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The European Super League

The European Super League – Football’s Hero or Villain?

Gemma Watson

Football is the world’s most popular and widely distributed sport. The European Super League, referred to in this paper as the ESL, was the proposal of a breakaway league described as “a spit in the face of all football lovers” by the President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin: the new league would create both a sporting performance and commercial safe-haven for the teams involved by not allowing relegations from the league, and only including some of the richest and most well-known teams in Europe. This essay will discuss the current structure of European football, what the ESL proposed and why it so catastrophically failed, the issues within football both domestically and internationally, and recommendations for future reforms that would work to secure the longevity of the sport. This includes a number of legal, regulatory and social issues. It will argue that the idea of a Super League is not something that is going to disappear just because this proposal failed, and that in order to maintain European football in its current state, i.e. controlled by UEFA and FIFA, there needs to be drastic reform to the governing bodies, not least in both culture and democracy.

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