Two weeks on from the extraordinary announcement and collapse of the European Super League, many remain stunned that the owners of the dozen clubs expected their proposal to take off.
The Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein joined Box2Box and explained what’s made it even more outrageous was that just days prior, the owners had been negotiating changes to the European Champions League (which have since been approved) with those they’d later blindside.
“It was duplicitous… UEFA, the ECA, a lot of people within other clubs had been working with these guys for three years on Champions League reform, negotiations, compromises”, he said.
“Then about 8-9 hours before [the ESL announcement] they all withdraw and say they’ve founded a Super League, so it couldn’t have been more dramatic.”
Honigstein explained that while every club had a different reason for engaging with the breakaway, it was the so called Premier League ‘Big Six’ who’s reasons felt the least plausible.
“For the English clubs, I think it was always a non-starter because they should have realised… if you form a breakaway league with six English teams who always qualify, then what is the point of the Premier League?”
“It really should have been the first consideration – ‘what does this mean for our existing Premier League business? Is this viable?’ The answer should have been no.”
Honigstein reserved some sympathy for the rest, although the tiresome persistence of Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez and Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli has long seen this disappear for the masses.
“You can understand why in Spain and Italy, the European Super League was seen as a way to rescue a broken system for them.”
“The leagues can’t sustain the clubs, they’re in huge trouble financially, and the promise of 300million euros up front, plus similar size guarantees every single year, was such that people thought we had to do it.”