Super League

Super League: An Explainer on Europe’s Breakaway Tournament

The football world woke up to one of its biggest surprises on Monday when a breakaway competition, the European Super League was announced.

Under the new arrangement which has continued to generate ripples within the sporting circle, 12 of the world’s biggest football teams will take part in the competition that has cast doubts on the viability of the Champions League as well as domestic leagues across Europe.

“By bringing together the best clubs and best players in the world, the Super League will deliver excitement and drama never before seen in football,”  the Super League said in a statement.

What Is The Super League? 

The European Super League is a new tournament involving twenty teams. Fifteen of the clubs, called founding members, will be joined by five other sides for the competition. These five teams will be picked based on their performances in their local leagues.

Already, six teams from England and another half a dozen from Italy, and Spain will make up the first twelve teams.

Which Teams Will Play In Super League?

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are the teams from the English Premier League; Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid will represent Spain. Italy’s representatives are Inter Milan, Juventus, and AC Milan.

Three other yet-to-be-named teams will complete the list of 15  founding members of the new league. Reports, however, suggest that Paris Saint-Germain and two clubs from Germany will make up the number. Although Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have rejected the new competition.

The fifteen founding members are immune to relegation, meaning they’d always take part as far as the league exists.

When Will The Super League Begin?

A statement from the Super League said matches will start “as soon as practicable” with multiple reports suggesting that the new European tournament will start in August.

What Format Will Super League Take? 

Matches will be patterned almost like the UEFA Champions League. It will be a knockout competition.

Under the new arrangement, there would be two groups of ten club sides each – and all teams playing on a home and away basis in midweek. Once the first round of matches is over, the first three teams from each group head to the next stage, the quarter-finals.

There will be a play-off among the fourth and fifth-positioned clubs to fill the two remaining spots in the round of eight.

All quarter-final matches and the semis will hold on a home-and-away- format while the final is set to be played as one game and at a neutral ground in May, just as in the Champions League.

UEFA Threatens Sanctions

Europe’s football governing body, UEFA, as well as stakeholders in the game have faulted the move. The football body had described it as a “disgrace” and threatened to sanction both clubs and players who take part in the competition.

Already, there are pockets of protests in some cities in Europe and on Monday evening, Leeds United players wore T-shirts with a slogan against a proposed new European Super League during the warm-up for the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road in Leeds.

Top players and officials have also spoken against the new competition.

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