There are a lot of arguments against the European Super League, but even putting many of them aside temporarily, the league still fails on its own terms and lacks any credibility.
Let’s pretend for a minute that a European Super League could be a good idea, that it is necessary and represents the future of elite European football.
That’s a lot to ask, but even on that basis, the European Super League falls down and cannot be taken seriously.
We are being asked to believe that the elite of European football involves clubs from just three countries, when UEFA has 55 member associations.
The European Super League also wants to be the pinnacle of football, the most commercially attractive sporting event around, and yet will not, as things stand, include the two most exciting young talents in Europe: Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
Despite their youth, it is already hard to imagine the Champions League without these this pair, so why should we believe that a European club competition that does not feature them will be superior to and a replacement for the Champions League?
That’s what the European Super League clubs want: an improvement on the Champions League, with more games between the best teams and players.
If you can ignore the ethical and sporting dilemmas it poses, that almost sounds quite appealing, but the European Super League is not even delivering what it aims to.
Without Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain or Borussia Dortmund, without Neymar, Mbappe and Haaland, and without the reigning European champions, this new product is not what it says on the tin.
What’s more, these three clubs, along with many others, have positioned themselves against the creation of the new competition, suggesting they are unlikely to fill any of the eight remaining spots.
Moving away from the exclusions, the inclusions in the European Super League have some question marks, too.
Are Tottenham and Arsenal really among the top 12 teams in Europe?
Currently, the north London rivals sit seventh and ninth respectively in the Premier League and thus would not even qualify for the Europa League next season.
Neither Arsenal nor Spurs have ever won the Champions League, and neither have fellow European Super League founders Atletico Madrid or Manchester City for that matter, with the latter never having even reached a final.
Arsenal haven’t even played in the Champions League since 2017, while AC Milan, another of the supposed top 12 teams in Europe, have been absent from Europe’s premier club competition since 2014.
It is clear that neither historic success nor recent performance has been a major deciding factor in who has been deemed worthy to be a founding member.
What we are being offered, then, is not the best of the best, by any metric, but a collection of some of Europe’s richest clubs, and not even all of them.
An elite competition lacking some of the top, most marketable players; a European league without any teams from Germany, France, Portugal or the Netherlands.
Even if you support what the European Super League is trying to do, they aren’t doing it very well.
This story likely still has a long way to run, but right now the European Super League lacks any credibility from any angle.