In April, the creation of the ESL (European Super League) changed the soccer world. ST wants to analyze the background of the Super League, the declaration for participation, player/team withdrawals, and the eventual reason for its failure. ....................................................................................................... Ed
In April, a sizeable wind of change blew in the world of sports. A new sports league was created under the name of ESL, but it ended quickly in three days. ST decided to cover the cause, development, and reason for the failure of such symbolic events in which a U.S. capital was even added to the world of soccer, then exclusively ruled by the Europeans.
The Reason for the Creation of the ESL.
A major reason for the creation is the possibility of continuously generating huge profits. Unlike ordinary professional sports leagues, the ESL did not introduce a relegation system, so clubs planned to secure and use finances more stably. Florentino, who served as chairman of the ESL, said he was concerned about the lack of interest in soccer among young people, and insisted that people’s attention should be saved through matches featuring big clubs that can attract attention every week. Therefore, it was put forward as an external cause to introduce a large number of new and casual fans into the ESL.
The Development of the ESL.
Twenty teams were to participate, including 15 founding teams that would participate regularly every year, while the remaining five teams would be determined by their performance. The ESL announced that it would be launched on April 19, 2021, and open in August of the same year. However, as skeptical players and fans protested and the political backlash continued, clubs that actively supported the ESL began to issue withdrawal statements. One of those statements came from a German club. On April 19, Dortmund expressed its intention to withdraw, followed by all other German clubs. The situation turned for the worse, and the ESL was temporarily suspended on April 21 after Premier League teams expressed their intention to withdraw as well.
The Reason for the Failure of the ESL.
The ESL largely failed because fans protested against its establishment. Fans did not want the transfer market to be monopolized by a specific team due to the influx of huge capital, and wanted teams from each country to demonstrate competitiveness in their own leagues. The same was true of the players who were against the ESL. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson gathered captains from 20 Premier League clubs for a meeting, and further strengthened the players’ intention not to attend.
European football keeps popular professional sports leagues afloat around the world. Therefore, the leaders of each country were concerned that their industry would fail at the level of national interest. Public opinion on the ESL began to falter significantly from the moment political intervention began and, soon, FIFA strongly criticized it, significantly extinguishing the justification for the creation of the ESL.
Kang Seung-wan (ST Reporter)