Perez, Agnelli, the Glazers, JP Morgan – Who are the ring-leaders behind the Super League?
This week shockwaves were sent through European football after the official announcement of a European Super League.
The new competition will see 20 participants competing in a league system followed by knockout rounds, with 15 permanent members and five other teams who are involved via qualification stages.
At the moment, the Super League has 12 founding members – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan.
Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund have so far rejected the opportunity to join.
There are many figures who have been pushing for this for a long time, so who are they?
Who is Florentino Perez?
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will act as the chairman of the board for the new Super League.
The Spanish businessman has been the president of Los Blancos on two occasions, and each time has instigated the building of ‘Galactico’ squads with some of the best and most expensive players in the world. He has broken the world transfer record on numerous occasions, acquiring the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo in his tenures.
Perez has been a major driving force of a Super League, and first stated a desire for it in 2009 when he criticised the current structure of the Champions League.
He said: ”We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world, with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
Who is Andrea Agnelli?
Andrea Agnelli has been the public face openly pushing for a Super League for many years and he will be a vice-chairman of the new competition.
Agnelli has been president of Juventus since 2010, playing a pivotal role in rebuilding the club after the Calciopoli crisis four years earlier. Under his presidency, Juve won nine Serie A titles in a row and reached two Champions League finals.
He was also chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), which represents the interests of UEFA clubs, from 2012 but has now stepped down after forming the breakaway league.
He is part of the Agnelli family dynasty, the most powerful family in Italy over the last 100 years and the founders of FIAT.
Who is Joel Glazer?
The acquisition of Man Utd by the Glazer family in 2005 was met with plenty of criticism, with many fans of the club being left disillusioned at the fact it was now being run by billionaire American owners.
It actually led to FC United of Manchester being established, a new fan-owned club aiming to continue the traditions of Man Utd.
Joel Glazer is currently the co-chairman of the Red Devils and will serve as the vice-chairman of the new Super League.
The Glazer family as a whole have controlling states in NFL side Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as Man Utd, having accumulated a large portion of their wealth from a real estate empire in the United States.
Who is John W Henry?
John W Henry is an American businessman, investor, and currently the majority owner of Liverpool, the Boston Red Sox, The Boston Globe, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.
In October 2010, Henry and the Fenway Sports Group acquired principal ownership of Liverpool and have subsequently overseen a period of the club which has included recent Champions League and Premier League victories.
Despite that, there are Liverpool fans who have never taken to Henry due to his controversial decision to sack club legend Kenny Dalglish from the manager role in 2012.
He was portrayed in the Hollywood film ‘Moneyball’.
Who is Stan Kroenke?
Stan Kroenke is an American billionaire and the current majority owner of Arsenal, the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
His takeover of the Gunners has subsequently been met with apathy due to his supposed lack of desire to invest to the same level as the likes of Man Utd, Man City, and Chelsea, while he very rarely gives interviews to explain his business decisions.
This has earned him the nickname ‘Silent Stan’ in the media.
Forbes estimated his worth at around $10 billion in 2020.
Who are JP Morgan and what is their role in Super League?
JP Morgan are an American investment bank who have pledged to provide up to €3.5 Billion in private equity funding in order to launch the competition.
This will allow the Super League to strike broadcasting and commercial deals with its partners to become a self-sustaining competition.