With football and the Christmas break intervening, the breaks have been put on the war for European football between the Superleague (read here Real Madrid and Barcelona) and UEFA. However it will not be long before it resumes again. Following permission from the European Court of Justice to begin a new competition without sanctions, organisers A22 are upping the promotional efforts.
While claims about just how fair and open their new format is have been received with plenty of scepticism, it is usually the money that commands the room. There is little clarity on exactly where it is coming from, but the Superleague seem keen to emphasize that UEFA are not getting the most out of their competitions.
According to Sport, the Superleague will begin with an opening budget of €15b over the first three years, which will nearly double the annual €2.5b output from UEFA currently. During his presentation of the new format, A22 CEO Bernd Reichart claimed the financing would come from North-American and European investors, as well as advertising revenue from their streaming platform Unify. Despite the promise of free football for all, €4.6b would be distributed between the participating clubs, and the remaining €400m would be paid to other clubs and grassroots football in solidarity payments.
Until the Superleague can convince other big hitters to come on board, it seems a tricky project to forge ahead with. Perhaps the key issue is that there is not only pressure from the UK Government on Premier League sides not to join a Superleague, but also a lack of incentive from their perspective, given they might make a little more money, but lose ground on their European opponents in the status quo.