European Super League – What it would have been like to bet on?
April 29, 2021
European Super League controversy
The footballing world was shaken to the core 10 days ago when plans to form a breakaway European Super League were revealed. 12 of Europe’s elite clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United were among the ‘Founding Clubs’.
After incurring the wrath of their fans, nine owners and chairmen were forced into an embarrassing climbdown, as they pulled out of the ESL and subsequently issued apologies.
The ESL was the brainchild of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. He has refused to accept his project, which he suggested would sustain the interest of the younger generation of supporters, is over, although it very much appears to be dead and buried.
But what would the betting arena have looked like if the ESL had received full backing, and was allowed to go ahead? We will try and tackle this key question.
While the Champions League has captured the imagination of football fans for nearly 30 years, which in part is due to the competition’s iconic tune, the ESL has tried to grab the limelight.
Although the clubs that initially agreed to join the ESL framework courted controversy for their actions, it may not necessarily have distilled interest from a betting perspective. With the top teams playing every week, there would have been a wealth of markets to bet on.
For example, if Barcelona were playing Juventus, you would have been able to head over to all the available markets for this match. Within this list of bonuses, you would be able to find one suitable to use when placing bets on the match winner, as well as who may score the first goal of the game, or at any time during the 90 minutes.
Watching the best teams in Europe week in, week out face off against each other would have been a dream for some supporters, and many would have rushed to betting sites to get involved.
In-play and live stream scramble
Most reputable bookmakers offer a live stream nowadays to watch football. Had the ESL gone ahead, then there have been many bettors eager to catch the live action.
Similarly, there will have been plenty of interest in the in-play betting markets if say Liverpool were hosting Atletico Madrid. There would have been plenty of drama in the games that will have been streamed by bookmakers. Fans will have been worried their bets may be scuppered by a late equaliser, but it is feasible to imagine that betting activity will have been frenzied.
With plenty of games on in midweek, it may have well sustained the interest of both the casual football fan and avid bettor alike. From an in-play betting perspective, this would have been another platform for bookmakers to help give the ESL lift off.
Could it have rivalled the Champions League?
As mentioned, the Champions League has been beamed across the world, and it has created some special nights down the years, whether it be the group or knockout stages.
If you look more closely at the ESL business model, the notion of a ‘closed shop’, and ruining the element of competition has been bandied about, especially as the founding clubs would play every year in it. Some of the footballing fraternity haven’t held back in slamming the ESL, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin labelling the idea “a spit in the face of football lovers”, and a “disgraceful, self-serving plan.”
Ultimately, the fans let their actions speak with their protests, but would have bettors boycotted or turned their backs on the ESL? This, we will never know for sure. However, the Champions League is here to stay, at least for now, and we should continue to cherish it.