It's a fiasco, a pantalonnade, a retreat in the countryside.
The departure announced this Tuesday of several founding members of the Super League, launched with great fanfare barely two days earlier whistles the end of the match.
The project looked like an earthquake, it's a mountain that gives birth to a mouse.
Without doubt the shortest competition in history.
But it will leave its mark, with no doubt an even more lucrative Champions League in the future.
In the meantime, it is the victory of a popular uprising, that of supporters who across Europe have let their anger explode, on social networks as in front of the stadiums.
Already dispossessed of everything by clubs that treat them more as customers than as lovers, they take a form of revenge.
This Tuesday, hundreds of fans from different English clubs gathered on the outskirts of Stamford Bridge in London, before the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brighton, to express their fed up in a good-natured spirit.
"RIP (rest in peace), Football 1863-2021", "Created by the poor, stolen by the rich", could one read in particular on their signs.
A mess of withdrawals
Badly tied up or even sloppy, without calendar or unifying faces to carry it, motivated by divergent interests within competing teams - the Spanish clubs were thinking of the hole in their crates; the Italians, especially the two Milans, to their damaged influence - the initiative has turned to rout, with a mess of withdrawals (starting with City) or thunderous resignations like that of Ed Woodward, the vice-president of Manchester United, one of the architects of this unloved competition, which will retire at the end of 2021.
The anti-Super League wave was getting bigger and bigger every hour.
Two days after the announcement of the birth of this closed championship, without sporting merit (15 fixed clubs and 5 changing guests), no charismatic voice defended the idea.
Only its promoters unrolled a grounded argument, which consisted in explaining that it was the Super League or the key under the door, the revolution or the disappearance, pandemic obliges.
“In two seasons, Real Madrid lost 400 million euros, had advanced Florentino Perez, the president of Madrid, big boss of this seditious initiative, on Spanish television Monday evening.
All our clubs together have lost 5 billion euros.
That the new Champions League format does not begin until 2024 is absurd.
In 2024, we will be dead.
England's leading role
On the other hand, solidarity was organized against this ambition. The supporters, therefore, but also star managers like Pep Guardiola or Jürgen Klopp, from Manchester City and Liverpool, yet founding members of the Super League. The Catalan was biting: “It's not sport if success is guaranteed or if losing doesn't matter. "
The slingshot had become contagious. It brought together media glories (Eric Cantona), influential politicians like Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Downing Street had cracked a strong statement to explain that "the government would not remain inactive while a handful of owners create their small private club" or "that no measure (was) ruled out and that the government (was exploring) all possibilities, including the legislative option, to ensure that this proposal was dropped. England, a major country in football that he invented, was the driving force behind the unanimous rejection. The coaches, the fans, the players, the politicians, the broadcasters, all those against, were more numerous and shouted louder than elsewhere.
At the top of football, the offensive was led jointly by the two most powerful leaders, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. The two men had divided the roles: the stick for the first, the outstretched hand for the second. The Swiss had indicated that the rebels should "suffer the consequences" of their breakup, reiterating his threat of exclusion, however unfounded, for clubs and players participating in the Super League. Finally, she excluded herself from the scene.