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​Numbers stack up against European Super League as backlash gains momentum

  • 3,153,854 words written on European Super League since Sunday April 18
  • 5,087 articles published, total engagement of 1,403,124 
  • Of 117.4k reactions to media articles, 55% were ‘angry’, 21% reacted with ‘love’ and 17% reacted with ‘haha’
  • Angriest reaction was to an article posted on arsenal.com
  • Currently generating 197% more published articles a day than football’s other divisive issue, Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
  • 123,260 Tweets on ‘European Super League’ show overwhelming neutrality

Football’s elite are facing a backlash of unprecedented scale as they press ahead with universally unpopular breakaway plans.

Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs, including the big six in the Premier League have already signed up to the new 20-team competition that could start as early as next season.

OLBG has crunched the numbers on subsequent news headlines generated, as well as the unprecedented scale of reaction across social media, to reveal numbers as startling as the concept itself.

From Prince William speaking out and PM Boris Johnson’s fan-led review, to West Ham supporter James Corden’s passionate rant on the Late Late Show in the US, prominent figures are queuing up to condemn the idea of a European Super League coming to fruition.

London clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, along with English Premier League heavyweights Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United confirmed their plans to join the new mid-week competition late on Sunday evening.

In the United Kingdom, 5,087 articles have been published on the European Super League since news of its founding broke on Sunday afternoon, with just short of 1.5 million engagements from disgruntled fans. 

857 of those were published on Sunday as the news broke with a total engagement of 744,027, but just 24 hours later a further 3,738 articles had landed with another 619,724 reacting in unanimous uproar. 

Meanwhile, on social media platform Twitter ‘European Super League’ has appeared in 123,260 Tweets since Sunday, and despite the growing furore it retains a remarkably neutral sentiment score of 0.036987 (-1 being the most negative and 1 being most popular’.

Tweet volumes since Sunday are as follows; Arsenal (8,842), Liverpool (4,460), Tottenham (2,978), Chelsea (2,869), Manchester United (1,821) and Manchester City (729). 

Despite having less to say, Manchester United fans are the most positive when it comes to our analysis, scoring highest (0.16008) with City rivals in second spot with a positivity score of 0.134934.

At the time of writing, a further 486 had been published on Monday April 20.

Out of 117.4k reactions collected since the story broke at 1pm on Sunday April 18, 55% have been angry, 21% reacted with ‘love’ and 17% with ‘haha’, or laughter.

For context, the much-maligned and largely lambasted Video Assistant Referee system can count 17% of people engaging with its 6,960 published pieces, a total engagement of 2,606,661 since August 9 2019, as angry by way of reaction.

Interestingly, ‘European Super League announced’ posted on arsenal.com drew 9,528 angry reactions across all platforms, 1,765 more than the BBC Online and Sky Sports articles; ‘European Super League: Premier League’s ‘big six’ agree to join new league’, and ‘Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, and Tottenham agree to join European Super League’  – the articles which drew the second and third angriest responses from engaged traffic.

Tottenham Hotspur’s posting of the news on their official website proved to be the fourth article to surpass 7,000 angry reactions across all platforms, while Liverpool’s official post was way down in 70th (of 5,087) with 90 angry reactions.

Interestingly, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s pragmatic statement yesterday attracted the biggest level of ‘love’ with 5,544 people registering their approval across various platforms. 

PSG’s Ander Herrera (957 loves), the first active player to speak out against the ESL, as well as Bruno Fernandes (1,842) ‘speaking out’ and Garry Neville (1,063) being ‘disgusted’ make up the top five when it comes to digital approval, a combined shareability across all platforms of 101,594.

Written by Sam Hyme

I have over 13 years experience in the sports industry. I specialise in analytical frameworks for sports performance.

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