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The formation of the European Super League is receiving tons of backlash as the major clubs are looking to dominate the soccer world

Talks of the European Super League have been spreading like wildfire. This comes with natural questions: what is it? Who is going to be in it? Why is this so problematic? We'll answer these questions and more below.

The European Super League is dream, if you will, that certain club owners are attempting to make a reality. Essentially, the idea is to create a new soccer tournament in which 15 of the most elite, richest and biggest clubs will automatically qualify for each year. These teams include: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and A.C. Milan. They will also add three more teams to create the 15 founding clubs. They will then go on and allow five more additional teams each year to qualify and compete in the tournament, totaling 20.

Recently, the idea of the Super League has been receiving a lot of backlash. Players or teams that decide to participate in it might be excluded from other tournaments and leagues such as the Premier League, the Champions League and even the World Cup.

Ben Barrett, sports intern:

The reason the Super League is so problematic is that it disregards the precedents established by existing tournaments. Take the Champions League, for example. The Champions League is considered one of the most important tournaments in the world, as all the best teams in Europe are able to compete to show who really is the strongest club. However, in order to qualify, a club must finish in the top four of whatever league in Europe they are in or have won the Champions League the year before. By creating the Super League, the 15 clubs that automatically qualify every year, which just happen to be some of the biggest, richest and most famous clubs in the world, are making it so that they don’t have to qualify based on merit. This makes it nearly impossible for smaller clubs to reach this tournament, even if they are performing better than some of the teams that automatically qualify.

In 2016, Leicester City, a team that typically finished in the middle of the table, shocked the world and won the Premier League. After their Premier League win, they qualified for the Champions League. They fought all the way to the quarter finals, farther than any other Premier League team went that year, where they ultimately lost to Atlético Madrid. This showed the soccer world that a small club could fight and compete against even the top teams.

The formation of the European Super League could seriously damage the game of soccer. It would ruin competition in leagues across Europe, and, most of all, smaller clubs would begin to be covered by the shadow of the founding teams who would consume the viewership and fan base of the soccer world.

Chris Benis, asst. sports editor:

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I am against the formation of the Super League, as it is intended to be a direct competitor to the Champions League, just more selective and elite. They planned to invite 15 teams, comprised of the biggest clubs in the world, who would get an automatic bid into their own Super League tournament every year. Then, they would only invite five other teams every year for a total of 20 teams. To compare, there are 36 clubs (with no automatic bids) in the Champions League. The basic problem is that smaller clubs will no longer have a real chance of competing. You could argue that this is what makes sports interesting: everyone loves to root for the underdog.

Two teams from the Premier League received bids to go to the Champions League but were not invited to go to the Super League. This year, small clubs like West Ham and Leicester City received bids to the Champions League because they are definitely going to place top four in the Premier League. Under the Super League format, one or both of these teams would not have received a bid, because there simply aren’t enough spots.

Both of these teams performed better than four of the big six clubs this season. This begins to illustrate the problem with the proposed Super League. The Super League values big markets over actual success. West Ham and Leicester City will never be as popular as Arsenal or Tottenham, no matter how poorly those teams perform any given year.

FIFA and UEFA are directly opposed to the Super League and are trying to ban players from playing in their domestic leagues if they join the Super League. They may even be banned from playing in the World Cup.

In addition, some of the smaller teams and some of the top players in the Premier League are trying to take a stand against the Super League, such as Leeds United (the whole team wore shirts before a recent game that read “football is for the fans”) and Marcus Rashford (recent tweet).

Case in point, on April 21, all six Premier League teams left the Super League. I wonder why they’d do that. Then, on the same day, Atlético Madrid and Inter Milan withdrew as well. Not much of league anymore, is it? It appears to be disbanding.

These are the opinions of Ben Barrett, a junior journalism major from Brooklyn, New York, and Chris Benis, a sophomore marketing major from Seattle, Washington. Tweet comments to @LAloyolan or email comments to mthomas@theloyolan.com.

Ben is a senior journalism major from Brooklyn, New York. He is an assistant sports editor for the Loyolan and enjoys covering basketball, football, and soccer. Twitter: @benlevvv

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