Friday, June 25

Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times


Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont were the last of the 50 U.S. states to expand eligibility to anyone over the age of 16, opening Covid vaccinations to all adults and meeting the deadline that President Biden set two weeks ago.

But vaccine hesitancy continues. And about a fifth of those age 65 and older, a particularly vulnerable group, have not received even one shot. Over the past week, the U.S. has been averaging more than 67,000 new virus cases a day — up from over 54,000 a month ago, according to a Times database.

By the numbers: At its current pace, the U.S. will vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-June. As of Sunday, more than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot. About 84.3 million Americans had been fully vaccinated.

First things first: What is a Super League?

The concept has been around for decades as something between an aspiration and a threat: a continental competition that incorporates all of the most famous names from Europe’s domestic leagues every year into an event all their own.

Who gets to play in it?

So far, there are 12 founding members: the teams that have been the driving force behind the project — Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus — along with Barcelona and Atlético Madrid from Spain, Inter Milan and A.C. Milan from Italy, and Britain’s Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.

They expect to be joined soon by three more permanent members, along with a rotating cast of five more teams. The 20 teams will be split into two divisions of 10 teams.

Unlike the Champions League, whose roster is set each year based on clubs’ performance in their domestic leagues, the Super League will have permanent members who face no risk of missing out on either the matches or the profits.

Will the Super League teams still play in their current domestic leagues?

That is absolutely their plan. It may not be the leagues’ plan.

Is this about money?

Yes. According to their own estimates, each founding member stands to gain around $400 million — before broadcast rights and commercial income, which could push the number into the billions.

Why is this happening now?

The easy answer is that the pandemic has cost all of Europe’s clubs — including, and to some extent particularly, the wealthy elite — hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. The Super League is designed, to some extent, to offset that.

Can anyone stop it?

That remains to be seen. UEFA, soccer’s governing body in Europe, has vowed to use any measure available to stop the “cynical” breakaway. It is possible that FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, might step in and bar the players from representing their countries at the World Cup.

What happens now?

As things stand, nothing is off the table — but a long, unseemly legal quarrel seems unavoidable.



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