European Super League announced, but is this good news or bad news for the NUFC takeover?
12 clubs from across the continent went rogue last night and announced that they are forming their own European Super League as of next season.
A move that has been unanimously condemned by fans across the world, the proposals will see the self-declared “big six” English sides compete in the new format alongside the likes of Juventus and Barcelona, with no threat of relegation.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has already been made chairman of the league, and in a statement last night, the League said that all fixtures are planned to be scheduled during midweek so that they can still compete in their domestic competitions.
UEFA countered this statement by declaring that any side or player who competes in this league will be banned from all competitions and club AND international level, throwing this season’s Champions League and European Championship into doubt.
But what does this mean for the NUFC takeover?
Well, our old adversary Richard Masters has been thrown into a tricky situation once again and must make a huge call in the interests of the Premier League.
Does he show backbone, stand firm and strongly condemn these sides for joining the Super League, relegating them from the top flight as a punishment; a move that was mooted by Gary Neville on Sky yesterday.
Or does he bend over, allow it to happen and watch the gap between the bigger clubs become so astronomical that it devalues the integrity of the division?
Ironically, the Premier League released a statement yesterday that read: “Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.”
Our prospective new owners were not deemed “fit and proper” by the Premier League’s standards last summer, yet six current owners have now spat in their faces and done a runner.
An argument could be made that Masters & Co will now green light our takeover in a desperate attempt to claw back some interest into the Premier League – which may be true – but would our club still be worth £300m if we were playing in a now “second-rate” league?
Rumours are already circulating that PIF will switch their focus to Inter Milan, one of the three Italian sides signed up to the Super League, a dramatic U-turn that would be a sickening blow to the hopes of our supporters.
Nick De Marco, the sports lawyer Mike Ashley has hired to deal with the case, will likely be intrinsically assessing the ramifications of what is happening right now, looking for a way to spin this in our favour for when the arbitration hearing takes place.
Whether this is good or bad news for the takeover hinges entirely on your perspective. Are you a positive thinker who believes that the PIF deal now becomes a no-brainer for the Premier League? Or do you think these plans will shatter all interest in NUFC and make the Saudis want to switch their focus to one of the big boys?
Your answer is likely somewhere in the middle. The situation is going to be interesting – both from a NUFC and global perspective – in the coming weeks as the aftermath of this colossal news plays out.
The ugly side of football has reared its relentless head once more, with decisions being inspired by greed and gluttony rather than with love and affection for those who make it the beautiful game.