prior-season performance, and three that are still to be announced.
With some glaring similarities to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, the Super League has already drawn criticism from many high-profile players and figures, including Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville.
“I’m not against the modernisation of football competitions,” Neville said in a Sky Sports panel. “We have the Premier League, we have the Champions League. But to bring forward proposals in the midst of COVID, in the midst of the economic crisis that exists for all clubs is an absolute scandal.”
“United and the rest of the big six clubs that have signed up to it against the rest of the Premier League should be ashamed of themselves.”
Klopp, who is currently the manager of Liverpool, openly disagreed with the proposal.
“I hope this Super League will never happen. With the way the Champions League is now running, football has a great product, even with the Europa League.”
“For me, the Champions League is the Super League, in which you do not always end up playing against the same teams. Of course, it is [financially] important. But why should we create a system where Liverpool faces Real Madrid for 10 straight years?”
Some of the teams to have agreed to the new Super League include English teams Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, with Spanish teams Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid also agreeing in principle. From the Italian leagues, Juventus, Internazionale, and AC Milan are also set to join the Super League.
What does the Super League mean for Aussie fans?
For the diehard supporters of these top teams, this could either be a brutal blow or a complete win. Fans may get to see their favourite teams and players hit the pitch even more often, but with increased playing time comes an increased chance of injury, meaning player safety may be put at risk.
In terms of an immediate impact for football fans Down Under, nothing has changed, with both local and overseas seasons playing as normal, although no doubt many will be keeping their ear to the ground for what comes of the proposed Super League.
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Photo Credit: BBC