News of a break-away league by some of football’s biggest clubs came yesterday (19th Apr) after 12 teams from England, Spain and Italy revealed their plans for the new European Super League (ESL).
Six English sides lead the charge including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur with the remaining six founding members of the league comprising of Italian sides AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan and Spanish sides Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, with a further three clubs yet to be named.
Teams in the European Super League will continue to compete in their respective national leagues, but the European Super League would effectively compete with the current Champions League.
According to a snap poll conducted by YouGov nearly eight in ten (79%) of those who follow football are opposed to the new league, including over two thirds (68%) who “strongly oppose” the ESL’s creation.
Opposition is highest among fans of the left-behind Premier League teams, with 88% of those following a team outside the big six opposed to the European Super League, compared to 76% of fans of the big six themselves.
The poll also found that only 14% of football fans are in favour of the new league. Even among fans of the big six set to be part of the ESL, fewer than a fifth (19%) support of its creation.
As well as being opposed to the new league’s creation, only a fifth of those who follow football (21%) expressed an interest in watching ESL matches when the season begins. While some three in ten supporters of the English sides taking part (31%) are interested in watching, two thirds (68%) are not.
Among fans of Premier League teams outside the big six, interest is even lower, with only 13% interested in watching compared to eight in ten (83%) who are not interested in tuning in.
In fact, three quarters of fans (76%) would rather their team not join the European Super League, including a similar proportion of those who support one of the big six clubs acting as founding members (74%).
While some clubs stand to make millions, fans also do not believe the new league will benefit the game as whole, and think smaller clubs are set to lose out. Only 7% of football followers think smaller clubs in lower domestic leagues will benefit monetarily as a result of the ESL’s formation, with 75% thinking smaller clubs will suffer financially.