In a dramatic twist and turning of events this month, a comedy / drama / tragedy has been playing out across in European network of football clubs. Football fans in Europe and across the world have been looking on with shock, horror and awe as several of the top football clubs sought to come together to make an elite European Super League.
The twelve top clubs reportedly spent three years constructing the plans for the league, only to be renamed the ‘Dirty Dozen’ as things went sour in public opinion after the league’s press release.
In the Press Release on their website, the European Super League lists 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 as its founding members.
The league proposed a closed competition of 20 clubs, with 15 founders and 5 annual qualifiers. It assured that through a knockout style tournament of home and away games that competition would remain rife and in keeping with the traditional league set up.
So what went wrong?
It took only 48 hours or so for the European Super League to succumb to (un)popular opinion. Critics of the league voiced their opinion that the structure was unfair and went against the ethics of the game. The closed circuit league, they argued, wouldn’t allow for the possibility of promotion and relegation found in the current Premier and other leagues.
Fans in the UK, the well known home of football as the chant goes, were outraged at the news and took to the streets to protest. Banners and chanting let organisers know how fans felt at what they called a ‘betrayal’ of football. Moral outrage overcame health and safety fears as protests took place during the COVID-19 ongoing coronavirus global pandemic crisis.