The Super League and the good guys
Soccer has always been slow. But this time it sped up to the point that this article, which last week was titled Real Madrid against oil, this week was about to be titled Real Madrid with oil. Because soccer decided to collide with itself. Two powers, that of the big clubs (with Madrid at the helm) and that of the big associations (UEFA and FIFA), face to face. It was not easy to choose sides. The abortion of the new project changed my gaze again. The Super League, which was presented in society underestimating the fans, the cultural thickness of football and the strength of tradition, shouting “we come to save you”, lasted 48 hours. Fortunately, the real good guys finally arrived. Who are they? The people, of course, the sole owner of football, who decided to save themselves.
Let’s be fair, the brakes were hit by the people, yes, but the English people. The fans and the great protagonists of Spanish football looked at the problem with the distance from the spectator. A lukewarm reaction more related to the love of his team than to the love of football. Fans of Madrid, Barça or Atlético may not agree with the decisions of their clubs, but they understand that there is something of treason in criticizing them and their way of understanding loyalty is by keeping quiet. On the other hand, in England football is sacred and they defend its essence with the pride of the owner, who are the inventors for a reason. Allegations of opinion leaders, players and coaches challenging their own clubs, fans winning the streets and politicians honing their instincts to ride the wave, lined up in warfare to defend football as a matter for everyone and not just for some .
The Super League had a collection ambition that we do not know if it was real, because the large platforms deny the optimism of their numbers, and an intention of solidarity with the medium teams that we do not know if it was authentic, because from the invisible hand of the market we only know that it is so invisible that it doesn’t exist. He also had the intention of holding a championship where merit was not necessary to participate, surely because they ignore that football is adventure and that there is no adventure without risks. Furthermore, the Super League, as it was presented, betrayed an idea of Europe that the current Champions League contributes to structuring. The project, grandiose (like everything revolutionary), fragile (as demonstrated), improvised (with an incomplete poster and last minute guests), and anti-popular (because the rich are not), it only needed to appear in The beach bar to be taken as a joke. It’s hard to believe that something so big had such a weak base.
But we still have a problem …
Now, football, as we know it, needs to be rethought with courageous measures because times are going in the opposite direction to its conservatism. The Super League did not reach a minimum consensus, so it is far from being the best solution. Now, it has had the virtue of making us think about the need for profound changes and not just cosmetic ones. We must humanize the calendars with fewer games in the national leagues, we must strengthen the spectacle with measures that make the game more attractive and, why not, provoke more confrontations between the big clubs in Europe. The fleeting Super League left us as before, only more divided. But this is not the time to pass bills, because a regulatory body is as necessary as the presence of the big clubs. You have to get off your pride and sit down to negotiate thinking about football. That is, do what the people in England did.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.