A fantasy of the big cars of the continent, the famous European football Superleague was until then only a pipe dream. The crisis has made it much more concrete. Even imminent.
It has been imagined, discussed, negotiated for many years, but the European Football Superleague has never been so talked about. For good or for bad. Officially, the idea remains to this day a simple project whose outlines are yet to be defined. However, to believe the resigning ex-president of Barça, Josep Maria Bartomeu, this closed – or semi-closed – championship reserved for the elite of the continental round ball is no longer in the embryonic stage. The person concerned is categorical: the institution blaugrana has already given the green light to participate in the first edition of this new competition.
Obviously, UEFA, up to now guarantor of football matches on a European scale, refuses to see this plan succeed. His boss, Aleksander Ceferin, is himself in denial, deeming the very idea of this league to be “populist”. “It’s the dream of two or three clubs in Europe,” he said. The idea is not very serious … “Some even consider it a threat, like the recent candidate for the presidency of Fifa and former Golden Ball Luis Figo, who sees” the announced destruction football as we love it ”. And yet, the revolution today seems inevitable.
Last March, Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus and ECA, the European club association, admitted to working on the development of a system guaranteeing representatives of the elite of continental football a protection of their status. and their income. Since then, the health crisis, which has inevitably become an economic crisis, has only reinforced this desire or need for insurance carried by historical players in great difficulty such as Barça and Juve. “All crisis situations generate opportunities for transformation. Like a big bang, ”blows the Parisian Vincent Chaudel, expert advisor in communication and economics of sport.
Who among the 18?
“The context lends itself to private actors seizing opportunities,” he continues. The association of big clubs, their media coverage, talented players… If we tell them, I can guarantee you X million euros per season, you are more inclined to listen today than before the crisis. With Joao Felix, Neymar, Sadio Mané, you can always seduce fans around the world. “All the more so since Fifa, in a more or less stealthy submarine, would itself encourage these famous private actors to upset the established order according to the New York Times.
No more relegation, a warm place among the European gratin with the best players at work and the guarantee of seeing millions of euros fall on arrival (the astronomical sum of 6 billion is advanced!), The contract is attractive to clubs, it is true. As for future rights holders. It remains to be seen who will have the honor of being. The “European Premier League” recently suggested by Sky Sports had 18 members for a championship followed by a knockout phase. Real, Barça, Atlético, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern, Juve and PSG seemed essential. And many of them can or want to claim the 10 remaining accessits …
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