The Rise and Fall of the European Super League: What, How, and Why Did It Happen?


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Tyler Holmquist, Sports Editor

     Soccer is globally referred to as the beautiful game. If you have ever watched a match, the teamwork and passing skills of the world’s greatest soccer players are simply unmatched. Now, I am personally more of a basketball guy. But if the World Cup is on, or the UEFA Champions League is being played, count me in! The sheer talent and endurance of those guys is crazy. But sadly, the beautiful game was almost taken away from all soccer supporters these past weeks with the proposition of a new “European Super League”. Eighth grader Gianni Lomeli, an avid soccer fan, said this about the proposed new league: “The ESL, even though it died out, was visible proof that the beautiful game is becoming corrupt by money. It’s a warning sign that sports can be monetized and taken advantage from and we must find ways to prevent this.”


     The talk over the possible formation of a European Super League had been in the works for about a year before these last couple weeks. But when the idea of the new league was announced two weekends ago, soccer fans were angry, to say the least. And rightfully so. You might be wondering: Well, what is wrong with a European Super League? Would that not be awesome? The short answer: no, it would not. But before we explain why, we first have to break down how the governing body of soccer works and how this European Super League was going to totally change how we view soccer.


     First off, you have FIFA. They are a non-profit organization, and they are also the highest governing body of association football. Below them, you have the UEFA Champions League. You then have several different football leagues under them, such as La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, and more. 32 teams out of those leagues then come together to play in the UEFA Champions League. First, you have a group stage, and the best teams then advance to the next round. Then the next round. And the next, all the way up until the last team standing wins. You get the jist. This system works really well, and it’s also why the UEFA Champions League is so fun to watch. Most years, there’s an upset team that goes on a tear and beats some of the top teams. These teams are fun to root for. They’re the underdogs, and they’re the teams that make soccer beautiful. For example, take Ajax in 2018-19. They’re a very good club that plays in the top division, but they’re no FC Barcelona. And yet, in 2018-19, they reached the semis in UEFA after upsetting Real Madrid and Juventus! This shows that anything can happen, and it’s one of the reasons why the UEFA Champions League is so captivating and entertaining. 


     But the plan for the European Super League was to pretty much get rid of those underdog teams! Only the top clubs were to play in the Super League, and those clubs would also not be allowed to play in the UEFA Champions League anymore. The reason for this was money. The owners of these big-name clubs are greedy, and they have more money in their pockets than smaller clubs like Ajax. Therefore, they are able to go out and get stars like Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed a whopping 139 million dollar contract in the summer of 2018 with top-club Juventus! The European Super League was designed to pit twelve of these top clubs against each other. This would mean even more money for those clubs, and it would also pretty much destroy the Champions League because these teams would no longer be allowed to play in it anymore.


     Luckily, after fans and supporters protested against the new league, the clubs set to join the league dropped out one by one. In only a couple days, the European Super League was created, then put to an end by the fans. Soccer will stay the way it should be: fun, crazy, unpredictable, and most importantly, beautiful.