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ESL | Well Played Bluff or Mistake?

The European Super League lasted for around 48 hours. Straight after it’s announcement fans all over Europe jumped against it. The owners of the 12 founding clubs were deemed greedy. So one by one the six English clubs withdrew from the ESL. With things happening so fast a question arises: Was the whole thing a mistake by the clubs, not expecting the reaction from their fans, or was it just a bluff so UEFA can take their demands? And who are the winners and the losers from the whole drama?

Winners:

UEFA

It’s ridiculous how in the whole situation UEFA came up looking like the good guys. Alexander Ceferin played his cards great. He appeared like the good guy who wants to fight the bad greedy owners. But I see the whole war of UEFA against the ESL was just because someone else was cashing in, instead of UEFA.

Bayern Munich, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, Porto

These four team are definitely Europe Elite. They didn’t agree on the ESL and condemned it. Their fans are happy, the league is not happening. Win-win for them.

The Fans

Fans of the six English teams that signed for the ESL united in the fight against it. It is good to know that the fans are still integral part of football and the owners still care about them. You know something is bad when Liverpool, Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham fans unite against it. Their voices were heard, their owners listened and the English clubs were the first to withdraw from the ESL.

Small countries FA

Every football player’s dream is to play Champions League football. And if they are not good enough to play for the top European clubs, to at least play against them. Top teams will still travel to small countries and will play games that their owners think are meaningless.

P.S. When Ludogorets were drawn into a same group with Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Basel in 2014 it was a dream come true. It was the first Liverpool game I saw live. I met Liverpool fans from different countries, and spent time I will never forget. More people will be able to make their dream and see their favorite team live in their home country.

Manchester United Fans

They deserve extra mention here. Ed Woodward resigned as United’s director. Plus there is information that the Glaziers want to sell the club. Double win.

Garry Neville & Jamie Carragher

The two pundits were the biggest warriors against the ESL. Their rants against the new formed league became viral in just a day. They are viewed as the saviors of football.

Losers

Real Madrid and Barcelona

I’ll put the two Spanish giants in the same bracket as they have similar problems. The two teams are sinking in debts. With the lack of fans in the stadiums they were seeing the ESL as the easiest way to get more money, pay their debts and be competitive on the transfer market against the uprising English clubs and the petrol money at PSG. Florentino Perez was the man behind the idea, he had few really strong declarations against the people in charge of FIFA and UEFA. Interesting times for him and Real Madrid.

Tottenham

The morning after the ESL was announced Tottenham sacked “The Special One” Jose Mourinho. It’s not a secret that Spurs have financial problems. They are paying for their new stadium. They missed Champions league this season and are on the verge of missing on top 4 again, losing the money from that. With the uncertainty of when the fans will be able to fill the stadiums again, Daniel Levi saw the moment and the money coming from ESL as a great time to sack Mourinho, because the team won’t be able to afford his compensations.

Milan

The Italian giants are just a shadow of their past achievements. They failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last 7 years. If they keep the good work, they will get Champions League football next season. But because of the last years, they lost their aura, lost the good income, and the chance to fight against the best teams in Europe. Both on the transfer market and on the field.

Young Fans

Young fans want spectacle. Getting their attention was used as the main reason behind the announcing of the ESL by Florentino Perez. They don’t want to watch games without drama in it. But they are not the people that fill stadiums and buy merchandise, so I doubt anyone cares about their opinion.

Andrea Agnelli

Juventus’ CEO resigned after the the idea for the ESL collapsed. He was one of it’s biggest supporters.

So was the whole drama with the ESL well planned bluff from the 12 owners? Or they didn’t expect the backlash from the fans? Did they just blackmail UEFA for the changes in the Champions League? Just a day after the announcement of the ESL, UEFA announced changes to the CL. And the difference between the two is not that big. CL becomes 36 team league. Every team will play 10 teams, 5 home and 5 away. Teams with high club coefficient that couldn’t reach top 4 in their respective league will qualify automatically.

In fan’s eyes UEFA are now the good guys. Is this true and will they keep working for the good of football? Or they achieved their goal to be European football’s monopolist again and they don’t really care about the well being of football as long as they get the money from it?

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