The death of Women’s Football? The pros and cons of a European Super League

Lyon

How dare they! How dare a handful of Europe’s richest and most distinguished clubs so unremorsefully disregard the rest of the football world purely in the name of greed.

Nobody has fallen for these lies and nobody will fall for these false promises, because everybody realises this is little more than a box-ticking PR stunt. A supposed European Women’s Super League that will not involve Europe’s most successful clubs, is neither super nor representative of the quality of teams across the continent.

Juventus only founded a women’s team in 2017. Manchester United followed suit a year later, while Real Madrid Femenino were only formed this season. Yet all three sides will allegedly be a part of this new competition, which reputedly aims to “help advance and develop the women’s game.”

Charlie Charmichael, Snack Media’s Deputy Head of Content, put it simply: “Make no mistake about it: this is an attack on footballing democracy and the very essence of sporting integrity. In an age of hyper-capitalism, it appears football has finally sunken to its nadir.”

There are little more details to go by at the moment, other than this new league will start as soon as “practicable.” It is currently understood that those competing will be the same as on the men’s side, though this information is not finalised.

Are there any positives to take from this news? Or is there truly no way to remotely justify this reprehensible behaviour? Here’s a break-down of the pros and cons to take from what we know so far:

Pros:

1. Absolutely none


Cons

1. Where are the best teams?

If the league does consist of purely the same teams as the men’s division, then this means no Lyon and no Wolfsburg. Together these two sides have won nine of the last 10 Champions League’s, including five in a row for the French giants.

How can a league profess to contain the best of the best when it doesn’t even contain the best ever? Equally, Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Lyon’s conquerors this year in PSG will also be absent from the tournament as it stands, further highlighting the lack of elite women’s teams in a purportedly superior competition.

Even if these senior figures at the heart of this new proposal try to lure the likes of Lyon over to their side, it won’t happen. The damage has already been done. Why would the club associate itself with a collective that has deemed its men’s team unworthy of inclusion?

Contrast Lyon’s absence with Liverpool’s incorporation. The Merseyside club have been rightly lambasted for their lack of investment in their women’s side in recent years and the club aren't even currently in the top flight. Sat fourth this season in the Championship, it is utterly ludicrous to assume they could compete with any other team in this Super League.

Lyon

2. The Champions League was just getting better

Perhaps the most infuriating thing about this new proposal is that it comes at a time when the Women’s Champions League was going from strength to strength.

Rightly criticized in the past for its structure which included two-legged finals, next season is set to be the first time the competition has a proper group stage, similar to the way the men’s tournament operates.

With the likes of Lyon dominating for the last decade, this season has also seen more competitive matches than ever before, with either Chelsa, Bayern Munich, PSG or Barcelona, assured to be a first-time winner this year.

PSG

3. It’s no more than an afterthought

Within the Super League Club’s statement last night, there was a single paragraph dedicated to the launch of the women’s league. A few lines, without any specific information, that served to cover any assertion that they had failed to acknowledge the women’s game.

Instead, what it shows is a lack of imagination. Dangling an illogical, indistinct female equivalent to the billion-dollar men’s super league that’s been in the works for years is arguably even worse than saying nothing.

Considering five of the 12 teams set to be involved have never qualified for the Women’s Champions League, it’s even more perplexing for them to assume they should be part of a rival competition.


4. It’s in danger of falling into the same vices as the men’s game

Just a couple of weeks ago we were celebrating the announcement of a ground-breaking new broadcasting deal for the WSL. An opportunity for women’s football to grow, to flourish and for a number of teams to benefit.

There were long term plans for the money to be offered up across the football pyramid. 25% of revenue was set to go straight to Championship clubs, but who knows what will happen now.

Will broadcasters re-evaluate? Will they try and get the rights to this new Super League? Will clubs across different tiers still benefit?

The men’s game has reached a point where the ills and vices are too resolute to be displaced, but women’s football is still capable of avoiding this same fate. Distancing themselves from the European Super League at all costs is the only way to stop this eventuality.



Unless UEFA, governing bodies, or players find a way to intervene then football as we know it is officially dead. Even then it might not be enough. The level of integrity has been compromised to such an extent that these clubs are too far gone already. There is no turning back now. UEFA won’t forgive, fans won’t forget, so instead the teams will look to “fans of the future”–– those that weren’t born before football became a cesspit of corruption.

These clubs expect to be lauded as the pioneers of change –– part of a vision that will revolutionise football moving forward. In reality though, as fans look back on the previous age that served to act in their best interests, they’ll perpetually be remembered as the behemoths that killed the game as we knew it.

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