EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE SHELVED
What a difference 48 hours can make. On Sunday, football was gripped for the unthinkable and by Tuesday night, there was a huge victory for fan power, as each of the six Premier League breakaways returned from their earlier plans to form a European Super League.
Plans that were universally panned (bar the owners of the 12 clubs involved) and with the might of fan power, broadcasters, and governments combining in a united force, a jittery feeling was forming within the six English rebels.
First Manchester City buckled under the strain and announced that they were no longer interested in the new concept and with Chelsea playing at home to Brighton at Stamford Bridge, this was also home to a large supporter protest.
Whether that act in it itself was enough to sway the West London outfit back in the direction of the Premier League can be argued. However, there was certainly cause for celebration when Chelsea themselves announced their own reversal of membership.
When two go, four had to follow and within hours that was certainly the case. Statement after statement broke on social media and a gang of 12 founding fathers, quickly became a smaller family of six.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning and that family has now been disbanded, as Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has said that without the involvement of the collective Premier League giants, this concept can no longer go ahead.
A victory for everyone who stood in the way of heinous change and with the Spanish and Italian tearaways knowing there was nothing in the way of a product without the English, the house of cards could only collapse.
Which means there is an obvious question in all of this and that is, what happens next? For those who looked elsewhere, they will return to domestic competitions with their tails between their legs and hope to avoid anything in the way of punishment.
While when it comes to the theatre of European footballing war, there is still the matter of the new Champions League format and in all the furore of a European Super League, such change by UEFA has also been signed off.
Which means a slightly larger Champions League must be considered the ‘least worst’ option in all of this and whether a breakaway competition was just used as the ultimate negotiation tactic, is something that can still be argued.
Whether UEFA also manage to find a stash of money behind their sofa remains to be seen, but one does wonder if a sweetener was offered and a considerable one at that, to get the English sides back under their watchful eye.
If you believe some reports, as much as $4 billion could be generated in a new finance fund that is overseen by European football’s governing body and even if you had to split that 36 ways, there is still more than enough money to go round.
So that means, in all of this, the clubs will win in some form and to be honest, everyone wins in the end. Because although the new Champions League format is far from ideal, it is a lot better than any recent alternatives.