Following a disastrous reception of the ESL by fans worldwide, six EPL teams—Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham—withdrew and are now set to pay a total fine of £20 million.
A meagre fine
In April, 12 clubs said they will play in a new European Super League, which would see them as founding, permanent members and the governors of the league. The league was set to start 'as soon as practical.'
This sparked heated debate online about the exclusionary nature of a league founded by football’s richest clubs. Notably, fans organized protests before two EPL games demanding the ESL be stopped.
Within days, the ESL lost half of its founding members after owners from the six English sides publicly apologized to their fans for their involvement.
Apologizing was not enough as now they will pay a fine, which is less than most of the transfer fees these clubs have paid for players individually in the last decade.
The money from the fines will be redistributed into grassroots and community projects, according to the BBC.
Need to totally restructure
The six EPL teams, as well as AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Atletico Madrid—three other founding members—have already agreed to pay a 15 million euros fine to UEFA. This agreement will include sacrificing 15 per cent of their UEFA competition revenues for the season of 2023-24.
Malcolm Clarke, the chair of the Football Supporters’ Association, said that the fines will do little to deter a breakaway league being formed in the future.
Whatever punishment the Premier League's in-house process decides upon, it cannot guarantee that clubs won't try similar again in the decades ahead.
Clarke called for a total restructuring of professional football, which would include 'an independent regulator, genuine power to fans, and wealth redistribution.'