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European Super League: What leaving ECA means for top clubs

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European Super League

By Emmanuel Okogba

Twelve top European clubs have opted to form a controversial European Super League which has resulted in a lot of backlash, but what does this mean for clubs that have resigned their membership of the European Club Association to form this new alliance?

The European Club Association represents the interest of clubs in UEFA. Although the body has kicked against the move, the clubs have gone ahead to announce their leaving the ECA.

ECA in its statement said that “a ‘closed super league model’ to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed.” The implication of this is that, on one hand, clubs who have signed up for this new Super League may lose the right to participate in any European football competition, while on the other hand, it translates to more money for these clubs.

Marca writes that, “each participating club in the European Super League will receive 3.5 billion euros to start with, with American bank JP Morgan heading up the financial backing of the project.

“The club that wins the European Super League could be due close to 400 million euros, compared to the 120 million euros that is given out to the Champions League winners each year. Barcelona, who reached the semi-finals in 2019, received 117 million euros in prize money.

“As for the rest of the 1.95 billion euros in the European Super League, 488 million (25 percent) will be handed out in initial payments and another 585 million based on results.

“Another 30 percent of payments will go based on a club’s coefficient achieved over the past 10 years. That leaves 292 million euros (15 percent) dished out in add-ons.

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“These figures haven’t been confirmed by the European Super League, but they almost triple those currently earned by clubs in the Champions League.”

ECA restated its commitment to working with UEFA saying, “ECA would refer to the position adopted by its Executive Board at its meeting last Friday 16th April, namely that it supports a commitment to work with UEFA on a renewed structure for European Club Football as a whole post-2024. “

All 12 clubs have publicly announced their resignation from the ECA as they prepare for the commencement of the Super League. The clubs are Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and AC Milan.

Three other clubs are expected to join the 12 to make up 15 founding members who will be joined by five other teams that qualify each season.

How the Super League works

The 15 founding members who cannot be relegated will be joined by five other teams to make 20 participating clubs. Qualification for other teams will be based on achievements in the prior season.

The league will be played midweek while all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.

Participating clubs will be divided into two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue. August has been fixed as commencement date when the league expectedly begins during the 2023/2024 season.

European Super League

Reactions

UEFA President, Alex Ceferin said he spoke with Manchester United owner, Ed Woodward last Thursday about UEFA reforms who supported them. Ceferin’s statement on Ed Woodward reads, “I’ve never ever seen people like that, he called me last Thursday saying he’s very satisfied with reforms and he fully supports them”. On Chairman of Juventus, Andrea Agnelli, Ceferin said, “I’ve never seen a person lie so many times.”

Distraught Manchester United legend Gary Neville summed up the mood of major football fans globally with his scathing remark. He said, “the reaction to it is that it’s been damned and rightly so. I’m a Manchester United fan and have been for 40 years of my life but I’m disgusted, absolutely disgusted. I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool the most.

“Liverpool say they’re the people’s club, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, the fan’s club. Manchester United, 100 years, born around workers around here, and they’re breaking into a league without competition, that they can’t be relegated from.

“It’s an absolute disgrace and we have to wrestle back the power in this country from the clubs at the top of this league and that includes my club. I’ve been talking for 12 months as part of another group for an independent regulator to bring checks and balances into place to stop this from happening.

“It’s pure greed, they’re impostors, the owners of this club, the owners of Liverpool, the owners of Manchester City, the owners of Chelsea, they have nothing to do with football in this country. There are 100-odd years of football in this country with fans that have lived and loved these clubs and they need protecting, the fans need protecting.

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“I benefited from football hugely, I’ve made money out of football, I invested money into a football club and now I’m not against money in football, but the principles and ethos of fair competition and the rights to play the game, so Leicester win the league, they go into the Champions League.

“Manchester United aren’t even in the Champions League, neither are Arsenal – you watched them earlier today, they’re an absolute shambles of a football club at the moment, Tottenham aren’t in the Champions League at the moment, and they want a God-given right to be in there? They’re an absolute joke and the time has come now, independent regulator, stop these clubs having the power base – enough is enough.”

Jose Mourinho was reportedly axed from his role at Tottenham because he refused to lead the day’s training as a protest against the club’s decision to the part of the Super League.

Bayen Munich and Borussia Dortmund said they will NOT join the Super League, while President Emmanuel Macron of France hailed the decision of Ligue 1 sides not to join.

UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said, “I don’t think it’s good news for fans or football in this country. I don’t like the look of these proposals.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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