European Super League Collapse: What Happens, Who Has Left, What’s Next?
What’s happening right now with the European Super League?
European soccer was rocked by the biggest story in at least a generation for the past couple of days when 12 of Europe's biggest clubs announced plans to break away from the established soccer order and form a Super League. The plan was ultimately short-lived after the rogue breakaway group lost the backing of all six Premier League clubs.
On Tuesday night, the Super League was be put on pause to "reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project," effectively ending a 48-hour power play to leave UEFA, the governing body for European soccer. Real Madrid and Barcelona were the only clubs left standing without releasing a statement to its fans on the collapse of the Super League plans.
Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, one of the founding members of the failed Super League project, told Reuters on Wednesday he "remained convinced of the beauty of that project, but admittedly ... I mean, I don't think that that project is now still up and running."
Why Super League Collapse So Quickly?
According to Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol, the reason I think it unravelled so quickly was because these owners are not as powerful as they think. They thought they could do whatever they wanted; leave the Premier League if they had to, set up a rival super league and they did not care about the consequences and what it was going to do to the rest of the English game and the rest of the game in Europe.
"I have spoken to some people at these breakaway clubs and again and again they tell me that the reason that they have changed their mind is because of the overwhelmingly negative global reaction from everyone. From fans, players, managers, administrators, UEFA, FIFA, government. Everyone was against this. They are telling me that is why they backtracked so quickly."
Which teams have left the Super League?
Just 48 hours on from Sunday’s bombshell announcement of a new breakaway competition to rival the Champions League, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all withdrew their support after significant public backlash.
Serie A club Inter Milan and La Liga side Atletico Madrid have now formally left the Super League, leaving only Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid standing.
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UEFA have welcomed the English clubs’ decision with the venture now saying they will now look to “reshape” the project.
Why did the clubs do that?
For some of them, it stemmed from a disagreement between some of European football’s superpowers and Uefa over commercial control of the revamped Champions League, which is due to start under a new format from 2024.
On Friday, the UEFA clubs competition committee - including a number of representatives from breakaway clubs - had given its blessing to Uefa’s proposals before a dramatic change of direction.
What comes next, Will the clubs be punished?
There is the possibility of some punishments being handed out as deterrents, but Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has repeatedly urged the clubs to come to their senses, and will be pleased and relieved if they all do, The Independent reported.
However, with their negotiating position weakened, some of the concessions to the big clubs in the 2024 Champions League revamp - like the ‘safety net’ of two qualification places based on historic performance and teams playing 10 matches in the group stage - might be looked at again.
Olive branches were swiftly offered by UEFA, whose president Aleksandar Ceferin was keen to play the role of peacemaker as the first cracks appeared on Tuesday. "It is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake," he said as the Premier League sides began the exodus from the Super League. "But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game, according to Cbssports.
"The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together."
Equally he and other senior figures at UEFA and across football will not forget the feelings of betrayal that Ceferin laid out in such devastating fashion on Monday morning. Many clubs are talking about rebuilding trust with their supporters after their humiliating climbdown but it will be no less mammoth a task to do so with fellow executives.
Within the corridors of those 14 Premier League clubs that were left out there is naturally a plurality of views, an acknowledgement that the competition will not be the same success without its biggest names coupled with a desire to punish them for their transgressions.
There is ground for doing the latter, Premier League Rule L9 states that clubs need prior written approval of the board to enter into any competition other than UEFA's European competitions and domestic cups. The points deductions or fines that former Manchester United defender Gary Neville was calling for on Sunday would certainly act as a significant warning but there are those within the 14 who doubt it would really hit the architects of this plan in any meaningful way.
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