– I have some fantastic news. We have agreed to participate in a European super league.
This was stated by Barcelona’s then President Josep Maria Bartomeu at the same press conference he resigned as President, on October 27, 2020.
They were the first and so far only big club to have agreed to join a so-called super league.
Still: There has been a lot of speculation about a new European super league, and what it will look like. So far, there are indications that there will be an expanded version of the Champions League in the first instance.
British The Times claims to know that the base will be 15 clubs, and these will be in the league on a permanent basis. The English newspaper also writes that Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool and AC Milan are the clubs that are the biggest drivers to create such a league.
In addition to these 15 clubs, there will be five places reserved for teams that qualify. The league will take place with a total of 20 teams that will be divided into two groups, where four teams from each group will advance to the playoffs.
According to The Times, six Premier League teams have been given a permanent place in the league. The six in question will be Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool.
– The model needs new impulses
The European Super League has only been speculation for several years. If it is true that it is now approaching reality, it could be a lot due to tough economic times for several big clubs.
Liverpool have repeatedly written off in matches for big players due to finances, Real Madrid are rumored to have to sell players in order to sign, while Barcelona are said to be on the verge of bankruptcy.
As a result, The Athletic experiences that Barcelona and Real Madrid are also pushing to get through a super league concept.
In addition to the resigned Barcelona president, Florentino Pérez, the Real Madrid president, has also hinted that the European Super League is the way to go.
– Football needs new formulas to make it more competitive, more exciting and stronger. As always, Real Madrid will continue to be at the forefront of this sport, the president said in a meeting with Real Madrid members.
– Now this model needs new impulses. Football must stand out in these times, he continued.
And it may seem that Perez and Bartomeu get their way, at least to some degree. Now everything points to the Champions League going into a new model, called the Swiss model.
Several media, including The Athletic, claim that the Champions League should be radically changed.
The most important changes are that the group game is removed. Instead, 36 clubs will play ten games – five at home and five away.
The eight best teams will qualify for the knockout rounds, while 16 teams will play the playoffs for the last eight places.
But even if it increases from 32 teams to 36 teams, it will hardly benefit, for example, Norwegian clubs. It is claimed that teams with previous merits will more easily fit in. This means that even if, for example, Manchester United underperforms a season, they will still have good opportunities for a Champions League place.
The American owners
Andreas Selliaas, journalist for the website idrettspolitikk.no, believes that it is first and foremost the mentioned version of the Champions League that is on the way.
– It’s a bit about the plans that have been presented not getting through. As it looks now, it will probably be used as a means of pressure to get the most out of the Champions League, says Selliaas.
He believes that new types of owners – including Americans – are more concerned with the commercial part of football than the traditions. In the USA, among other things, there are no promotions and relegations in leagues such as MLS.
There are similar schemes several clubs will have in the Champions League, ie that the big clubs are in the tournament year after year, and that the domestic league does not have much to say for qualification.
– The winners are the club owners and those who have commercial interests. The losers will be the supporters, at least those who have a close connection to their club, Selliaas believes.
There are nine clubs in the Premier League that are partly or wholly owned by American companies or individuals. Among these we find Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
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