The league would have taken the six wealthiest (and most successful) clubs in the English Premier League and paired them with three giants from Spain (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid) and three from Italy (Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan). And it would guarantee them spots in the European competition every single year no matter how the clubs performed in their domestic leagues.
It was, in short, a cash grab.
“The clubs believe that selling the broadcast rights for the Super League, as well as the commercial income, will be worth billions. And it will all go to them, rather than being redistributed to smaller clubs and lesser leagues through European soccer’s governing body, UEFA. At the same time, the value of domestic leagues and their clubs will diminish drastically as they are effectively rendered also-rans every year.”
No, it’s not. Which, of course, should have been obvious from the jump. An invite-only league in which the richest clubs ensure they get ever richer and never face the possibility of not getting richer based on their on-field performance? And which, by its very nature, broadens the already massive gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in European soccer, essentially relegating medium-sized and smaller clubs to utter non-relevance?
What the formation — and subsequent collapse — of the Super League speaks to is the ongoing populist strain across the world — and the continued inability of elites to understand its power.
“Despite opinion polls before the referendum that showed either side in a position to win, the outcome stunned much of Britain, Europe and the trans-Atlantic alliance, highlighting the power of anti-elite, populist and nationalist sentiment at a time of economic and cultural dislocation.”
“In interviews and speeches at rallies, as his campaign gathered momentum, the steady target of his ire was the establishment and its even more suspect inner circle: ‘media elites,’ ‘the political elites,’ ‘the elites who only want to raise more money for global corporations,’ ‘the elites who led us from one financial and foreign policy disaster to another.'”
Add the collapse of the Super League to the mounting number of failures by the most powerful among us to recognize the power of the populism coursing through the world community. And while the implosion of the Super League is the freshest example of what happens when the very wealthy and very powerful underestimate the power of the people, it assuredly won’t be the last.
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