European Super League needs English clubs' support, claims finance expert

By Sports Desk December 23, 2023

The European Super League needs English clubs more than they need the breakaway competition, says football finance expert Dan Plumley.

The European Super League was initially announced back in April 2021, with 12 of the continent's biggest clubs announcing their intention to join. Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all agreed to participate.

However, a fan backlash eventually forced nine of the clubs to back down, including all six English teams, and the Super League looked to be a thing of the past.

A ruling this week may have given it a second life, though, with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg deciding FIFA and UEFA "abused a dominant position" in blocking the Super League.

A new proposal was swiftly announced, but all six English clubs invited to join rejected the request.

Plumley believes the Super League would need the support of English clubs to get off the ground, though he did warn their involvement could still be a possibility despite the heavy opposition seen after the initial launch in 2021.

When asked if the Super League required the English clubs' involvement, Plumley told Stats Perform: "Yes, I think that's absolutely the way to position it at the moment.

"And I'm not saying that it would never happen. The Premier League clubs don't really need to go following the Super League, but the Super League would be better with English clubs.

"I don't think the Super League idea is ever going to be fully dead in the water. I think we'll see it in some way, shape or form, and maybe it will happen.

"When you're talking about lots of money on the table, a lot of clubs will often look for the best deal on the table and if that is a European Super League in the future, that's when heads might start to be turned.

"But the English situation is a bit of a problem for them, because you're talking about wanting the biggest clubs in the world to be part of it. And there are some very big English clubs that have already ruled themselves out."

Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the clubs spearheading the Super League project, with the latter's president Florentino Perez hailing the ECJ's ruling as a "great day for the history of football".

Plumley feels the poor financial situations of Barcelona and Madrid are a key reason behind their Super League support, as well as the recent power shift towards the Premier League in terms of revenue and talent.

"I think, certainly for them, the driving force over the last couple of years has been financial," Plumley stated. "We know the financial situation at Barcelona has not been great. We know Real Madrid have had problems as well.

"I think the other thing with those two clubs that we've seen is a real stubbornness to dig their heels in. They wanted to be proved right and in a way that verdict does prove them right. Part of their argument was that UEFA and FIFA were acting unlawfully by blocking it.

"I think what's hurt Barcelona and Real Madrid along the way is all the other clubs that have moved away from the project.

"I think it's symptomatic also of Barca and Real's position in Spain. Yes, they are dominant, but where are they seeing the growth?

"I don't think they're seeing as much growth as potentially the Premier League's got to offer and those are little things where it becomes about, 'well, now I'm going to look at my own self-interest'. You can see how they've tried to leverage that through the Super League.

"At the end of the day it comes down to finance, and certainly in the early stages of it, it was all about money for those two clubs. Don't get me wrong, it probably still is, but I think a lot of it then was they felt like they needed to see the case through because they dug their heels in."

Related items

  • Fiorentina 2-2 Napoli: Kvaratskhelia keeps visitors' slim European hopes alive Fiorentina 2-2 Napoli: Kvaratskhelia keeps visitors' slim European hopes alive

    Dethroned Italian champions Napoli's hopes of playing European football next season are hanging by a thread after they played out a 2-2 draw at Fiorentina in Serie A on Friday.

    Napoli took the lead in the eighth minute through defender Amir Rrahmani, who nodded home a corner by Matteo Politano.

    Cristiano Biraghi levelled for Fiorentina in the 40th minute from a free-kick, before M'Bala Nzola put the hosts in front two minutes later when he fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

    Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia responded with another stunning free-kick early in the second half to rescue a point for his team.

    Eighth-placed Fiorentina, on 54 points and with a game in hand, are five points behind Lazio in seventh.

    They can still earn a Europa League spot either by leapfrogging the Rome side or by winning the Europa Conference League final in which they face Greece's Olympiakos on May 29.

    Ninth-placed Napoli, on 52 points, still have a slim chance of making the Europa Conference League playoffs.

    Data Debrief

    Fiorentina left-back Biraghi has now scored six goals from direct free-kicks since the start of 2021-22, which is behind only James Ward-Prowse (seven) - now of West Ham and formerly of Southampton - as the most across Europe's top five leagues in that period.

    Kvaratskhelia also levelled via a direct free-kick, making this the first Serie A match in which both teams scored via that route since Fiorentina against Lazio in April 2018 (Jordan Veretout and Luis Alberto in that case).

  • Southampton 3-1 West Brom (3-1 agg): Saints set up play-off final with Leeds United Southampton 3-1 West Brom (3-1 agg): Saints set up play-off final with Leeds United

    Southampton saw off West Brom 3-1 at St Mary's on Friday to set up a Championship play-off final showdown with Leeds United.

    Leeds thumped Norwich City 4-0 at Elland Road 24 hours earlier to book their place at Wembley, where Southampton now await on May 26.

    The first leg between the Saints and West Brom finished goalless - just like the other semi-final - but the home side's quality told in the end.

    Russell Martin's side dominated the first-half possession, with David Brooks going closest to scoring with a shot that hit the outside of the post.

    Southampton made the breakthrough via a powerful Will Smallbone finish four minutes into the second half after Gray Diangana lost possession.

    Darnell Furlong had a shot helped over by Alex McCarthy, while David Brooks - who assisted the opener - had a strong penalty appeal rejected.

    Southampton remained in control, though, and Adam Armstrong scored a second with a shot through Furlong's legs and past Alex Palmer.

    Armstrong's second goal arrived from the penalty spot in the 86th minute after Tom Fellows fouled Ryan Manning in the box, rendering Cedric Kipre's late header a mere consolation.

  • Marc Skinner signs Manchester United Women contract extension Marc Skinner signs Manchester United Women contract extension

    Marc Skinner has signed a one-year contract extension as Manchester United Women head coach with the option of a further 12 months.

    The 41-year-old guided United to their first major silverware last weekend with victory over Tottenham in the Women's FA Cup final.

    United are fifth in the Women's Super League with one game to go - a massive drop on last term's runners-up finish - but Skinner will stay on.

    "It's an honour to extend my stay at Manchester United," Skinner, who was appointed in 2021, told United's official website after the news was confirmed on Friday. 

    "I've always felt at home here, with our excellent players, staff, and fans.

    "Being able to secure the team's first major trophy at Wembley was a real career highlight for me and another sign of our continued growth, on and off the field."

    United conclude their campaign on Saturday against Chelsea, who lead Manchester City on goal difference entering the final day.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.