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VUSA Pod #65: European Super League?

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Allen and Sidarth discuss the plans and where things stand

08/04/04 Uefa Cup Quarter Final 1St Leg.Celtic V Villarreal.Celtic Park - Glasgow.Celtic’S Henrik Larsson (Left) Shields The Ball From Sergio Ballesteros
UEFA Cup, April 2004. Celtic v Villarreal.
Photo by Nick Ponty/SNS Group via Getty Images

News of the “European Super League” to be formed by 12 teams—6 from the EPL, 3 from Italy, and 3 from Spain—has pretty much overshadowed things happening on the pitch the last day or two.

UEFA had prepared to announce (and did, though hardly anyone noticed) changes to the Champions League from 2024 onward, increasing the number of teams from 32 to 36 by adding four who would qualify based on ‘historical coefficients’.

But then the “Dirty Dozen” issued their press release. As we recorded this, Florentino Perez gave an interview on Spanish TV where he pretty much said the best thing for world football was for the big teams to earn more and more money so that some of it could “trickle down” to the other clubs. Hmm.

Today, more backlash in England against the plan, some suggestion the 12 may not be terribly well united with a few signing up reluctantly, and the 3 teams who they hoped to have join them (PSG, Bayern, Dortmund) have all said no.

And Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, has basically stolen my line from the Villarreal USA roundtable — “It is my task and our task to protect the European sports model, club competitions, national teams. If they choose to go their own way, they must live with their choice. They are either in or out. They cannot be half-in and half-out.”

That’s where we are.