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Monday, May 17, 2021

Foul play

The European Super League will diminish the soul of football, destroy the romance of the game

By: Editorial |
Updated: April 21, 2021 8:42:36 am

If the European Super League becomes a glittering reality, as their creators have designed it to be, football, as we know it, would cease to be a sport. It could rather become a plastic showbiz of the most talented footballers on the planet kicking the ball around with humdrum regularity, conserving and multiplying the revenue for a small cartel of owners. It would destroy not only the soul of the game but also the identity, tradition, history, and romance of football. Perhaps it’s a sign of times, when the world itself is gravitating towards exclusivity, taking with it whatever little egalitarianism that prevailed in European club football, shaking the founding principles of several decorated clubs, founded mostly by the working class of the 19th century.

The Joel Glazers, Sheikh Mansours and Roman Abramoviches are pumping in billions into the leagues, not out of love for the game or the club, but to make money. Presently, the narrative of top-flight domestic competition is all about reaching the top three-four spots, in order to get into the Champions League. That would not be the case anymore. There would not be any motivation, neither for the elites nor for the aspirants. After a point, over-saturation would creep in, the audience would be bored of watching Liverpool and Barcelona on a reel. They would yearn to watch an Atlanta, or Istanbul Basaksehir or Leicester City and warm their hearts in their fairy-tale stories.

Thankfully, there is a resounding backlash to the concept, which has reaffirmed faith in the audience that football could be saved from the cavernous vultures greedily picking on the flesh and bones of the game, seeing only the twinkling riches and blind to the soul of the game. From presidents, prime ministers and premiers, to footballers and managers, fans and their family, there is an unequivocal resistance to the designs of a gluttonous few. There, thus, is a hope that football will continue to exist, as we know it. And as we want it to be.

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