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Opinion: The night European football died

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With tonight's announcement of the European Super League, the world mourns the death of European football as we’ve known it.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BAYERN MUNICH-HOFFENHEIM Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

The European football world is in mourning.

The scene as we know it is on life support, threatened by the insatiable greed of 12 known clubs in England, Spain and Italy. No one better represented Europe’s, and much of the world’s disdain, than English and Manchester United great Gary Neville, who absolutely destroyed the notion of such a league, even getting as far as going after his own club. Also sharing the disgust is English commentator, Ian Darke.

Neville wasn’t the only one showing gross disdain. Every major football association in Europe publicly disavowed the potential Super League, which sets up a court battle over the future of European soccer. With a precedent already been set years prior (Past BFW editor John Dillon wrote about that here), the court battle may have already been decided before it even reaches a hearing. That, however, did not stop the extremely hard line made by UEFA, FIFA, and the various European FAs.

So now, all we have is a dark cloud hanging over the remainder of this season’s Champions League. This is not to say the current iteration of the Champions League was anything but a money grab, with the Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain being dubbed “Oil Classico”. But this European Super League is nothing more than an abomination carried by pure unadulterated greed. Right here, right now, how should the “Big 6” be privileged enough to make their own league. Is the competition of the Champions League and the Premier League that woeful? Is the notion of event’s like 2015’s epic Leicester City 5000-to-1 odds title victory that daunting? What league is truly excited about “competition” when they’re drawing in the current 6th, 7th, and 9th place Premier League teams for a supposed “Super” league?

But with rumors of the “Big 6” clubs leaving the European Club Association, the dreams of the Champions League Tuesday and Wednesday nights are surely dead. All thanks to greed. To further compound it, while FC Bayern Munich said no to the Super League and stayed on the side of UEFA, word is RB Leipzig is set to join the Super League as one of the “three unknown” teams. Which, let’s face it: RB Leipzig is the plastic club of the Bundesliga, so it’s only fitting they make this mistake as well.

European soccer weeps. We weep for it. The Super League means the end of the Domestic League as we know it. What domestic league is complete without some of the most historic clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona? What is La Liga without El Clásico or the Premier League without the Manchester Derby? Noted Bundesliga commentator and the voice of FIFA 21, Derek Rae, expressed the feeling of the loss of the heart and soul of soccer in a way that very few of us could.

This is not some next evolutionary step in the Champions League. I have said this already and I will say it again: the infection that has swept European football is greed. There has been foreshadowing of a European Super League for years. The signs have been there: State-owned oligarchs buying teams, ridiculous inflation of transfer prices, the same three or four teams winning the Champions League.

Bayern Munich is not innocent in this, although I would argue they’re not to blame either. Instead of taking the proper steps to fix the problem, it was allowed to fester and become a bloated infection that has turned into this Super League. But hey, at least the European Super League is not hiding what their intent is with their new anthem song.