European Super League could be bad news for self-funded clubs like Norwich says football finance expert

  • Report by ITV News Anglia journalist Andy Ward


It was announced on Sunday evening, 18th April, that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among 12 clubs who have committed to the proposed formation of a European Super League for elite football clubs.

All of the founding teams would be guaranteed a spot in the breakaway competition regardless of performance in their domestic leagues and would stand to earn hundreds of millions of pounds.

The idea has caused huge debate.

Mark Bonner has questioned the motives of the English clubs who've signed up to it.

Cambridge United Head Coach Mark Bonner has questioned the motives of the English clubs who've signed up to it.

He says there should be more sustainability within the sport globally, and believes that little thought has been given to the wider football pyramid.

What we've got in this country is admired around the world, the depth of the competition over here. And we should never lose site that clubs at our level, and below, are a huge huge part of the food chain. And if you cut that away and don't respect it, there won't be much of a game left.

Mark Bonner, Head Coach, Cambridge United
Six of England's top football clubs have confirmed their involvement in a breakaway European Super League. Credit: ITV News Anglia

How could this impact football clubs in our region?

After a Premier League promotion at the weekend, Norwich joins a league on the verge of civil war.

A European Super League could see huge ramifications for self-funded clubs like Norwich and those further down the footballing pyramid.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire says proposals for the breakaway league could be bad news for some of the region's clubs.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

The plans would see the top clubs in England play in a new midweek league, which Maguire says could see the richer clubs get richer.

I think the fear for clubs such as Norwich is that given that one of the things that the franchise clubs are very keen on is to take on some of the broadcasting rights themselves, if that this could also apply to the Premier League as well and that would mean an even further concentration of wealth.

Kieran Maguire

Despite this, Premier League football will bring a huge economic boost for both the club and the city.

It's estimated Norwich's return to the top flight will be worth at least a hundred million pounds in broadcast revenue.

Premier League football will still bring a huge economic boost for both the club and the city. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Unfortunately, the pandemic means there will be no repeat of the scenes we saw two years ago where fifty thousand Norwich fans lined the city's streets.

On this occasion, a couple of scarves outside City Hall will have to suffice - a stark contrast to the 2004 promotion winners who were the last Norwich team to be promoted so early in the season.

Two years ago where fifty thousand Norwich fans lined the city's streets. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to blocking the breakaway project, saying he will "look at everything that we can do" to stop the plans going ahead in their current form.

The Prime Minister says he's against plans to create a European Super League. Credit: ITV News

Mr Johnson condemned English football teams for being part of plans to breakaway from the Premier League, saying the proposals were not "good news for fans".


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