12 of Europe’s biggest football clubs form breakaway Super League
12 of the big European football clubs, on April 19, jointly confirmed and announced an agreement competition — The Super League. FIFA, however, has expressed its “disapproval” of the new European Super League (ESL) competition.
UEFA said that “the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.”
So far, the 12 teams that have confirmed their participation are Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan. Games are scheduled to be played in the midweek, and will begin in August.
The format would see the 15 ‘Founding Clubs’ guaranteed participation, with a future five teams qualifying annually “based on achievements in prior season”, and all continuing to compete in their respective national leagues.
A statement from the founding clubs has also surfaced, saying that three more teams would be announced shortly. This move from the big European football clubs has stirred widespread criticism, including from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer’s statement on European Super League says, “The super league will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world class competition, facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
Super League also released an official statement stating their newly formed board members — Chairman: Florentino Perez (Real Madrid), Vice-chairman: Andrea Agnelli (Juventus) and Vice-chairman: Joel Glazer (Man United).
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund have announced that they have no intention to join the Super League. “The clubs want to implement the planned reform of the UEFA Champions League. The plans to found a Super League have been rejected,” BVB CEO Watzke said.
BVB CEO Watzke also stated that “FC Bayern and B. Dortmund have 100% compatible views”, both against the Super League.
Breakaway clubs believe they can circumvent FIFA opposition to a closed-shop Euro Super League by offering five places a year to qualifying teams. They are, it seems, preparing for a huge legal battle.