After declining to comment on Monday, the streamer, which televises Premier League games in the UK, released a statement today expressing concern at the plans and making clear that it has had no involvement in plotting the competition.
The intervention is significant because Amazon has shown itself to be an active force in the sports market and would be the sort of partner the European Super League is hoping to attract when it comes to selling television rights.
Amazon Prime Video statement on the proposed Super League: pic.twitter.com/FCHc94yDns
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) April 20, 2021
In its statement, Amazon said: “We believe part of the drama and beauty of European football comes from the ability of any club to achieve success through their performances on the pitch.”
This is the reference to the fact that the European Super League is largely designed as a closed shop in which the same teams compete every season without the threat of relegation from the contest.
Supporters of the breakaway league include Premier League sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, as well as other big beasts of European soccer, such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus.
The idea has been met with widespread uproar across the continent, with many claiming it is a vehicle for rapacious soccer proprietors to boost their revenues, while at the same time weakening existing domestic and international soccer competitions.
Amazon follows BT Sport, another major sports broadcaster in the UK, in condemning the plans. In a statement on Monday, BT Sport said: “BT recognises the concerns raised by many of football’s leading voices and fans, and believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect to the long term health of football in this country.”
Comcast-owned European broadcaster Sky was more neutral in its response. It said: “Sky Sports has passionately articulated the views of football fans on the importance of preserving and sustaining the whole football pyramid. We are completely focussed on supporting our long term football partners in the UK and in Europe, already providing fans with the best live action from the best football competitions in the world, and we have not been involved in any discussions with the proposed breakaway European Super League.”
Pundits and presenters have also voiced their anger. BBC presenter Gary Lineker, the UK’s highest-profile sports host, said he would never work on the European Super League. “To be clear: if it actually happens, I will never work on this European Super League,” he tweeted.