Ever since the 1990s, the spectre of a European Super League has hung over domestic football leagues. Cash-rich teams from England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France are all eager to break the chains placed on them by the sport’s governing bodies.
In 2024 the very structure of European footballing competition will be hammered out. Governing body UEFA, the elite clubs, and the major leagues will all have their say. Many already believe that the Champions League will pivot to a relegation and promotion system.
Such financially motivated systems have already driven a wedge between big clubs and lower league clubs at domestic level. For example in England, just look at the disparity in wealth between a Premier League club and a League 2 club.
The very soul of the game could be more at stake than ever. And here’s why it may be closer to becoming a reality than you ever thought possible.
Man City Ban A Watershed Moment
Whether it be Jose Mourinho ruthlessly outspending his rivals, or Pep Guardiola enlisting the services of a country’s entire GDP, those at the top of football have been trying to buy their way to success for years.
UEFA’s financial fair play rules are hardly that restrictive, but were deemed to be by Man City and PSG. In their haste to catch up the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus, their oil rich owners have - shall we say - disrespected the already lenient rules limiting club funding and spending.
As a result, UEFA handed Man City a two-year ban from European competition. Highlighting the divide between the governing body and wealthy club owners.
Owners want more control of how European competitions are ran. They want a greater slice of UEFA generated revenues. All this points towards the big clubs flexing their muscles and wanting a Super League up and running by 2024.
Where this leaves Man City and their European ban in the short term remains to be seen. If they are out of Europe, then it might be well worth using an Oddschecker free bet to wager on City being a shoe-in for the Premier League title next season.
Merging of Domestic and International Schedules
Recent scheduling challenges for domestic leagues, as well as international competitions, has created a real headache for everyone involved. The 2020 Euros have already had to take a back seat so leagues can complete their seasons.
The shift away from international football being a dominant force began when FIFA starting diluting the importance of the World Cup. They only have themselves to blame, having used a flawed process to take the tournament to far flung parts of the world. Ending up having the tournament in countries that have little or no interest in the beautiful game.
With fans losing interest in international competition as a result, as well as players and managers complaining about packed schedules, the perfect storm for the big clubs to take over summer sporting schedules, may already be taking place. Europe's elite would be ready and happy to claim the summer months for a fledgling European Super League.
It would meet some resistance in England, but the power of the Premier League clubs would squash any dissenting sports.
For now, this is all conjecture, but the writing is very much on the wall. This could all mean the death of lower league professional football as we know it.