Europe or Bust: A Super League?

Nigel AssamContributor IApril 2, 2009

In recent days, there has been talk again of establishing a European Super League to replace the Champions League and UEFA Cup to be comprised of three divisions and 20 or 22 teams in each division. Promotion and relegation would occur in these divisions only in this closed league.

But would this work? And more importantly, what effect would it have on the individual domestic leagues?

If this were to go ahead, it is reported that in order for the teams to be able to compete, there would have to be a reduction in the number of matches each team plays in their domestic leagues, thus, Premier League teams currently playing 38 games each could play as little as 30.

With this reduction in matches, will the season be shorter? Or will there just be longer breaks between fixtures?

Since teams will have to focus on simultaneous leagues, managers may decide, because of the prestige of the possible Super League, like that of the Champions League, to field two teams—a reserve for the domestic league and a first team for the Super League.

How will this sit with fans? Supporters pay to watch top players compete in domestic leagues, but will no doubt feel somewhat cheated if they believe they will be seeing only second team players.

For reserve players in each league, this might be understandably welcomed, in that they will have more opportunities to play, demonstrate and improve their skills and do what they have been wanting to do, play as much as they can.

In the Super League, teams that finish at the bottom of the third division would not be relegated out of the league; as well, would teams that finish in respectable places in their domestic leagues qualify for the Super League?

How then would voting go as to which clubs will be able to play in the Super League besides the expected top clubs? Will they stop at those that are able to qualify for the UEFA Cup?

When and if this league commences, then clubs that finish well in the previous season would qualify, but other teams that previously would have qualified but who were unlucky in the season, might not ever be able to enter the closed league.

With a closed league, this will only create more distance between leagues and the wealthier clubs from those with less money and which are stuck in the domestic leagues.

Also, there is the possibility that the top teams in each domestic may not even play in their domestic leagues; imagine the Premier League without Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, etc., or La Liga without Barcelona, Real Madrid, and company.

Domestic fans will not have the opportunity to see the clubs they support on a regular basis, since fixtures will be all across continental Europe. Only a small percentage of fans will make, if they can afford to, the away fixtures.

There are too many reasons for wanting this Super League to never happen, the first is for the sake of the survival of domestic footbal, followed by the reaction of supporters.