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November 14, 2018
European Super League: Who would win its hypothetical first season?
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European Super League: Who would win its hypothetical first season?

Reports say 16 clubs would be involved in the competition

A European Super League.

German news magazine Der Spiegel claims it has proof that seven of Europe’s biggest clubs held secret talks about forming a new breakaway competition.

Der Spiegel says leaked documents it obtained from whistleblowers show a start date of 2021 was discussed, and clubs involved would leave their national leagues and football associations to join it.

A senior UK government source told the BBC any such competition would harm the culture of English football.

And the Football Supporters’ Federation believes its “primary interest is making as much money as possible, without any consultation with fans”.

But for the sake of argument let’s ask:

If it were starting tomorrow, who would be crowned champions?

How it would work:

Plans for the competition reportedly involved 16 clubs. Eleven would be founding members and five invited guests.

The 11 founding clubs would not face relegation and would be guaranteed membership for 20 years.

They were said to be:

Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, AC Milan and Paris St-Germain.

The guest clubs for a proposed first season were said to be:

Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Roma and Marseille.

The 16 teams would be divided into four groups of four. The top two of each group would go through to the quarter-finals.

According to sports data analysts Gracenote, Barcelona would be the first season’s most likely winners, followed by Juventus.

The table below shows each team’s probability of progress – with an explanation further down.

Quarter-final Semi-final Runner-up Winner
Barcelona 86.4% 62.5% 15% 27.6%
Juventus 89.9% 59.3% 15.3% 22%
Bayern Munich 88.2% 49.8% 13.5% 12.3%
Manchester City 65.2% 37.3% 10.4% 9%
Paris St-Germain 84.5% 42.2% 11% 8.8%
Real Madrid 74.5% 37.5% 9.8% 7.5%
Atletico Madrid 67.1% 31.3% 7.4% 5.2%
Liverpool 57.1% 22.7% 5.6% 2.9%
Chelsea 34.6% 15.6% 3.8% 2.1%
Arsenal 35.2% 10.3% 2% 0.8%
Borussia Dortmund 32.8% 10.7% 2.3% 0.7%
Manchester United 33.2% 9.3% 2% 0.7%
Roma 13.8% 4.3% 0.9% 0.3%
Inter Milan 23.6% 5.2% 0.8% 0.2%
AC Milan 10.2% 1.8% 0.3% 0%
Marseille 3.7% 0.4% 0% 0%

How did they work it out?

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote