The dream of a European Super League as envisaged by Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus appears dead, at least for the time being, as three of clubs that had agreed to come on board with them have today walked away from the undertaking.
Chelsea were the first to defect, as London’s Blues announced their departure from the Super League early on Tuesday evening. They were quickly followed by Manchester City and then La Liga side Atletico Madrid in announcing they would not take be taking part.
The four key founding members have made no announcements. Neither have the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, AC Milan, or Inter Milan. While not rejecting the new league, Barcelona have stated they will not push ahead without the support of their voting socios.
As positive as the news is, UEFA’s proposed expanded Champions League that is likely to go through now is hardly any better than a Super League, and the governing body’s Financial Fair Play failures are a key reason in why we’re currently talking about a Super League.
It’s also hard to overstate just how disappointing it is for Liverpool to have been one of the key players pushing for a closed Super League that would have relegated English domestic football to an afterthought and all but certain to go the way of the domestic cups.
After a decade of hard work overcoming skepticism and building a relationship with a fanbase burnt by the toxic ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, over two days Fenway Sports Group have largely alienated many of the club’s so-called legacy supporters.
It is difficult to envisage a way back for them from this. The Super League may be over for now, but Liverpool as a club—and the relationship between fans, players, and owner—has been significantly damaged by their actions, as has its reputation in the game.