All for the love of soccer

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The fans have spoken loud and clear.

The formation of a new Super League for European football, known as soccer in North America, came to an abrupt end last week even before it really began, and that reason can be attributed to the fans of the sport.

For decades, there has been talk of creating a European Super League with several popular soccer teams, and while it may have appeared to be an answer for a struggling league in a time of pandemic, it was not the right path to take.

The Super League project was overseen by Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, who promoted it as a way to save soccer and the clubs struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic. Several Spanish and English soccer teams had agreed to breakoff with the longstanding and popular UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League, that also included several teams with the Premier League.

After deciding to join the would be Super League, popular teams from Great Britain including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, made a rather sudden choice several days ago to cut ties with several teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, among others and the controversial breakaway, competitive group of soccer clubs after backlash from fans and critics, who voiced their concerns with the formation of a Super League.


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The format of the competition would have favoured some of the strongest, biggest clubs in European soccer. Of the 20 teams contesting the competition, 15 teams were labelled as core founding clubs. These 15 clubs would have had their places guaranteed every season in the Super League for the next 20 years. The clubs would be immune to relegation, while the other five places would be made up of teams that could be relegated from the competition.

There was talk of the reasoning behind such a move to form a Super League and sadly, it all appeared to come down to money and greed. There was little or no notification or consultation given by the top six teams leaving the Premier League, later joined by other elite teams from across Europe, to create the European Super League. Some of the remaining Premier League clubs spoke out and called out the teams that chose to leave.

One of them was Everton football club, one of the most successful clubs in English football that has a large fan base across the globe. What they said last week resonated with many soccer fans. A part of the statement they released as a team read:

“Everton is saddened and disappointed to see proposals of a breakaway league pushed forward by six clubs. Six clubs acting entirely in their own interests. Six clubs tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game….The self-proclaimed Super Six appear intent on disenfranchising supporters across the game including their own – by putting the very structure that underpins the game we love under threat.The backlash is understandable and deserved and has to be listened to.” 

Like all sports, fans are an important part of a league or a club’s success, and if there is a lesson to take away from this European Super League mishap, it’s that the voices of fans are indeed worth listening to and sometimes can be a powerful agent of change.

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