The European Super League (ESL) has made another attempt to revive its plans to create a new football competition, which has been met with criticism and scepticism from various stakeholders. The new proposal, driven by consultancy firm A22, who was hired by the Super League company, involves expanding the number of teams from 16 to 60-80 and implementing a divisional structure with promotion and relegation.
The European Super League also aims to invest in the women’s game and provide €400 million annually in solidarity payments to non-European Super League clubs and grassroots football. However, the proposal to have “open competition” with no permanent members has been seen as a disguise and a misleading attempt to destabilize the constructive work between the stakeholders in football.
The Football Supporters’ Association CEO, Kevin Miles, was quick to criticize the proposal, saying that an open competition for Europe’s top clubs already exists in the form of the Champions League. The European Club Association, which represents 245 clubs, also rejected the proposal, calling it a rehashed idea that had already been discussed and rejected in 2019. The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, compared the proposal to the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, calling the Super League a wolf disguised as a granny trying to fool European football.
The Premier League has not made a statement on the matter, but it is widely believed that the financial success of the league is driving continued interest in the creation of an ESL. A22 has not disclosed which clubs if any, support its new concept, and there are rumours of another briefing document that includes guaranteed members. The outcome of a pending ruling from the European Court of Justice will determine the fate of the Super League, as it will decide whether any new competition requires the approval of Uefa to be integrated into the competitive landscape.