Roman Abramovich Kills New Soccer Super League
He took his Chelsea club out of the new league before it even started.
Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich may have just singlehandedly felled the new European soccer super league before it ever even got off the ground. He decided that his Chelsea Football Club would not join the new association after all. His move led to the exit of all of the other five English clubs, including the power houses Manchester United and Arsenal, from the new league as well.
Without the six British clubs the new league will probably now be abandoned.
Chelsea released a statement which said little and read, “Having joined the group late last week, we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the Club, our supporters or the wider football community.”
Soccer fans the world over, and especially in England, were shocked and dismayed by the announcement that 12 top European clubs had decided to form their own new league. The teams would not exit their local national leagues, however. The new league would just be an annual competition spread out over the season between the best teams from several different countries’ professional soccer leagues. The other six teams that were to join the new league include Spain’s Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona and Italy’s AC Milan.
If you don’t follow professional soccer then all of this must be confusing. Basically, every year the top ranking teams from the professional soccer leagues of Europe’s largest countries compete in an international Champion’s League. So if your team wins its championship one year, it will compete in the champion’s tournament the following year in addition to its regular schedule.
The problem is that the wealthiest franchises were bothered with the expansion of the UEFA Champions League which ballooned up to 36 participants. The owners of the 12 clubs that formed the new league wanted a more exclusive competition which would allow them to keep even more of the money made.
Roman Abramovich did not reveal his reasons for the reversal. But most commentators agree that it was because of the outrage on the part of the entire British public. Fans of the six English teams took to the streets to protest the move and threatened to drop their support and no longer buy tickets to their games.
The English soccer fans said that they believe the new league would ruin the purity of the sport and make it all about the money. Today even the weaker clubs who have fewer financial resources still have a chance of making their way to the top.
If you are an American sports fan and still do not quite follow what all of this means, here is an analogy:
Imagine if the top 12 of all of the Major League Baseball teams, from the largest markets like New York and Los Angeles, suddenly formed their own super league, leaving the rest of the teams behind. How would people react?