The Super League may be dead, but the ramifications from the failed breakaway league are only starting to emerge. And yes, there most certainly will be ramifications. Today, the Times has an exclusive, stating that the Premier League is set to change their rules to automatically expel any club that attempts to join a future “super league.”
The attempt of the Big Six, part of what is now referred to as the “Dirty Dozen,” to form their own nearly-closed European competition caught everyone off guard — UEFA, FIFA, domestic leagues, even the clubs’ own managers and players, and they are NOT happy about it. Richard Masters, head of the Premier League, wants to disincentivize this from happening again in a little while once the dust has settled, and sees this as one way to try and prevent that from happening by removing ambiguities from “Rule L9,” which lists competitions in which Premier League clubs are allowed to participate.
Don’t forget, the original charter of the Super League was an attempt for the Big Six to have their cake and eat it too — ESL matches were planned to happen mid-week as competition to (or a replacement for) the Champions League, with clubs continuing to compete in their domestic leagues. With these new rule changes, English clubs won’t get that chance and would be instantly booted and left on their own.
The Times also reports that Manchester City is being blamed by the remaining Super League teams that somehow haven’t yet conceded defeat — Real Madrid and Barcelona — for starting ball rolling that eventually crushed its formation within 48 hours. City were reportedly the last club to join as Founding Members and did so reluctantly; they were also the first to get cold feet and leave.
City seem like a strange club to have a conscience considering their status as the richest club in the Premier League, but that’s likely the exact reason why they did so. They didn’t need the Super League to get all the money they needed to be successful, and according to reports quickly came to the conclusion that the millions of pounds of profit they’d receive was no longer worth the damage to their club’s reputation and status with their fans. And once City wobbled, the rest of the Big Six folded like a house of cards.
It’s not a given that a Super League project won’t be attempted again at some point. It likely will so long as there’s enough money to convince a group of clubs to go for it. But it appears as though domestic leagues, including the Premier League, are going to make sure that the process is as painful for the departing clubs as possible, with little chance of reconciliation.