UK domestic football teams brace for European Super League

Published by  Communications

On 20th Apr 2021

The proposed introduction of a European Super League in football raises several issues from a business and competition perspective, according to UEA expert, Dr Peter Dawson, who explores the economics of sports.  

Dr Dawson said: "The proposed introduction of a European Super League in football (soccer) raises several issues from a business and competition perspective.  

Clearly the attraction for the 'big' clubs (although defining what is a big club is a challenge in itself) is that they can play other 'big' clubs more frequently and, at least for the founder members, there is no threat posed by relegation. So, in this respect the league becomes closer to the franchise system (closed leagues) that operate in the major North American sports. This creates more certainty from a business perspective and probably more demand if there is an appetite amongst consumers to watch the top teams play each other more often.   

"A more interesting question is what happens to domestic leagues? Will the clubs that compete in the European Super League also be allowed to compete in their domestic leagues? If they are then this is likely to further widen the gap in terms of competitiveness because the teams competing in the European League will get (even) bigger relative to clubs that only compete in their domestic leagues.   

"On the other hand, if teams that compete in the European Super League are excluded from their domestic league - or indeed decide to breakaway - then this is likely to increase competitiveness of the domestic league, but at the cost that the league becomes less attractive because the top players for the big clubs are not represented and hence the domestic league becomes commercially less attractive." 

Dr Peter Dawson is an associate professor in economics in the School of Economics. He explores the economics of sports, addressing issues such as: home advantage; the performance of referees; the efficiency of sports team managers; and spectator habits. 

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