first_img 33 33 Liverpool – IN! – Despite struggling on the pitch in recent years, Liverpool remain one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, if not Europe. The club’s enduring popularity is based on the traditions and success built since Bill Shankly’s days as manager, from the 1960s on, and the Reds would have more to gain than most clubs by joining a European Super League, having consistently failed to qualify for the Champions League. Were a Super League to be founded, Liverpool’s inclusion would sum up why it would be about mass appeal more than anything. 33 Everton – Out! – Traditionally one of the biggest clubs in English football, the modern era has not been kind to Everton. The club has been crying out for major investment for years – and they hope with new shareholder Farhad Moshiri they have found it – but Everton seriously lag behind the Premier League’s richest clubs. Just one appearance in the Champions League qualifying stage, in 2005, sums up why Everton couldn’t hope to be considered for any European Super League right now. Borussia Dortmund – IN! – The 1997 Champions League winners went through some terrible financial turmoil after the turn of the millennium, but have bounced back and are now arguably bigger than ever. The club is famed for its redeveloped Westfalenstadion, including the largest standing section in European football, and remain the closest challengers to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Dortmund also reached the 2013 Champions League final, in a period that reaffirmed the club as a European force. Real Madrid – IN! – The 10 times European champions may have been eclipsed by Barcelona on the pitch in the past decade, but they remain arguably the biggest, most glamorous club in the world. The last five world record transfer fees have been paid by Real Madrid. Athletic Bilbao – Possibly in! – One of the most historic clubs in Spain, Bilbao’s new 54,000-seat San Mames stadium is home to the 2015 Spanish Super Cup winners. As arguably the fourth biggest club in Spain, Bilbao would certainly be hopeful of European Super League inclusion. Benfica – Possibly in! – Benfica won the last of their two European Cups in 1962, and haven’t reached the final since 1990, but they remain a European force, albeit more in the Europa League, reaching the last two finals. The club’s Stadium of Light is similar in appearance to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and boasts a capacity of 65,000. 33 33 33 33 33 Manchester City – IN! – While Liverpool would make it in to a European Super League largely thanks to the power of heritage, City would make the cut as one of modern football’s newest powerhouses. A joke in English football for so many years, overseas investment in City from 2008 onwards has turned the club into one of the world’s richest, and they are poised to reach the Champions League last eight for the first time. As every year passes and the club wins more silverware, City’s popularity will grow and grow. 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 Manchester United – IN! – Regardless of Man City’s emergence, Man United remain the biggest club in English football and one of the giants among the world game. Like Liverpool, they have built up enough heritage to virtually guarantee huge support for decades to come. 33 Galatasaray – Possibly in – Giants in Turkey, Galatasaray are relative minnows in the Champions League, compared to the competition’s current kings. They boast a modern, 53,000-seat arena and a vast support in Turkey, but would be outsiders to be included in any European Super League. Tottenham – probably out – Spurs may be in the thick of a Premier League title race and hoping to build a new 61,000-seater stadium, but right now they would be outsiders to make any European Super League. Tottenham’s lack of success in the past 25 years, plus paucity of appearances in the Champions League, mean they remain a big club in England, but without the support London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea can boast overseas. CSKA Moscow – Out! – One of the most successful Russian clubs of recent times, CSKA Moscow don’t quite boast enough pedigree to count themselves among Europe’s elite. The fact they play in a stadium with a capacity of 18,000 says it all. 33 33 Celtic – Possibly in! – If any club is desperate to play in a competition with more revenue involved, it’s Celtic. The 1967 European Cup winners have been devoid of any meaningful competition in Scotland since Rangers’ financial woes, but the Hoops are a shadow of their former selves when it comes to competing on the European stage. The club boasts a large, formidable support, but while Celtic remain in the Scottish league, they will have virtually no chance of challenging the world’s biggest clubs. Celtic could benefit from being UK-based as far as inclusion in any European Super League is concerned, taking into account the size of the United Kingdom’s television market. 33 33 Juventus – IN! – On course for a fifth successive Serie A title, 2015 Champions League runners up Juventus are the biggest club in Italy, with a modern 40,000 capacity stadium. The Old Lady would definitely be in a European Super League. center_img 33 European Super League – who’s in and who’s out? Click the arrow above to find out! 33 Valencia – probably out – Valencia lost the 2000 and 2001 Champions League finals and would probably lose out on any European Super League, despite often being the leading Spanish club outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona. In recent years, Atletico Madrid have taken on that role and Valencia have struggled to regain the glory days that saw La Liga titles won in 2002 and 2004. AC Milan – IN! Click the arrow above, right, to see which other clubs make the cut… and which don’t – Overtaken by Juventus in Serie A in recent years, AC Milan are still by far Italy’s most successful side in the Champions League, winning seven European Cups in total – a record only Real Madrid can better. It is surely only a matter of time before Milan re-emerge as a major force, and a European Super League could be the spur. 33 33 Marseille – Possibly in – Champions League winners in 1993, Marseille are traditionally the biggest club in France, although they have been overtaken in recent times by mega-wealthy rivals Paris Saint-Germain. Would they make the Super League cut, though? It’s 50-50. 33 PSV Eindhoven – possibly in – The reigning Dutch champions and European Cup winners in 1988, PSV might just make the cut for a European Super League, but would probably be behind domestic rivals Ajax in the pecking order. Barcelona – IN! – The dominant force in Spanish football, with four Champions League victories in the past 10 years, Barcelona is THE club in world football right now. Messi, Neymar and Suarez are the latest global stars to wear the Catalan club’s shirt, following the likes of Cruyff, Maradona, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. No European Super League would be complete without Barca. Ajax – Possibly in! – Four times European champions and one of four clubs to have won all of UEFA’s major competitions, the Dutch club have struggled to live up to the weight of their history on a continental stage in recent years. Giant fish in the small pond of Dutch football, with a 53,000 capacity stadium that boasts a retractable roof, Ajax are firmly in the category of club that is crying out for a bigger stage… with bigger revenues. Porto – possibly in – Champions League regulars and European Cup winners twice, as recently as 2004, Porto play in the modern, 52,000 capacity Estadio de Dragao. They would hope to be included in a Super League on this basis. 33 Paris Saint-Germain – IN! – One of the richest clubs in world football, PSG head the Champions League’s nouveaux riche contenders. The club’s vast investment has put them miles ahead of the competition in France and they would surely welcome a European Super League. 33 33 Chelsea – IN! – Like it or not, Chelsea are now one of the biggest clubs in the world, thanks to over a decade of sustained investment and success at the highest levels. A whole generation has grown up knowing Chelsea as a European super power. The Blues would walk into any European Super League. 33 33 West Ham United – out – The Hammers are flying in the Premier League this year and still retain outside hopes of finishing in the top four. With a move to the redeveloped Olympic Stadium happening later this year, hopes are high that West Ham will become the kind of sustained force in English football that they have never really been, despite boasting some legendary players down the years. But they have a long way to go before they can be considered among Europe’s elite. Bayern – IN! – The behemoths of the Bundesliga are on course for a 13th title in the last 20 seasons, and a fourth in a row. They have also developed into last four regulars in the Champions League, winning a fifth European Cup in 2013. Bayern are also certainties for any European Super League. Schalke – IN! – Considering Schalke’s lack of major honours over the years, it’s remarkable that the club would even be considered for a place among Europe’s elite. But Dortmund’s great rivals boast an average attendance over 60,000, making them one of the best supported clubs in Europe. And with Germany being Europe’s biggest market, any European Super League would have to include that country’s biggest clubs. Zenit Saint Petersburg – out – UEFA Cup winners in 2008, Zenit have been trying to break into Europe’s elite for a while now, along with domestic rivals CSKA Moscow. But they remain among the also-rans. Maybe if Gazprom are involved with any Super League, Zenit could make the cut! Sevilla – probably out – Despite winning back-to-back Europa League trophies in 2014 and 2015, Sevilla are a long way off Spain’s big two… and probably don’t rank as one of La Liga’s biggest four clubs, so inclusion in a European Super League would be doubtful. Reports of a secret meeting involving leading executives from Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City has fuelled talk of a potential European Super League breakaway.The suggestion is that certain clubs could quit domestic competitions and UEFA’s continental tournaments to form a closed European league along the lines of American competitions like the NFL.This notion has been dismissed by an Arsenal spokesperson, but rumours persist that Europe’s elite are pressing for reform to the Champions League.So which clubs which make up any potential European Super League?We’ve assessed the merits of a selection of contenders – just take a look at the slideshow above, and let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Atletico Madrid – IN! – Spain’s ‘third club’, Atletico have shown how competitive they can be by beating Barcelona and Real Madrid to the Spanish title in 2014 and coming within a whisker of winning the Champions League. They have also claimed the Europa League twice this decade and boast an average attendance of nearly 50,000. Arsenal – IN! – The Gunners have never won the Champions League, but since qualifying for the tournament in 1998 they have been ever presents. In that time, Arsenal have moved to the 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium and would be certainties to be included in any European Super League. Getty Napoli – probably out – Liverpool kick off their European Campaign at Napoli tonight Internazionale – IN! – One of Italy’s big three, Inter have struggled on the pitch since winning the treble in 2010, but they remain a massive club and the San Siro is one of Europe’s most iconic stadiums. With Italy being a major TV market in Europe, Inter would surely make the Super League cut. Roma – Possibly in – Often also-rans in Serie A and Europe, Roma’s inclusion in any European Super League would be touch-and-go. The club play in Rome’s 70,000-seat Olympic Stadium, which they share with local rivals Lazio. 33last_img read more