An official statement has been released on European Super League plans with six English clubs keen according to reports.
The competition format sees 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter finals.
Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.
SUPER LEAGUE STATEMENT
“AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.
“Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.
“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid. In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”
“As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.
“The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues. These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs. In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework. In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.”
UEFA have since said every club and player participating in the Super League will be banned from all UEFA and FIFA competitions.
UEFA will also sue every club participating €50-60 billion.
Florentino Pérez, President Real Madrid CF and the first Chairman of the Super League said: “We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world.”
Joel Glazer: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the SL will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition + facilities + increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
The European Club Association, which represents a membership of 232 UEFA clubs, has issued a statement on Twitter.
The ECA are against a ‘closed super league’ and want to work with UEFA. In Monday’s meeting – which UEFA are set to announce a change in CL – they want that final decision taken under consideration.
ECA held an emergency meeting this evening. None of the 12 clubs in the ESL proposals responded to invitations to attend. Bayern Munich and PSG did attend. Meeting was chaired by Edwin van der Sar in the absence of ECA president Andrea Agnelli, the Juventus chairman. Restated that agreements reached on Friday re CL reform should were still valid.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 19, 2021
“In light of today’s reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, ECA as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe, reiterates its stated commitment to working on developing the UEFA Club Competitions (UCCs) model with UEFA for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a ‘closed super league model’ to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed by ECA.
“ECA would refer to the position adopted by its Executive Board at its meeting last Friday 16th April, namely that it supports 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 Competitions post 2024. With ECA’s support, UEFA’s Executive Committee is being asked to endorse these commitments at its meeting on 19th April 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.”
— ECA (@ECAEurope) April 18, 2021
PM: CLUBS MUST ANSWER TO THEIR FANS
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has had his say on the issue of plans for a European Super League with a short statement on Twitter.
He wrote: “Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action. They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country.
“The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”
FIFA ISSUE STATEMENT
In a statement, governing body FIFA has said: “In view of several media requests and as already stated several times, FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA.
“In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution.
“Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case. Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a “closed European breakaway league” outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.
“FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play. FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.”
PREMIER LEAGUE ‘CANNOT SUPPORT CONCEPT’
The Premier League‘s chief executive Richard Masters has written to all 20 of the league’s clubs in England to state its opposition to the new project.
Mr Masters told the 20 that: “…this venture cannot be launched without English clubs and we call upon any club contemplating associating themselves or joining this venture to walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done”.
“We do not and cannot support such a concept,” Masters’ memo read.
“Premier League rules contain a commitment amongst clubs to remain within the football pyramid and forbid any clubs from entering competitions beyond those listed in Rule L9, without Premier League board permission.
“I cannot envisage any scenario where such permission would be granted.”
UEFA VOWS TO BLOCK SUPER LEAGUE
UEFA have said in a statement: 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 Confederations, 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.
FANS GROUP VOWS TO FIGHT PLANS
The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) has vowed to fight any plans for a European Super League and has alleged the motivation for the new competition is “nothing but cynical greed”.
In a statement, the group said: “The FSA is totally opposed to the proposals which seek to create a breakaway ‘European Super League’.
“The motivation behind this so-called Super League is not furthering sporting merit or nurturing the world’s game – it is motivated by nothing but cynical greed.
“This competition is being created behind our backs by billionaire club owners who have zero regard for the game’s traditions and continue to treat football as their personal fiefdom.
“The FSA, and no doubt supporters across the continent, will continue to fight against its creation.”
Fans reacted on the official statement released over European Super League plans…
£100 match tickets
Corporate laden finals
State-funded football clubs
But it’s a super league that would take the game away from us…
@TheRedArmy69: Go on Edwin
@BenHuntley2000: Greedy Owners that don’t care about the History and tradition of Football. Wanting to ruin the beautiful game. The Babes went to try and win the European Cup and unfortunatly didn’t return home and want to discard it 63 Yrs later for a few extra quid! #EuropeanSuperLeague #MUFC
@risky_iom: The Premier League opened Pandoras Box with it’s pursuit of global supporters with little knowledge or vested interest in the history of English football. They are as much to blame as anyone for what’s happening right now #europeansuperleague
@NicolaiLisberg: 18/04/2021: The day football died. Taking away every single aspect of unpredictability, is taking away the very essence of football. #europeansuperleague
@anna_woodberry: This European Super League saga will be framed as a battle of money vs. principles, but in reality it is battle of money vs. money
@bluwes: That’s me finished
@martinetherson: It’s over for me. Football RIP
@thepullofyou_: “Dear Super League & Founding Clubs. Get Fucked. Signed, Everyone”
@JuceeRob: Has to be repercussions for these clubs. Expel them from their domestic competitions and the @ChampionsLeague @EuropaLeague now.
@ChrisDGuitarist: Kick them out of their leagues immediately. Disgusting
@david_labelle: Now the fans need to come together and not watch any of the games or support the ESL whatsoever so it tanks and fails miserably
@IAL1: Threaten them with immediate relegation to the conference, they think they can dictate to the rest of the clubs? Punish them in the harshest way possible.
@Jaydbullet: Disgraceful they should be kicked out of there respective leagues
@harrygashead1: Football is ruined
@J_Ellingworth: This is absolutely devastating. Manchester City the club we all grew up to love has tonight sold itself to the greed and the careless billionaire owners without giving a single care in the world about its supporters. I really am lost for words
@JordanWebber96: Super Sunday is going to consist of Forest Green vs Grimsby for fuck sake.
@BallumKrisset: RIP English Football, 1888-2021.
@MbwLdurham: Ban the lot from domestic league, throw them out, see how far they get, absolutely disgusting, who the hell do they think they are, owners who can’t handle that they can’t have everything there own way, and if I was FA I’d refuse to give them free weeks to ply in this
@TheAnfieldTalk: Embarrassing from all involved including our club.
@TalalArmy: hope it goes fucking tits up
@_CarltonCole9: They haven’t invested in this because they like football. They have done this to earn money. Once it slows down, do you think they’re gonna carry on? No. They’ll sell their shares, the league will fold and these morons will have ruined 100+ year olds institutions
@VincentOlsson5: That’s it. That seals the deal. I’m no longer a football fan. I’ve been a fan of this sport since 1999 but I can’t support this kind of league for rich and these so called club owners that ruined the sport.
@Dannyke04883973: We want our football back
@Ste15375723Mark: What a fucking embarrassment. Unbelievably inconsiderate towards the fans. Throw them out now. They’ll be begging to get back in ‘in no time. They can re-enter at the bottom of the football pyramid.
@MarkDBerry1: Expel all 12 from their National Associations with immediate effect
@LloydArcher3: Kick them out the league and competitions they are currently in immediately.
@Trimby84: This would be enough to end my support of @ManUtd – it’s disgusting, opportunistic and 100% purely for money.
@Mike_Bedard: Kick them entirely out of the domestic… if they wish to rejoin at some point so be it but clearly these clubs have no real desire to support those that have supported them.