There’s always been something sinister about the thought of a European Super League. You get the feeling that the idea is the kind of thing floated around in Uefa’s headquarters / lead-plated bunker / lair by a lot of men who are at best slimy and corrupt, and at worst literally evil.
Bringing together the best teams in European football to play a competition together is a great idea. It’s also a money-spinning one. And it already exists – the Champions League. And we all love it, it’s true.
Yet today, when the Premier League’s biggest behemoths met together in secret, reportedly to talk about the European Super League, and how England’s biggest clubs could, presumably, make money out of it.
Because one thing you can say about our so-called "Big Five" is that their accounts are an awful lot better than their football at present
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) March 2, 2016
Looping back to Euro Super League plans now is hilarious. More money coming, big Prem teams look petty bc the league has been more open.
— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) March 2, 2016
But at a time when Leicester City are top of the league, Tottenham Hotspur – who weren’t included in today’s alleged talks – could go top with a win tonight, and with Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea all struggling to varying degrees, the idea of making European competition into a members’ club cabal with entry strictly via invitation only seems to flatten the notion that football is about competition rather than money.
With this Premier League season one of the most open seasons ever, and with small teams all over Europe looking to get into the mid-week inter-national action, talking about this now looks impolite if not an utterly brazen money-grabbing ploy.
Caen, Nice, Nantes and Rennes from Ligue 1 and Mainz and Hertha Berlin from the Bundesliga are all hugely unfancied teams who are within striking distance of a Champions League spot for next season. Leicester City look to be a certainty to be in the Champions League next season, and even West Ham United aren’t too far away from a spot.
This is the first season in footballing history that a Milan club is not involved in either the Champions League / European Cup, the Europa League / UEFA Cup / Fairs Cup or the Cup Winners’ Cup. But that’s the nature of competition and squarely the fault of those clubs. It’s not something to lament.
Perhaps the idea of a European Super League may have at least made vague competitive sense five or ten years ago, but to bring it up now is as brazen as it gets. All-out evil is kind of what we expect from international footballing admin, but we expect better from our domestic footballing overlords.