Be honest – The Super League does have some appeal to Arsenal fans

ESL – the right idea 


by AndersS

Yes, maybe it is motivated by greed. And for sure, there is something seriously wrong if history and current stature give a club an irrevocable right to be there in the future, and at the same time excludes upcoming clubs from gaining a place among the best.

But there is a problem with all the condemnation. The idea of Europe’s best clubs playing each other in an actual league with regular home and away games does have a lot of appeal, I must admit.


If we accept the fact that most clubs are owned by clever business people, and those who aren’t owned by business people are in fact run by clever business people anyway, then we should also recognize that behind the plans are some intelligent calculations. More than likely there is some serious market research, which will point towards huge TV audiences around the world, and huge commercial value all around.


The top clubs have pushed for something like this to happen inside UEFA for quite a while. But the problem is, UEFA is the organization of national football organizations, which are in charge of each their own national leagues, and for them, the prospect of an international league overshadowing their own national league is not very attractive to say the least. This is the main reason UEFA haven’t done it already. They are caught in a position, where the big clubs know, and UEFA probably also knows, a regular European league for Europe’s top clubs will most likely be a huge success in itself, but they can’t or won’t do it as they are basically an organization of national organizations and each have their own national interest.

They are trying to negotiate a balance where the European competitions are attractive and successful, but only to a certain extent. The international competitions must not become number one.

So at the bottom all this is the dilemma. The top clubs and the worldwide audiences may see what is the most attractive “product”, but they are not allowed to have it by the official footballing body.


Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending all we are seeing right now. But there are issues to be considered here, and I hope when the dust settles we will see some more balanced discussions, and hopefully it can lead to a solution that doesn’t blow the football world apart. Maybe that is also what the top clubs want in the end. They just need to up the pressure on UEFA, as UEFA aren’t very forthcoming for obvious reasons.

Anders Sørensen


  1. It makes business sense, but are we ready to compete with the big boys with Arteta as the Manager? I hope not, because we might be the bottom team on the log

    1. Exactly ,it makes business sense especially for arsenal..

      Bottom of the table depends on our true ambitions …as we would have the money to buy but spending would be crucial to success in the league..

      For so long investment and available funds has been a major way to measure our ambitions as a club… But in the super league it would be about tactics, players, motivation and academy…

      Soon other clubs would apply for a place in the SL to survive…the tournament would be Huge with mad sponsorships and funding only then would we appreciate the fact that our Arsenal was a part of the founding clubs

    2. The top clubs are already in loads of competitions.. How are the players going to cope with an extra league playing week in and week out in 2 leagues. They would probably have 2 separate teams, one elite and one not so elite, your fav players can’t play an extra 12 or 10 games.. Something would have to give, like the fa cup.

      1. spot on JAB… fixture structure is the major issue I see in all these..

        Certain cups would have to deal with priority issues from top clubs

        These are the issues that needs to be addressed by pundits and stakeholders…. Ranting about culture, tradition, soul, pyramid of football ain’t got change Nada, MONEY is a major pillar of modern day football and these clubs have aligned their interest for a common goal and don’t think they would back down at all..

        I haven’t seen anywhere these teams claimed to not want to take part in their FA competitions anymore..

        UCL still exists, smaller clubs can still aspire to get in as usual…

        MONEY at play in the SL is the major issue here…no need for hyprocrisy

      2. How would the SL differ from the CL in terms of number of games and team rotation? I would guess not too different than it is now. And now we don’t see the top teams with two teams one for the CL and one for the PL.

        1. Im sorry but im a traditionalist and a fair minded person, i dont want a league where, west ham, aston villa, everton, Leicester, Leeds and the rest dont get a fair crack of the whip every year. How stupid is it that one of them could win the league and not get in. How stupid that we are in a so called SL and Forest, Celtic and many other teams have actually won the European Cup CL and we haven’t. What a sham!

      1. At the beginning.
        But with all this money, hopefully we should be able to invest and progress with time. This is exactly the format the US sports are run under and there success is cyclical. Every team in their league will eventually win the big prize as it is a closed system with a more or less level playing field.

  2. All these fuss about super league is simply based on money from all sides not football game itself..

    Small clubs are angry at not given a chance to take part for a share of the funds.
    FAs are doing same as power to regulate/control competition earnings is not in their hands anymore .

    UEFA Champions league still exists
    EPL, LA Liga,serie A still do..

    Problem is the rich clubs will become richer, but the competition was created by them to save these clubs from financial burdens.

    If UEFA feels threatened, simply source for more funds to make UCL the highest paying league then watch these clubs prioritise UCL again.. If super league can get 3bn ,UEFA can raise 5bn..simple

    All these threats won’t change nothing, money is an integral part of football now. Every business would always look for a way to mitigate loses.

    These clubs didn’t outrightly abandon the current pyramid but created an avenue to get more funds to run smoothly..

    Our darling club arsenal would never take part in it,if the move wasn’t profitable to us.. We can’t afford to be left behind again after ignorantly allowing corrupt uefa ffp rules to limit our ambitions..

    The super league is the future and arsenal must be part of it..

    UEFA competitions will only loose value if they don’t adjust to the trend and restructure the UCL..

    Super league is no different to emirates cup, ICC cup.. Just a lot more lucrative than traditional competitions and this solely lies with the FAs to adjust to and stop all these PR rants..

    None of these clubs would back down from a money making venture without a fight..

    I believe theres a ballon d or and a FIFA World Best serving the same purpose… A toulon tournament for age grade football… A shebelieves cup for the women teams.. Not organized but regulated by FIFA

    The only problem with the super league is power solely lies with the clubs and FAs are not carried along..

    I would rather see arsenal make money to pay staffs and compete with the big leagues than wallow in tenth with a bleak future of limited funds to compete..

    As for we fans.. We will all still watch at some point… Change is constant

    1. I’m sorry, but how can Uefa get more funds for a competition that’s only attractive in April and May, and has games like Rennes – Krasnodar, than the SL that gives you Real – United and Barca – Milan week after week? People will watch way more of, and pay way more for the SL. Uefa had 30 years to do it and were useless.

  3. I’d rather not have SL but I don’t absolutely hate it either.

    Fans are in an uproar about greed, TV deals and principles but will gladly sit and watch Uefa and FIFA games on a weekly basis which is insanely hypocritical.

    It’s a bit amusing considering the high levels of corruption and money grabbing involved with those organizations. Let’s not forget the 1000s of people that have died in preparation for World Cup 2022.

    1. Thats a natural knee jerk reaction PJ. I could live with it as an alternative to CL or EL as long as entry was on merit, which it would be for only 25% of the teams.

  4. A very reasoned and well thought out article.

    The one thing missing though, is what this will do to the domestic leagues in each country.

    Now I’m not silly enough to think that if the likes of our club leaves the PL (which could happen) the footballing world would collapse…. there are too many other “big clubs” for that to happen

    I have followed The Arsenal for years simply because of what they represented – this proposal will take away all of this and we will become a parrahia in our country.
    Is this what we want?

    1. Even if we are kept in it will only affect us badly Ken. Say only League Champs qualify, or highest place non SL team. Other clubs have that or EL to fight for. We have only the status of champs to gain. Second downwards doesnt matter. We will stop trying, games have no point, fans stay away etc…

    2. No we wont be a pariah long term. It will die down and we will be back to the existing perception of spoiled Big 6 clubs!

  5. I don’t think many of the ideas are bad, and I have a strong feeling that the SL team have thrown all the bad news in first, but are holding back with any good elements for later so they can show they are being “reasonable”.
    A lot of what they suggest is simply replacing one Euro competition with another – not a big deal to us but a big loss to UEFA, but lets face it UEFA and FIFA are self-serving, incompetant and corrupt.
    The only insurmountable issues are the lack of pyramid and self perpetuation of the big 15. What if there is a plan to makes concessions here, but they’ve gone in hard so they can barter down to get their other conditions accepted?
    Difficult to know what compromise would satisfy both sides – perhaps 5 year tenures rather than lifelong for poor performers? More League winners to qualify? Let’s see what they offer.
    As it stands Im still dead against, but not sure that either legal or fan pressure will be affective.

  6. I dont think anybody was fully happy with the status quo. This ESL is a gift horse to the PR Departments at FIFA and UEFA who have never been so popular as folks choose the devil they know rather than the devil they don’t.

    What is most gutting in all this is how my club (a) doesn’t feel the need to make their case to their supporters and (b) how willing they appear to be to cut ties to other clubs who they have competed against for over one hundred years.

    It’s the lack of class that really hurts and makes me think I’ve been kidding myself for awhile…

    1. Spot on Trudeau – a shake up in some ways is good, but the total disregard for everyone except other owners has shocked. We all knew Kroenke didnt care and thought we were the unluckiest club in England. To discover that 11 other European owners think exactly like him is a surprise

    2. The ties they are threathening to cut are the ties to UEFA, who are against the idea. They are not threathening to cut the ties to the national leagues. This has come about as a reaction.

      1. Take your point AndersS and “cutting the ties” was probably not the right phrase to use. They are redefining the ties with fellow English clubs – “you are no longer my equal and you can no longer aspire to be” – they’ve replaced the ties with handcuffs and leg restraints.

  7. I predict the so-called super league can only show some players who couldn’t care less about Euros and World Cup. Mercenaries like them will only be appealing to celebrity fans, not to true football fans

    But no worries, because it would likely be cancelled due to the strong reactions from many people. I believe it’s just a bluff to make UEFA cancel the new CL 2024 format

    The big club owners have invested hundreds of millions, but they have huge debts now, they are barely able to sustain the operations and the official leagues are getting more competitive due the smaller teams’ efforts. So threatening UEFA and the FAs might be their only option

  8. I think ultimately a smaller pyramid will be suggested. Top 4 outside the big 4 play off to leave one qualifier that then gets in. Lets face it the fact that 4 or more English clubs get into the CL has always been absurd. Still a pyramid, but a smaller one into a final qualifier for 5 to enter the final stages ie the SL for the next season. The issue isnt that you get in only for one season (like now) its that others get in every year. So qualification still has a pyramid. Now perpetual membership is the only problem.

  9. Cake holds some appeal to the abdominously well-endowed. Appeal isn’t enough justification.

    Note: not to be taken as a slant against the writer.

  10. The answer is quite simple..

    A.) ALL governing football bodies should be regulated and audited with more focus and scrutiny of where profits are going. CEO’s and Bosses within the organizations should be wage capped.

    B.) The CL should/could be overhauled and restructured to a table form with play-offs and not stage groups. Each team could initially be merited on their respective league form? This supports the “earn it” issue.

    C.) Lower teams still have a shot like everyone else and cash distribution applies to every team in every league based on position.

    Real Madrid and Barcelona are close to broke and are pushing the European Super League for obvious reasons. They are the main reason for this situation. They want an easy way out after over spending for years. Both clubs are nearly 1bn in debt. They have been badly managed and driven by greed to succeed without consideration or accountability. Why give these clubs a free ticket to do it all again but on a larger scale?

    As for the other clubs included, they have been sold by the shear numbers involved without consideration for history and heritage and all the fans that have lovingly supported them through the years. These owners could care less about the history and the people around the clubs as long as there is more cash to be made. Cash I doubt will be seen going back into the clubs coffers!?

    Please do not have your head turned by our greedy owners. They are not in it for the game. All you will see is the biggest clubs buying players at bigger prices whilst the Kronkes settle for less as usual. Arsenal would just be bottom of the European Super League but at least SK would be richer!

    1. Not completely true Ray. The American owners at Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and AC Milan all drove it too. The franchise perm members idea is American. It ensure regular stable income and its standard practice in the states.
      Chelsea are in because its typical Chelsea. British owned Spurs surprises me. Guess they thought if ints going to happen anyway, better in than out.

      1. Florentino Perez who we all know is the Real Madrid president is also chairman of the European Super League. I understand all clubs are pushing for it but my point is that the two big Spanish teams have massive debt and this is just the ticket to write it off. Whilst it maybe ok in the States, this is the UK. These owners are NOT in the states!

  11. The proposed format of the European Super League is certainly much better than the bloated ‘so-called’ Champions League which, if UEFA get their way, will become even more bloated. There are far too many second-rate teams already participating in the Champions League and they want to add a few more.

    If only UEFA could adopt the Super League format and reduce participation to the top-two from the big European Leagues, i.e. England, Spain, Italy and Germany and one from France, Holland and Portugal with Champions from all other Leagues playing off to fill the remaining places.

    Clearly this wouldn’t satisfy the dirty dozen who somehow think they deserve to always be in the competition but it would certainly make for a better and more entertaining competition and closer to a real ‘Champions’ League.

    Why the Arsenal heirarchy think they should be included in this privileged group defeats me. I’ve been a fan for 55 years and would like nothing more than to see us playing the best in Europe but you have to earn that right not just be handed it on a plate.

  12. I love the idea of a European Super League, but the way they have gone about it and the way they have formatted it to hoard all the money and kill every other club in Europe is a disgrace. Literally all they had to do was format it like this and I would have been excited instead of disgusted:

    A league that is a tier above national leagues, so no playing in the PL and Super League together. They can format their league whichever way they want. Probably a table that turns into a bracket so anyone can win it.
    4 relegation spots.
    4 qualifying spots based CL performance (semi-finalists) – Allows other teams to join and is probably more fair than the current system where clubs from weak nations have no chance to rise any further (think Porto winning CL or Ajax in Semis but it won’t help them).
    No hoarding of returns because without lower league football infrastructure, none of you exist. Set pay caps if you can’t handle your finances *cough cough* RM you joke.

    I wouldn’t even mind the initial clubs getting a big bonus as “founding members,” but they can’t be a monopoly, untouchable, or just keep getting richer (despite poor management) at the expense of every club underneath.

    I won’t watch another Arsenal match if they do this plan in this way. I’ll find a new (probably English) team to support and continue to watch the real competitions.

  13. Got to larf at the faux outrage and claims of greed by UEFA, FA ,Sky and the claims that fans come first, when what they really mean is their cash comes first, and we want it. All are guilty of greed with their own branding of the product that they have peddled the last thirty years, from ever climbing ticket and TV sub hikes, games moved on a whim, armbands, minutes silences, kneeling for every death, cause that they deem fit to ‘mark’ Add in play off games to get more in the coffers, when the third team should come up by right. UEFAs new CL proposals are equally self serving to the big clubs as any Superleague, but they will not get a cut, and they can not count on the revenue from a watered down turney. Then, we have the Government pontificating about greed, do me a favour, they will try and get a think tank going as to how they may benefit themselves, family, and friends 🙂

  14. What you fail to mention is why are we just handed a spot ( and 350 million )?
    We have become so bad that we know longer earn something because we can’t , we just get out owner to make it happen

    1. Isn’t that how we got into English top division in the first place?

      Didn’t Sir Henry Norris get us into the league first division out of financial muscle and not because we merited it. Afterall we finished 6th.

      1. Does that make this right ?
        Btw when we were handpicked (which was wrong ) we still.had the option of relegation
        And certainly were not promised 350 million every season no matter where we finished

        1. 👍 And if The Arsenal proved not up to First Division standard, they would have been relegated. That did happen once.

    2. I do mention it, and I do not condone it.
      My point is, there is a lot wrong with the concept as far as I know. But the basic idea of a real league format with the top clubs in Europe is veryattractive in my opinion. And I am sure, this is not only recognized by the clubs involved, but also by many others, including UEFA.

      1. But Anders why do we have a define right to be a top team in Europe ?
        We are 9th ?
        Spurs 7th
        Liverpool 6th

        1. It is not my opinion, we have an irrevocable right to it. That would be wrong. I repeat: I just think the idea of a “real” European League is an attractive one, and the real problem here is, the idea is so attractive UEFA maybe can’t or won’t do it. Effectively UEFA has pushed the top clubs to act on their own.

  15. There is nothing wrong with the present concept at all, domestic competition and qualifying for two excellent comps in Europe depending on your standard. The clubs are very well paid in revenues for all especially the domestic and CL. The problem is the greed and the inability to keep a stable ship. More money and a stupid competition, that is so open to abuse its not real, is not going to sort out these out of touch greedy owners. We were told like now everyone will benifit from the fortunes from sky, absolute BS. The clubs are very reluctant to help grass roots and never will, they just want more money to waste on wages and line there pockets. Its a closed shop and this SL will be even worse. The clubs behind this are all in mountainous debt because they wasted the billions they get already. PURE GREED AND NOTHING TO DO WITH SPORT.

  16. You have hit the nail on the head GR.While the financial model originated in the USA , in Europe it is being driven by the two Spanish giants who are in dire straits financially as a consequence of appallingly incompetent Management over a period of almost a decade.A classic example is the ludicrous contract awarded to a certain Gareth Bale.RM and Barca are basically running scared and see the windfall payments to founders of the Super League as the only quick way of repairing some of the damage cause by the unjustifiable wages they have paid over the years.Regardless of what happens with regard to the Super League, the turmoil caused may result in amore sensible approach towards wages and costs in general as the man in the street is already stretched to make ends meet and there are limits to what he is prepared to pay for season tickets and TV subscriptions.Finally I applaud James Milner and his Manager for speaking up against the Super League proposals.Good on them.

  17. Utter nonsense article. What Arsenal supporters want is 60,000 in the Stadium…to watch matches against Tottenham, Leeds, Everton, Liverpool. Who give a monkeys peanut about a game against Milan. Damp squib games and lifeless, souless games are what these Euro games will be. Too many brown nosers want to see this coup by money. Real supporters want to see the coup-masters gone. Kroenke is all that is morally wrong with football.

    1. More like what local English Arsenal fans want.
      Arsenal is no longer a local English club, it is now a global brand and the local fans must realize that the major source of finance for most clubs these days are not season ticket fees.
      It’s the TV right money which is made possible by the international global fans paying T.V subscription to watch their favorite teams on cable channels.

      And yes, international fans want to see Arsenal playing AC Milan, Madrid, Juve, Barca, every week, just as we want to watch Arsenal play the local English teams.

      1. This is just beautiful..Couldn’t have said it better…
        The arsenal fans in places like Nigeria and South Africa are by far greater than the whole arsenal population in the UK…
        I believe the average Nigerian arsenal fan doesn’t give much thought about The Arsenal and Totenham rivalry..But he cares very much about the rivalries with Chelsea ,Man United, AC Milan.,Barca and other top clubs with large fan bases worldwide..
        The ESL offered a chance to see us play against those sides and foreign fans will most likely want the ESL to go through..

    2. I don’t agree, and I think the people behind this have done their homework as far as what the fans/viewers/customers, (whatever you want to call us) concerned.
      The fans today are not just the 60.000 in the stadium, it is also the hundred millions of viewers around the World.
      Would I rather watch Arsenal play Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and what have you in a real league, rather than watch Arsenal play the 14 Premier League Clubs not included? Honestly, yes.

      1. Well said AndresS, i believe most international fans or viewers won’t have any problem with this. Actually it’s good for them as clubs earn more so would their investment in other countries will increase in football to further their brand. Problem I think is for local fans like English fans becaue they think it will cause less money to flow into their country infrastructure then before. So should I ask who is being selfish now. Ppl need to think on world stage not just be concerned with their country and their community. Plus clubs earn a lot from international fan base and to grow it further they will need to invest further internationally not just locally. So English fans need to stop being selfish and look at the bigger picture. Clubs are making more money but some part of this money will flow through other countries as well to promote football.

        1. Logic, again I am an international fan and I don’t believe this is bad for the game as a whole.
          By what logic do you believe that more money will be available to support the development of football outside the UK and Europe?

  18. Pep said the right thing don’t make up your mind before the details have come out. Why reject or accept something when you don’t know complete story, but then common sense never prevails in masses. If the clubs were owned by fans I could understand and agree with frustration of fans but clubs are not owned by fans they are mostly owned by rich businessmen or corporates, so this will effect those companies or businessman not normal ppl. Even the EPL is not fair at the moment so once ppl need to use logic and stop binding behind moral wall because there is none in today’s league as well. If everyclub had the same transfer kitty and same facilities to level the playing field then we could have said, we are moving away from right to wrong. The soul of football is getting destroyed but it’s not the same. Most of the clubs in league are there to make up the numbers and they have no realistic chance to win the league because they don’t have that amount of money to buy quality players and build world class facilities. That’s why rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer even in today so called football soul national leagues. If you talk about morals then fans should also question the ticket prices for matches and absurd amount of money handed over to these football players which can not be justified in any way or sense. The amount of money these footballers earn in a month is probably more than most ppl will earn in their life. Look where the world is going with poverty and look were football related professions are going. For me that is a bigger issue if you want to address then ppl should fight for real issues rather than just scratching the surface and pretending that by staying in support of EPL we are doing morally good and the ones in favour of it don’t have any moral compass.

  19. UEFA is looking for it’s cut of the pie, this is the best thing that has ever happen to Arsenal, UEFA is to powerful, ever leagues will benefit from the super league, if football continues like this most clubs will go bankrupt within the next five years. GOOD MOVE ARSENAL.

  20. Copied from an earlier thread-
    If the motion does pass, I hope that certain rules are implemented(from Papa Perez’s and others’ statements)
    1. The supposed windfall that each club gains should not be used for player transfers, atleast for the first season. Instead use it to strengthen the financial position, settle debt payments, solidarity payments and adequate support to national leagues, grassroots development.
    2. Introduce restrictions on the transfer system, as it is a closed league. Max salary cap, max amount to be spent for transfers etc.
    3. Introduce trades between clubs every 3 or 4 years.
    4. Founding members should impose restrictions on their permanency. It may be done through performances in the ESL itself, like impermanency if not finishing in top 3 for 3 years running.
    There are many non relegation league formats in sports that are quite successful with adequate development of sports and satisfaction of fans. The IPL immediately comes to mind. That said as nothing has been finalized yet(put pen to paper), I think we should watch the situation. Things may yet change, certain compromises may be reached and a happy end may yet arrive. We shouldnt call each other out on the basis of locality, as in the end we all are Arsenal fans and we want what’s best for our club. Also already news ia emerging of clubs thinking to backout, so I guess wait and watch it is for me.

  21. Anders, Some interesting points you make. But this article is too late. Developments tonight have overtaken your article. This proposed farce is falling apart as I write this. City and Chelsea already want out. Seems Barca and Atletico do too. It will fall apart within a month, probably sooner, but the attempt will hasten the exit of these scum billionaires as owners imo. All in all it will be a blessing in disguise . Not in disguise to me, as I see the massive mistake these scum owners have made.


    1. Jon, I think you have missed my main point.
      The idea of a “real” European League is still a good one in my opinion.
      And I am sure, it is not just the clubs which are/were involved in the ESL, who thinks so. UEFA also knows this, but their problem is, they can’t or won’t do it themselves.
      Ideally, it should be done by UEFA.
      Anyway, the fact is, football has dwindling interest, especially in younger age groups worldwide, and my guess is the discussion about how they will try to change this tend will continue. Because in the long term, it is probably in football’s interest not to sit down and accept the current trend.

  22. Those who supported the Super League were sprouting nonsense. They were looking at the sunny side, Arsenal being included amongst the elite clubs without being run in an elite way and earning the right to be there. You were mainly stating your advocacy for an elitism based on Kroenke’s right to make more money. The fact that so many were willing to compromise just demonstrates how easy it has been for those in charge to manipulate a fan base who often settle for second best.

  23. Manchester City has withdrawn, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid likely.
    Inter Milan, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United Liverpool, all American owned clubs, plus virtually backrupt Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus are all left standing, but for how long?

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