Crawley Town fan's view: Super League debacle shows the need for a review

The furore over the proposed European Super League showed the crassness of the original proposals and its demise has been welcomed by genuine football fans of all colours.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:10 pm
Supporters hold up placards critical of the idea of a European Super League, outside Stamford Bridge, ahead of Chelsea's game against Brighton. Picture by Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

It also showed that change is needed at the top even if its primary intent was to make the richest clubs richer.

I wrote recently about the possibility of reorganising the pyramid. This is something I feel is desperately needed.

In fact back in the 1980s I wrote in a similar vein in the Non League Paper about the proposed pyramid pointing out that, in theory at least, Tilgate Hammers who were then propping up the rest of the Crawley League could eventually rise to the top of the then Division One.

The pyramid structure is excellent at providing any champion club the opportunity to compete at a higher level whilst the division they won is supported by two divisions split geographically.

It’s marvellous in theory but as the FA’s current proposals for changes for next season show, the weird shape of the British Isles makes logic difficult to maintain.

Reorganisation is essential and this also applies at the top. Football has moved on since national champions were able to compete in the European Cup.

The competition has been somewhat devalued as the Champions League since it invites many clubs who were not actually champions of their country.

UEFA’s laudable but fallible efforts to improve matters show the need for, dare I say it, a European Super League.

The theory was sound but the proposals were naff in all aspects. A place in the European Super League would be earned by the winning of a national championship but that would open up controversy immediately as there are too many countries.

So now it’s time for a pyramid based on four geographic divisions within Europe. Deciding which countries supported each of the divisions would not be straightforward but it’s safe to say the Premier League champions would gain promotion to the West European League.

I think 16 clubs would be the ideal number for participation at this exclusive level and at the end of the first season the leading four clubs in each regional division would be promoted to the new European Super League.

Promotion and relegation within the new structure and between the national leagues that supported it would be in accord with common practice.

This should eventually lead to a league system that mirrors the understanding of relative strengths in the disparate nations of Europe, with the usual well populated countries probably dominating membership but they would be there on merit.

Promoting from the top would provide incentive to clubs at all levels to fill the gaps that would occur above them.

There’s plenty of detail to consider but I think this could be the right way to start.