The 36th edition of the Supercopa de España underwent a few significant changes from the competition’s traditional format. Instead of being contested between the top two performing Spanish teams of the previous season, the contest now features Spain’s top four teams. In addition, the tournament is being contested from the 8th to the 12th of January, rather than during the preseason as was custom. Such changes, among others, have led to the need for one such tournament being questioned. Does the Supercopa de España still have relevance, or is it little more than a hindrance to the clubs who would be better off focusing on their league season?
While the Supercopa de España has its place in Spanish footballing history, the new changes that have been brought to the tournament have certainly raised a few eyebrows. In the past, when this tournament was contested before the start of the season, it provided an exciting preview for the action that laid ahead. This intrigue has since disappeared due to the tournament being moved to January.
Even more frustrating about this change of date is the fact that the tournament now takes place in the middle of the season. With competitions such as La Liga, the Champions League, and the Copa del Rey to think about, sides like Barca have more than enough on their plate. Players are already being pushed to their physical limits while trying to keep up with the jam-packed schedule of the regular season, and adding yet another competition to the mix is only making their jobs more strenuous.
Another peculiarity of this tournament is the fact that it is taking place in Saudi Arabia. Flights from Madrid to Riyadh can take anywhere from 8 hours and upwards, which will only serve to provide players with jet lag and further decrease their fatigue. To make matter even worse, the remaining La Liga teams who are not competing in this tournament get a full week of recovery, only having to return to action next weekend.
It seems that there was little logic behind the decision to change the format of a tournament that was best left as is. The Blaugranes’ calendar is already chaotic enough without sending another distraction their way.