Soccer

Pep Guardiola on European Super League: ‘It is not a sport if success is guaranteed’

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola touched on the proposed Super League on Tuesday, saying that it isn’t a sport if success is guaranteed. Currently, 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs announced plans to join the proposed midweek continental competition that is viewed by the majority as a foolish, damaging money-grab by clubs with already massive resources. The idea of the competition is being headed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. Major leagues, federations and clubs around the continent have already spoken out against the idea. 

City, on the verge of winning the Premier League and also potentially 180 minutes away from advancing to the Champions League final, are one of the potential founding members. With serious concerns as to how this could forever alter the landscape of European soccer, and what it could mean for the smaller, less financially stable clubs, Guardiola finally gave his take when speaking to the press. 

“It is uncomfortable for us because we don’t have all the info. I can give you my opinion, but no more. I would love the president of the committee to go out around the world and explain how we got this decision. I support my club. I love to be part of this club. But I also have my opinion,” Guardiola said. “Right now it is just a statement. That’s why it is uncomfortable for the managers. As I said, I don’t have all the info. I have some info. If you ask me why these teams have been selected to play this hypothetical competition in the future… sport, is not a sport when the relationship between effort and reward does not exist. It is not a sport if success is guaranteed or if it doesn’t matter when you lose.”

The competition would include 15 established clubs and then five teams that earn direct qualification. With the future of clubs in their domestic leagues potentially in jeopardy if they break off, Guardiola admitted he is concerned about what that could mean for the world’s most popular league, the Premier League. 

“I have said many times I want a successful Premier League, not just one team at the top. I don’t know if the statement will change and four or five teams will be able to go up. No, because it is an embryo that is still not yet breathing. It is just a statement. It is not breathing. It is a reality. We are going to play the UCL next week and try to reach the final. Next season, we are going to play in Europe because we deserve it. 

“It is a worldwide issue and it needs to be clarified why these teams are in and others aren’t like Ajax who have four or five Champions Leagues. They have to clarify that. Arriving at this point, UEFA have failed. They have to clarify all the information. We fought to make five subs in the toughest season ever because of the pandemic and people fought for themselves. Everyone is struggling in this situation. They have to clarify and make it real clear what is the next step and then people can decide what to do. Then we have to go together as much as possible. But at the same time, don’t be cynical. Everyone thinks for themselves.”

Guardiola wasn’t exactly clear on his stance. While he said that it isn’t a sport if the success is guaranteed and questioned why a big club like Ajax isn’t involved, he also didn’t completely condemn the idea, leaving the window open for the uncertainty of what is to come.

The British government is already getting involved to try and stop this from happening, and all that is certain for now is that there are some crazy days ahead. 

For more on the latest developments on the Super League and all things world soccer, click here



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