FIFA HALT EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE PLANS
With ‘Project Big Picture’ coming and going in double quick time, the footballing world was then stunned by another plan for evolution and one that came in the form of a big money European Super League.
The idea of a higher footballing power being formed, is one that has always lurked in the shadows and the mention of such existence, is usually because of a bargaining ploy by some of the continent’s biggest clubs.
A ploy, that demands that the biggest clubs get their own way and in doing so, it has meant that competitions such as the Champions League and the domestic leagues that feed into it, have remained intact.
That was until, JP Morgan’s plan to bankroll a new competition and one that had the potential to disrupt the global game once and for all, as the financial giant was ready to bankroll a large-scale operation.
For all the veiled threats that have been voiced in the past, there were genuine fears that the latest iteration was a promise and although a head of steam had been created in terms of planning, that momentum has almost ground to a halt.
That’s because FIFA and the six regional confederations that sit under their governance, have come to a united front and it is one, that has volleyed back a rather substantial threat of their own, to the point where it should act as a deterrent.
Because although a European Super League sounds grandiose, there is no larger tournament than the FIFA World Cup and the game’s governing body, have now said that players can have simply one or the other.
If you are to breakaway, the pursuit of conquering the world is no more and the same decision would need to be made for regional tournaments such as COMNEBOL’s Copa America or UEFA’s European Championship.
Therefore, the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, will need to make a choice and although an obscene amount of riches is always appealing, winning a World Cup will likely take a much larger precedent.
Of course, JP Morgan are not poor themselves and they could always find the extra finance, if this is a project that they genuinely believe in and if they can sell the concept, as something that dwarves FIFA’s jewel, it is not necessarily off the table.
Then again, it may have to take a huge leap of faith for this to happen and although there was a short-lived pirate league in Colombia during the 1950’s, the footballing status quo has been in place for more than a century.
Which suggests, if, and after such a statement from FIFA and their regional partners, it is a rather big if, the clubs and players were still enamoured with the prospect of a European Super League, it would be the most seismic shift that the sport has ever seen.
That’s not to say it is dead in the water, but the chances of such a breakaway now happening has certainly been diminished. Then again, money certainly talks and JP Morgan, may just end up having the loudest voice of all.