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How a European Breakaway League Will Impact USA Soccer

Paul Myers MBA

USA soccer players will be caught in the cross-fire of European Football

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Reports from the sporting arena indicate that a proposal to form a breakaway super football league in Europe is taking shape in the form of a new competition, with the biggest cohort coming from the UK Premier League.

An announcement is expected to be made on Sunday evening.

Both the Premier League and football governing body, UEFA, have condemned any breakaway league.

Billion Dollar League

According to press reports, a number of sporting goliaths have agreed to join the new $10 billion league.

The UK based clubs on board so far are:

  • Arsenal
  • Chelsea
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Liverpool
  • Tottenham

Plus the following clubs from mainland Europe:

  • Barcelona
  • Juventus
  • Real Madrid
  • AC Milan

So far Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have insisted that they have not signed up, but it remains to be seen if they or indeed other top European clubs will follow suit.

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UEFA labelled the elite splinter league as a “cynical project” driven by the “self-interest of a few clubs”, those who hold money and power.

It's understood that UEFA will hold an emergency meeting today, on Sunday, which may involve contacting some of Europe’s top clubs about their intent to join the breakaway super-league.

Implications for players and fans

One threat mooted for those who plan to leave their domestic leagues will risk players being banned from all competition, which includes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next summer.

Football associations in Italy, Spain and the UK have reiterated this threat, proposing to ban players from breakaway clubs from participating in "any competition at domestic, European or world level."

Although an agreement has yet to be reached, the situation would be a game-changer for the future of the beautiful game and its followers; the impact of which could ripple around the sporting world.

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The breakaway entity is thought to be the brainchild of Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, and will be financed by US banking heavyweight JP Morgan.

US owners who control clubs like Manchester United (The Glazer family) and Liverpool (John W. Henry) are believed to be supportive of Perez. A move that will separate the elite from smaller clubs. Uefa’s said that:

"Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.”

A European Super League will effectively separate the elite from smaller clubs, widening the wealth gap in the process.

A recent Premier League statement confirmed that it:

"Condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid."

The concept of a European Super League "would destroy the dream" of fans who relish the opportunity to watch their club play the biggest teams in the world.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game."

The move seems to be "driven exclusively by greed." The benefactors are the investments bankers, oligarchs, the super-rich, hedge funds, and a dozen or so wealthy clubs in Europe.

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US players in Europe

The US national team will be caught up in the aftershock if this goes ahead with two of the top five players employed by members of the proposed Super-League:

  • Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
  • Weston McKennie (Juventus)
  • Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Reggie Cannon (Boavista)
  • Ian Harkes (Dundee United)

Also, with dozens of other US players plying their trade in Europe, the impact could be more severe by the time the 2022 World Cup kicks off.

The ramifications for the US Women's national team will be much worse as far more US female players are represented in Europe than their male colleagues.

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