The future of football as we know it has been dealt a bombshell following reports that Premier League clubs are willing to join the revolutionary European Super League.
Late on Sunday night, 12 teams confirmed they intend to join the Super League as founders. The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Manchester United and Tottenham – will be joined by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan in founding the new competition.
So, that’s the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ plus three of the biggest clubs from both Spain and Italy.
European Super League format explained
We going over the proposals for the format of the European Super League for those of you who may have missed it earlier.
As founders, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid would essentially be in a closed system where they could not be relegated from the European Super League.
Teams could still qualify for the Super League via their domestic leagues, but places would be limited and the founders would earn the majority of the money available.
European Super League chairmen
Real Madrid president Florentizo Perez will be the European Super League’s chairman with Juventus’s Andrea Agnelli and Man United’s Joel Glazer serving as vice-chairmen.
Joel Glazer said in a statement: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities.”
UEFA have already announced that every club and player participating in the breakaway competition will be banned from all competitions at both European and international level (that includes playing for their respective countries).
Neville: Relegate Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal – they should know better
ECA statement in full
Here is that European Club Association (ECA) statement in full…
“In light of today’s reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, ECA as the body representing 246 leading clubs Europe, reiterates its states commitment to working on developing the Uefa Club Competitions model with Uefa for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a ‘closer super league model’ to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed by the ECA.
“ECA would refer to the position adopted by its executive board at its meeting last Friday April 16, namely that it supporters a commitment to work with Uefa on a renewed structure for European Club Football as a whole post 2024, including proposed changes to the Uefa Club Competition post 2024.
“With ECA’s support, Uefa’s executive committee is being asked to endorse these commitments at its meeting on April 19 along with pursuing efforts to reach an agreement on the future relationship between ECA and Uefa.
“The ECA Executive Board will be convening over the coming days to take appropriate decisions in light of any further developments.”
SIr Alex Ferguson criticises plans
Sir Alex Ferguson, twice a Champions League winner as Manchester United boss, has added his voice to criticism of the breakaway plans.
“Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football. Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest,” he told Reuters.
“Everton are spending £500 million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League. Fans all over love the competition as it is,” he said.
“In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights.”
Uefa responds: Clubs would be barred from Champions League
A Uefa statement said: “UEFA, the English Football Association and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have learned that a few English, Spanish and Italian clubs may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League.
“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
“As previously announced by FIFA and the six Federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.
“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced. This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”