British Super League: What would it look like and would it be a good idea?

Sam Preston April 22, 2021
British Super League: What would it look like and would it be a good idea?
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The plans for a European Super League are dead and buried. Don’t let Florentino Perez tell you otherwise.

But proposals for reforming the league structure to benefit the big boys refuses to go away – and The Sun is already reporting a new one has been cooked up.

The report states plans are afoot to form a British Super League that would include Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers.

Let’s take a look at what the new league would look like and whether it would be a good idea – or not!

What would a British Super League look like?

The Sun claims it would be an 18-club league. That in itself would cause problems, it would mean four Premier League clubs would be thrown out with the bath water.

Another element of the proposal is a play-off between the top four at the end of the season, as they do in Rugby Union.

But that’s only required because international rugby tournaments take place during the domestic season.

Top clubs are without their best players for a large chunk of every campaign, so it’s fairer to task them to finish in the top four at the end of the regular season before battling it out for the trophy in May.

The report also claims prime minister Boris Johnson would back the British Super League plan to ward off a second referendum on Scottish independence.

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Are there any reasons it would be a good idea?

The main reason Scottish sides can’t compete financially with their English counterparts is the huge disparity in broadcasting money.

Celtic and Rangers are huge clubs. They could tempt players who are currently being snapped up by smaller English teams if they could compete financially.

The British Super League would take them into that stratosphere.

At present, the Scottish giants represent an opportunity for younger players to prove themselves in British football and European competition before earning a lucrative move elsewhere.

The riches of this combined venture would stop that happening.

It would also provide a riposte to perceived English arrogance, which is already wafting about like a bad smell in the aftermath of the plans being reported.

Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate doubts Celtic or Rangers would beat his Championship side. He seems to have forgotten the Gers mixed it with the likes of Benfica and Galatasaray in the Europa League this season.

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Why it’s a bad idea

Having watched on as English football tore itself apart over greed and self-servitude this week, plenty of Celtic and Rangers fans wouldn’t want to see their club travel the same road.

Leaving to join a new league would sell Scottish football down the river.

Both clubs have a proud history of being champions of Scotland and that opportunity wouldn’t be there any more. That’s not an easy thing to leave behind.

The plans themselves don’t even sound particularly appealing. An 18-team league and a play-off to decide the winner?

It’s almost as though this is another pie in the sky threat to gain leverage rather than something tangible.

The European Super League collapsed in part because it was so ill-conceived – and that’s exactly how these plans come across.

They will generate a few days of debate in which English pundits who never watch Scottish football boldly claim Celtic or Rangers could never beat a run-of-the mill side from south of the border – and then fade again.

By the way, has England’s football pyramid come across as the kind of place you’d want to commit your club to in recent days?

A cesspit of gluttony and self-interest where only a handful of clubs could say with sincerity their owners wouldn’t have threatened the nation’s football ecosystem for the guarantee of £300 million a year?

It’s not worth getting involved with just to shut Jonathan Woodgate up.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.