The Premier League has issued a strongly-worded statement on the idea of a European Super League, as a 20-team competition replacing the UEFA Champions League is planned to begin as early as 2023-24.
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Cue outrage across the soccer world with legal action planned by domestic leagues, national associations and governing bodies to try and halt this plan, while the likes of Porto, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and others have revealed they rejected the chance to join.
Premier League clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all agreed to join the Super League with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus also signing up.
The 12 “Founding Clubs” have officially announced their proposed competition, “the Super League,” and revealed that “a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”
The Super League announced pic.twitter.com/nAooYowBZ3
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 18, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson released the following statement on Sunday, calling upon clubs to consult their fans over the proposed change to league structures…
“We support football authorities in taking action. The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps”
Sounds like a real good time (Sarcasm dripping so much you might want to make sure your computer isn’t damaged).
So far six PL PL clubs and three each from La Liga and Serie A have signed up, while two Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, plus Paris Saint-Germain from Ligue 1, were expected to join to make it 15 clubs but they are yet to sign up and that seems highly-unlikely.
How would the Super League work?
“The Super League is a new European competition between 20 top clubs comprised of 15 founders and five annual qualifiers. There will be two groups of 10 clubs each, playing home and away fixtures within the group each year. Following the group stage, eight clubs will qualify for a knockout tournament, playing home and away until the single-match Super League championship, in a dramatic four-week end to the season. Games will be played midweek, and all clubs will remain in their domestic leagues.”
The 12 founding members have also stepped down from the European Club Association (ECA), which was led by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli who is seen as the architect of this plan. The ECA have been in lengthy negotiations with UEFA over the restructuring of the Champions League in recent years, and some see this Super League plan as a ploy to get more concessions from European soccer’s governing body.
What is UEFA saying?
UEFA has issued a separate statement condemning the idea and threatening domestic, European, and world bans for clubs and possibly even international team bans for players on teams in a European Super League.
UEFA also thanked the Bundesliga and Serie A giants for not signing onto the idea.
“This idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers. We will not allow them to take it away from us,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.
What about the future of the Premier League?
Here is the Premier League’s statement:
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.
Hopefully the PL clubs “signing on” to the proposal is at-most a bargaining ploy. Stay tuned.
The Premier League released a statement condemning the creation of a "European Super League."
"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." pic.twitter.com/XfwMGyvyr8
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 18, 2021