Remember: in April 2021, giants of European football came together to create a closed league, the Super League. Faced with protests from fans and UEFA, the project was quickly stillborn. But in the shadows, it is still in the pipeline.
In February this year, A22 Sports, the company behind the Super League, rolled up its sleeves. Objective: to propose a new version of this crazy project which must compete with UEFA competitions. Now it promises open competition with several divisions and a total of 60 to 80 teams.
UEFA satisfied with the European Parliament’s position against the Super League
An idea which particularly worries UEFA and the ECA, the club union, which have the current monopoly on competitions on the old continent. To try to revitalize its competitions, the two authorities have already chosen to completely reform the Champions League, the most prestigious competition among European clubs. Next year, a new format will see the light of day and will extend until 2027. But that is clearly not enough. According to El Pais, UEFA and the ECA are already thinking about what comes next. And the first exchanges are unlikely to please the fans.
Three divisions, one of which is almost closed
The Spanish media has disclosed the main ideas of this possible competition. It would be divided into three divisions, a bit like the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League. The first division would be called the Super League (D1). While the other two would be called the Lega Europa (D2) and the Lega Aspirante (D3). Each division would have 18 clubs.
To satisfy the biggest European teams, there would only be two descending clubs in the first division. Relegations would be established on a ranking… of the last three or five years. Which would prevent a club from falling into a tailspin after just one bad year.
Between the other two divisions, there would be four rising and falling clubs.
Lots of gray areas
We are still a long way from an agreement. But this new reform of European competitions is cause for concern. Because like the Super League, an arrival or a rise in a division is not linked to the clubs’ results in the respective championships. It will therefore be necessary to convince European teams and supporters. Given the resistance of football fans two years ago, we can already wish the competent authorities good luck.
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In addition, we will have to find a way to fit all these meetings into an already overloaded schedule. UEFA and the ECA will have to work on a total overhaul of the calendar for a season in Europe.
Indeed, with three championships of 18 teams, we would have to add… 34 matches! A real headache for leaders and supporters who are still very attached to national divisions.
And what about the players? Like Kevin De Bruyne, they not only stick out their tongues physically, but they also resist the intensity and constant lengthening of the seasons. In other words, nothing is gained. But the will of the big clubs is such that it seems impossible to escape a big change in the years to come.
Currently, the Super League project like that of UEFA and the ECA are suspended by a court decision. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) must rule on the legality of UEFA’s protection mechanisms against the Super League and on the monopoly of the continental body. This decision could therefore change everything.
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