New European league gives trouble in German football – American football

Eight team in Europe, six of them from Germany: This is what the new one looks like European League of Football out, a project by TV expert Patrick Esume. The goal: The American football to revolutionize in Europe. “This league will be the best European league from the start. Not only in the media, but also in sports“according to the leagueCommissioner assume the League celebrates its premiere on Saturday, for Esume only the first step of many.

Together with the media contractor Zeljko Karajica as Manager he wants it NFLhype in Germany and make the sport big all over Europe – very big. “Our goal is to be 24 in no more than five years team throughout Europe from at least ten European countries. To really have a real European league with a reach of about half a billion people“, says Karajica. But the new league still has some construction sites ahead of it – and has already left some behind.

The core with GFL

It starts on Saturday – the Breslau Panthers welcome them Cologne Centurions. Stuttgart plays later increase near Barcelona Dragons. Big cities, big names. The big problem: In Germany there is already one football-Liga: Den German football league (GFL). Under the umbrella of American football German Association (AFVD) the German champion is played every year, there is also another league, amateur and youth leagues. That is exactly what is missing in Esume’s revolution.

Axel Streich, spokesman and league board member of the GFL, is critical of the new league: “It hurts him football not good from our point of view. Especially since these franchise and the league as a whole uses the existing structures and exploits them for financial interests without offering compensation. “

Esume claims that the league collaborates with clubs all over Germany and says: “As an ELF, we have always made it our mission American football wants to support the base. “ But that’s only for Axel Streich show: “They work with underclass clubs, it’s placebo. It has nothing to do with real youth work.”

There is radio silence

Initially, the two leagues would have communicated with each other about how both could benefit from it. Now there is radio silence. “They do not care to talk to us “, complains strike. GFL is now feeling the consequences: Ingolstadt and Hannover have been withdrawn from the game because they actually wanted to join the ELF. But they also did not find a place in the new league.

Although Frankfurt and Stuttgart are eligible to play for the GFL season, they are battling massive human bloodshed. For in the two places new team which ELF was founded for, the players are in high demand. “The whole team was almost pulled away. The way the initiators move forward makes its mark on us.said Streich.

German football is cannibalized

Tilman Engel, manager at Frankfurt Galaxy from 1998 to 2007, puts it even more drastically: “The existing German football is cannibalized. No new things are created, but parts of the squad are broken out of existing clubs. “

An example: just two months ago Danny Farley as new quarterback frankfurt Universe presented. Now he plays for them Cologne Centurions.

Financially, GFL can not keep up with the new ELF – not least because the new league is attractive to many players. Esume hopes his project will also provide a stage for the athletes: a springboard to the NFL. Tilman Engel is skeptical: “It will not be a new one level achieved, it’s the same people, the same coaches who have already played in the GFL.

But the German league has it football hype oversleep in recent years. “We know we have development potential at European level”, explains Streich. Right now, the GFL would actually dare a change. Now there are two leagues. one too much?

There can only be one

The market is not big enough for two leagues of this kind, neither for spectators nor for sponsors. From the perspective of tradition and loyalty, there can only be one – and that will be the German footballto be connected “says Angel.

According to Streich, the new league is only of secondary importance to the GFL: “Because we are part of the organized sport and a German champion is determined, this is not a competition for us. There will be some Cheers played out, which from our point of view has no real value. “

Parallels to NFL Europe

Does the ELF really have a chance? football to revolutionize in Europe? There was already a Europe-wide league from 1991 to 2007: the NFL Europe. Unlike the ELF, the league was a product of the NFL.

Even though it was at the NFL games Europe In 2007, there was an average of over 20,000 spectators at the stadium, and the final took place in front of a full house in Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena, the league was settled. Not enough for Americans who are used to acting and prefer to concentrate on marketing their own league in London.

A fate that also threatens the ELF? Although the ELF functions as a separate league, the NFL has ceded naming rights to old clubs. That’s why famous names are now back on the field: Barcelona Dragons, Cologne Centurions, Frankfurt GalaxyHamburg Sweet bastards and Berlin Thunder. However, it is doubtful how long this tolerance will last.

According to Engel, who serves as an adviser to the German Bowl, the NFL has its own interests in mind: “This tolerance is an intermediate. It’s not about them footballpromotion, but about opening new markets for a new one franchise in London. This has been intended for a long time, but was postponed due to Brexit and the pandemic. Once the NFL can do that, Project ELF is dead. “

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