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European Super League - will money men finally kill the beautiful game?

European Super League
Super League leak

The terrace chant, "Can we play you every week?" aimed mockingly at some hapless team your own is thumping 6-0 at half time, has been loaded with new and sinister meaning.

If Europe's richest football clubs get their way then by 2021 they will indeed be playing each other, if not every week, then with monotonous regularity — and no one else.

The European Super League is back on the table. So long the not so private fantasy of owners and chairmen from Manchester to the Gulf now looks like a runner, with serious implications for the clubs involved, UEFA, commercial rights owners and, easily and regularly forgotten, their long suffering supporters.

OK — I know this is not about consulting (though you can bet your pools winnings there's a consulting firm lurking in the long grass somewhere), or about Brexit (more later), but it is still worth a moment.

Der Spiegel, which published a leak of the plan, says it has seen a "binding term sheet" sent on 22 October 2018 by Key Capital Partners to Real Madrid's president, Florentino Pérez. Real would be joined by all the usual suspects: Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. Pretty much the Deloitte football money league.

The new league would be closed — founder teams would not face relegation for 20 years. Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Internazionale and Roma — would also appear as "initial guests".

So far, so predictable. The really explosive bit though is the suggestion that these teams would have the option of "leaving the national leagues and their football associations behind entirely"; so not just goodbye to The Champions League, but a wrecking ball to the whole pyramid of European and domestic football.

Not surprisingly the plan has not won unanimous acclaim. Social media has mocked it, fandom is outraged and the Association of European Leagues, which represents nearly a thousand clubs across the continent, has condemned it. The Guardian quotes it saying: "Domestic football is at the heart of the game throughout Europe for all football stakeholders: players, clubs, leagues, national associations and, more importantly, fans", and the big clubs walking away from it threatens the whole edifice.

No more collective good, no more trickle down, no more solidarity, no more pan-European collaboration. No more rich clubs in rich leagues supporting poor clubs in poor countries for a collective self interest and the wider good of the game. No more romance.

Which brings us back to Brexit.

Whether Brexit happens or not, we will be arguing about why the UK voted to leave the EU for generations. Individuals, towns, regions all had their particular reasons — but if there was a common denominator it was surely that not enough people felt that they were listened too, or that the they had a big enough stake in the status quo to keep it.

So a European Super League? It is bound to happen in some form, at some point. All the money points in one direction.

But we've been warned.

Just like the underlying drivers of Brexit, a distant elite of globalised neo-liberal disaster capitalists will ignore the little people at their peril.

"You're not singing anymore."

What could possibly go wrong.......?

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