On Sunday, the world of European soccer was rocked when a gaggle of the world’s biggest clubs announced that they will be launching their own exclusive international competition. 12 teams officially announced the creation of the European Super League, which will be a midweek competition held every season that pits some of the best clubs in the world against one another.
The announcement was quick to draw the ire of fans, leagues, and team soccer executives everywhere. Some believe the league will ultimately threaten the existence of the UEFA Champions League, which is currently the biggest club competition on the planet. Holding Super League games in the middle of the week will allow participants to continue with their domestic competitions, but the announcement is already resulting in a tremendous amount of blowback.
Who’s in the Super League?
While the Champions League has long existed as the premier competition pitting all of Europe’s top clubs against one another, there has been talk about the potential creation of an alternative league for years. The Champions League and Europa League are both conducted by UEFA, European soccer’s official governing body.
UEFA has nothing to do with the Super League. Nor does FIFA, the global soccer governing body. Both UEFA and FIFA have instantly come out in opposition of the Super League, which is actually the brainchild of the 12 clubs involved.
On Sunday, 12 clubs announced their plans to ditch UEFA and form their own competition. As of now, the league plans to add three more permanent members while leaving another five spots open on a rotational basis. While Champions League and Europa League participants are determined on merit, the 12 founders of the Super League can never be relegated from the competition.
The 12 founding members are listed below:
- Arsenal (England)
- Liverpool (England)
- Manchester United (England)
- Manchester City (England)
- Chelsea (England)
- Tottenham Hotspur (England)
- Real Madrid (Spain)
- Barcelona (Spain)
- Atletico Madrid (Spain)
- AC Milan (Italy)
- Inter Milan (Italy)
- Juventus (Italy)
While the league would prefer to add three more permanent members, the qualification and invitation processes for the five rotating spots are currently unknown. Qualification for Champions League and Europa League is earned via domestic performance every year.
Who Was Left Out of the Super League?
While most of Europe’s most prestigious club are involved in the Super League, there are a few notable omissions. Bayern Munich and Paris St. Germain, who squared off in last season’s Champions League Final, are two clubs that are not currently involved in the Super League. Nor are Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig.
Statement from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the planned European Super League.
— 🏆🏆🏆FC Bayern English🏆🏆🏆 (@FCBayernEN) April 19, 2021
Dortmund’s chief executive has already said that his club has no plans to get involved. CBS’ Fabrizio Romano has reported that RB Leipzig is staunchly opposed. Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge issued a statement that said his club “have not been involved” in planning the Super League. Rummenigge added that he does not believe the creation of the Super League will be good for the sport in the long run.
PSG, who are now favored to win the Champions League for the first time this season, reportedly believe joining the Super League would be disrespectful to join the new operation.
Reaction to Super League
On Monday, UEFA officially announced plans to expand the Champions League field to 36 teams starting in 2024-25. UEFA is also lashing out against the Super League. Jesper Moller, the chairman of the Danish Football Association, said Monday that three of this year’s Champions League semifinalists – Manchester City, Chelsea, and Real Madrid – will be kicked out of the competition by the end of the week due to their involvement in the Super League.
The 12 Super League teams have already sent letters to both FIFA and UEFA to inform them that the Super League clubs have already pursued legal action in order to try and protect those teams from any repercussions.
The 14 English Premier League clubs not involved with the Super League have reportedly planned to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, with the six Super League clubs not invited. All 12 Super League clubs will subsequently resign from the European Club Association.
Leading European football clubs announce new Super League competition.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 18, 2021
Frankly, this is clearly a power play by some of Europe’s biggest brands. Each of the 12 teams is set to receive an initial grant of about $4.1 billion, with plans to launch a similar league for women’s clubs once the men’s competition has begun. The teams are hoping to get the league underway by the 2023-24 campaign.
Manchester United owner and Super League vice-chairman Joel Glazer said,
“By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
The clubs involved in the new league are citing the financial instability created by the pandemic as the primary reasoning behind the decision to branch off. Forming the Super League will bring each involved club a bigger financial windfall than they would have enjoyed under the current UEFA formats, but the moves have also drawn immediate blowback from fans all over the world.
Chelsea’s Supporters’ Trust described the Super League as “the ultimate betrayal.” The group issued a statement that said, “Our members and football supporters across the world have experienced the ultimate betrayal. This is a decision of greed to line the pockets of those at the top and it has been made with no consideration for the loyal supporters, our history, our future, and the future of football in this country. This is unforgivable. Enough is enough.”
Can I Bet On the Super League?
Assuming the clubs involved push forward with plans for the Super League despite the incredible amount of negative PR, the Super League will create no shortage of appealing soccer betting opportunities in the future. As mentioned, the league is hoping to get underway in two years as plans become set in stone.
Assuming the 20-team format persists, the competition would consist of two groups of 10 teams featuring home and away matches. The top three team in each group will ultimately advanced to the quarterfinals, while the fourth- and fifth-place teams in each group would play one another for the last spots.
Each team involved will play a minimum of 18 Super League games in a season with a maximum of 25. The current Champions League season is much more condensed, with a maximum of 13 games per side. However, that maximum will rise to 17 once the new Champions League format goes live in 2024-25.
There is still a strong chance the Super League doesn’t happen any time soon. In fact, online sports betting sites believe that there is a strong chance that no Premier League team will play in a Super League match before 2025. You can get -120 odds on no top-flight English side playing in the Super League before 2025 at select soccer betting sites.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu …