The day all of Europe said NO to the Super League – world media react
20th April 2021

The day all of Europe said NO to the Super League: Anger at ‘The Dirty 12’ boils across the continent as European media mourn the day ‘football breaks’

  • Newspapers from across Europe reacted to the European Super League plans
  • Plans were detailed for 12 of Europe’s elite clubs to form a breakaway league
  • Portuguese outlet A Bola spoke of ‘The Dirty 12’ in reference to the dozen teams
  • Italian outlet Tuttosport simply said ‘NO’ while other outlets declared it a ‘war’
  • MARTIN SAMUEL:  Nobody who loves football can feel for the charlatan Super League clubs the same way again… Damn them all to HELL 
  • EVERYTHING you need to know on a move that could change the game forever

The fury at the greed of 12 of Europe’s major clubs for the clandestine movements in forming the breakaway Super League is rapidly rising across the continent.

European media was a uniform reaction of shock on Monday as the game was left reeling by the Super League news but today, devastation has rightly turned to anger.

Wherever you look, from Spain to France, Portugal to Italy, the fury at what Portuguese publication A Bola has labelled ‘The Dirty 12’ is only intensifying.


Europe’s newspapers reacted unanimously in anger at plans for a European Super League with Portuguese newspaper A Bola (left) condemning ‘The Dirty 12’ who are breaking away


Spanish newspaper Sport (right) described the fight for these teams to leave as a ‘Total War’

It is A Bola’s front page which is perhaps the most striking on Tuesday – it resembles a wild west wanted poster with the emblems of the 12 founder clubs of the Super League.

‘The football world (and beyond) unites against the clubs that created the European Super League’, their front page says. 

Although according to fellow Portuguese publication Record, anger could soon be directed at someone a little closer to home as their front page says ‘Benfica try Super League’ alongside a picture of president Luís Filipe Vieira and the caption: ‘He wants a seat at the table worth millions’.

Portugal, so far as has been revealed, do not have a founding member in the Super League 12 but Italy do, with Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus all agreeing to be part of it.


Italian daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport called for authorities to ‘stop them’ while Portuguese outlet Record (left) dared Benfica to try and join the defecting teams


Papers from across Europe spoke of the annoyance and anger that these plans have brought

The Italian media were equally as unforgiving as their counterparts in Portugal, with Gazzetta dello Sport running the headline ‘FERMATELI!’, translating as ‘STOP THEM!’. 

Tuttosport ran a cross through the Super League team badges and simply wrote ‘NO’ over the top of it while Corriere dello Sport called for the dissenting teams to ‘immediately be out’.

All three Italian sides are out of European competition currently and have been criticised for trying to secure a place in a closed-shop division.

In Spain, a country also looking at three clubs defecting to the Super League with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid involved, Diario AS produced the most damning front page. 

The cover of Tuesday’s edition showed a football pitch that had been split in two and AS’s editorial team wrote ‘Football is broken’ as their headline. 

Mundo Deportivo focused on the financial ramifications with founding clubs set for £350m

UEFA’s Champions League is under serious threat of a breakaway league of the top teams

On one side of the broken pitch sat the logo for UEFA, the governing body for football in Europe, and on the other sat the badge for the newly formed Super League.

Madrid-based Marca ran a map of Europe on their front cover, writing ‘clamour against the Super League’ as they responded to the widespread condemnation. 

Mundo Deportivo focused on the financial windfall the defecting clubs would benefit from with £350million the reported figure for founding members. 

Sport labelled the last 48 hours since news broke of the breakaway plans as a ‘total war’ against football as fans know it. 

Plans were revealed on Sunday after it emerged that six Premier League teams had signed up to join a breakaway competition ‘as soon as is practicable’.   

Along with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham, Spanish sides Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, along with Italian trio Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan are looking to create a near closed-shop. 

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are understood to have rejected the idea, although the plan is to expand the league to 15 founding members. 

The promotional video for the controversial breakaway league called for a ‘new frontier’ 

 A promotional trailer was released – and then deleted – on Monday to show off member clubs

Major US bank JP Morgan, a former employer of Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, are debt financing the new league which will see founding clubs receive £3.03billion, which is set against future broadcast revenue.

In a statement from the European Super League organisers on Sunday night, confirming earlier reports, it was explained that plans for their inaugural season are to see a ‘new mid-week competition’. 

‘Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today [Sunday] come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs,’ the statement began.

‘AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs.

‘It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable. 

‘Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.’




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