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Own goal?

Sally March ( is Director, Drummond March & Co, in London, UK.

Even those who call the game “soccer” may have heard the screeching U-turn by the creators of a proposed football Super League in Europe. As the Monday morning commentators picked over the bones of the billionaires’ decisions to launch a breakaway league and then step back amid howls of protest, some interesting themes emerged, reminding me of an ethical decision-making guide.

In April, a dozen or so of Europe’s most successful teams agreed to create a new “super” league, removing themselves from the competitions organized by their home nations and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the governing authority for European football. The president of the Italian club Juventus misled the UEFA president, saying the breakaway talks were just rumors. The announcement of the new league was met with cries of outrage from fans, other teams, and populist politicians. The players were silent, but former players decried the move. Within 48 hours, there was a humiliating change of course.

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