Is a football Super League inevitable?

Long read: This year's attempted breakaway of Europe's biggest clubs was an abject failure of business planning, but the game’s unhealthy finances mean it is a question of when – not if – they try again.

by Bill Borrows

If being a billionaire means never having to say you’re sorry, nobody told the owners of the clubs behind football’s so-called European Super League. In April, they issued a succession of grovelling apologies as they resigned from a project they had very publicly committed to only a few days previously. It may have been the biggest and fastest volte face in corporate history, but it is far from the end of the story.

Contrite Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer, who has not given an interview about the club since 2005, appealed for forgiveness by way of the official website. Josh Kroenke, son of Arsenal owner Stan, subjected himself to trial by fans’ forum, while John W Henry took personal responsibility by confessing to Liverpool supporters on film that he had “let them down.”

Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid were also full of remorse, admitting to mistakes and errors of judgement and confessing to “not listening” (an unusual concept given all their moves before that point had been conducted under conditions of almost total secrecy). Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus refused either to apologise or to admit their scheme was now redundant. 

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today