Super League fiasco blows up in face of England’s ‘Big Six’ Part 1

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. throw (one's) weight around / θroʊ weɪt əˈraʊnd / (idiom) – to use one’s power, influence, or authority, usually in a forceful way, to get what one wants

    The mayor threw his weight around and tried to influence the results of his son’s application to the university.

  2. outrage / ˈaʊt reɪdʒ / (n.) – a strong feeling of anger or shock

    Many citizens have expressed outrage at the government’s decision to increase taxes.

  3. neuter / ˈnu tər / (v.) – to make someone or something, usually a person, organization, or group, less effective or powerful

    Some politicians believe that the military has become too powerful and want to neuter it.

  4. plot / plɒt / (v.) – to plan something secretly, especially something wrong, harmful, or illegal

    The thieves plotted to steal the painting while the museum was under construction.

  5. insight / ˈɪnˌsaɪt / (n.) – a clear or deep understanding of someone or something

    After a long talk with my dad, I gained new insight into his personality.


Read the text below.

For years, the “Big Six” soccer clubs have thrown their weight around in the English Premier League. But their latest move — announcing April 18 they would join with six European teams to form a new European Super League, separate from Europe’s Champions League — has blown up in their faces.

Within 48 hours, all six clubs — Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea — had withdrawn from the Super League amid outrage from fans, players and the government.

It’s not the first time the Big Six have used threats as a power play, but now the Premier League is taking steps to stop them trying something similar in the future.

The Premier League is working to neuter the six clubs with punishments and measures to stop them playing the same bargaining chip again, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The league is considering sanctions aimed at the club officials who plotted to join the breakaway venture, rather than punishing the teams themselves, the source said.

Since quitting the 12-team Super League project April 20, all six clubs have apologized.

But that won’t stop the Premier League trying to remove club executives from key committees like the one assessing the sale of television rights — which gave them access to commercially valuable insight while they planned the midweek Super League format. (AP)

To be continued…

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • One source said that the Premier League is considering sanctions aimed at the club officials who plotted to join the breakaway venture, rather than punishing the teams themselves. Do you agree with this idea? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The Big Six soccer clubs have quit the Super League project and apologized. Do you think a simple apology is enough for their fans? If not, what else should they do? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The announcement of a new European Super League blew up in the faces of the Big Six soccer clubs. Has a decision ever blown up in your face? Discuss.
  • The six clubs withdrew from the Super League amid outrage from fans, players, and the government. Have you ever been outraged by a company’s or organization’s decision? Discuss.