Just before resigning as Barcelona’s president, Josep Bartomeu confirmed that the board of directors have approved the Blaugrana joining the European Super League. But what is it exactly and what impact it might have? We’ve rounded up everything we know so far.
- Where did the idea come from? Big European clubs have been mulling it over since the formation of G14 over 20 years ago.
- What’s in it for the clubs involved? Money. Obviously. Participation in the league can triple or even quadruple profits – each club can earn around €500m (£450m) from playing.
- Which format will it stick to? 16 or 18 top clubs from England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France will play each other home and away. No more than 5 from each country will be allowed. Top-8 will then participate in a mini-tournament in one place.
- When might the whole thing kick off? It’s penciled in for the 2022/23 season but there’s a problem with UEFA – who have already sold TV rights up until 2024.
- Who’s bankrolling the whole thing? JP Morgan from Wall Street are in negotiations over a potential 5 billion euros financial package. CVC Capital Partners (financial consultancy firm) are also interested.
- Will it run alongside Champions League and domestic leagues? The former will be abandoned. The latter won’t be. That’s where the TV rights hitch comes from.
- What are UEFA and FIFA thinking about it? UEFA don’t want any changed before 2024 – they are also considering a new CL format of 4 groups with 8 teams. FIFA have been silent for now, but have plans to revamp the Club World Cup.
- What about the fans? Supporters of smaller sides will object to it as their clubs will be virtually banned from the Super League.
- What do the players think? It looks like they don’t have any say at all in the matter, something that greatly, and rightly, angers Toni Kroos.
- Who will referee the tournament? FIFA and UEFA has to approve it to send UEFA referees there. If they don’t, clubs will have to come up with an alternative.