For years now, the spectre of a European Super League arriving to bring an NBA-style tournament to football has lingered. The rise and success of the European basketball EuroLeague has only increased the desire of the biggest football clubs in Europe to change. As opposed to the current UEFA Champions League format, it is believed the biggest clubs want something more akin to a league to give them bigger, continental matches on a weekly basis.
However, despite being seen as a ‘big five’ leagues desire, supremos at the German Bundesliga have moved to make clear their displeasure about the circumstance.
Indeed, at a meeting to discuss the future of the game, Christian Seifert of the German Football League did not hold back on his views of an ESL taking place. Addressing the topic at the Business of Football event via the Financial Times, Siefert was quick to be open about how he felt regarding the development of a European Super League.
Chief among the drivers of such a move are Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, who see a European Super League as the ideal remedy to their financial woes.
What did Christian Siefert say?
During the event, Siefert was asked what his views were about the European Super League plan becoming a reality. With the Bundesliga seen as the most community-connected of the major European leagues, their view would be seen as emblematic of where the discussion presently is. In response, he exploded, saying: “If I was an investor, I’d ask if they’re the right partners.
“In the end, they will burn this money, like that they burned in the last few years. They should think about developing a sustainable business model, salary caps.”
He also intimated that many of the clubs at the top of the ESL wishlist are “poorly managed” and are “cash-burning machines”, believing that they need the ESL more than the ESL model would need them. Siefert also suggested that such clubs have cost themselves millions of Euros in poor decision making, short-term spending, and debt building.
Interestingly, one club that would be seen as among the main beneficiaries of an ESL would be German champions FC Bayern. Having seemingly outgrown the domestic German game, it is likely that Bayern would like to see more high profile games against the likes of Madrid and Barcelona. However, they have been non-committal at best regarding the sign-up to a European Super League.
As such, despite all of the bluster and talk, it looks like people like Siefert have the idea pegged for what it is: a short-term solution to high-spending clubs that can no longer bully their way to the top of the football pyramid.