The European Super League, a marketing masterstroke that saw the best of the best go head-to-head in a footballing feast for the ages… in a parallel universe maybe.
The proposed seasonal club competition was set to be contested by 20 of the best football teams on the continent and rival the impact of the Champions League, but was left in tatters after Premier League fans led the way in immense protests that saw owners pushed to the brink in their respective boardrooms.
But what would’ve happened had it gone ahead? Daily Star Sport has crunched the numbers to work out where Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham would’ve fared, taking into account all the fixtures they played against the competition’s 12 founding members.
Our table has considered all fixtures between the six Premier League sides and other founders Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus across all competitions.
The results are taken from 90 minutes only, with the League Cup and FA Cup finals between Liverpool and Chelsea going down as draws – with some teams playing far more games than others.
The table has therefore been ranked on points per game terms rather than an overall tally, with one Premier League side coming out on top and two propping up the table.
Arsenal – 12th
Arsenal bosses probably couldn’t believe their luck having been invited into the European Super League despite failing to play Champions League football since 2016/17.
On the back of that form, their results in the ESL will not come as much of a surprise, winning only three of their 12 fixtures (coming against Spurs, United and Chelsea) leaving them rock bottom.
With 13 goals scored and 27 conceded, their -14 goal difference is the worst of the bunch having only faced off against English sides, with a PPG rate of 0.83.
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Tottenham – 11th
Tottenham also only played against their domestic rivals over what would’ve been the inaugural ESL campaign, and as they did in the Premier League, finished just one spot above their local rivals.
Spurs end up second bottom having registered three wins and two draws alongside their seven defeats, remarkably beating City twice and the Gunners once for a PPG rate of 0.92.
Being 11th in the ESL standings puts them five out of six for Premier League clubs, despite the next side on our list finishing below them in the league.
Manchester United – Joint 8th
Manchester United may have finished the lowest of the traditional big six in the Premier League, but they wouldn’t have been bottom of the ESL opener.
The Red Devils picked up three wins from their fixtures against Tottenham twice and Arsenal, with their three draws putting them on a PPG rate of 1.
As well as being above Arsenal and Spurs, United would’ve finished level on PPG with both Juventus and Milan in eighth place with a goal difference of minus four.
Chelsea – 4th
Chelsea played the second most games against ESL counterparts across the 2021/22 campaign, and more than held their own despite their struggles in the second half of the season.
Thomas Tuchel’s men picked up seven wins across 18 fixtures while losing only five, beating Arsenal twice and Spurs three times as well as Juventus and Real Madrid for a PPG of 1.5.
That return leaves the Blues fourth in the overall table, fittingly behind three sides that got the better of them during the course of the year, and ahead of Inter and Atletico in joint sixth and Barcelona in fifth.
Manchester City – 3rd
Manchester City may have claimed their fourth Premier League crown from five seasons, but they wouldn’t have enjoyed the same result in the ESL.
City won eight of their 15th fixtures and at least once against each of the big six bar Liverpool, as well as beating Atletico and Real Madrid in single legs.
Their PPG of 1.8 is only bettered by the two Champions League finalists – with their wait for a European crown going on under Pep Guardiola.
Liverpool – 1st
Liverpool would finally have had their treble had the ESL gone ahead as per the plans of Florentino Perez, despite having missed out in the Premier League and Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s men won 11 of their 22 fixtures against the founding members, including triumphs over Atletico, AC Milan and Inter Milan in Europe.
Liverpool beat Real Madrid to top spot with a PPG rate of 1.91 compared to 1.83. Maybe their fans shouldn’t have protested against it after all!
All in all, the Premier League cohort had very mixed results in the hypothetical ESL table, with Arsenal and Tottenham struggling – as fans had assumed would be the case.
With United also down the bottom, the top three of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City wouldn’t have surprised many, with previous Champions League winners Chelsea also in the mix.
The latest update from the tenacious Perez over his ESL plans insisted that plans are not completely dead in the water – but our table might well be the closest it ever comes to a reality.