European super league: Top clubs reportedly planning breakout competition; UEFA opposes ‘cynical project’
UEFA has slammed reports this weekend that a breakaway super league is on the verge of being announced with the participation of big-name English, Spanish and Italian teams. European soccer’s governing body issued a statement on the matter calling out the proposal and reiterating that the English (FA), Spanish (RFEF) and Italian (FIGC) associations are against the “cynical project” and thanked “French and German clubs” for their “refusal” to join the breakaway league.
Some top European soccer clubs agreed to create the European club competition that would be separate to UEFA’s Champions and Europa Leagues, per the New York Times. Top sides, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus and AC Milan, are said to be among the teams planning to break away from European soccer as UEFA was due to meet on Monday to finalize plans for a redesign of the Champions League.
On top of United and Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur would reportedly be the Premier League teams involved with Atletico Madrid another Spanish outfit and Inter Milan an additional Italian side.
In a statement, UEFA threatened to ban clubs from European competition if they joined a 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, UEFA said in a statement.
“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 Federations, 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 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.”
The Premier League also issued a statement condemning the possibility of a European super league on Sunday.
“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,” said the statement. “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.”
For now, per reports, at least 12 clubs would play either founding roles or have at least shown an interest in joining the new competition. An official announcement was expected by Sunday night in England.
The estimated earnings for would-be fixtures signing up to the proposed super league are at least $425 million. Each of the would-be permanent members of the proposed super league are being promised 350 million euros, or $425 million, to sign up, per documents obtained by the New York Times. JP Morgan Chase & Co. were reportedly approached to raise financing for the project that has seen FIFA back UEFA by threatening to ban any players involved in such a league from future World Cup competition.
The super league would play midweek matches with 16 fixed soccer clubs and four qualifiers from domestic competitions with two groups of 10 and the top four teams in each qualifying for the knockout stages ahead of a weekend final.