Why did football fail in certain countries?
It wasn't the fans: The Super League failed because of politics
London - According to insiders, the Super League fell less through pressure from fans than from the highest political level. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to have given the six English football clubs the prospect of severe sanctions if they should pursue the controversial project. The spin of the clubs, according to which the displeasure of their own players and supporters has initiated the trend reversal, is therefore at best half the story.
Fan reaction no surprise
The Reuters news agency relied on sources from both camps to support this thesis. The executive floors of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are said to have anticipated and also taken into account the turmoil in the fans and media camp. The efforts on the political side to put a stop to the new competition with a view to the radiance of the domestic Premier League were apparently not planned.
Boris Johnson may have played a special role. The 56-year-old populist apparently quickly recognized the potential for scoring points in the camp of his voters. On Tuesday, a few hours before the English clubs withdrew from the Super League, he is said to have met with representatives of the clubs and the English FA. According to media reports, Johnson threatened a "legal bomb" to prevent the split.
A spokesman for the prime minister told the BBC that several options were being considered. It also concerned the prevention of work permits for foreign games at the clubs concerned. These are necessary after Brexit. In addition, it was apparently threatened that no financial resources would be made available for police measures on match days.
Printing in Brussels
UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin had a meeting with British Sports Minister Oliver Dowden on Monday. He is in close contact with Premier League managing director Richard Masters. The league feared that the cause of its "Big Six" would break away, for its part, to sinking income as well as a loss of status. Johnson affirmed: "We will do everything we can to protect our national sport." Meanwhile, UEFA was also putting pressure on its lobbyists in Brussels.
Juventus boss Andrea Agnelli confirmed that the headwind from the political stage was too great in the end. "Usually those responsible emphasize to politicians that they should not interfere in sport. In this case, they have stepped up the intervention," the Italian told Reuters. The Super League was also seen as an "attack on Brexit," said Agnelli. The makers of the Super League miscalculated. Ceferin said on Slovenian television on Thursday: "After the reactions of Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Viktor Orban as well as the European Commission, it was clear to me that this would be over quickly."
Just 48 hours after it was founded, the Super League was history again. As the first reports of Manchester City and Chelsea withdrawals surfaced, Johnson was already speaking. "I hope the other clubs involved in the Super League will follow suit," tweeted the politician. A few hours later, the other Premier League representatives left the billion-dollar project. (APA; April 22, 2021)
International press comments on the failure of the Super League:
"The Guardian": "The seeds of doom came early as the enemies of the secession mounted and undermined the project's secrecy. As the last clubs crawled out of the smoldering wreck of the European Super League, the £ 4.5 billion competition that promised Turning football upside down, only to collapse and burn within 50 hours, the blame began. Insiders reported a disastrous public relations strategy, small earthquakes within the clubs, and the twelve clubs being incapable were to get their message across in a storm of indignation from fans, governments and football associations. 'It was like shouting into a hurricane,' said a major Super League source. "
"The Sun": "While the Big Six (Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and United, note) led the humiliating withdrawal from the Super League debacle, they still believe that Premier League reform is imperative. At the top of the list of plans that are being actively discussed is an offer to the two giants of Glasgow (Celtic and Rangers, note) to play south of Hadrian's Wall. "
"ABC": "There hasn't been a single game played in the world of football in a century in the last 72 hours, but there are games that don't have to be played in a square and in full stands for that to happen in the planet's favorite sport. The Super League is a prime example of this. "
"El Pais": "Life and death of the Super League. The big competition that was supposed to revolutionize football survived only three days before it collapsed under the social pressure and the culture shock inherent in this model."
"taz": "Headwind from all directions. The Super League model has failed because the resistance in consensual Europe is too great."
"The world": "A serious damage to the image of the would-be rebels. Twelve clubs wanted to stir up football with an elite Super League. But within 50 hours the project failed."
"Southgerman newspaper": "You can laugh. Ene, mene, muh - and you're out! The old children's counting rhyme provides the perfect motto for the Super League of the world's largest football clubs. It was only scary for a while: Born on April 18th and buried on April 20th, 2021. When did sports officials ever come up with a brisk knockout system? "
"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung": "The amateur dozen. The fans are successfully storming the Super League. But the shot also backfires because the would-be revolutionaries turn out to be amateurs."
"Frankfurter Rundschau: "The twelve clubs that wanted to set up a private event pushed by big business with significant access restrictions with the establishment of the European Super League have issued a certificate of poverty for themselves. That Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez was the driving force behind the super-flop, unlike the one In times of the pandemic, the establishment of a super league is not conceivable in a financially viable future project, shows how irresponsibly the supposedly super-rich have positioned themselves financially. And how narrow their view of more and more income is instead of tackling the expenditure side more consistently and reducing transfer fees, player salaries and consultant fees. "
"Berliner Morgenpost": "Crashing own goal. Europe's top football has exposed itself with the failure of the Super League. But the problems remain."
"La Repubblica": "In the end there was no one left. Because they were all traitors. UEFA President (Aleksander) Ceferin discovered that he had 'a snake' in his house, Andrea Agnelli, who was betraying the godfather of his own daughter (...) In return, he was abandoned by the same people he thought he was 'blood friends' with, but it was just red ink and just nice. Manchester City betrayed United very early on, then the English betrayed all together the Italians and the Spaniards (...). "
"The New Zurich Times": "The rebels' failed calculations. Corona exposed the weak points of the top English football clubs - for them, economic security became more important than sporting competition."
"Sydney Morning Herald": "Even as she collapses under the weight of her own mind-boggling arrogance, the most depressing thing about the European Super League is that it would have worked. That is how these games generally go. Intuitively, everything was wrong with her. She would have further privileged the rich and the poor continue to be endangered. The feelings of the fans were trampled on. And every idea of a meritocracy was peed on the leg. (...) Of course, this wasn't about the best. It was about the greatest, the richest, the most arrogant . It wasn't about what makes sense, but about dollars. And dollars have no conscience, no loyalty and no heart. (...) The greatest threat to the twelve was that they themselves were ruinous by outbidding each other Paying wages and transfer fees. No, it was better to form a cartel. "
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