Sunday’s announcement of a long-feared European ‘Super League’ raised the possibility of unprecedented change in football, with the 12 founding clubs seemingly at threat of being kicked out of other competitions as a result.
The Premier League’s so-called “big six”, Spanish giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid and Serie A trio Juventus, Milan and Inter have broken ranks and agreed to the formation of the breakaway competition.
Sunday’s uniform announcement from most of the clubs involved confirmed the Super League will be made up of 15 founding clubs – with three to be added to the initial 12 – and unconfirmed guest teams.
It will run as a midweek tournament alongside the teams’ respective domestic leagues and guarantees the founding clubs a share of €3.5billion “solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic”.
But, pre-empting the announcement following widespread media speculation, UEFA released a statement co-signed by the national associations of England, Spain and Italy, and those countries’ respective top-flight leagues. It reiterated a threat to ban players and teams involved from competing in other competitions.
While that is a debate that will rage on for some time, with the legality of such measures unclear for the moment, it raises the possibility of a Premier League without its “big six”, a LaLiga missing Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Serie A expelling Juve, Milan and Inter.
With that in mind, we looked at what those three divisions would look like in the – admittedly unlikely – event that the 12 Super League clubs are expelled and results involving them are expunged…
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin: “This new format supports the status and future of the domestic game throughout Europe. It retains the principle that domestic performance should be the key to qualification and reconfirms the principles of solidarity… and open competition.” pic.twitter.com/ir0OCHQpzr
— UEFA (@UEFA) April 19, 2021
Who’d have thought in 2013 when he was appointed as Alex Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United that David Moyes’ first Premier League title would come as West Ham boss?
Well, if the “big six” were expelled and their results were void, it would be the Hammers sitting at the top of the pile – and by some distance.
Moyes’ men would be on 49 points from 21 matches having suffered just two defeats.
Leading European football clubs announce new Super League competition.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 18, 2021
Curiously, the exclusion of the Super League clubs would seemingly harm Leicester City, as they have lost just three matches to them in 2020-21 – West Ham have been beaten seven times by “big six” opposition.
Nevertheless, Leicester would still be on course to get back in the Champions League. Leeds United (1.8) and Everton (1.6) would appear to be the favourites to join them, by virtue of their better points-per-game record than Aston Villa (1.5).
Fair play to Real Betis, who have already embraced a future without Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona by deleting them from the Liga table that sits on their website.
Unfortunately for Betis, that same table now has their bitter rivals Sevilla sitting pretty at the summit.
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis_en) April 19, 2021
In fact, Sevilla probably shouldn’t be ruled out of the real title race just yet given they are actually only six points behind leaders Atletico and still have to face Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid.
In our LaLiga table excluding the “big three”, Sevilla have 60 points from 26 games, giving them a 13-point lead over Villarreal.
It also highlights just how bad Los Nervionenses’ record against Madrid, Barca and Atletico is, as they have taken just four points from them this term.
Rounding off the top four would be Betis in third and Real Sociedad in fourth.
Juventus’ stranglehold on Serie A looks set to end regardless of any action from UEFA and the league. Having won each of the previous nine Scudetti, the Old Lady have been dire under Andrea Pirlo for much of the season.
So, helping establish a new semi-closed competition under the guise of needing better opponents is the logical step…
While Atalanta would sit top of a Serie A without Juve, Inter and Milan, technically it’s Lazio who would be on course for title success.
The Biancocelesti have played a game less than Atalanta but would only be behind them on goal difference – their points-per-game record is 2.24, slightly more than the Bergamo side’s 2.15.
Napoli (2.12) and Roma (1.96) would remain in the running as well were the “big three” to be dumped out of the competition.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) April 18, 2021
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