Twelve of Europe’s elite clubs on Monday said they planned to create a separate European Super League that would act in competition to the Prestigious Champions League.
Who will participate in the new Europan Super League?
England’s traditional ‘big six’ of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have confirmed their intent to join the European Super League. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have joined as founding clubs, with three more expected to follow suit.
The aforementioned twelve clubs have all officially left the European Club Association. Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, is the first chairman of the Super League, while Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli and Manchester United’s Joel Glazer acting as vice-chairmen.
The founding clubs will receive a mammoth “a one-time payment of the order of 3.5 billion euros”. “Three additional clubs will be invited to join them before the start of the inaugural season which will start as soon as practicable,” added the organisers.
However, the plan of a new footballing league has been vocally rejected by others, including Bundesliga outfits Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, while UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and La Liga chief Javier Tebas are among the most passionate critics of it.
European Super League’s format
This is how the European Super League’s format will be:
- 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.
European Super League Reactions
According to UEFA, The English Football Association (FA) and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have all slammed the proposal which endangers the very structure of the game.
FIFA added: “[We] can only express disapproval to a ‘closed European breakaway league’ outside of the international football structures.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned the plans, saying: “would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country”.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised the plans of forming a new mid-week competition.
Sir Alex Ferguson: “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football.” #mulive [reuters]
— utdreport (@utdreport) April 18, 2021
Former Manchester United title-winning defender has spoken passionately against the European Super League.
— utdreport (@utdreport) April 18, 2021
Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has hit out too at the breakaway competition.
Jamie Carragher: “It sickens me that my club’s reputation is being damaged by the arrogance of an ownership group that wants to remove such peril, creating a culture where we no longer need to fight to earn our success.” #awlfc [telegraph]
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) April 19, 2021
Some more reactions are as follows:
Closed shop in the new Super Greed. Rich getting richer and forget the rest. Absolutely disgusting !!!
— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) April 18, 2021
Ed Woodward & the Glazers….. you have outstayed your welcome @ManUtd !
It is not a toy, and it’s not yours to ruin…
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) April 18, 2021
— Ander Herrera (@AnderHerrera) April 19, 2021
“This is, for me, a war on football.”
“It’s a disgrace, it’s embarrassing, and it goes against everything that football is about.”
Some strong feelings about the European Super League from our panel.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 18, 2021
#Embarrassing as fan representatives we are appalled & completely oppose this decision. FSG have ignored fans in their relentless & greedy pursuit of money. Football is ours not theirs. Our football club is ours not theirs. We will respond fully to this statement in due course. https://t.co/vFsykEm1Qz
— Spirit of Shankly (@spiritofshankly) April 18, 2021
— Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (@ChelseaSTrust) April 18, 2021
Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League – not any Super League. The enjoyment of big games is that they only happen once or twice a year, not every week. Really hard to understand for all football fans out there…⚽💔
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) April 19, 2021