By Charles Walker-Hoover
Staff Footy Analyst
There are several reasons why The Superleague is bad. There is nothing like soccer. In the United States, people may say that it’s boring and nothing like the NFL or NBA. But soccer is still the most popular sport in the world, and it has been around since ancient times. There are many names for it: Soccer, Football, Fútbol, Association Football, Footy, and Calcio. The game of football has united many communities, nationalities, and even countries. No matter what you call it or how you play it, it has brought together many people and nations. A game on a pitch (soccer field) will be understood by people of different languages, religions, and values.
In many countries, soccer is completely free, and it is played by many people from poor communities. There are many misconceptions about soccer, including that it is a sport for rich people or wealthy people. This specific fact has outraged many communities in the United States and it has prompted them to feel that certain communities are shut out of this game. Due to soccer’s inclusive nature, this is a critical issue. Small soccer communities exist all over the United States, which most Americans are unaware of. As is the case with most association football communities, they are located in low-income areas. Many Europeans doubt the presence of soccer in America, even though soccer is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States.
How is Organized Soccer Structured?
A soccer team is called a club. There are many different leagues and prizes that these clubs compete for around the globe. Countries also compete in separate tournaments specifically for Countries for these prizes. These prizes are won in tournaments where clubs compete against other clubs, in separate tournaments countries compete against other countries. One of the most popular tournaments is the FIFA World Cup. This is the biggest cultural collaboration and celebration of the game and one of the biggest events in all sports. Every 4 years 32 countries compete in group stages and a knockout tournament to crown the World Champion. The last Men’s World Cup was held in Russia. It was an interesting tournament that didn’t include the United States for the first time in over 20 years. Heartbreaking for me and Americans who are avid soccer fans.
In the leagues around the world, there is a system called Promotion and Relegation. Also called Pro/Rel it means instead of playoffs whoever comes in first wins the league. While this is happening the other teams in the league are battling each other for survival. The bottom three teams in the league get eliminated and have to play in the lower division the next season. While in the lower division the top three teams get promoted to play in the higher division the next season. This happens because soccer has an open system where teams from the lowest division, if they play well, could eventually make it to the highest division. American sports are different because it is a closed system, each team is a franchise and the bad teams have a chance to be good because there is a salary cap.
Each country also has its tournament where each team faces off in the elimination. These tournaments are called Cups. Teams from the lowest level face each other in the next level to the highest level. Similar to March Madness upsets happen all the time. It grows the game and these tournaments are traditions. Not to mention these cups bring money that helps grow the sport. The one in England is the Emirates FA Cup while the United States one is called the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Egalitarian Nature of Soccer
Teams from relative obscurity can rise to prominence over time. Leicester City did this in the English Premier League in 2016. They were promoted before the season from the 2nd division which is called the English Championship. No one saw them coming. It was the underdog story of a lifetime. The historic 2016 campaign saw them capture the hearts and minds of football (soccer) fans worldwide.
Their impressive accomplishment was winning the English Premier League (EPL). An enormous task in a league full of giants. The EPL is arguably one of the most competitive football leagues in the world. Teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City outspend the teams in their league. Nicknamed the “Big Six” they compete yearly to capture the Premier League title. Also, the top four spots guarantee automatic UEFA Champions League. The continental tournament where all of the best European teams compete to win the trophy. It’s also the second most-watched soccer event in the world. Not only did Leicester win the league they also qualified for the UEFA Champions League. This is nearly impossible for newly promoted teams because they usually don’t have the talent and without a salary cap, every dollar matters, however, there is no limit sometimes to what a team can spend.
The SuperLeague Represents Greed’s Grasp on Modern Professional Sport
The complication with no salary cap is teams can spend sometimes unnecessarily and overspend the amount they have. Nothing stopped teams from throwing ridiculous amounts of money at players. Then COVID-19 happened. Most businesses went under or faced financial hardships. Football (Soccer) clubs went through this same struggle. One solution to these financial hardships was The SuperLeague. In its basic form, the SuperLeague is an expanded version of the UEFA Champions League. All the best teams in the world would play each other on a more frequent basis. Proponents of the Super League may find it enticing, while opponents are furious. I’m against the Superleague because this would destroy the tradition of Cup games and take away from the traditions soccer (football) was founded on.
Fans matter in soccer whether it’s academy kids being taught by members of the community, grown ups playing Sunday league, or even fanatics of lower-level teams. The fans are special in soccer. They stood up and protested the SuperLeague and canceled the plans that were created. For now, football (soccer) is saved!