How the Super League ruling could fracture the football world
The EU Court of Justice's ruling earlier this week that UEFA and FIFA's attempts to block the Super League were illegal has opened the door to football competitions not organised by those governing bodies. It is almost certain they will eventually turn the football landscape upside down.
The Super League concept was originally launched in 2021 by twelve of Europe's top clubs that wanted to create their own competition. Under pressure from fans and threats from UEFA and FIFA to penalise participating clubs, most of them soon backed out. But the EU Court of Justice has now ruled that this was in breach of EU rules.
"The principles [of the Super League] go directly against the principles of our sport,"
On the same day the ruling was announced, A22, the company behind the Super League, declared that "Uefa's monopoly is over". It unveiled an expanded version of the competition that would bring together the world's 64 biggest football clubs in an exclusive competition, shutting out the smaller clubs. It still has the support of Spanish football giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Other countries are opposed to the concept. "The principles [of the Super League] go directly against the principles of our sport," said Loryn Parys, CEO of the Belgian Pro League. "We believe in open European club competitions for which clubs should qualify every year on the basis of their performance on the pitch."
The six biggest teams in the English Premier League have also distanced themselves from plans to create a European Super League, as has the German Bundesliga.
But whether or not A22 succeeds in its Super League attempt is not really important. The EU court ruling paves the way for UEFA and FIFA to allow external competition. And with countries and clubs divided over the issue, it could very well split the football world apart.
© Odd ANDERSEN / AFP