Pep Guardiola Slams the Anti-Competitiveness of Super League Proposal


pep guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola joined the chorus of European Super League critics, a list that grows longer by the hour. Jurgen Klopp, Mesut Ozil, Ander Herrera, Marcus Rashford and James Milner are just a few of the current, active and prominent figures in the world of European football who have slammed the ESL.

Given how much this proposal seems to be almost universally despised, there will be plenty more. Guardiola, whose team is part of the Super League plot/pact, revealed that he was only made aware of the plan “a few hours” before the official statement dropped Sunday night.

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A lot of the critics, rightfully so, point out how the new proposed league is antithetical to the concepts of meritocracy and competitiveness. In this format, a club can secure European football regardless of how they perform in the league. Guardiola is against that idea, saying it defeats the concept of sport.

“It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist,” he said.

“It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it doesn’t matter if you lose. I said many times, I want the best competition. It is not fair when one team fight, fight, fight at the top and cannot be qualified because it is just for a few teams.”

Some reports claim that at least one of the England big six, who signed on to this deal, is having second thoughts about actually doing this. Another report claims that at least two clubs are having cold feet. Guardiola thinks it’s not completely appropriate, nor is it totally helpful for the managers of the Super League clubs to consistently face questions from the media on this topic.

He referenced the names of the rest of the big six bosses.

“I think Ole, Jurgen, Thomas, Mikel [Arteta] and Ryan [Mason], we speak six times a week in a press conference, we can talk everything,” Guardiola continued.

“We spoke about virus and COVID and NHS and furlough. I am saying what really I feel but we are not the right people to answer these questions because presidents can talk more clearly about what is the idea for the future and where football is going to go.

“Once we have all the information, I can give you my opinion. It is a statement — no more than that. I would love the president to go all around the world and say what is the reason we took this decision. I support this club and I am part of the club but also I have my own opinion. For all of us six [managers] it is uncomfortable, we don’t have all the information.”

Pep Guardiola is right, these issues are well above the manager paygrades, and they simply aren’t given access to the requisite information. However, the people who are simply don’t do media appearances, hardly ever. It’s well known that most billionaires are media shy, and the ringleaders of the European Super League plot are no different.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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