The Voice of the Locker Room
The ELF (European League of Football) is set to launch summer of 2021. The 1st professional football league in Europe since 2007 (NFL Europe). We caught up with some players and coaches to get their thoughts and reaction on the idea of the ELF.
"I Hope there honest to the players, a lot of the guys are thinking everyone is getting payed big money. And if the players still don’t get payed how there want to make sure everyone can travel to Europe every weekend like the plan is." - Sebastian Fandert
"When I first heard the news of Elf , I was excited to hear that there would be a hopefully more competitive league with no obvious underdogs game in and game out. The way the GFL is set up now doesn’t make for entertaining games. Not until playoffs anyway. Also the GFL import rules have sullied the league because of loop holes concerning European relatives. I am excited as heck to possibly have an opportunity to play or coach in the Elf league. As of now the possibilities remain endless! Patrick Eusume has been around long enough to know what great European football should look like." - Pat Donahue
"As an idea I think its definetily the way to go. I dont see football taking any steps forward if we keep the current format. There is talent all over europe so to make a league with teams from different nations will make the quality better. Finland is a prime example, there wont be enough talent so that people could enjoy good quality football. You can see the same in Germany that is regarded as the best league meanwhile there is ridiculous blowouts every week, no surprises really.I understand all the difficulties that comes with making this league and I feel the national leagues worries, but they need to see a bigger picture and that is, there wont be quality football until the best teams play against each other in the same league. I feel like if its done right there can be good quality international football in europe , while still saving the national leagues.
Im all for this league but it needs to be done right." - Sebastien Sagne
"Overall I think it’s a great idea, it’s something that I think a lot of people have wanted to see. A Professional European league where top teams from all over europe play each. It has a lot of potential, and with the possible the contracts, it’s just the icing on the cake." - Deante battle
“Hearing the news of a professional football returning to Europe was exciting. Having played overseas I think it has upside, however to my knowledge there have been attempts to build leagues in the past but those have been unsuccessful. I am interested to see how this will be different.” – Jamal Clay, Athletes Forum
"I welcome it. To be honest Europe needs a shake up. There are so many associations that are stuck in their ways. While they are doing lots of great work, they spin there wheels managing and solving petty things, rather than really thinking, "How do we take the game to the next level in every way?" So shake it up, maybe it will help some people think differently." - Anonymous Coach
“This could be a great opportunity for homegrown talent to make an impact. If done right, this could be the new face of American Football in Europe in a couple of years.” - Tommy kaczocha
"From a player's point of view I see a big chance in the ELF. I like the salary cap and the clear Import rule (4 A's, 8 European's). With the announced budget of 1,5 Mio for each team, every team can afford to have the same amount of Imports. This will bring a competitive balance, what is vital to make Football more attractive to fans.
Another point I like about this new league are the National TV Deals and the focus on filling stadiums up to 20.000-30.000
I think especially for teams outside of Germany this league will be a big chance. Teams like Wroclaw do not have competition in their own league. Same things for teams like Amsterdam Crusaders, Milano Seamen, Badalona Dracs etc. Most of these teams are unbeaten for years in their own national leagues.
The ELF could be a league to bring all these teams together in the future." - Niko
"First reaction was this could be outstanding for football in all of Europe; however, I have some doubts on if this can get put together, up and running by June and be sustainable financially. I feel football in Europe has one shot at this so if this fails it could set everything back years but IF it does work it will be a great thing for football in Europe." - Anonymous Player
"It is interesting for sure, but as I read about it I have more question than there are answers out there. How will it be pro? How can teams manage it financially? Is it ignoring youth development? How will it involve or encourage associations via countries or will it just compete with them? So many questions. There are lots of associations out there trying very hard and doing great things, ignoring them would not help the game." - Zach Harrod
"I think the ELF is a great opportunity for American football to be unified across Europe. Not that other leagues haven't , but I think the ELF gives athletes and coaches in Europe the chance to aspire to be more than amateur within the sport. There are already tons of talented athletes and coaches spread throughout various countries in Europe. Now imagine how much better the talent could be if all be if those same football fanatics had a chance to be around the game more and be in a professional manner."- Kaleb leach, Europes Elite
Photo credit: @AFI_Review (Instagram)