Two Big Reasons Why I Think The ESL Will (Unfortunately) Happen
This past week in the football world has been more dramatic than a generic white girl show on Netflix. We went from 12 of the biggest clubs in the world were going to break away from their respective domestic leagues and create their own league. Then this little group of people called the fans, stepped in and landed that plane before it really even got to take off. From protests at stadiums to an absolute fire storm on social media and TV, the fans, players and coaches voiced their opinions and made themselves heard. But this fight isnt over. Not by a long shot. Money talks, and this time 400 million dollars for each club that joined wasnt a louder talker than @donkeynutz69 who said Stan Kroenke (owner of Arsenal) looks like a bad guy in a silent French porno. The Super League is an innevitibility. The game, just like literally anything that has ever been successfull, needs to evolve. So I defintely think that we will see more about the super league and little tweaks here and there to make it sound more appealing to the fans.
So why do I think the ESL is a sleeping giant?
Well for starters, last week on Tuesday, in Madrird Spain, the ESL got a massive boost from a preliminary ruling in a commercial court. The ruling granted its temporary injunction which prevented the Governing Bodies from undermining the ESL's formation by announcing, threatening or preparing disciplinary measures against the football clubs or players that joined the ESL and excluding the clubs or players from any international or national football competitions such as World Cup or Champions League. This of course was one of the major bug-a-boos in the ESL. This a very complicated situation that has a lot of dudes who wear air pods 24/7 and talk a little too loud whilst waiting in the starbucks line involved. This is going to come down to courts and governing bodies of not only UEFA and FIFA, but governing bodies of countries. This ruling that took place in Madrid is most likely going to be applicable to only the teams in Spain that were or are going to join the ESL. Like I said earlier, though, money talks. And if that autonomous taint, Florentino Perez, who is the Chairman of the ESL, and also the owner of Real Madrid, and the owners of the other clubs are able to get maybe a just a sliver of fan support, and maybe a little more green from J.P. Morgan who threw in the initial investment for the ESL, then they might be able to get this across the finish line.
As much as I hate to admit it, Football is a business, and as I mentioned earlier in the article, and thats innevitable evolution of sport. Every sport has had its changes. I mean, basketball at one point didnt allow dribbling. In football, you at one point werent allowed to throw the ball. And the obvious change, is the introduction of VAR in soccer. Sports change and sports evolve. And the target audience for soccer is starting to do just that. Fans who live within walking distance of their respected teams' stadiums are not the target audience anymore. The target audience are famalies from foriegn countries like China, the US, or Norway for example. A wealthy family of five from L.A who is going to come into Liverpool's stadium store and spends thoousands of dollars in the stadium store, fan "experiences", stadium tours, paying for meet and greets and paying for all this extra stuff. But the fan who lives a mile from the stadium isnt doing all of that. That fan (those who can afford to at least) is only putting down one payment of MAYBE $1,000 for season tix and then sprinkle in some merch from the stadium store, you're probably looking at $1,500 a year from the guy who is able to walk to the stadium. So multiply that by the 26,000 Liverpool season tix holders last year, and that's $39,000,000 ( very rougly) from fan revenue a year. Now, obviously that is a shit ton of money, but the owners are thinking to themselves, "why not make more money". So these owners are going to do whatever it takes to cater to the family from L.A. and the guy who has been buying season tix in the KOP end for 30 years can go kick rocks.
I dont want there to be a super league. I hate the idea of a closed league and what the ESL would eventually turn into would Liverpool playing Barcelona in the Meredes Bens Satadium for pay-per-view only. That isnt football. But I am not opposed to change. I know, just like anything, football is bound to change and evolve. And I wouldnt be opposed to so called change and evolution but it has to have the club's best interest involved. These owners, especially the American owners of the Prem teams, simply do not care about the teams that they own. They only see these clubs as a way to make money. And I am not against a club making a lot of money. Some clubs have deeper pockets than others. Much like college football. Some schools just have bigger and better resouces than others. And if the blue bloods of college football wanted to make their own closed conference, there will most likely be a lot more of a positive reaction to that. But college football is American, and last time I checked, Liverpool isn't a college football team. So it shouldnt be ran as one. But the idea that these owners thought they could just turn their backs completely on the people who made the club a good investment in the first place is beyond me. However, I am not opposed to change, but it needs to be done correctly. And leaving fans in the dark is not right and it should never happen.