The European Super League Is Terrible, But At Least We're Getting PES Jokes Out Of It

Plans for a European Super League are just about the worst thing to happen to football, maybe ever, but if we’re to get any consolation from these dark and turbulent times, it’s with jokes about Pro Evolution Soccer.


PES is famous for its emphasis on how football plays, but it’s also famous for lacking the licensing firepower of rival FIFA, and so many of its teams aren’t allowed to carry their actual names, badges and kits, which are replaced by in-house approximations.

Liverpool, for example, could never be called Liverpool, so in PES had to be called Merseyside Red instead (though more recently they’ve simply been called Liverpool B).

(To our British and other football-savvy readers, I’m sorry I’m having to explain the joke here, but I have to explain the joke!)

Anyway, Liverpool are one of six Premier League clubs founding the breakaway European Super League, which carries with it all kinds of potential legal and competitive baggage, and so while they were getting ready to face Leeds earlier today, Leeds’ social media team had some fun with it:

Leeds also wore shirts emblazoned with “EARN IT”, a shot at the Super League’s obsession with locking themselves into an elite European competition whose place they don’t have to, well, earn.

Making things even sweeter on the night is the fact that Liverpool, a club who feel they should be guaranteed a spot among the 15 most prestigious and powerful sides in Europe, could only draw 1-1 with Leeds, a side who last year were in England’s second tier and had to bust their ass to get back to the Premier League after 16 years away.


Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs


Mortal Dictata

Watching this as someone who personally only cares about cricket I’m enjoying the rank hypocrisy of every other Premier League club and every person who’s played in it calling this “disgusting” when the EPL was established in 1992 under almost exactly the same circumstances by many of the same teams regarding a few clubs wanting a bigger payday and TV rights so broke away from the established league system.

For 30 years no one cared about the EPL basically destroying football in the UK and probably across the world at this point as a concept of a working-class game where teams represented your area and success was down to skills more than money to instead create this capitalist nightmare of uber-wealthy owners who can pump unlimited funds into their side with no controls, players being bought and sold for more than GDP of some countries, teams are just brands with no local connection whatsoever, and leaving a grassroots system that is deliberately kneecapped so talent is cherrypicked by the top clubs and there’s zero chance of the big six ever leaving the Premier League (case in point being Arsenal’s dismal season still never getting close to relegation).

The ESL is just the EPL on steroids quite frankly.

Also I did laugh at how Leeds United have at least one player who doesn’t know how to put a t-shirt on correctly.