- If it is not necessarily in excellent position in the Champions League this season, the Premier League has stunned the European market this winter.
- In a note, Deloitte predicts that eventually, the PL "will further consolidate its position at the top of world football." Even if it means threatening sporting fairness?
- Is the Premier League already a Super League? Should we resign ourselves to opposing it to a European Super League, or can we still restore the sovereignty of the other national championships?
"Are you not entertained?" On the networks, quoting the mythical phrase of Russell Crowe's Maximus has become a habit when it comes to extolling the pleasures offered by the Premier League. We saw her a lot on Twitter after the slap inflicted by Liverpool on Manchester United (7-0), and the answer to the question is quite obvious. Yes, the English championship fascinates with its density at the highest level and its intensity. In a world where national championships are finding it increasingly difficult to exist, he is the last mohican. Unless he has risen to the next level, and no longer has anything in common with his Spanish, German, Italian and French peers? *
"Only the Premier League is growing, and growing, and is already a glorified Super League," Andrea Agnelli told De Telegraaf. "It's a system where one plane has taken off, the Premier League, and the rest has completely been forgotten," an executive of the company promoting the Super League, abounds to 20 Minutes. Implied: it must quickly oppose a European Super League under penalty of seeing everyone get eaten.
Why is this posture surprising?
Because this is one of the great novelties of the recent offensive of the competing project to the Champions League. The Premier League, although represented by six of its members in the abortive coup of 2021, is now marginalized. The threat of a "white paper" brandished by an independent regulator as part of a "new deal" for English football, which should include a ban on participation in a closed league, could explain why the Super League is distancing itself from the PL. If the consulting firm in the shadow of Pérez, Agnelli and Laporta pretends not to feel concerned by "this populist measure" since "the Super League will not be closed", it does not exclude that the rocket takes off without the English clubs if they find themselves trapped by the interventionism of the British government. "If tomorrow 80 non-English clubs get on the Super League train, I will not be able to say, 'sorry, the English are not here, we are not going to do it,'" concedes A22.
Does the "Super" Premier League threaten sporting fairness?
With 920 million euros invested, or 48% of European spending during the winter window of the transfer window, English clubs have shamelessly stripped European formations that could have shaken up the continental hierarchy in 2023 (RIP Enzo Fernandez, little angel left too early from Benfica). And fed the storytelling of the Super League. Deloitte notes in a report that the amounts on the table are "a clear indication that talent acquisition is at the heart of Premier League clubs' business strategies. By securing the best talent available, clubs hope to improve results on the pitch, which will boost the Premier League's appeal and further cement its position at the top of world football. »
"There is real pressure on clubs not to talk to us. UEFA calls people, a bit like a mafia." The defenders of the Superleague return with a more balanced project. Will that be enough to change the balance of power? https://t.co/d4NO7luyH9
— J.Laloye (@Zonemixte) March 7, 2023
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One of the soap operas of the end of the transfer window particularly marked the followers. That of the Italian Zaniolo, coveted by AC Milan and Bournemouth. The ex-Romain – who ended up at Galatasaray – certainly did not choose either club, but the fact that the best offer was made by the last in the English league had particularly attracted attention. The Super League, one of whose new principles would be the fair redistribution of a huge financial windfall within a semi-closed circuit of 60 to 80 teams, looks at all this with envy.
They did a great job of selling the competition internationally. When the international rights of the L1 are not even 200 million euros, those of the Premier League will be nearly 2 billion euros. So they make this money and even distribute to the 2nd division. The result is that the English championship has 8 major clubs and therefore at least one big poster per weekend. Our position at A22 is that this is an example to follow. »
Is the emergence of a second European Super League the only alternative to PL?
The compilation of all current economic dynamics leads to fatalism. National sovereignties are crumbling ("we are hiding the problem with an early sale of rights like the CVC case in France or Spain", warn the promoters of the Super League project)... For sports economist and CNRS research director Luc Arrondel, the closed league is "the most natural next step in evolution". Pierre Rondeau, also an economist, developed the mechanism. "The meritocratic laissez-faire necessarily tends to this perverse effect of creating Super League. If we maintain the idea of rewarding the best and blaming the last, we maintain their positions and create economic monsters that want to break free from national supremacy to live their own lives. »
William Martucci, a former UEFA consultant in charge of developing club competitions, rejects Super League as the only alternative. "I think it would be more relevant to try to fix the current model by keeping it and trying to see how to redistribute the money generated by the Premier League. It's an idea that may seem disturbing: after all, why should we help others? This fundamental question is the main sticking point of the English New Deal, even if the Premier League, reluctant to the idea of the existence of a regulator, will have to look into the issue under pressure from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. There is talk of a redistribution of wage surpluses to the lower levels as well as money invested in infrastructure rather than the wage bill.
There are actually quite a few solutions to try to reduce inequalities within European football, which should be the first objective, Martucci continues. If we reduce inequality, we can solve just about all the real problems denounced by all Super League fans. They do not want to explore these avenues, because they make us believe that the only solution to save football is to change the system and go through a Super League. »
Thinking of a European New Deal could therefore help to rebalance the game a little, and restore interest to other national championships. Yelling "are you not entertained?" after a crazy Lille-Lens, we dream of it, too.
- Super League
- Premier League