The sports world was shocked Sunday, April 18 when 12 of the best soccer teams in Europe announced they were going to break away and form their own Super League.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham were the original teams that were going to participate in this competition as soon as August.
In a fascinating turn of events, just two days later most of the teams in the competition got cold feet and left the competition, even after Real Madrid President Florentino Perez said no teams could leave their contracts.
So, what exactly happened?
The fans of all of these teams, and soccer fans in general, all voiced their displeasure, making themselves heard.
Fans gathered in droves outside of the club’s facilities and protested. Chelsea had a game Tuesday, April 20 with many fans protesting outside, preventing the players from parking.
Chelsea was the first team to officially disband the project, followed by Manchester City and the other four teams in England. The only teams still in the project are Barcelona and Real Madrid.
FIFA also announced that any player that participated in this league would be banned from all national team competitions, including the World Cup. From the start, this Super League would be very complicated and difficult to actually put together.
The reason this league was almost formed comes down to one word: money.
Many of these clubs lost a serious amount of money due to the pandemic with some clubs losing nine figures.
The current European competition that these clubs wanted to break away from, UEFA Champions League, gives the winner around €125 million. Just for joining this league, teams would get around €300 million.
These club owners, who didn’t consult with the coaches or the players on this league, want more prize money as they feel the Champions League doesn’t give enough.
Many believe the Super League was just a power play by these clubs to get more money from UEFA and FIFA, and that may be the case.
UEFA announced the Champions League will have a new format in 2024-2025, that will have more games and more prize money.
What’s next for this league and the teams that said they would participate?
Well, the only two teams still involved are Barcelona and Real Madrid as previously mentioned. Both clubs need the money and Perez was the leader of the proposal. He said he believes in the league and European soccer needs change.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said that all 12 of the clubs that joined the Super League will be punished and will be held responsible for their actions. What the punishment will be is undecided yet, but don’t be surprised if these teams only get a slap on the wrist.
After all, they are 12 of the biggest clubs in the world.