The world of soccer has been turned upside down in the last 24 hours. With 12 of Europe’s leading football clubs having announced their agreement to establish a new midweek competition, the European Super League, fans and soccer personalities all over the world have spoken against it.

Former soccer superstar and the current president and co-owner of Inter Miami CF, David Beckham, took to Instagram to express his opinion on the matter. He stressed the importance of fans for the game and echoed the sentiment millions of fans had been putting out.

Beckham further emphasized that football needed to be for everyone, and for that to remain the case, the game needed to be fair. He also added that the competition needed to be based on merit, and should they fail to keep it that way, football would be in danger.

European Super League

What prompted such a post from Beckham was the announcement of the European Super League. The big-six clubs of the Premier League - Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham along with AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Real Madrid announced their agreement to establish the European Super League.

According to the proposal, three more clubs will join the aforementioned 12 as the league’s founding members. 5 more clubs will have to qualify to join the league each season. The 20 clubs will be separated into two groups of 10 and play home and away fixtures within the group each year.

American bank JP Morgan has committed about $5 billion to the project. The 15 founding members would also receive €3.5 billion for joining. 

The Backlash

The idea of the European Super League received much backlash because the 15 founding members would remain in the league regardless of how they performed. The five slots for annual qualifiers also severely limit the importance of sporting merit.

Soccer has always been based on open competition and sporting merit. It is also because of this reason that fans of the sport have always been so passionate. But with the European Super League, the proposed format takes away both traits while making room for greater economic gains for the participating clubs.

The founding clubs said they “look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.”

However, soccer fans and UEFA didn’t share similar views. Aleksander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, even openly slammed the European Super League, calling it a “disgraceful, self-serving proposal by a select few clubs in Europe that are fueled purely by greed.”

Ceferin announced that any players who played in the closed league would be banned from playing in the World Club and European Championships. He also stressed that the integrity of the sport must be preserved. He urged football fans, governing bodies, media, and politicians to stand together to stop the European Super League from coming to fruition.

Sharing Ceferin’s concerns and sentiments, millions of football fans have echoed the sentiments with personalities like Beckham making a statement against the proposed closed league.

Even Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said the European Super League would be damaging for football and showed his support to football authorities for taking action.