A closer look at controversial ESL plans - how it could change the game and the forces behind its defeat
In this week’s ‘Deep Dive’, host Chris Wright and guests discuss the whirlwind rise and fall of the European Super League (ESL), with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham signed up.
In this episode Chris is joined by football author, historian and writer Richard Foster; broadcast journalist and football presenter Alison Bender; former QPR chairman and current director at Cheltenham Town Nick Blackburn; and actor, football author and broadcaster Tom Watt.
The discussion begins with reactions to the almost universal opposition the ESL announcement received, ironically communicated on the weekend of the League’s 133rd anniversary. The conversation moves to debate whether the concept was driven by American owners, and they compare how different clubs have backtracked and apologised to their fans.
Guests also discuss how the pyramid system has been key to the continued success of the game; whether the clubs should be punished for their involvement – despite withdrawing from the competition within 48 hours, and the potential ramifications on the new Champions League format.
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