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The European Super League plan failed. But it may not be dead forever

LONDON – Although the football community celebrated the failed launch of the European Super League last week, the motivational factors behind the proposal have not gone away.

Now known as the “dirty dozen”, 12 powerful European football clubs tried to form their own closed league, which was destroyed a few days later due to pressure from fans, authorities and governments.

These teams, especially in Spain, are still fueling the pandemic-induced debt, while the revenues of many clubs around the world were hit after virus restrictions forced games to be played behind closed doors – evaporating the revenue from the journey.

What’s next?

Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid who was one of the clubs involved, told Spanish media that the project, or very similar, will still move forward.

His Barcelona counterpart Joan Laporta stressed that ESL clubs are open to dialogue with UEFA, Europe’s governing body, in an attempt to relaunch the project.

Simon Chadwick, director of Eurasian sports at Emlyon Business School, believes the suggestions that the Super League has collapsed are naive, telling CNBC that Europe will receive a “super league with a different name”, adding that it is “a case of when, do not. “

Chadwick argues that the coming years will bring more polarization and industrial concentration, with the big clubs ready to accumulate more power and the gap between them and the smaller clubs widening further.

American inspiration

This, he says, will be seen through how major clubs seek to develop new revenue streams, with over-the-top broadcasting set to stand out.

He compares the recent NFL TV rights deal, worth about $ 110 billion over 11 years, to the English Premier League home broadcast deal worth £ 4.7 billion ($ 6.6 billion). , guaranteed in 2018 and expected to end this year.

Although the NFL has grown in popularity outside the US in recent years, it is still outperformed globally by England’s Premier League, with the UEFA Champions League also having an avid global audience.

Technology companies joined the Premier League broadcasting rights bidding war at recent auctions, easing logistical obstacles to global distribution.

New Owners

The consequences of the Super League proposals have also prompted some fans to call up new club owners.

Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek expressed his interest in buying Arsenal, telling CNBC that he has secured the funds for a potential offer for the North London club.

But current owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns the NFL franchise, the LA Rams, ruled out any sales, emphasizing that he would not accept any offers.

Meanwhile Jim O’Neill, the chairman of the British think tank Chatham House and former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and hedge fund manager Paul Marshall have asked Manchester United owners, the Glazer family, to reduce their majority stake. to a maximum of 49.9% in a proposal to allow a broader group of investors to have a say in the management of the club.

Chadwick downplayed the prospect of current owners looking to sell, adding that “if this is such a difficult and unprofitable business that does not produce the types of returns that homeowners are looking for,” then Manchester United owners, the Glazers, would have pulled long time.

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