Sport

The battle of the EPLs

Recently, news of plans for a European Premier League have emerged, with a financial package of almost £5 billion being assembled to form the potential breakaway competition.

Unlike previous proposals for a European Super League, this idea is planned to work alongside the English Premier League. Nevertheless, whether or not the two competitions can work in tandem without damaging our domestic game has been questioned by fans, managers and pundits alike.

UEFA, whose renowned Champions League competition would be the most likely to make way for the new format, have been particularly critical of the proposed league, stating that it would ‘inevitably become boring’.

I am not inclined to disagree with them, for a significant part of the joy of our domestic competitions is the prospect of qualifying for Europe if you succeed in a particular campaign. Remove this and the rewards on offer for those not considered to be historically elite by the founders of this prospective competition are not anywhere near as enticing.

Furthermore, surely the moniker of being the best in Europe should be awarded to the team that is the best at that particular point in time; a title impossible to give out if some of the best European teams are denied entry into the very competition designed to determine this. Why should historical success be given priority over current dominance?

The same teams playing a round-robin tournament of home and away midweek fixtures against one another year after year would surely grow tiresome too. In the Champions League, you never know who you are going to draw; it is this drama that football fans like me live for.

However, if you have grown worried reading this article, although FIFA’s lack of a denial of support for the proposals may not assuage your fears, there is other information out there that might.

UEFA has lucrative broadcasting contracts in place up until 2024, and there have been reports that they plan to expand the competition, rather than losing any of its regular participants.

Therefore, the rumoured provisional start date of 2022 for the European Premier League is likely nothing but a pipe dream and if the recent media reaction to the proposal is anything to go by, the idea of the competition may fade away altogether.

Besides, if the competition did come into fruition, footballing debates would get ever so slightly more confusing. What EPL are you talking about?

English Premier League?

European Premier League?

The way I see it, it would be Every Person Loses.

Aside from 10 to 24 billionaires, of course.

15/12/2020

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Luke Saward


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