Time for a change – organisers say European Super League could contain 80 teams
A new-look, open European Super League could contain up to 80 teams in a multi-divisional format, the competition’s chief executive has said.
The competition would be based on sporting performance only with no permanent members, A22 chief executive Bernd Reichart told German newspaper Die Welt.
Teams would be guaranteed a minimum of 14 matches per season, Reichart wrote.
“A European football league should be an open, multi-divisional competition with 60 to 80 teams, allowing for sustainable distribution of revenues across the pyramid”, explains Bernd Reichart 👉 https://t.co/zP0BdVv56p
— A22 Sports (@A22Sports) February 9, 2023
A22, a company formed to sponsor and assist with the creation of the Super League, has consulted with nearly 50 European clubs since October last year and developed 10 principles based on that consultation which underpin its plans for a new-look league.
Reichart wrote: “The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing.
“It’s time for a change. It is the clubs that bear the entrepreneurial risk in football. But when important decisions are at stake, they are too often forced to sit idly by on the sidelines as the sporting and financial foundations crumble around them.
“Our talks have also made it clear that clubs often find it impossible to speak out publicly against a system that uses the threat of sanctions to thwart opposition.
“Our dialogue was open, honest, constructive and resulted in clear ideas about what changes are needed and how they could be implemented. There is a lot to do and we will continue our dialogue.”
A22 has challenged UEFA and FIFA’s right to block the formation of the Super League and sanction the competing clubs in the courts, arguing the governing bodies are abusing a dominant position under EU competition law.
The European Court of Justice is due to give its final ruling in the case later this year, but a non-binding opinion delivered by the Advocate General in the case in December said rules allowing UEFA and FIFA to block the formation of new competitions was compatible with EU law.
Reichart said the new-look Super League would be an open competition, with qualification achieved via performance at national level and with all its teams competing in their domestic leagues.
Those national leagues would remain “the foundation” of the game, Reichart said, and argued that the new Super League would generate new revenues to support the entire pyramid.
The guarantee of a minimum of 14 matches, Reichart says, would provide “stablility and predictability” of revenue.
Reichart sets out plans for cost control measures, saying clubs should spend only a fixed percentage of their annual football-related revenue on player salaries and net transfers.
“Club spending must be based solely on the funds generated and not on competitively distorting capital injections,” he wrote.
La Superliga es el lobo, que hoy se disfraza de abuelita para intentar engañar al fútbol europeo, pero SU nariz y SUS dientes son muy grandes, ¿cuatro divisiones en europa? Claro la primera para ellos, como en la reforma de 2019.¿Gobierno de los clubes? Claro solo de los grandes pic.twitter.com/y0IQmLzS6W
— Javier Tebas Medrano (@Tebasjavier) February 9, 2023
LaLiga president Javier Tebas, a long-term critic of the Super League despite the fact Real Madrid and Barcelona support it, tweeted his disapproval of the new plans.
“The Super League is the wolf, who today disguises himself as a granny to try to fool European football,” he wrote.
“But HIS nose and HIS teeth are very big, four divisions in Europe? Of course the first for them, as in the 2019 reform. Governed by the clubs? Of course only the big ones.”
UEFA and FIFA have been contacted for comment.
Fan opposition to the 2021 plans was especially key to sinking the project, and Football Supporters’ Association chief executive Kevin Miles likened the European Super League to a twitching corpse on Thursday.
“The walking corpse that is the European Super League twitches again with all the self-awareness one associates with a zombie,” Miles said.
“Their newest idea is to have an ‘open competition’ rather than the closed shop they originally proposed that led to huge fan protests.
“Of course an open competition for Europe’s top clubs already exists – it’s called the Champions League.
“They say ‘dialogue with fans and independent fan groups is essential’ yet the European Zombie League marches on – wilfully ignorant to the contempt supporters across the continent have for it.”