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July 2021

The European Super-League Conspiracy Theory


Don McMahon

We all love a good conspiracy theory, right? Everyone wants to believe that the government, the authorities, the illuminati, the papacy, the police, the rich et al have been covertly manipulating every aspect of our miserable lives and in particular, during this current transfer window!  Well here comes one that should set collective Gooner heads spinning!!!!

What if the superclubs: Barca, Real, PSG, Chelsea, Man United, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter, Bayern, City etc, (let’s call them tier 1) had decided to do the following:

1) They will try and collect the best players available, or easily negotiated (because they have clout, money, reputations, influence, etc.) among themselves so that clubs that are not in their tier 1 cabal were unable to retain or buy said players.

2)There would exist an unwritten but strictly respected gentlemen’s agreement between themselves to do a sort of pantomime bidding process for said stars, but  they would restrict their approaches to players from outside their own leagues as much as possible. So Bayern, for example, would buy up the best from the Bundesliga and their ¨allotment¨ of stars from other leagues, while ensuring that their peers in tier 1 would get what they wanted as well.

2) Once they had ¨accumulated¨ these stars, since they would have way too much talent to field at any one time (basically a first 11 and a benched star 11) they would be obliged to keep their substitute stars happy by paying enormous salaries and offering occasional games…sound familiar?

3)This procedure would effectively create a quality divide between the haves and the have-nots or haven’t quite as much (Arsenal, Spuds, Atletico, Lyon, Fiorentina, Porto, Dortmund etc.) and also develop a sort of hidden ¨farm¨ system where stars developed by the 2nd tier teams would be considered to be, for all intents and purposes, on loan to said Clubs until the tier 1 teams come a calling! Its the old Barca DNA routine …a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

4) In creating this divide, they essentially produce a two division system in the top divisions of each European competition. The EPL, for example, has the top 4 positions occupied regularly by the same teams since 2003. LaLiga has the top 3 positions occupied by the same teams since 2005. So what we have is an elite group of 2-4 teams in each league having immeasurable control over the future of their specific leagues and enormous power, potential and actual options and fundamental resources to do what they want, when they want it.

Now, the obvious question, aside from whether this is actually happening, is Why? What would such Machiavellian machinations get them that they don’t already have? I know you’ll totally flip out when you hear what I’m proposing as a very far-out, but it is a possible explanation:

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1) In the recent past, most of these tier 1  and a few tier 2 clubs belonged to a European organization which promoted their interests…. the G14.  It was wound up and replaced by the European Club Association, but the inner sanctum of G14 within the ECA is still there.

2) One of the unspoken but very apparent goals of G14 was to explore the possibility of a European ¨super-league¨ according to the press reviews at the time. This organization disbanded but the dream of a super-league has never died.

3)With FIFA and EUFA stumbling about and making ubiquitous fools of themselves when dealing with things from goal-line technology to racism, and most local FA’s showing even more incompetence and corruption….these clubs must be asking themselves what they can do to protect their interests, make more money and offer more entertaining Football.

4)  A European super-league with the following teams in it would ring the death-knell of FIFA and EUFA’s dictatorial control of Football, as well as most European top divisions :

  • AC Milan
  • Arsenal
  • Bayern Munich
  • Barcelona
  • Chelsea
  • Manchester City
  • B. Dortmund
  • Inter Milan
  • Juventus
  • Napoli
  • PSG
  • Real Madrid
  • Shaktar D.
  • Man United

This league, playing a 26 game season, plus a SL cup and the CL would offer a potential of about 39 games maximum in a season starting in September and ending in May, with a 2 week, mid-winter break. There are many alternatives open to the directors of this SL but the point is that it would break the backs of their home leagues, unless a compromise schedule could be worked out.

Regardless, my hypothesis is that , behind the scenes, for quite a long time, there have been attempts to negotiate such a league and even Mr Wenger predicted that by 2019, such a league would be tried, due to economic and political reasons. Perez at Real Mad stated that such a league was ¨inevitable¨. So how crazy am I???  What the hell, this IS silly season!!!

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20 comments to The European Super-League Conspiracy Theory

  • Big Lebowski

    I for one would welcome anything just to see the demise of FIFA & EUFA

  • para

    I am a little surprised at this statement:
    “Everyone wants to believe that the government, the authorities, the illuminati, the papacy, the police, the rich et al have been covertly manipulating every aspect of our miserable lives”. No, not everyone at all, only those who has done some research themselves. Like you do your research around football i mean.
    I am concerned about AW comments, look at the difference between two managers:
    We have two strikers at the moment and we need another one. We need a stronger squad with two players in each position’.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged fans to be patient as he looks to add quality to the squad, rather than quantity.

    All fans know we need quantity AND quality to add to our squad in order to compete with the sheer amount of games we will have if we want to challenge on all fronts. When we go out of the minor cups early, this reduces our game load, and i wonder if this was somehow calculated during the last seasons, but now we should be taking those cups seriously, hence needing quantity AND quality.

    I see the problems we are going to have to get the quality players, and sadly only money will convince them to come. This is not to say we should spend like there is no tomorrow, but to get at least one top quality striker, we are going to have to.

    I still feel we are going to do it, but as stated above, i am starting to get a little worried that this is a deja-vu.

  • Matt Clarke

    It doesn’t sound far-fetched Don; it would, surely, make good business sense for these clubs.

    I have ambiguous feelings about the prospect of ‘losing’ AFC to a Euro-league, but it may get us away from the hack-and-crack approach to the skills defecit – and it could be an interesting league … as long as PGMOL were never involved.

    It does seem inevitable that there would be less revenues for the leagues left behind. Their reaction, together with the various sweet FA’s is hard (for me) to judge but it get nasty.

  • Matt Clarke

    #…it could get nasty

  • Chris

    Wenger has been allowed to gain control and keep control of far too much at Arsenal. He even plays at being Finance Director …. which function he certainly does not understand.

  • jax

    It’s good that you say “hypothesises”, because it protects you from accusations of writing complete BS.

  • nicky

    @Big Lebowski,
    Hear Hear; But I would add the FA to your list.
    If only a clean sweep could be made of all the retarded members of the football associations, a new era would emerge.
    FIFA is the most corrupt but the others aren’t far behind.

  • colario

    I believe there are two driving forces towards a breakaway ‘Super League’.

    1. The corrupt ruling authorities.

    2. The money pouring into the ‘big clubs’.

    I would not be surprised to see one day a European league that will not hand over players on demand to the national team.

    As well as playing league matches will play ‘exhibition matches’ around the world. This of course is already happening in ad hoc way but it will be organised.

    As to whether it will be a closed league in the way American Football is run remains to be seen.

    Everything is in place for this to happen. Powerful big clubs, TV money, A huge following around the world and the desire of the big clubs to run there own show.

    Will it be good for football? I have no idea but like it or not I think it is inevitable.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I do not think you are far off the mark at all with this. I also think those running arsenal are well aware and will make sure we can compete at or near the very top in years to come something highbury would never have allowed us. But we have friends in high places mr gazidis is getting himself on every committee going and becoming quite a powerful guy. We have experienced some frustrating times but just get the feeling some very smart people with us have a behind the scenes agenda to protect this club tho sometimes to many it may seem the opposite

  • Gooner S

    A thought provoking post.

    There has been a number of catlysts for change; Bosmann, formation of the premier league and so forth but also the Champions League. The latter killed domestic cup competitions and Uefa’s own Uefa Cup and Cup Winners Cup. The Champions league also helped to cast a shadow over International football. Is International Football an anachronism now? Certainly the world of internationals of yester year have long gone; an international was special then. Why did this change? for money and power not for the fan or improving the spectacle.

    Does Fifa, Uefa and The Fa know how to respond? I dont think they do. The power is now with the clubs…or at least some of the clubs. What will they do with it? Follow the money seems to be the answer!

  • Adam

    Nice one Don, the ECA are a big problem for football and Arsenal are part of it. At the moment Clubs like Dortmund and ourselves are “Full members” City and Spurs are “associated members”. You have to remain at the top of European competition to maintain that perceived status.

    I think there is an agreement in place that nothing will happen until 2016 or 2018, the last cycle of membership has been expanded for the next 3 years (something like that anyway).

    In some ways it’s good to have the ECA keeping UEFA & FIFA in check but it also localizes alot of power at the top of the game.

    Similar to the growing gap between the haves and the have not’s. Football is no exception to that rule.

    I do have to disagree with you regarding UEFA, I’m a little fan of what they are trying to achieve. Yes they need to work on some areas, but I don’t have a huge problem with them when comparing UEFA to FIFA.

    The biggest problem that football faces with regards to the ECA is limited access to European competitions and the funding that goes with it. As I have pointed out before only 6% of the solidarity payments go to teams who are not competing, so over time how are the have nots supposed to compete? It’s an unfair advantage that the qualifiers maintain over those who don’t qualify and we want fair competition? This needs addressing.

    With my “football fan first” hat on, I’d say Arsenal are part of the problem, but as an “Arsenal fan” I want success too but not at the cost of the rest of European football.

    The elite is a sort of closed league as it is and we need to stand up to the ECA on some matters, especially the collective hoarding of UEFA’s finances. Because that is what the ECA are doing, monopolizing UEFA’s money.

  • Mick

    A very thoughtful and pertinent comment from your goodself. How would you advise him to improve in the capacity of club finance director then?

  • Stuart

    Going by your comment, are we to assume that you think Wenger should go or do you feel he is the right man for the job if we remove all these excess responsibilities from him to as things were when he won Arsenal trophies?

  • Rufusstan

    @Chris, I have never understood the idea of Arsene slowly taking over at Arsenal, when the devision of responsibilities has been so often laid out.

    Besides, I doubt Arsene would dream of anything as hard as being a Finance Director. I fear his economics degree would leave him greatly under-prepared for the task.

  • jose

    using the uefa club coefficient table, take the top 40 clubs, have them play each other, but only once, so that there is only one barca-real match per season, to run for 39 match days.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Such a league is very plausible and very feasiable and I for one would be ecstatic to give the old heave ho to the likes of FIFA ,UEFA and the FA.
    What would trouble my conscience ( yeah right!) is that many agents , lawyers ,middlemen and other such vermin would be redundant !There would be no more primadonna players either .
    I could live with that though !

  • weedonald

    Thanks to everyone who actually read and understood the post…now for those like Chris and Jax, here is an executive summary:

    1)The post wasn’t about Wenger or Financial Directorship responsibilities Chris…so try and get someone to read it to you in a slow and simple fashion. Your comment was totally irrelevant, aside from being specious and ignorant of reality.

    2)Jax…I am glad you deciphered my subtle intentions….why don’t you try some hypothesizing and write a post instead of blithely and stupidly stating the most critical, disrespectful and lazy opinion around?

    If either of you two mentally challenged pseudo-supporters had bothered to read the vast majority of the responses, you’d realize that despite your blinkered and cretinous attitudes, there were many who found it partially credible. But of course, THEY are the morons, not you lot, right?

  • para

    Quote:”some very smart people with us have a behind the scenes agenda to protect this club tho sometimes to many it may seem the opposite”
    So true, even i did not see this some seasons ago, but when i realise that this is what AFC is doing, i relaxed for i know now that AFc was, is, and always will be.

  • uk

    did you take weed this morning, or perhaps you wee’d on the bed, again!!

  • weedonald

    UK…..I rarely smoke my breakfast since the 60’s and even though I am probably a lot more mature than you (judging from your juvenile attempts at salacious humour) never had a bed-wetting problem (but there is an other AFC season coming with the inevitable stress and nervous anticipation) so who knows? By the way, why don’t you take that x-lax and valium someone recommended a few posts back so you’ll calm down and if you die, we can bury you in a matchbox.