European Super League: All the unknown facts and details we need to know

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The creation of a closed breakaway league called the European Super League was announced by 12 founding clubs this past Sunday. The football world went into turmoil thinking about the consequences of such a breakaway league. From the highest governing bodies such as FIFA and UEFA to players and former players, coaches, and of course, fans have expressed their disregard. United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also condemned the concept. Waiting for events to unfold, there are many questions that the project arouses.

Who are the Founding Members of the European Super League?

Twelve of the most powerful and decorated clubs in the world: Three from Spain’s LaLiga (Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid), the so-called ‘Big Six’ of England’s Premier League (Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham) and another three from Italy’s Serie A (Juventus, Milan, and Inter). There will be three more founding clubs. It is rumoured that Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain, will be those clubs, but nothing has been confirmed. The idea is to launch a competition of 20 teams, 15 of them fixed.

Who is providing the funding and how much money is involved?

American investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced on Monday that it has funded the Super League project. According to Mundo Deportivo, JPMorgan would have committed to financing it together with Key Capital, a company linked to Borja Prado, a regular collaborator of Real Madrid club president Florentino Pérez.

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Just for participating in the league, approximately 300 million euros each will be given to the clubs. In the official statement released by the clubs, it stated that “the solidarity payments will be greater than those currently generated by the European club competition system and it is expected that they will exceed €10,000 million during the period that the clubs have committed to. Meanwhile, the new competition will be built on the basis of sustainable financial criteria, with all of the founding members have committed to a spending framework. In exchange for that commitment, the clubs will receive a total one-off payment of €3.5 billion which is for the sole purpose of investing in infrastructure and offsetting the impact of the COVID pandemic.”

Why would clubs decide to move into this competition?

Mainly for the money involved. The fact that there are fewer participants and all the teams get a good fixed amount of big matches. The greater interest in the matches would have an impact on higher profits for the participating teams

What is the format of the Super League?

It will have 20 teams, 15 of the founding members fixed, while the other 5 will have to go through qualification processes. They would be divided into 2 groups of 10, all against all, with home and away matches. All would be played on weekdays, so participants could continue to play their domestic leagues.

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“The top three in each group will automatically qualify for the quarter-finals. The teams finishing fourth and fifth will play an additional two-legged playoff. Following this, two-legged playoffs will take place from the quarter-finals onwards, leading to the final, which will be played as a single match… at a neutral venue”

Who are the board members?

Real Madrid president and president of the Super League, Florentino Pérez. Andrea Agnelli, Juventus president and vice-president of the Super League. Joel Glazer, Manchester United co-owner and Super League vice-president. John Henry, Liverpool owner, and Super League vice-president. Stan Kroenke, Arsenal owner, and Super League vice-president. 

Will the players playing the Super League not be able to play for their nations as threatened by UEFA?

The players “can be assured that this won’t happen,” Pérez said in a late-night Spanish television interview. “It’s not going to happen. We won’t get into the legal aspects of it, but it won’t happen. It’s impossible.”

Were the club staff and players involved in any discussions?

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As of now, it does not seem like that. With some players and managers speaking out against the breakaway league concept, it seems like the Super League was completely a decision taken by the club owners. 

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