Poll suggests nearly two-thirds of UK fans now back European Super League

Support was found to be especially high among fans of Manchester City and Chelsea.

Jamie Gardner
Monday 04 March 2024 16:30 GMT
Supporters hold up a banner opposing the original Super League plans in 2021 (Adam Davy/PA)
Supporters hold up a banner opposing the original Super League plans in 2021 (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Almost two-thirds of UK football fans are in favour of the creation of a European Super League, according to new research commissioned by the competition’s promoters.

Sixty-five per cent of 835 UK fans polled by French company Opinion Way were in favour or somewhat in favour of the new format put forward in December 2023, with support especially high among Manchester City and Chelsea supporters – 85 and 81 per cent respectively.

English football supporters took to the streets to protest against the creation of the original ESL in April 2021, which collapsed within 72 hours of its launch.

However, A22 says the new research shows “substantial support” for the new formats it presented just before Christmas for a 64-team men’s competition and a 32-team women’s event.

Overall, the survey canvassed the views of 6,458 fans aged 15 and over across eight countries – France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal, as well as the UK.

Football fans were defined as “people reporting to be fairly or very interested in football”.

Across the whole group, 72 per cent were in favour or somewhat in favour of the new formats. Support was higher among the younger age groups, with 86 per cent of the 956-strong group aged 15 to 24 in favour.

The survey also looked at the responses according to the clubs the 835 UK fans said they supported; 509 fans said they were supporters of ‘Big Six’ clubs, all of whom signed up to the original Super League in 2021.

We have evidence that the desire for a European Super League as a much more exciting alternative to the current European club football competition is stronger than ever

Bernd Reichart

Of the 75 City supporters surveyed, 85 per cent supported the new ESL proposal and 81 per cent of the 63 Chelsea supporters were in favour.

The lowest level of support among ‘Big Six’ clubs was at Tottenham, where 55 per cent of the 54 fans surveyed were in favour.

Under the new-look Super League, just 20 teams would be able to qualify for the third-tier ‘Blue League’ via domestic competition each season.

“We have evidence that the desire for a European Super League as a much more exciting alternative to the current European club football competition is stronger than ever,” A22 chief executive Bernd Reichart said.

Reichart said talks with clubs had “intensified” since December’s European Court of Justice ruling and that A22 had received “positive feedback” about its plans, giving it “great confidence that we are on the right track”.

The ECJ’s Grand Chamber found UEFA prior authorisation rules which blocked the formation of the Super League in 2021 were contrary to European Union law.

UEFA introduced new rules in 2022 in consultation with the European Commission. European football’s governing body said it would fully review those rules in light of the ECJ ruling.

UEFA is changing the format of its three main men’s club competitions for next season, while a new Women’s Champions League format kicks off in 2025-26.

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