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Tuesday, August 11, 1998 Published at 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK


Talking Point


Do football fans want a European Super League? Your reaction

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I was initially attracted by the idea of a European Super League. After all, who wouldn't be excited by games like Manchester United v Real Madrid, Arsenal v Internazionale?
However, I have come to the conclusion that the prime motives behind this League are financial and not sporting and as a result, I have become disillusioned with the whole concept. I believe that the supporters would be greatly inconvenienced by the excessive costs involved and after a while, regular trips to great European stadia like the Nou Camp and San Siro would lose their appeal to clubs and supporters alike, especially if their team is not doing so well in the League.
Where would be the atmosphere generated by two sets of supporters willing their teams to victory if supporters can't travel to games for financial and logistical reasons? For instance, Manchester United v Real Madrid would be a mouthwatering European tie over two games but in a league format, it wouldn't have the same appeal. It would be just another game. In addition, what is the criteria for entrance to the Super League? This seems to be very confused at present and if this is to function effectively, the entry criteria must be clear from the outset.
I believe that we will see a European Super League, sooner rather than later, but I don't believe that this will be a great success from a sporting perspective.
Simon Porch, UK

As a supporter of one of the smaller teams (Nottingham Forest) I would dearly love Man U, Arsenal et al to leave the rest of us to it. I really am getting sick of the ridiculous wages, the greed, the disrespect for fans etc etc. Let them have their Super League and maybe, if we can get some watchdog body or something to regulate football, it might settle down a bit. Disillusionment is settling in.
Rob Sewell, UK

No! I say that if any British football team joins the European Super League, the fans should protest, as they are the ones that keep the clubs healthy. They are more important than the blood-sucking management or the shareholders. Don't they rip off the fans enough with the uniforms?
William Micklewright, USA

Clearly there're lots of greedy corporate suits looking to make easy money here. If the league comes into being in the format that has been reported it will be a scandal.
Sixteen teams who will be permanent members and cannot be relegated - that's bound to mean a lot of dead games when mid table and struggling teams play each other. I mean if you get a 9th place Arsenal playing a 12th place Marseille, who cares? Would you watch it on TV? I wouldn't, I've got a life.
It would be totally unacceptable to have permanent members of the league who could never get relegated. What happens if a team who qualifies/gets invited into the Super League for a season, maybe someone like Lazio, Parma, Athletico Madrid, or even Chelsea, then does really well getting the semi final or final, but perhaps without winning the whole thing? Do they get sent back to national leagues the next season, while deadbeat clubs who finished bottom of their groups get to stay on? It's a scandal.
There may be a strong case, if this looks like going ahead, that supporters of all clubs should set up an action group, and try and make life as difficult as possible for the greedy corporate executives who are trying to destroy OUR game.
Anyway, it will hardly be a "Super" League if it has teams like Anderlecht, Benfica and Panathanaikos as permanent members!
Scott D, UK

Remember the US league in the 70's that bankrupted. They could not pay their stars. It is very probable that this will happen with the Super League.
Saulius Girnius, USA

I think it would be bad to have a Super League, because it would kill off all the clubs that cannot afford to enter such a competition.
Evonne Okafor, England

No way. There is already far too much football taking place.
PJ Hughes, UK

I think that the idea of setting up a European Super League in principle is a good one, but it shouldn't be made up of just teams from England, Italy, France, Germany and Spain. I also think that teams who perform well in their own national league should have the chance to participate in the European league. The challenge is to find a formula that would allow this and make the whole of Europe involved in this Super League and not just the richest top teams of the moment in a few European countries.
Dirk Peeters, Belgium

I would only watch this league if both Man United and Man City were in it, just to annoy the United fans. The proposed league is elitist, and is taking the power to run soccer away from the national FA's and leagues. The game has been changed into a mass-marketing tool to sell souvenirs.
But seriously folks, soccer would end up like the American sports/entertainment franchises; nothing changes from year to year, except the select owners get richer, and the fans get bored or lobotomised. If you ever want to see the biggest disappointment in Canada after Niagara Falls, go and watch a National League ice hockey game, with or without any fighting.
This proposed European Super League would only work if ALL teams have the opportunity of being relegated. Otherwise, they will die on their feet, just like ice hockey, basketball, baseball and gridiron teams do here. On the other hand, this would be a good way of disposing of Arsenal and Man Utd.
Richard Hawes, England, working in Canada

I think it´s a good idea, the idea of selecting teams to form a new league. However, there should be two leagues inside western Europe, one of them made up of European teams from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Greece and the other one with teams from Germanic countries like Germany, United Kingdom, Holland etc. I think that this way we could enjoy a more competitive league and two different ways of playing football. Besides, given the international prestige and origins of players in European and Germanic clubs, there is no need to include teams from other countries.
Rafael Fernandez, Andalusia, Spain





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