SUPER LEAGUE: Top European clubs plan to breakaway from Uefa
A European Super League with 12 of the continent's top teams has been announced as a direct rival to the UEFA Champions League.
Six English teams join forces with three Spanish and three Italian clubs to form a breakaway league.
The move comes as UEFA plan to go ahead with controversial plans to reform their flagship tournament - the Champions League.
Currently, the Champions League has 32 teams but will expand to 36.
Instead of playing six group games, the clubs involved will now play 10.
Groups are also to be a thing of the past, as teams will all be in the same league.
The top eight will qualify for the knockout phase, while a playoff stage will also be held for teams outside those spots.
UEFA plan to introduce these new changes from 2024. It's expected that similar adjustments will be made to the Europa League.
It's believed this new league is being formed in direct protest to these changes.
European Super League: What we know so far
The new European Super League will have 20 teams in total in which teams will play midweek fixtures.
Clubs still plan on playing in their domestic leagues while competing in this new tournament.
However, UEFA and FIFA have told them that their players will be banned from competing internationally if the league is formed.
The Super League members are believed to be already taking legal action against these threats.
Although, it has been suggested the owners don't want their players traveling for international duty anyway.
Some owners of breakaway clubs “secretly delighted” if their players are banned from playing for their countries. They get “very little financial reward for releasing players and there’s always the risk of injury”
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) April 19, 2021
UEFA statement on European Super League:
European football's governing body together with the Premier League, English Football Association, European leagues and FIFA released the following 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.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin blasted the breakaway club's plans when announcing the new Champions League format.
President Čeferin: "It will enable long-term viability, prosperity, and growth for everyone in European football, not just a tiny, self-selected cartel."
— UEFA (@UEFA) April 19, 2021
European Super League statement:
The clubs all put out a similar statement on their official websites as the new broke late on Sunday evening.
In it, they outlined the plans for the tournament and how they are proceeding from this moment.
The statement reads as follows: Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.
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.
Leaked email from Liverpool's Chief Executive
Billy Hogan emailed Liverpool FC's staff after the announcement of this European Super League.
In an email leaked by The Athletic, he says that despite the backlash from fans, this decision is in the best interests for the club.
Hogan's message says, "The Super League will be the future of European football and if we want to continue our journey of being a sustainable Club with ambition to grow and continue winning trophies then we should absolutely be part of that process and have a seat at the table rather than outside that group.
"We know that this announcement has provoked strong feelings within the game and elsewhere but we believe this decision is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool Football Club.
"Importantly, this is the beginning of the journey and we can now start an engagement process with you, supporters and key stakeholders to help shape this process in the right way."
Ramifications of the European Super League
Aside from UEFA and FIFA potentially banning players from competing for their countries, clubs could be banned from competitions.
Under Premier League rule nine, clubs must obtain 'prior written approval of the Board' if they wish to enter anything other than the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, FA Community Shield, Carabao Cup, or any other competition sanctioned by the county association.
That means should they start up the European Super League, the English teams could be booted out of the Premier League.
Obviously, without these teams in the Champions League and Premier League, that seriously damages the quality of the product.
Television rights could fall as a result, with the supporters of these clubs no longer involved in the tournament.
It could all be a ploy for more bargaining power when it comes to revenue from European competition.
However, the fact that American bank JPMorgan have provided a grant of €4billion for the league, that seems unlikely.
The other argument is that with teams leaving the English football pyramid, it creates a closed shop.
Five places would be up for grabs for teams to enter the competition from Europe. However, nobody knows how that would work.
The 12 founding teams would always play within the tournament regardless.
If these changes go through, we may be bidding farewell to football as we know it. Whether that's positive or negative, is up to you.
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