• Nathan Smith

GOODBYE AND FAREWELL: THREE THINGS WE MIGHT NOT SEE AGAIN IN FOOTBALL


Regardless of what happens in the next few months, the Premier League will never be the same again.


The announcement of the European Super League has caused plenty of shock and outrage across the UK and the world in general.


England’s top division has been the home of some of the most entertaining and thrilling moments in football history, and with that possibly soon to go, let’s look at three things we will more than likely never see again.


TITLE WINNING FAIRY-TALE


The story of Leicester winning the league in 2016 is one that will undoubtedly live throughout the history of football. A classic tale of the underdog coming out on top despite no one giving them a chance and a story that tells you that hard work does pay off. Under Nigel Pearson, Leicester City avoided the drop during the 14/15 season after seven wins from their last nine matches took them from 20th to 14th. The appointment of the ‘Tinkerman’ Claudio Ranieri after the sacking of Nigel Pearson caused many questions, but no one could expect what he was going to do. Leicester City, led by the likes of Ngolo Kante, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, went on to win the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history, warming everyone’s hearts, even those who don’t care for football.


While teams like Leicester could go on to win many Premier League titles if the league itself decide to kick out the ‘Big 6’, it will not be the same as previous, as many will know it is a weakened league. While it would be a miracle if Arsenal or Tottenham were to finish in the top half of the Super League, let alone win the thing, a title fairy-tale like Leicester’s is unlikely to be seen again if the changes go through.


UNEXPECTED OUTCOMES


Promotion and relegation bring new or returning teams to the division each year, and can provide some of the most entertaining fixtures of the season, and moments that remain in English football history throughout time as they take on the ‘Big Six’. Liverpool vs Leeds kicked off the 20/21 season, and that game remains one of the most entertaining matches this season. Norwich’s 19/20 campaign was awful, but when they beat Manchester City at the start of that season, we all believed that they were here to stay. Cardiff’s stunning 3-2 win against Manchester City during the 2012/13 season, Blackpool doing the double over Liverpool in their one and only season in the Premier League and the list goes on.


The promotion and relegation aspect of domestic football is one of the things that makes it so exciting, as people wonder what these clubs can achieve after reaching the so called ‘promise land’. The ESL in its closed-door format completely kills this off, as when the biggest shock of the season is AC Milan beating Manchester City, it’s just not quite as good.


THE GREAT ESCAPE


When a team looks dead and buried and somehow manages to pull off survival, it is one of the most exciting things a domestic league could offer. The aforementioned Leicester pulled this off in 2014/15, as they lit up the Premier League with performances that many couldn’t understand how they’d managed to bring themselves back from the dead. Sunderland and Wigan were the experts of this, managing to stay up against all odds more than once, while West Brom managed to pull off the impossible during the 2004/05 season, something which is remembered to this day.


The relegation battle is one of the most exciting things in the domestic league structure, and it is something that the closed-door format of the Super League removes entirely. No longer will an underdog side be able to cause a few upsets and shock the country by surviving from the brink of relegation.