A Super Conflict for Euro Soccer

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For months, rumors have swirled about a plan to create a so-called “Super League” that would showcase the best teams in European Soccer and effectively replace the prestigious Champions League Tournament.

On Thursday the CEOs of two major leagues — England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga — attacked the notion. Premier League boss Richard Masters said a Super League would be “destructive to the value of domestic football across Europe.”

Bend It Like JP Morgan

Like just about everything else in European soccer, the plans are secretive and highly fluid.

With backing from the likes of powerhouses Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, a Super League would feature the top clubs in midweek games, allowing the clubs to continue participating in their domestic leagues on the weekends.

To What End? More euros, what else? Over the last few years, European soccer has seen an influx of Wall Street money with high hopes for a big return on invested capital.

With coronavirus putting a dent in many clubs’ pocketbooks, the metaphorical sprint is on for splashy media deals. The industrial logic is clear – bring together the biggest teams in the land and media dollars will flow.

  • The basic structure involves a £6 billion package from JP Morgan to fund 15 charter clubs in England, Italy, France, Germany, and Spain.
  • Each club would receive up to £350 million for joining, a major cash infusion after pandemic losses.

The Opposition: In a new world order, domestic competition (which determines who reaches the Champions League tournament) would be less important.

Christian Seifert, the chief executive of Germany’s Bundesliga, pounced on the super league as a mechanism for bailing out irresponsible teams. “The brutal truth is that a few of these so-called super clubs are in fact poorly-managed, cash-burning machines that were not able, in a decade of incredible growth, to come close to a sustainable business model,” he told the Financial Times.

the takeaway

The super league is not a guarantee. Many have tried before — including Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi — and failed.