The Super League was a terrible idea. He inevitably fell apart before he even had a chance to start. The owners of the dubious eponymous Big Six exposed themselves as hopelessly out of touch with fans, players and their own managers. It became shamefully obvious, even to the clearest of football fans, that the format was designed to milk the global audience while preventing successful teams from knocking the founding members off their perch.
The concept of a Super League is disrespectful to the communities in which the clubs are based. It sparked the wave of fury we saw yesterday. Under the weight of the backlash, the clubs surrendered one by one until the Super League collapsed completely.
In the end, the so-called Super League blew up. He didn’t need government intervention, just regular outrage and terrible PR. Boris Johnson’s instinctive threat to “drop a legislative bomb” to stop the formation of the Super League shows that Downing Street has followed the philosophy of every other UK government for twenty years. To deal with things he doesn’t like, he bans them, or at least threatens them, no matter if they cause harm or are government business.
As long as I can, I can’t think of a single rationale that passes before the state regulating the format of football tournaments. The Super League was, in effect, an alternative to the Champions League. Its most heinous feature was that the fifteen founding members will forever be safe from relegation, which sounds boring.
It might be tenuous to argue that the premise of the Super League was anti-competitive and therefore a suitable target for regulation, but then one would have to break the cozy duopolies of boat racing and the Ashes, as well as oligopolies such as the Six. . Nations. In any case, the Super League would hardly have succeeded in carving out a monopoly on football. He wouldn’t even have had a monopoly on European football since the Europa League would continue and the Champions League would probably be on the move.
These clubs were restricting competition among themselves, but they magnanimously announced that five lesser teams would have been allowed to sit at the top of the table for at least one season at a time if they played well. These teams would, I presume, have had a chance to win the trophy. The idea that it was a “cartel,” as Keir Starmer claimed, was far from relevant.
You could argue that football clubs are part of our heritage and should be protected, but the government does not nationalize clubs that go bankrupt and prevent their sale to foreign owners. The Big Six weren’t planning on going away, they were just going to play half of their games away from home. They would have been more financially secure than ever.
The threat of capricious government intervention, however, was very misguided. If an avid soccer club only wants to play against other avid soccer clubs, that is their right. The response from fans should be to cancel their season tickets and TV subscriptions until their clubs regain consciousness.