In marked contrast to previous statements on the subject, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has publicly disavowed the idea of forming a European “Super-League” of elite teams, supplanting the Champions League and breaking away from the existing national leagues.
Rummenigge addressed speculation about the super-league in a wide-ranging discussion with Austrian journalists. As head of the European Club Association, Rummenigge’s past support for the idea seemed to bolster the prospect that the top clubs of Europe really might leave their respective national leagues and found a closed, elite league to compete among themselves.
Now, however, Rummenigge has changed his tune. Whereas “some clubs from southern countries want [a super-league],” he opposes the idea:
I am no friend of a European super-league. The fans do not want it; we should respect their needs. And I believe the national leagues have their own appeal, are important, and should remain in their present form.
It is surely significant that Rummenigge cited the lack of fan support for the concept of a super-league. Bayern Munich’s own ultras were among the most prominent opponents of the super-league, sending an unmistakable message to the Bayern chairman from their seats:
"A sporting spirit has to enliven everyone who calls himself a Bayern fan. Super league? Cut the rubbish" #FCBSLB pic.twitter.com/66mKO649jj— DW Sports (@dw_sports) April 5, 2016
It seems that the message was received.