The European Super League: The Footballing Controversy of a Generation

21st April 2021

The History of the European Super League

This is not the first time that a breakaway league has been discussed.

In a Dorchester hotel in London back in 2016 the “Big Five”, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all met to discuss the formation of a Super League which would include Europe's elite clubs.

Back in 1998 a Milan based sports rights agency called Media Partners was interested in setting up a Super League including a number of Europe’s top clubs. After the current form of the Champions League was announced by UEFA, with the incentive of extra revenue, the suggestion of a Super League disappeared.

Who are the “Founding Members”?

12 founding members have been revealed. These clubs will be mainstays in the European Super League:

  • Manchester United, who last won the Premier League in 2013.
  • Manchester City, whose one and only European trophy win was in 1970.
  • Arsenal, who currently sit ninth in the Premier league and drew against relegation strugglers Fulham.
  • Tottenham Hotspurs, who last won a major trophy in 2008.
  • Chelsea, who have won less Champions League trophies than Nottingham Forest.
  • Liverpool, who have won the same number of Premier League Titles as Blackburn and Leicester.
  • Juventus, who are currently fourth in Serie A.
  • Inter Milan, who finished last in their Champions League group this season.
  • AC Milan, who have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the last three years.
  • Barcelona, who last appeared in a Champions League final in 2015.
  • Real Madrid, who are currently in almost one billion euros worth of debt.
  • Atletico Madrid, who have never won the Champions League.

Three other unannounced clubs are also set to join up with these ‘Elite Clubs’ as founding members.

What could this European Super League look like?

There will be 20 teams competing in the league. The 15 founding members and five sides who qualify annually via their domestic achievements. The ESL campaign would kick off in August with midweek fixtures, and the clubs would split into groups of 10 where they would play each other home and away.

The top three in each group would qualify for the quarter finals, with the teams in fourth and fifth playing a two-legged play-off for the final two spots.

Then it follows a similar format to the current Champions League, two-leg knockout rounds until the final which would be played at a neutral venue in May.


The Caledonian Braves Viewpoint

Although we shockingly weren’t asked to join the ESL by the European Superclubs, we are delighted to see that the 12 ‘founding members’ have decided to disband the breakaway competition. They can now focus on those who matter most, the fans. The ESL went against everything that the Braves stand for and everything that football represents.

The Caledonian Braves’ ethos relies on building community and most importantly giving the fans a voice. As part of the Braves, fans have the chance to vote on major decisions that could affect the club in both the short-term and long-term future. Without supporters the Braves are nothing. Without fans football is nothing.  

Football is a sport based on dreams. Clubs dream of proving themselves against the best teams in Europe; but if the ESL went ahead it would make Continental football almost unreachable it crushes that dream for clubs, players and fans.

When you join the Braves your voice is heard, your voice matters.


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