In case you’ve missed it, on Sunday night, 12 European football clubs announced the formation of a breakaway “super” league involving themselves and 3 clubs to be named later. This league was supposed to run parallel to all the existing domestic and European club competitions currently running, but - unlike every other competition - those 15 founding clubs would be entered automatically each year without needing to earn their place through play.
The teams are:
Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurts and Arsenal
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid
Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan
In what now seems obvious but, clearly, wasn’t obvious to the breakaway teams before about 10 seconds after the announcement, the entire remainder of the football world - establishment, fans, governing bodies and governments alike - all fucking hated the idea. The tsunami of shit that blasted these clubs was massive and, so far, unending. Even the fans of the breakaway teams have been universal in their condemnation of it.
It is not known who the 3 tbnl teams are/were, but the usual suspects were all very quick to come out and say “not us”; including PSG, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. So it’s unsure who else they would let have a golden ticket to forever European football. Maybe they thought they could hold an auction for those spots, who knows.
It’s actually been quite cathartic. It has ripped the scab off the festering wound caused by the concentration of wealth in the game amongst a few elite teams (the Premier League itself being part of the problem). I’m sure the breakaway clubs were not expecting to be told that they can go and “do one”, and this be by far the majority sentiment of everyone else in the game. “Take your ball and fuck off, we’ll kick you out of all the current competitions, your players will be barred from national tournaments and we will carry on without you; enjoy trying to sell the TV rights to your exhibition league where Arsenal plays Juventus eight times.”
Within 24 hours, there was talk that Chelsea and Liverpool were getting cold feet. This afternoon (less than 48 hours later), Chelsea announced that they are going to take a look at the contract to see if they can get out of it. Man City are reportedly doing the same, but have not said so publicly (at the time of writing).
It’s been a whirlwind. So much so that I have been waiting for things to settle down before posting about it. Before now, anything I typed would be ancient news by the time I posted it. That may still be true, but the Chelsea turnabout pretty much confirms this thing to be as DOA as it looked on Sunday night.
What’s left now is to see what immediate punishment will be meted out to the traitor clubs and what, if any, meaningful changes come about as a result. I would put money on the answers being “wrist-slap” and “nothing really” but, this is 2021 where the boot isn’t yet on the other foot but it’s definitely coming off the first one.