There may not be much love for it, but the European Super League (ESL) is setting a start date for next year.

The European Super League is launching in September 2025. It is an attempt to compete with the UEFA Champions League by bringing together the best teams in Europe in a new style. The decision comes after a landmark verdict by Spanish courts that agreed with the European Court of Justice. It found that FIFA and UEFA’s stance against the ESL violated regulations governing fair market competition.

The Commercial Court of Madrid’s decision in favor of A22 Sports Management only strengthened the legal basis for the ESL. The court ruled that FIFA and UEFA “abused their dominant position” by refusing to allow teams to join the ESL and implementing limits that went against the TFEU. Similar to its December verdict, this conclusion finds that the regulations imposed by UEFA and FIFA on the ESL violate EU law.

Super League founders win in Spanish court

The Super League started as a closed competition for the best clubs in Europe. Now, it’s a proposal for a continental championship with three divisions and 80 teams altogether. Included in this are a women’s league and mechanisms for promotion and relegation. Yet, only Real Madrid and Barcelona have openly stated their intention to participate in the league; although they are leading the charge on this initiative.

FIFA and UEFA have always been against the ESL; especially, because of the danger it poses to the long-established soccer hierarchy and financial system. Upon the first announcement of the ESL in 2021, there was a considerable amount of opposition from the soccer world. This included fans, players and officials, leading to the withdrawal of support from several founding members.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, head of Paris Saint-Germain, has lately stated his views that the ESL “will never exist,” demonstrating the persistent opposition from powerful individuals in the football industry. In contrast to the ESL, he highlighted the upcoming 2024-25 Champions League season and its improved structure. It would include more teams and a redesigned group stage.

Super League potential start date

Curiously, the Champions League season will begin on the same day as the ESL’s scheduled launch. This coincidental timing highlights how competitive the two tournaments are. Despite A22 Sports Management’s statements that further teams are considering joining the ESL, the project’s feasibility is called into question because of the absence of public support from other clubs.

The ESL’s objectives are ambitious and controversial since they have not addressed scheduling or other difficulties with current tournaments or FIFA. The redesigned Champions League aims to feature more teams and decrease the possibility of shocks. However, it may limit the allure of the ESL by resolving some of the problems that led to its formation.