There haven’t been many advocates for the European Super League, but Anglo-Italian agent Michael Di Stefano, who has worked in football for more than 20 years, advising players and clubs, told CNN Sport that the proposal was worthy of more consideration.
Di Stefano said that “maybe now is the time for those clubs to try a different format,” criticizing UEFA for being “unwilling to embrace” changes to the Champions League or to offer a larger share of revenue to big teams.
“The European tournament models have become, or maybe have always been, quite predictable,” he said. “The last time a football team from outside of that ‘Big 12’ won (the Champions League) was Porto in 2003/2004, or going back further, Borussia Dortmund in 1996 or Ajax in 1994.”
He argued clubs should be allowed to find new revenue streams.
“Football clubs don’t really make money and many of them, if not most of them, run off a model of deferring debt until the next big paycheck comes in — and that seems to be OK with everyone, but it shouldn’t be.
“This step was always inevitable and if it doesn’t happen this time and just ends up being a negotiating tactic, fair play to the clubs for strong-arming UEFA,” he said.
“But if it does happen, this will be another Premier League moment, another time where the game evolved quicker than what most people had expected,” he added, referring to the introduction of England’s top tier of football in 1992.
“Kicking this idea into the long grass makes everybody feel comfortable but I’ve been long looking forward to it.”
But Di Stefano did raise concerns about the relegation-free nature of the proposed league, which would be unique to European football.
“There are going to be inherent problems with this: the carbon copying of the MLS League structure won’t win too much favour on this continent, (and) relegation is required in European football,” he said.
“Fear of failure is required in European football but with some good compromise and tweaking, I don’t see why it can’t be as exciting or if not, more exciting than the current UEFA run tournaments.
“I know this argument is not going to make me many friends,” admitted Di Stefano. “But I’m not gonna lie, I’m excited by it and how it will evolve on our great continent.”
“And in closing, if I might be so bold: the fans should take a long hard look at the governing body and ask them: how did you let this happen,” he said.