Although the Super League has been debated for at least 20 years, its establishment has brought us a huge impact in all aspects. I doubt it very much, and don’t believe it will happen again for at least ten years. So far, the largest and richest clubs have used the idea of the Super League as the trump card in their negotiations with Uefa, which will always meet their needs: the number of participants in UEFA club competitions entering the major leagues has increased and abolished The four clubs are allowed to enter the Champions League directly from the largest league… The final reforms of the UEFA Champions League confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee today are also developing in the direction of the current leadership club. The club is looking for. Therefore, I did not expect to separate the big clubs from Ufa so soon.
It takes a long time for European football to change, and it has been moving in this direction. I can compare them to boiling a frog in a pot of water. The frog is a football fan. But this change came so quickly, we raised the water temperature from 50 degrees to 150 degrees overnight, and the frog jumped out. It will take another ten years to cook. I believe Uefa will propose a competition in 2030 or 2035, which is similar to the Super League in almost every aspect.
But the Covid crisis decides everything. The club’s financial report is poor because of a sharp decline in revenue in 2020, which has led to a rapid increase in the debt of large clubs and hastened the process of finding alternative sources of income. I believe that in ten years, UEFA will make the Champions League a closed or semi-closed, but this pandemic and its consequences have accelerated many social processes, including changes in football. Agnelli and the team no longer want to wait because the money is provided on the plate. Although the Uefa Champions League format adopted today has been criticized for months as a simplified version of the Super League, it differs from it in several key details. Among the 36 clubs in the UEFA Champions League, as many as 34 will be entered based on their position in the domestic Champions League (directly or in the preliminary round), and only 2 seats will be filled based on the “wildcard”, which will depend on In the historical coefficient. In such a system, if conditions permit, small clubs like Atlanta can “replace” large clubs like Juventus if they are better than Juventus. On the other hand, the Super League guarantees a high income for each founding club, which is of great significance to clubs in times of crisis.
Despite the vaccine, we still know how long this situation will last, when spectators will fully return to the stadium and the economy will return to 2019 levels. The Premier League, or more precisely, its main funder, the large American bank JP Morgan, guarantees that each founding club (not the invited club) will only need to compete to receive 350 million euros. This is a change in the perception of club leaders. The “game changer”. As far as their financial situation is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether they are fourth or sixth at the end of the domestic championship, because now they have something that was previously uncertain at the beginning of the game, so they must sweat honestly. That is crucial. If it weren’t for the pandemic, this separation probably hasn’t happened yet.
Football followers are often shocked by the dizzying numbers surrounding football, but if we look at the income of multinational companies in other industries, considering the popularity of football globally, we will find that even these numbers are Very small, if we consider how many people follow, watch, comment, buy jerseys and pay for it. Manchester United has more fans in Indonesia than England. In this case, the story of JP Morgan’s entry into the football market by billionaires may not be the end of the story-football still has room for growth.
My impression is that UEFA is unwilling to allow clubs to participate in negotiations, but the European Football Umbrella wants to retain the exclusive right to negotiate key issues (such as television rights and sponsorship contracts) at all costs. The clubs gathered around ECA have sought the right to vote in Uefa’s business decisions, and this situation is likely to have broken down. UEFA President Aleksandar Ceferin said today that Juventus’s first man, until yesterday, the President of the Club Association (ECA) had deceived him seriously, and he lied to him during negotiations. From this position it is difficult to say who is responsible for their failure to reach a consensus and whether Uefa can or should do it. As for the Champions League, it will still exist, but there is no biggest club and of course the budget is less. We have already seen a similar situation in European basketball, so it is still possible to play through various competitions (such as the European Cup or the UEFA Champions League).
The European sports system is specific, and the possibility of promotion and demotion has a century-old history. This cannot be changed overnight. But when it comes to strict business models, closed alliances are the most meaningful. Rijeka (Rijeka) President Mimir Mišković often talked about the importance of obtaining a guaranteed income and explained that it is difficult for clubs (especially smaller clubs) to operate because clubs do not know that they can sponsor How much money does the business make, in the Super League, how much money comes from UEFA awards, how much money comes from transfers, and so on. In the Super League, money is guaranteed, and you know exactly how much money is here, so business is much easier. Americans are not naive. Their business model is the most sustainable and best financial solution. Money is more or less evenly distributed to NBA and NFL clubs, and there is no downgrade. The Super League will operate similarly. But in Europe, we are not used to adopting such a system. Regardless of whether the American model makes sense, the traditions and desires of European fans will not change like this. They should not be ignored either.
Now, many football fans are shocked that due to these changes, some of them may stop watching individual matches or overall football matches. But on a global scale, this ratio is negligible. Most people still want to watch the best football and the best players. Football will always arouse people’s attention. Therefore, as long as the owners of large clubs worry about the shortcomings they can make up in the global market, they don’t have to worry about losing some of their romantic feelings in football. In this regard, football has long been out of touch with the story of local bases and identity and social and cultural belonging, leading to the fact that clubs in the digital age can attract a sufficient number of customers to buy their products without a local base.
I must emphasize the example of Germany and its clubs rejecting the Super League and being faithful to their concept, in which fans play an important role and represent an important voice in the club’s decision-making. Compared with other countries/regions, football in Germany still has a special social role, but this concept will also be under tremendous financial pressure in the future. The top clubs in the Bundesliga will not be able to compete with the Chinese Super League clubs in terms of the salary of the best players or players and coaches. This is similar to the situation when the European Union was founded. Although the six founding countries of the European Union are a minority, their economic strength and market size are so large that most other countries in the region have no choice, and logically-if you can’t beat them, one after another Decided to join. They, join me.
In Croatia, the champions-Dinamo, Osijek, or others who will win the championship will most feel the impact of the changes. For example, Dynamo in the Champions League will no longer be able to earn 25-30 million euros because the financial cake that UEFA will share so far is now much smaller and attracted to clubs in the Europa League and Conference League They won’t suffer a heavy blow by living without money, they have already survived due to the transfer.
First of all, this is a huge impact for clubs like Naples, Sevilla or Valencia. If the out-of-control club does not participate in the domestic league, it will bring them huge losses. I doubt the league’s decision to eliminate it from the national competition, because without other clubs, it will be difficult for other clubs to complete financial construction. La Liga’s television rights do not apply to Barcelona and Real Madrid, or may not apply. I think the league will give way to the club because when they draw the line, it will be difficult to survive without them. Therefore, Uefa may be alone in this battle. For clubs like Sevilla and Valencia, the income of the Champions League is more important than the income they receive from the television rights of the national championship.
I think it will be difficult to maintain the ban on players from out-of-control clubs playing for their national team. What is the logic of banning Luka Modric from participating in the national team before Luka Modric has made any decision on the Super League? UEFA will not punish them, but will reward the big clubs with this, because national football has been a hindrance to them for a long time.
In the end, no one guarantees that the Super League is more than just a temporary solution. An agreement with Uefa can always be reached, especially if the negotiations will move in the direction of allowing large clubs to participate in the business decisions of the 2024-27 financial package. Uefa is also likely to change. He said that the future president will not have a different view, nor will he provide mutual aid friends with a hand in reconciliation with fugitives.
*Tomislav Globan is an assistant professor in the Department of Macroeconomics and Economic Development at the Zagreb School of Economics, where he teaches sports economics courses in English. Globan has published many papers and articles on the football market and is committed to analyzing current economic trends.