All In The Game: A nice quiet week as Super League swoops in and out

It took under 3,000 minutes for the breakaway proposals to be launched and collapse

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez ruffled a few feathers during a doomed week for the Super League. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/Getty/AFP

The betrayal of Perez

Real Madrid president and Super League chairman Florentino Perez was left close to friendless last week after his project to save football turned pear-shaped, but at least he had former Argentinian goalkeeper Hugo ‘El Loco’ Gatti on his side when he turned up on Spanish telly’s El Chiringuito de Jugones.

How passionate was Gatti (now 76) in his defence of his pal Perez? Very. “Florentino is going to give up his life for this idea! They have betrayed him! But he has balls, more than Rambo! He is going to fight! They will drop before him! Especially that one [Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin]! If I catch him in the street, I will kill him with blows!”

“Calm down a little bit, Loco. Take the lime that the doctor recommends,” said host Josep Pedrerol. Not even lime could have calmed him, though, so Pedrerol asked him to leave. “Rest, see you soon,” he said, as Loco, still hurling insults, departed the scene.

“With friends like that.......” Perez might have concluded.


Quote of the week

"I watched the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral and for the first time in a long time I was really proud to be British - and this morning that's just gone away." Ian Holloway, the only man on earth to link the death of Prince Philip with the Super League.

Number of the week

2,980 - That's roughly how many minutes the Super League lasted, from launch to disbandment. RIP.

Word of mouth

“Uefa is laughing its head off - the 2024 Champions League is also shit to the power of 10.” Former German international Markus Babbel on the CL reforms snuck in by Uefa during the Super League kerfuffle.

"LUFC hold Super League side Merseyside Reds to a 1-1 draw after late Llorente equaliser." Leeds United naughtily trolling Liverpool after Monday's draw at Elland Road.

"Hey guys, I'm thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?" Just when United fans were celebrating the demise of the Super League, along came Conor McGregor to banjax their mood.

"Uefa put on a show that I was completely surprised by. As if we'd dropped a nuclear bomb! What did we do wrong? Insults, threats, like we killed football! We were trying to save football!" Florentino Perez after dropping a nuclear bomb on football.

"I think Florentino had had a couple of extra wines when he said that this project came to save football - that shows that he was not well." Former Real Madrid head honcho Ramon Calderon suspecting some tipsiness on Perez's part.

"Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea" Perez trying to list the six English clubs who signed up for the Super League, and completely forgetting Spurs. Easy mistake, mind.

"England voted for Brexit and now they want to bring in a Super League?" Arsene Wenger, confused about England's on-off relationship with Europe.

"If you give these clubs more money the players will have seven Ferraris instead of six." Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish league, on the most likely financial upshot of the Super League.

Twitter bots for ESL

AP sports correspondent Rob Harris noted a bit of a trend developing on the Tweet machine from last Sunday, namely the preponderance of identically worded and highly supportive takes on the launch of a certain footballing competition:

“The Super League is a good idea and will revolutionize football. Only small clubs like [insert names of the two Super League clubs you most loathe] are worried. I speak for everyone when I say YES to the European Super League.”

Copy and paste this take in to Twitter’s search function, sit back and be amazed at how many Tweeters thought the Super League was a good idea, would revolutionise football and how they spoke for everyone.

As a chin-scratching Harris put it, “the bots are all replying”. Hmm.

Compo for Jose

News of poor old Jose Mourinho’s sacking by Spurs last Monday was nigh on lost in the midst of all the Super League ballyhoo, but lest you’re fretting about how the fella is going to pay his bills now, let’s have a look at the compensation he’s picked up from the five firings he’s endured thus far.

The guesstimates on his Spurs compo varied wildly last week, with some reports putting it at the £30 million mark, but the folk who tend to be more reliable with this class of information reckoned it was actually a miserly £16 million.

So, Jose’s compensation story thus far: Chelsea (2007): £18m; Real Madrid (2013): £17.5m; Chelsea (2015): £12.5m; Manchester United (2018): £15m; Spurs (2021): £16m.

That’s a total of £79m, or €90.6m in our loot. For being sacked. Funny old game.