UEFA and English, Spanish and Italian football authorities have announced that any clubs who take part in a so-called European Super League would be banned from all other domestic and continental competitions.
Reports of a rival competition known as European Super League emerged on Sunday April 18, just a day before UEFA were to hold a meeting to ratify current Swiss model being used for Champions league.
European football’s governing body said it had learned that some English, Spanish and Italian clubs might announce a breakaway competition.
In a joint announcement on Sunday night, six English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur — alongside three teams from Italy — AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus — and three from Spain — Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid — laid out plans to form a breakaway competition, referred to in the announcement as Super League.
The top clubs feel cheated by the current champions league format which does not give them enough financial protection.
The top clubs feel that it’s easier now for ‘small clubs’ like Leicester City, Everton, Atalanta, Bilbao to qualify for the Champions league than them.
Most especially top premier league clubs feel cheated as they earn the same amount of television rights money as the likes of Burnley, West Ham, West Brom when they believe fans from all over the world will rather watch a Manchester United vs Chelsea than a West Brom vs Burnley.
Reacting to this in a statement, UEFA said;
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.
If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we –- UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, La Liga, 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.
Arsenal currently sit ninth in the Premier League, well off the pace in the race to qualify for Europe, while Liverpool and Chelsea are both also currently outside the Champions League spots.
On its part, Premier League said;
The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.
Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.
The Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world. Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.
A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.
We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game.
Meanwhile, UEFA is planning to announce its reforms to the Champions League on Monday, with an expansion to 36 teams from 32 and two ‘wildcard’ slots expected to be among the plans.
There have been no reports that French or German clubs would be part of the Super League.
UEFA in its statement continued;
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.
Also, Fans Europe, a football supporters’ network, expressed;
It is illegitimate, irresponsible and anti-competitive by design. More to the point, it is driven exclusively by greed. the only ones who to stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs, and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues despite their inbuilt advantage.
There have been no official comments from any clubs intending to breakaway so far.
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