Football Sports

Breakaway European Super League: Football on brink of all-out civil war; proposals present seismic moment for the game

Six English teams are expected to be part of plans for a breakaway European super league, with an announcement due soon.

Among the English clubs involved are Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

The project has been launched to rival UEFA’s Champions League format which currently dominates European football.

12 clubs from across Europe including the six biggest English clubs have now signed up to this new format, according to media reports.

The others include Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid. The project is being launched to rival UEFA’s Champions League format which currently dominates European football.

The developments come as UEFA itself was due to sign off on its own plans for an expanded and restructured Champions League on Monday.

UEFA, the FA, and the Premier League as well as football authorities in Spain and Italy have expressed their opposition to a breakaway European super league.

In a joint statement they said they “remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project”, adding: “We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this.

“This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”

Kleinman said of the rival competition: “The new league includes staggering sums of money that will be handed to the participating clubs. About $6bn has been committed to this new project by the American bank JP Morgan.

“And this will come after European clubs’ finances have been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic which is one of the reasons why so many of Europe’s biggest clubs have decided that now is the right time to form a European super league after years of on/off discussions about such a project.”

Premier League stance

The Premier League said it “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”.

In its own statement, it also said: “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’s chief executive Richard Masters has written to all 20 clubs in England’s top division to state the league’s 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”.

Mr Masters goes on to say in the letter: “We do not and cannot support such a concept.

“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.”

UK PM voices concern

Plans for a European super league would be very damaging for football and “we support football authorities in taking action”, says Boris Johnson.

The prime minister tweeted that the proposals “would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country”.

He added: “The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”

Six English teams are expected to be part of plans for the breakaway European super league, with an announcement due soon, Sky News understands.

Among the English clubs involved are Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

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