european super league

What is the Super League? – Giant clubs boycott new tournament

Andile Sicetsha - 19.04.2021

Prominent voices in football have denounced the launch of the European Super League.

Despite the shocking news of Jose Mourinho’s departure from Tottenham Hotspur, much of the rage on social media, on Monday, has been around the mysterious European Super League.

What is the European Super League?

This new tournament is an attempt by 12 ‘founding clubs’ to break away from the UEFA Champions League. This ‘independent’ tournament, according to a statement recently released, will run in the following format:

  • 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season;
  • Midweek fixtures with 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;
  • An August start with clubs participating in two groups of 10, 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;

The Super League is earmarked to launch in 2022 and “as soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched.”

Which clubs have joined the Super League?

The 12 ‘founding clubs’ that have already committed to the new league are:

  • AC Milan;
  • Arsenal FC;
  • Atlético de Madrid;
  • Chelsea FC;
  • FC Barcelona;
  • FC Internazionale Milano;
  • Juventus FC;
  • Liverpool FC;
  • Manchester City;
  • Manchester United;
  • Real Madrid CF; and
  • Tottenham Hotspur

Three more spaces are open for European clubs to join the ‘founding’ tier. Thus far, Frances PSG and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have rejected the invitation.

Billions in line for ‘founding clubs’

By virtue of their participation in this league, these top European clubs could be eliminated from participating in the UEFA football tournaments.

It also remains to be seen if the players participating in this soon-to-be-vetted tournament will be eligible to represent their respective countries in FIFA’s national competitions.

However, neither of these concerns have worried the founding clubs since already, each team has been guaranteed R60 billion (€3.5 billion) for their participation in the Super League.

Clubs and players boycott Super League

The announcement of the new tournament has been widely condemned by the football community. Here are some of the sport’s prominent voices who have spoken out against the launch of the European Super League: