Football management is an expensive business, and it seems that the top clubs in Europe are trying to cash in on their international popularity by creating a monopolised European league for the giants from England, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France.
This format of the tournament would ensure that teams like Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Manchster City, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan would get direct qualification to the tournament, because of the huge broadcast rights that they draw.
Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explains that this endeavour will include 20 teams in the tournament, and many of these teams would take part via invitation, essentially making the tournament an elite ans selective space.
“In the future, I can see a tournament consisting of 20 teams from Italy, England, Spain, Germany and France,” Rummenigge was quoted as saying by the Evening Standard. “It is an idea born some time ago. I see that in the top five leagues in Europe, the big teams are always getting stronger and stronger.”
A similar format was proposed to the UEFA by some of the top clubs in Europe, but the overall plan was turned down because it would bring in monopoly, and not give the other clubs a fair chance to qualify. However, Rummenigge goes on to say that if the UEFA does not want to accept a plan like this, the top clubs could form a cartel of their own and run this European Super League.
“A super league outside of the Champions League is being born. It will either be led by UEFA or by a separate entity, because there is a limit to how much money can be made,” said Rummenigge.
This plan is being considered in order to increase the broadcast revenues earned by the clubs, says Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli. He says that the Super Bowl in America earns more than four times the amount from broadcast revenues, in spite of the fact that there are around 10 times more football fans around the world, than there are NFL fans.
“The Champions League is worth €1.5 billion (£1.1bn) in TV rights against nearly €7bn (£5.2bn) that the Super Bowl is worth, despite market research telling us that there are 1.6 billion football fans and only 150 million NFL fans,” said Agnelli. “This should make us review the untapped potential within the current format of football. We operate in an industry that is heavily regulated.”
New format unfair on underrated teams?
The one big argument against the European Super League is that underrated teams like Leicester City, Everton, Celta Vigo, and Hertha Berlin would be missing out on these big revenues, in spite of having beaten the top teams on a regular basis. Football is a unique business for both the fans and those who run the board room, because there is always the risk of losing out on the big bucks if a team does not perform well and fails to qualify for Europe, or gets relegated. With such security being offered to the big clubs, it would only increase the monetary disparity between the rich teams and the not so rich ones.