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Analysis: The breakaway European Super League is all about big money

The announcement of the European Super League on Sunday has kicked off a fierce energy wrestle that might upend the economics of European soccer. The battle pits the billionaire homeowners of the league’s 12 founding groups, that are among the many richest golf equipment on this planet, and Wall Street’s largest financial institution, in opposition to just about everybody else.

Aleksander Čeferin, president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), instructed reporters on Monday that the breakaway golf equipment are “fueled purely by greed.”

“Super League is only about money, money of the dozen, I don’t want to call them dirty dozen — but UEFA is about developing football, and about financing what should be financed, that our football, our culture, survives — and some people don’t understand it,” Čeferin mentioned.

The founding golf equipment can be everlasting members of the European Super League (ESL), a construction that resembles Major League Baseball or the National Football League and one which guarantees eye-popping paydays from media rights and merchandising.

But it runs counter to the traditions of European soccer, with its roots in industrial working class neighborhoods, the place even the poorest golf equipment are promoted to high leagues in the event that they win and no quantity of money can shield wealthy groups from relegation in the event that they lose.

Six English golf equipment — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United (MANU) and Tottenham Hotspur — have mentioned they may be part of the league, together with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus (JVTSF) from Italy and Spanish golf equipment Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid. The ESL plans so as to add three extra everlasting golf equipment, whereas 5 extra would qualify yearly based mostly on efficiency.
Demonstration against the European Super League during a match between Leeds United and Liverpool.

By walling themselves off from competitors, the founding golf equipment have been accused of orchestrating a large money seize that might hurt smaller opponents, and doubtlessly doom the elite Champions League, which is contested by top-division golf equipment from throughout Europe.

The biographies of the membership homeowners reinforce the notion that money was the driving drive behind the choice to begin the Super League.

American billionaire John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, is on the helm of Liverpool. Another American billionaire, Stan Kroenke, controls Arsenal and US sports activities franchises together with the LA Rams and the Denver Nuggets. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich owns Chelsea and Emirati royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan owns Manchester City.

Chinese buyers are behind Inter Milan, and US billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management pulls the strings at native rival AC Milan. Juventus’ very long time homeowners are the Agnelli household, which made their money from ventures together with carmaker Fiat.

The Glazer household, which additionally owns Tampa Bay Buccaneers, runs Manchester United. Protesting followers made their emotions about the American bosses recognized on Monday, holding a banner exterior the membership’s stadium that mentioned: “Created by the poor, stolen by the rich.”

By distinction, Bayern Munich and groups in Germany, the place business buyers are prevented from controlling greater than 49% of most main golf equipment, are notable by their absence from the ESL. As are golf equipment in France, the place President Emmanuel Macron has slammed the brand new league.
Football fans opposing the European Super League outside Old Trafford in Manchester.
If the league survives the preliminary backlash and authorized threats, the founding golf equipment are assured many hundreds of thousands of {dollars} every year from promoting the printed rights to their matches. Media giants together with Facebook (FB) and Disney (DIS) are probably bidders, though three potential contenders — Amazon (AMZN), BT (BTGOF) Sport and Sky, which is owned by Comcast (CMCSA) — have already distanced themselves from the breakaway league.

“We believe part of the drama and beauty of European football comes from the ability of any club to achieve success through their performance of the pitch,” Amazon Prime Video mentioned in a press release.

The response from media firms is no shock given the large political outcry the announcement has sparked. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned his authorities was “exploring every possibility, including legislative options” to cease it. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, mentioned that he shares “the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.”

Still, the league has a strong backer: JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which confirmed to CNN Business on Monday that it is offering financing.
Football fan groups condemn 'ultimate betrayal' of European Super League
Tottenham Hotspur mentioned in a press launch that the founding golf equipment will obtain €3.5 billion ($4.2 billion) to assist their infrastructure funding plans and offset the influence of the coronavirus pandemic. The golf equipment will every obtain a “welcome bonus” price as much as €300 million ($360 million) every, the Financial Times reported.
Football followers on Twitter criticized JPMorgan over its involvement. One consumer sarcastically included a display shot of Jamie Dimon’s current letter to shareholders, wherein the CEO states that “businesses must earn the trust of their customers and communities by acting ethically and morally.”

Despite the controversy, buyers are seeing greenback indicators. Shares in Manchester United surged 6.7% in New York on Monday, whereas Juventus’ inventory skyrocketed almost 18% in Milan on Monday earlier than giving again a few of its positive factors on Tuesday.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino mentioned Tuesday that golf equipment ought to assume very rigorously about their subsequent strikes.

“They need to reflect and need to assume responsibility,” he mentioned. “They need to think not only of their shareholders, which are important of course, but they need to think of … all the fans, of all those which have contributed to create what European football is today.”



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