Some key questions regarding the European Super League have been answered by a Spanish journalist in a long article outlining the aims of the competition.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham from England plus Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus and Real Madrid are the ‘founding members’ of the competition.
The Super League said the founding clubs had agreed to establish a “new midweek competition” but that teams still plan to “compete in their respective national leagues” – though it is unknown whether that will actually be an option.
In an article for LaGalerna, Paul Tenerio has answered a lot of the key questions related to the competition. He starts by stating it has been born because “Osasuna-Elche, a West Ham-Brighton or a Crotone-Genoa do not generate enough money to send a mobile television unit to the stadium to broadcast the game, but these clubs have received substantial emoluments since the television boom.
“Consumption habits have changed and young people are no longer eager to invest an hour and a half of their scattered attention in seeing encounters of little importance or quality. The football business, in that direction, was moving towards unsustainability”
He confirms there will 20 teams each season, the 15 founders and 5 teams that each year will earn their place due to their sporting merits. Two groups of 10 will be used, which will play between them for a total of 18 rounds, all of them during the week.
The first three of each group go to the quarter-finals, while the fourth of each group will play a play-off against the fifth of the other, for the other two places in the quarter-finals.
From there, two-legged qualifying rounds until the final, which will be played as a single match on neutral ground. There will be no relegation and the next Super League will be played by the 15 founders and the 5 teams that have made merits for it.
He adds: “Income for the first year is estimated at €7bn, three and a half times more than what the Champions League generates. To begin with, €3.525m will be distributed among the founding teams, not equally: €350m for six of them, €225m for four, €112.5m for two and €100m for three clubs.
“Regarding the payment system, 32.5% of the annual income will go to the coffers of the 15 founding clubs on a fixed basis and another 32.5% to the 20 participating teams. 20% will be allocated to prizes according to the classification and the other 15% based on marketing income.
“The Super League is going to allocate a generous solidarity fund (there is talk of about €10bn, for the €6bn that UEFA currently contributes) to the national federations.”
Only 12 founding clubs have been announced, so the other three places are reserved for clubs that have doubts right now, such as PSG. Porto are also mentioned.
On whether this will enlarge the gap between the elite clubs and others, he added: “Yes, 99.9%. It is an unstoppable reality. The G12 has the upper hand because without them right now no competition is economically viable except by reducing its income to figures of several decades ago.”
Can UEFA, FIFA or the national leagues retaliate against the G12?
“No. Maybe during the first year, but never in the medium or long term. The founding clubs are aware that, without them, the national leagues could not survive. Those television products would have a residual value.
“For their part, UEFA and FIFA can do little other than leave the players of these teams out of national team tournaments, something that does not interest them because they would also be drastically devalued. In the case of UEFA, organising a B tournament is their only way out.
“The Europa League, or Champions, whatever you want to call it, would become its star tournament, always in the shadow of the Super League in terms of impact, marketing, audience and repercussion. The logical thing is that both the national leagues such as UEFA and FIFA end up going through the hoop and joining the project in some way.”
Tenerio confirms that the Champions League titles won by clubs will carry into the Super League: “Madrid starts with 13 titles and continues to be the King of Europe. If UEFA decides to reset this record, it will be a symbolic act: the big clubs in Europe will continue to recognise the 13 winged Madrid, the 7 Milan, the 6 Liverpool, etc.
“As for the referees, the options are to hire retired referees while training young referees or to hire current referees with irrefutable offers to join the Super League. As in American sports, you want to put a microphone so that they explain their decisions to the public in a totally transparent way. And there would be an alternative VAR.”
Finally, on the criteria for forming the ‘original twelve’: “Sporting merits and economic strength. That’s why clubs like Tottenham, Arsenal or Manchester City are there despite not having the highest continental competition in their trophycases. A separate case is Atlético de Madrid, which is neither among the richest clubs nor has a very successful track record.
“The presence of the Rojiblanco club has been a personal endeavour of Florentino Pérez from the beginning, as he has always had the idea of going to the Super League with the two historical rivals of Real Madrid.”
When does the Super League start?
“The idea is to do it now, in August 2021, but nothing is guaranteed. It could be later. There are still many things in the air.”