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From Super League To Super Flop: Rival European Soccer Endeavor Collapses

From Super League To Super Flop: Rival European Soccer Endeavor Collapses

The Super League, a new challenger to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), has been suspended when more than half of the 12 founding members abruptly withdrew amid growing pressure from government officials and soccer fans.

Yellow Card: The week began with the announcement of the Super League, which sought to rival UEFA for both the allegiance of the continent’s soccer fans and for the lucrative corporate sponsorships that back the sport. The initial plans for the league were to have 15 founding teams, with a corresponding women’s league to begin at a later date.

Reaction to the league among European soccer fans was overwhelmingly negative, particularly in the U.K., where half of the 12 teams are based. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to prevent the league from taking off and Prince William tweeting his opposition to the endeavor by warning of “the damage it risks causing to the game we love.”

See Also: Benzinga's Early Bird Morning Show

Red Card: The six English soccer clubs within the new league – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United PLC (NYSE: MANU) and Tottenham – caved to the pressure put on them and abruptly pulled out. Two Italian teams in the league, A.C. Milan, Inter Milan, and two Spanish teams, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, also quit.

At the moment only two founding teams, Italy’s Juventus FC SpA (OTC: JVTSF) and Spain’s Real Madrid, did not officially announce their departure. The new league’s chairman, Florentino Pérez, is also the president of Real Madrid.

Several teams have publicly apologized for being part of this initiative, with Arsenal publishing an open letter on its website and Liverpool owner John Henry offering his regrets via a tweeted video.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) had committed to providing the Super League with the initial financing. The lender did not offer a public comment on the league’s collapse.

(Photo by Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr Creative Commons)


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