With the news that Rupert Murdoch wants to create a super league of 16 elite teams, Greg Johnson looks at what the establishment of a new top-tier could mean for football’s long-term health…
The age of the super-club is upon us. Across Europe, a cabal of elite teams have risen to dominate their respective leagues. Most of the major top divisions already reduced to year-on-year duopolies ruled by a select clique of clubs – a plutocracy that stretches from Manchester to Munich. Beyond their mega rich pretenders, racing to outrun and out-spend the retracting ladder of Financial Fair Play regulations, there is little challenge to their competitive stranglehold.
Although the Qatar Dream Football League proposal proved to be a hoax, arch-opportunist Rupert Murdoch is reportedly “exploring” the very real prospect of establishing an exclusive 16 club super league to take place during the post-season summers of the future. Though initially touted as an after-thought exhibition tournament, the quality of opposition and opportunity for exposure would eventually come to threaten the standing of the regular championship run-ins and cup finals.
Described as the “Formula One-isation of football”, matches would be staged across the world in the stadiums of the highest bidders. With such an opportunity to service the enormous, flourishing markets of East Asia and the USA with competitive, high-glamour fixtures, the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona may find that continuing to persist with traditional domestic leagues would no longer make business sense. It’s unlikely even the riches of the Premier League or La Liga would be able to match the benefits and opportunities afforded by a global division of super clubs. Continue reading