Carragher says Super League plans ‘merely in hibernation’ after Boehly comments

·3-min read
Jamie Carragher, June 2022 Credit: PA Images
Jamie Carragher, June 2022 Credit: PA Images

Jamie Carragher believes the much-maligned Super League plans are “merely in hibernation” amid Todd Boehly’s arrogant comments about the Premier League this week.

English football was rocked in April 2021 when news of plans to implement a new European Super League emerged. Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs had signed up to the new proposal, which was aimed at rivalling the Champions League.

Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City all signed up to the breakaway league. With the initial 15 founding members from Europe’s top leagues exempt from relegation. While the final five teams of the 20 teams proposed would ‘qualify’ based on their respective achievements in the season prior.

Fortunately the idea was shelved as quickly as it emerged. Fans from the Premier League clubs were up in arms, while governing bodies along with then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson all rejected the plans.

Manchester City were the first to confirm it was out. They announced in a one-sentence statement that it had begun the process of withdrawing from the project. And the remainder followed suit, leaving the plans in tatters only two days after it was announced.

Carragher though believes the plans have not been totally shelved and thinks the plans are on a backburner. And this week’s comments from new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly only prove as much, says Carragher.

Carragher ‘disturbed’

At a conference this week in New York, the American put forward a new relegation idea. He believes the four lowest teams in the Premier League should compete in a mini tournament. The loser of which would go down.

He also proposed a ‘north vs south’ all-star game, similar to the ones which happen in the NBA and NFL. Basically he wanted the Premier League to look towards the example set be American sports.

“Ultimately I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports,” Boehly said.

Boehly’s comments have since been roundly condemned by everyone, including Carragher, who thinks Boehly is the type of character to resurrect such plans.

In his Daily Telegraph column, Carragher wrote: “What disturbed me most about Boehly’s comments in midweek is that they proved such cynicism to be correct.

Independent regulator needed

“The sentiments which led to the Super League fiasco are not dead, merely in hibernation. With businessmen like Boehly waiting to seize the next opportunity to mould our game into an ill-fitting vision, his comments suggesting English football is not generating as much cash as it should be.

“That is why my Sky Sports colleague, Gary Neville, is so adamant an independent regulator is needed. Ensuring what begins as an ‘opinion’ does not turn into a plan formulated by the most powerful clubs.

“I am not one of these ‘traditionalists’ who are against brainstorming meetings in which football’s administrators look to the future and find new means of exciting supporters and, yes, making money in the process.

“That is what keeps the sport driving forward. Even if – as in all parts of society – I am passionate about wealth being distributed more fairly rather than the rich getting richer.

“Football needs people with vision. Let’s not forget the idea of teams from different countries playing each other in a European competition was considered radical and controversial once. With the English Football Association initially reluctant to participate.”

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