The European Super league: All You need to know

European Super league

By John Omoku (ACER Editorial)

There has been a recent uproar on social media and media outlets globally about the proposed European Super League; this leads us to the question: What is the European Super league?
Talks of a European Super league is really not a recent topic and has been there since the 1980s. The idea of the European Super league has hosted fears amongst the top football leagues in Europe.

What is the European Super league like?

Myths and Rumors 

In 2018, a report was published by Der Spiegel which took the football world by storm. The report uncovered some documents from football leaks which revealed the idea of a plan in progress that would go on to birth the European Super league. The idea was for top European clubs to break out from UEFA and start their own competition in 2021. The plan claimed that a 16-team tournament would kick-off in the early part of 2021.

The competition according to the Der Spiegel' report is similar to the UEFA Champions League. Teams would play in group stages followed by knockout rounds to clinch the Europa super league champion title.

According to the report, out of the 16-teams, 11 would be labeled as “core founding” members or clubs. These 11 clubs will have a secured spot in the Super league for 20 years and would be immune to relegation for the time being. The other 5 teams would be made up of teams that could be relegated from the competition

Which teams constituted the 16-team tournament?

According to the documents and leaks uncovered by Der spiegel, 11-clubs were listed as core founding clubs, they included:

  1. Barcelona
  2. Real Madrid
  3. Chelsea
  4. Arsenal
  5. Manchester city
  6. Manchester united
  7. Liverpool
  8. Juventus
  9. AC Milan
  10. Bayern Munich
  11. PSG

Which teams would make up the 5-guest clubs?

According to Der Spiegel's report, guest clubs in the competition would include:

  1. Atletico Madrid
  2. Inter Milan
  3. Borussia Dortmund
  4. Marseille and,
  5. Roma.

The rotating guest teams could change from Year to year as a secondary competition would be set to provide promotion and relegation to those rotating clubs; this is essentially similar to a second division league akin to the premier league and EFL Championship.

How much of these reports and leaks are true today?

Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.

AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. 

It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.

Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.

According to a press release from the founding clubs:

“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.” 

“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid. In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid”. 

Competition Format According to a press release from founding clubs

20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.

Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.

An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter finals. 

Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. 

A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.

As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.

The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues.

These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs.

In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework. In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.

Florentino Pérez, President Real Madrid CF and the first Chairman of the Super League said:

“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”

Backing the new European league, Andrea Agnelli, Chairman of Juventus and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said:

“Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”

Joel Glazer, Co-Chairman of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said:

“By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”

Who is leading the European Super league idea?

Previously, there were reports pointing all fingers to Karl-Heinz, Chairman of Bayern Munich club as one of the top guys behind the formation of the European Super league.

Mr. Karl-Heinz has denied this on several occasions; it was believed that he used his influence at the European Club association to pressure UEFA into reforms allowing more financial benefits for Europe's richest club.

Some other sources have linked the European Super league idea to North American professionals sports league such as the NFL, NBA and the major league baseball. These leagues are all closed leagues in which there's no relegation and promotion.

However, More recent accusations have linked Florentino Pérez, President Real Madrid CF as the brain behind the Super League. None of these reports have been confirmed to be true yet. 

Mr. Florentino Pérez, is the first Chairman of the Super League.

Are there any benefits of the European Super league?

1.The European Super league would provide even greater financial reward to it's members or participating clubs.

2.Compared to the Champions League, the Super League would see some of the biggest clubs in the world going at each other more often; just like the NBA and the NFL.

What is FIFA's Stance?

In response to the news on Sunday night, FIFA issued a statement which, despite declaring it's "disapproval to a 'closed European breakaway league'", was somewhat subtle.

Pointedly, there was no declaration from its president, Gianni Infantino, also.

It's statement read: 

“FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at the global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA.


“In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution .


“Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case.
“Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a “closed European breakaway league” outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.


“FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play.


“FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.”


By John Omoku for ACER Editorial.

For more of ACER Sports article follow the ACER blog page or the ACER group.

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