The European “Super League” (ESL) was a quick downfall largely due to fan, government, and current authoritarian demand. In the latest attempt, 20 clubs (12 of which were confirmed: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur of the EFL; Inter Milan, Juventus, and Milan of Serie A; and Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid of La Liga) were invited to participate. There were very loud and prominent voices who disapproved and signaled a rockslide towards owners who were set to make a large profit.
The league quickly crumbled as the 12 members listened to their fans who vehemently were against it, recognizing the greed of the owners versus the natural love of the game. But it was not simply the fans.
Stars of today made their voices heard loudly for all who would listen. This included Mesut Özil, Kevin De Bruyne, and Marcus Rashford. De Bruyne and Rashford are more notable due to being the stars of 2 of the 12 clubs confirmed to have been part of the 20.
The European Super League would have been in direct competition with the world’s largest international club tournament: The UEFA Champions League. Even in a pandemic-affected season, UEFA brought in over €3 Billion. Considering seven of the ESL clubs were in the final round of 16 and the ESL would pay the clubs and players more money, the stars would not necessarily participate in the Champions League, and the revenue for the ECL would fall.
National government figures such as French President Emanuel Macron and national soccer federations opposed the move in a relatively easy political move to show that they care about the purity of the beautiful game.
FIFA, the world’s global soccer authority, threatened to ban all players who participated in the FIFA World Cup. Of course, with the increased teams in 2022 and potential bans for star players, the only indirect benefactor would be fringe teams such as Canada, Uzbekistan, or Israel that come close to qualifying for the finals but never quite make it over the hump. Of course, this would also hurt the Gabons of the world with one star player such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
In short, everybody who was not going to make a significant amount of money from the ESL was upset and ready to ruin careers. The threat of a super league will always be pertinent in the future, as this was not the first attempt.