The implications of Super League on the present football structure: is ESL still a threat?

For a large part of football fans, the potential launch of the Super League has been seen as an absolute disaster. They feel betrayed by the fact that clubs are moving away from the essence of the sport and are heading towards the pure commercialization and manipulation of the sport for the purpose of generating more and more revenues.

In a similar way, for a large part of football bettors, the idea of the Super League has been thought of as a major step back on what the bookmakers across the world - including every betting site in Bangladesh-  have managed to build all those years - a high variety, rich agenda of challenging football betting markets. 

The story…

Much has been written lately on the fact that the grandeur plan for the creation of an elite closed football league - the Super League - might still be on, never abandoned, and never really gotten out of the picture - at least for the masterminds of the project. 

And while the announcement of the plans about developing a new competition for the best football clubs in Europe was met with great opposition, protests, and a strong disappointment on the part of fans, there are still some disturbing implications. There are some ‘cues’, which if one picks up effectively, might reach the conclusion that the Super League can still be a viable and possible scenario of the not-so-distant future. 

But no matter how the general public has perceived the idea of the Super League, a list of primary stakeholders is still working on ways to materialize and actualize the plan. The aspiration of a project that will bring together the best of the best and the top football clubs of the European continent, in a league where they will be their own bosses and will have absolute control, continues to exist in the heads of those who first conceived the idea. 

The implications…

While the big names of European football will probably have a lot to gain, what will happen to the smaller clubs, the domestic leagues, and of course the governing body, UEFA, remains questionable. Let’s see some of the implications on all these if the European Super League eventually emerges as the absolute and dominant competition. 

UEFA’s role may or may not be diminished. In fact, given that the Super League will directly compete with and target the existing governing body, it is unknown whether UEFA will continue to be the dominant authority in the championships. UEFA has declared that it will ban the clubs that will go to Super League from its own competitions and further that the football players will not be allowed to represent their national teams. Should this happen, we will see a serious divide between those clubs that have stakes in remaining with UEFA and those who want to make their own future and detach themselves from the current league. 

More on this, the role of UEFA will be tackled for other reasons as well, including the perceived fairness of the financial regulations and the financial management of the leagues’ revenues. Those who still consider Super League to be the answer to the existing financial inequality, argue that in essence, UEFA has done nothing to promote the big clubs while at the same time, it has not done anything substantial for the small clubs. 

When we consider the smaller clubs, these are the biggest losers of the entire project. Smaller clubs will be poorer, especially if all the attention is brought to the elite games between the big clubs of the continent. If big clubs play against each other more often at Super League matches, both the broadcasting interest and the audiences’ attention will be right there, leaving out the smaller teams.

And while up to now, there is a perceived fairness in how the smaller clubs may ascend in the current league and qualify, the Super League will eventually eradicate any need for promotion. Remember that the way that the Super League will work is important here: the founding clubs will invite other clubs to play. 

So, this brings us to the threat of diminishing both the role and the status of domestic championships. If there is no need for qualification, then what’s the point of struggling? There is no objective, no goal, and no aim. 

The threats of the Super League to football are very real. But it is not the sport itself that is going to feel the effects. It is the way that football is organized and structured now that will change and these changes will then indirectly, though profoundly, distort football as we know it. Maybe it is that football fans will get to see more action from the big clubs and more spectacle, but in the end, it is football that will lose.

Cover Credits: TheSunDaily

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