European Super League back in the News

The issue of a European super league has raised its head above the parapet once more, with major benefits apparently attached for “Scottish top clubs”. That’s according to the chief executive of the project, Bernd Reichart of A22.

After criticism of the previous plans, a new -well kind of – competition is now being proposed by A22, who were also the company who promoted the other controversial version of the Super League which launched briefly before disappearing just as quickly in April 2021 – and after a significant supporter revolt.

Now it has been reported that A22 and Reichart have spoken to nearly 50 European clubs, alongside other stakeholders, to develop the foundation for a new competition. He did not confirm whether Celtic or theRangers were among those clubs but did helpfully ‘analyse the situation’ that the A22 idea would have on ‘Scottish top clubs’, with Reichart telling the PA News agency –

“Analysing the situation of the Scottish top clubs, the situation they’re in is quite comparable to other European leagues where domestic revenues are not sufficient to grant competitiveness on the bigger European stage, although they have every condition to be one of the big European clubs – football tradition, modern stadia, passionate fan base, historic track record and trophies. 

“What can change for big clubs in small leagues was one of the essential assessments we did over the course of the last six months.” 

The original Super League was heavily criticised as it proposed that 15 clubs would be permanent members of a 20-team competition, with no threat of failing to qualify for those permanent members. A22 is now proposing an open, 60 to 80-team multi-divisional format, guaranteeing competing teams at least 14 European matches per season. 

“I see a big opportunity in a multi-divisional system which is granting access to 60 or 80 clubs to have a strong second column (of revenue) you can build your ambition on. 

“Currently the recurrent, solid competition you’re building your project on is your domestic league. 

“If those big clubs in smaller countries would have a chance of a stronger, more sustainable, more predictable European footprint, with a guaranteed amount of matches ahead of the season they qualified for, that could actually give them, step by step, an opportunity to have a more meaningful European path and build that project and their European ambition on something which is more predictable. 

“It’s more stable than qualifying for the Champions League or trying to go through the previous rounds of qualification, because for a lot of clubs the Champions League and the other UEFA competitions are far from being wide open.” 

Any new Super League project will certainly depend on the outcome of a European Court of Justice Grand Chamber ruling expected later in the year, after A22 brought a case against UEFA and FIFA, where they argued the governing bodies were abusing a dominant position under European competition law by first blocking the previous Super League proposal, and then seeking retribution against those clubs who went public with their support for it.

Given the hue and cry that followed the first attempt at the Super League and UEFA and FIFA’s strong stance on the matter it may well be that Celtic would be steering well clear of this, at least until the outcome of all the legalities is concluded.

At present Celtic can access six Champions’ League group stage fixtures and as of 2024 that will rise to ten as the Champions League reverts to the ‘Swiss model’, whereby, Instead of the group system, in practise for years, the 2024 league will have all 36 teams (up from 32 presently) in one group. Teams will play 10 matches instead of six as of now.

A22’s proposal would see Celtic remain playing in the Scottish Premiership, but instead of Champions League football it would “open, 60 to 80-team multi-divisional format” meaning Celtic could in theory be guaranteed a minimum of 14 games.

As much as the initial idea was greatly flawed and presented very much as a closed shop, it seems inevitable that a Super League will emerge in some format in the future, despite the governing bodies railing against it and the understandable supporter backlash two years ago.

Celtic are in no position to commit to anything, particularly when there remains little substance at this juncture, but it would make sense to ensure we remained part of any conversations arising.

Celtic are arguably hamstrung by their environment when it comes to accessing advertising money and TV rights and it could well be Celtic would prefer not to court A22 at present, but may instead take a ‘keep us informed’ stance going forward.

Niall J


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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Niall
    I also believe that a European Super league still isn’t a totally dead duck either just yet.
    I think there are far to many of the leagues within European football that aren’t competitive enough in terms of who is actually going to win that particular league, even in Scotland it remains a 1 horse league currently with the scum without competition for 2nd place still, which is embarrassing for such a shite 2nd place team.
    Also believe that the scum pumped everything thing into the original proposal in order to get themselves out of the finical mess they were in, while we sat back and even sacrificed the 10iar season to see what the potential outcome could be upon the super league.
    Still believe a super league could be in the offering, especially if the clubs involved were to run 2nd teams within there own domestic leagues as such.
    Could still run current European competition within its current format and potential winners of a CL could gain promotion to the super league with the bottom team getting relegated back to there own domestic league.
    Would open up the whole of European football, especially if the bigger clubs were able to finance 2 teams and certainly believe celtic would be in a position to do so.
    Of course the biggest problem could be with the potential congestion of fixtures, but this could also be eased with international football having to big of an impact upon domestic football, especially when most of the players would be coming from super league teams for international football mostly.
    Who knows how it could unfold still, but like I said earlier wouldn’t say its a non runner and potentially something celtic as a club would be potentially very interested in I would say