Financially, the European Super League makes sense

  • 2021-05-05

There is no doubt that the announcement of the European Super League sent shockwaves throughout the world, with non-football fans even hearing about the news and questioning what the announcement had meant.

For those that have been hiding under a rock over the last week or so, the European Super League was a competition that was set up as a direct replacement of the UEFA Champions League by 12 of the biggest clubs currently in football.

Six of those are from England’s Premier League - Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur - whilst the other six consisted of three Spanish sides - Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid - plus three Italian clubs - Juventus FC, AC Milan and Inter Milan. With teams like this involved in a competition such as the ESL, it would not have been a surprise to see the football betting markets available at Unibet Indiana to continue to grow and provide the best odds possible.

Strong opposition from supports forced the ESL to collapse

However, the backlash that was felt by the fans of those respective clubs - and every other football fan around the world - was unprecedented as everyone appeared to come together with a common aim; to make sure the European Super League did not happen.

Indeed, within 24 hours of the announcement, the chances of an imminent competition came to an end as there were protests outside stadiums and training grounds outside each of the 12 clubs involved, leading to each of the clubs to do a U-turn on their decision rather quickly.

The ESL makes financial sense

Whilst the competition does not look to be going ahead anytime soon, there are arguments from the business side of sport, that the ESL would have made financial sense for the football clubs involved, despite having clearly got rid of the competitive nature that football provides as a whole.

Proposals of the ESL meant that there would be a guaranteed place for the 15 founding football clubs, therefore eliminating any potential risk of relegation or absence from the competition. Five other teams would then be invited to play in the competition based on how well they did the season before.

With the football clubs playing against the best teams, there would have been a number of different financial powers looking to get involved in some capacity, whilst the money would likely have continued to trickle into the club’s coffers; if it were not for the backlash that was felt.

For example, Chelsea vs Real Madrid has only happened a handful of times in the club’s history, with their recent UEFA Champions League meetings being one of a few clashes to have happened between the pair. The ESL would have meant that the two clubs would face each other at least twice a season, with a number of stars being on the pitch for each contest that is being played.

Although fans are happy with the way things are, they would still want to see those games, thus providing football clubs with ticket sales, whilst sponsors would want to be involved and have their brand put out there in front of millions of people who would be interested in the TV broadcasts. The broadcasts were estimated to bring in a total of €4 billion per year.

Furthermore, just joining the ESL would have provided football clubs with between €200-€300 million, thus providing them with a parachute payment that they are currently unable to get from anywhere else, especially with the year that they have all had and with the amount of debt that each club involved already has.

What will happen in the future with the ESL?

At the moment, though, the ESL looks to have been a failure before it even got started as a number of clubs pulled out immediately after witnessing the protests from fans, players and even coaches. JP Morgan Chase, the investment bank that was initially going to bankroll the ESL, have decided to pull out of providing the financial support as they admitted that they had ‘clearly misjudged’ the backlash that they were to suffer as a result of trying to pull away.

Therefore, football looks set to remain the way it is for the time being, although with the financial sense that it makes to clubs, it would not be a surprise if another attempt was pushed through in the near future, and one that will not fall to the wayside as easily as this one did.