In football, a league ended without a single kick. This is how the untimely death of many controversial European Super Leagues can be explained. The 12 clubs that tried to form a football cartel among themselves collapsed in 48 hours and 44 minutes.
Tuesday night when the six English clubs known as the ‘Big Six’ – Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur; It was only when they announced their withdrawal that it became clear that the ESL’s death knell had rung. But why did this initiative of organizing one of the best clubs in the world fail? What was wrong with ESL?
Football pundits see a number of reasons behind the termination of Project ESL: fan protests, fears of government action and the possibility of financial losses. Football analyst Phil Minsul says ESL captains have no idea that fans, especially English fans, will react in this way. These fans consider themselves the guardians of football and the bearers of the footballing tradition. Fans saw that the formation of this super league would destroy the continuity of football and there would be no promising future for small clubs.
This is where the ESL entrepreneurs made a mistake, he says, because they thought small clubs would be greedy for money and speak for ESL.
Born on Sunday, died on Tuesday
The outcry over the ESL began on Sunday, just as the outline of the project was leaked to Britain’s Sunday Times. The proposal called for the launch of a special football league with European elite clubs. Purpose: To organize regular matches among the best clubs. Fifteen founding clubs will be permanent members of the ESL. The names of the twelve clubs were immediately announced and it was said that three more clubs would join it. Apart from this, five more teams will take part in this league every season. However, the details of how their qualifications will be determined were not known.
The project will be funded by financial institution JP Morgan. The founding clubs will receive ৫ 425 million just for being members of this league. The team that won the Champions League in 2020, it is four times its income.
But sports commentator Mihir Bose feels that the ESL promoters have not been able to articulate their thoughts and prepare stakeholders ahead of time. He said he did not understand that football fans would not accept an exclusive tournament-style event like the American NFL or the NBA. This is in conflict with the merit-based pyramid system of European football.
The English clubs that are among the promoters of the Super League have three main clubs – Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United – owned by Americans. According to US media reports, these owners have a variety of American clubs in their hands. Faced with huge losses in the coronavirus epidemic, it is only natural that they would support an initiative like ESL to increase their income.
Football analyst Phil Minsul thinks UEFA’s response was another big mistake in terms of ESL entrepreneurs’ numbers. They thought UEFA’s response would be very soft. But they did not expect as much as UEFA would use harsh words against ESL and threaten harsh punishment.
When the controversy spills over into the football field and politicians start joining it, the future of the ESL becomes even more shaky. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with representatives of the Football Association, the Premier League and fan clubs on Tuesday. A subsequent statement from Downing Street said the government would not sit idly by in what a handful of club owners were doing. The Prime Minister has clearly said that the government will take all possible steps, including changes in the law, to prevent this.
Mihir Bose says such a direct threat from the British government changes the whole situation. Possible measures against the ESL included the exclusion of players from the national team, the revocation of work permits for foreign players, as well as the provision of cash, including tax exemptions, for clubs. Mihir Bose said that the big clubs have to continue with the help and cooperation of the administration. If the government wants, it can create various problems for clubs and players.
However, analysts like Mihir Bose and Phil Minsul think that even if the dream of ESL is shattered for the time being, it will not go away from the minds of the people. Because if the problems that exist in organizations like UEFA and FIFA are not addressed, the demands of ESL will rise again.
Mihir Bose says UEFA and FIFA are primarily commercial entities. As a result, the government has to appoint regulators from outside the football world to solve their problems naturally. He mentioned that these two organizations cannot deny the evolution of football.