The nuclear option – football’s Super League: inside the 23 April Guardian Weekly

This week we look at what led to plans for a football Super League. Plus, the view from Minneapolis; tension in Ukraine and a sad farewell at Windsor Castle. Get the magazine delivered at home

Guardian Weekly cover 23 April 2021 Guardian Weekly cover 23 April 2021 Photograph: GNMGuardian Weekly cover 23 April 2021 Photograph: GNM

No one with an attachment to the top end of professional football over the past few decades would have been shocked that 12 clubs were planning to create their own European Super League. But the news was serious enough that it led to an immediate – and furious – outcry. The reaction was so fierce that the six English clubs involved have already pulled out of the enterprise.

Unfortunately for us, their about-turn occurred several hours after we’d sent this week’s edition to the printers. Nevertheless, we feature stirring responses from Barney Ronay and Jonathan Liew to a move of almost unprecedented sporting greed.

Our award-winning sport team have also been live-blogging the Super League fallout since Monday morning and you can keep up with the latest twists and turns here,

The announcement of a guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd was also made on Tuesday evening. In this week’s issue, we headed to Minneapolis to witness a city on edge ahead of the jury’s decision. There is extensive coverage of the verdict at Guardian US.

Elsewhere this week, seven years after the annexation of Crimea, tension is growing on the Ukraine-Russia border with reports of a mass build-up of Russian troops. Could Putin’s army make a new move on their western neighbour? Oksana Grytsenko reports from Marinka in Ukraine, a border town filled with fear and despair, while Andrew Roth analyses the state of the two countries’ militaries as the threat of conflict grows.

The funeral of Prince Philip was held at Windsor Castle last Saturday. It was, by the standards of the royals at least, a muted affair, marked for many by the sad sight of the Queen sat alone in St George’s Chapel due to Covid rules. As Jonathan Freedland writes, it felt like we were witnessing the end of an era in British life and gaining a glimpse of the next one.

Also in the magazine this week: Sirin Kale traces the story of a man who fell into a London garden after stowing away on flight to the UK; Ruth Michaelson reports from Dubai which is reinventing itself as a influencer capital of the world (don’t all rush to book a hotel … ) and Charlotte Higgins meets British artist Rachel Whiteread who has made a dramatic shift in her work to reflect the peril of the climate crisis.

We’ll be back next week looking at the dramatic developments in Chad – where veteran president Idriss Déby was killed yesterday just days after winning a sixth-term in presidential elections.


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