There was international fan outcry at the announcement that twelve European football teams would be starting their own new mid-week tournament, the European Super League. Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Milan, Juventus and Inter announced the new league as founding members. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
Teams leaving the European Super League
All six of the Premier League teams that had initially signed on, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have all agreed to withdraw from the new competition. This news comes after threats from UEFA that they would kick them out of international competitions. They also faced protests from their fans, their players, and their coaching staff. Clearly, this wasn’t a popular move.
However, there are still a few stragglers. The Italian side, Inter Milan has also announced that they are set to withdraw as they no longer wish to be involved with the project. Other European teams have not been so sensible. While I was in the process of writing this article, another European team also dropped out of the new league. Atlético de Madrid announced this morning that they would also withdraw.
The remaining clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, and Juventus seem to be keen on pressing ahead with the new league. The European Super League put out a statement saying:
“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations.”
Despite their statements, I just don’t think that the new league will have the legs to continue. With only four teams remaining and those teams that may have considered joining now thoroughly put off by the fan reaction, the league is just not viable. It may stagger on as some sort of sideshow, but it will be a shadow of what the founders believed it would be.
The reaction from FIFA
Speaking about the announcement of the new European Super League at the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland, FIFA President Gianni Infantino called for respect and dialogue as well as expressing his organisation’s disapproval of the new league:
“FIFA is an organisation which is built on values, the true values of sport. It is an organisation that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The impact on sports betting
Much like the bankruptcy of a major corporation would cause chaos in the stock market, the unexpected news of the new European Super League has caused chaos in the world of online sports betting. After the reveal of the new league, UEFA threatened to kick out the 12 teams that founded it. As a result, bookmakers suspended betting on the Champions League and Europa League in case Europe’s governing body takes sanctions for this season. This will have a huge impact on general and FIFA betting sites.
The Premier League may now be safe to bet on once again after the six teams that had initially signed on, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal agreed to withdraw from the new competition. However, there are still some European teams that are pressing ahead with the new league. As a result, bookmakers will still have to suspend betting on their tournaments and some punter may be stuck with virtual sports betting to fill in the gaps left by the suspension of traditional betting.