On Friday, FIFA and six football confederations issued a statement condemning the idea of creating a European football Super League.
In addition, they have threatened with sanctions clubs and players who want to take part in such a tournament.
Over the past 20 years, the European elite has made several attempts to organize such competitions.
The same Perez in 2009 "pushed" the idea of an alternative Champions League for the "best".
And in 2016 and 2018, the British tried to force the topic, including through a dialogue with colleagues from the United States - fortunately, in the Premier League, a number of clubs have owners associated with American business.
Nevertheless, this initiative remained on the periphery of
for a long time
However, the pandemic, the financial losses it provoked and the desire to get more autonomy from UEFA in decision-making and profit distribution, pushed the major players in the football market to activate.
Its initiators - the Spanish company Key Capital Partners and the president of Real Madrid Florentino Perez - began to test the waters for the creation of the Superleague again last year.
Then two dozen teams from the top 5 leading championships of the continent were invited to discuss the project.
At the same time, according to media reports, the issue with the JPMorgan bank on lending the tournament in the amount of $ 6 billion was being discussed. Bonuses were also discussed, which were supposed to interest the top teams.
According to The Times, each of the six English clubs, including Manchester United and Liverpool, was offered around € 350 million to enter the tournament.
In turn, Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta calculated the potential profit of the Catalans from participation in the Super League, consisting of 18 teams, at € 800 million.
The players also took an interest in the project.
After all, playing at the highest level with rivals of the same caliber is a great option for any performer.
This was confirmed in one of the podcasts by Real Madrid player Toni Kroos.
Amid this growing interest in the idea of the Super League, FIFA and other confederations seem to have felt their interests threatened.
Otherwise, they would hardly have come up with an official statement.
The communiqué, released on January 21st, was as harsh as possible.
The departments of Gianni Infantino and Alexander Cheferin actually condemned the creation of the Super League.
“In light of the recent media speculation about the establishment of a closed European Super League by some FIFA clubs and six confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA), we would like to reiterate and strongly emphasize that such a tournament will not be recognized by FIFA and the corresponding confederation.
Any club or player involved in such a competition, as a result, will not be allowed to participate in any competition organized by FIFA or the relevant confederation, ”the message says.
What is the reason for the harsh message?
At least in the desire to preserve the football system.
Yes, they control her and live off her.
But at the same time, rotational mechanisms and a relatively low threshold for entering existing tournaments leave untouched the main value of the game - the sports principle.
At the same time, the likelihood of a nominal outsider winning remains (remember the story of Porto Jose Mourinho), which preserves football's unpredictability.
The 2004 Champions League final, when Mourinho lifted the trophy with Porto 🙌pic.twitter.com / UcxYIxQjVP
- Goal (@goal) November 20, 2019
Another aspect is the integrity of the national championships.
The teams involved in the Superleague will demand to tailor the internal rallies for themselves, exclude the Cups from the priorities and, in general, may think about autonomy.
What will happen then to the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, which will lose the flagships, for which sponsors are investing money in football?
The volume of investments will be significantly reduced.
And this could lead to a general collapse - the recent example of the French Ligue 1, faced with the loss of a television contract, clearly demonstrates this.
And for the giants there is a risk here: missing the playoffs deprives the losers of the Super League of part of the season.
What to do for the rest of the year with the players, their multimillion-dollar contracts, infrastructure operation?
It is in the NBA and NHL that telecommunications companies work with billionaire club owners to keep the ecosystem afloat.
But in Europe the situation is different: both due to the number and solvency of local cable broadcasters, which generate the main money, and due to the willingness of the owners themselves to spend.
In addition, there is nothing that would be sufficient motivation for the players to fight all season for a single trophy, without championships and cups.
Especially if in the Super League there is a stratification into "more" and "less" rich, as happened before in some closed leagues.
In addition, reducing the number of tournaments will automatically lead to a decrease in the number of bonuses associated with winning awards.
There will be fewer opportunities to earn with individual statistics, which, in turn, will affect the size of advertising contracts.
In fact, one tournament misfire will cost the same Kroos millions of euros.
"I want the ball just here please, Toni ..."
The best of @ToniKroos in #LaLigaSantander!
- LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) July 7, 2017
In addition, with their statement, FIFA, UEFA and other confederations are trying to protect small clubs with small federations.
For example, money from the European Championship and club tournaments is also distributed among all participating countries according to their involvement in the process.
Therefore, even countries that are not doing well have a stable source of income - often it makes up an impressive part of their budgets.
As seen in the recently published UEFA revenue distributions, a lot of money can be earned from European competitions, especially after the 54% increase in TV money in the 2018/19 Champions League.
This thread looks at the impact on English clubs in more detail.
- Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) January 27, 2020
Organizations' own interests also contribute to strong reactions.
With the launch of the Super League, UEFA and FIFA are losing weight along with their tournaments.
Sponsorship attractiveness will decrease, positions in the TV production and copyright market will weaken.
At the same time, this threatens a legal split, because the interpretation of contracts, the determination of compensation and the resolution of disputes have always remained with the confederations.
If a closed tournament is created, clubs and players removed from international jurisdiction will find themselves without a regulatory framework and mechanisms for regulating relations.
It should be noted that the organizers planned the launch of the Super League in 2022.
This means that Europe has very little time to find a compromise.
And if the parties do not sit down at the negotiating table in the very near future, the confrontation, which until recently seemed illusory, could affect every member of the football community - first on the continent, and then in the world.