Super League fiasco blows up in face of England’s ‘Big Six’ Part 2

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

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

  1. rally / ˈræl i / (v.) – to come together or bring people together to do something

    Betty rallied her friends to collect donations for the flood victims.

  2. repel / rɪˈpɛl / (v.) – to keep away something unwanted

    I bought a spray that can repel bugs.

  3. expel / ɪkˈspɛl / (v.) – to officially remove someone from a group, organization, school, etc.

    Three students were expelled from the school because they cheated on their exams.

  4. quell / kwɛl / (v.) – to calm unpleasant feelings such as worry, anxiety, etc.

    Amanda was scared of the thunderstorm, so her dad tried to quell her fears by singing to her.

  5. unrest / ʌnˈrɛst / (n.) – a situation where people are fighting or expressing anger about something

    There was growing unrest throughout the country over the latest political scandal.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1

The big clubs previously threatened a Super League in 2016 and leveraged that to secure four automatic Champions League qualification places for England, Spain, Italy and Germany each year.

When their true intentions emerged this time, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters rallied the other 14 Premier League clubs, the Football Association and the British government to repel the Big Six.

The Super League rebels went ahead with their announcement despite being publicly warned after a leak on April 18 that they would be prevented from playing in domestic competitions if they formed a European competition they didn’t have to qualify for each season.

The Premier League is looking at tightening the regulations to make it easier to expel any club that tries to pursue a breakaway in future — especially with Real Madrid and Barcelona not giving up on the idea.

Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga, meanwhile, seem to be taking it easier on their clubs.

The English clubs were the first to pull out of the Super League project. Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to introduce laws to stop the clubs joining a Super League.

The rapid climbdown hasn’t quelled fan unrest, though.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to go and speak to a protest group of around 20 supporters demanding that the owning Glazer family sell the club.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he received a personal apology from the owning Kroenke family.

“This has given big lessons and it shows the importance of football in the world,” Arteta said. “And it shows that the soul of this sport belongs to the fans.” (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The UK’s prime minister threatened to introduce laws to stop the English clubs from joining a Super League. Do you think it’s appropriate for governments to step in like that? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The Arsenal manager said that “this has given big lessons.” Do you think the people who plotted the breakaway truly learned a lesson? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The rapid climbdown hasn’t quelled fan unrest, and some supporters are demanding that owning families sell their clubs. Why do you think soccer fans were so upset with the Super League announcement? Discuss.
  • The Arsenal manager said that “the soul of this sport belongs to the fans.” Do you agree that sports belong to the fans? What sports have the biggest fan bases in your country? Discuss.