Manchester United, Real Madrid and ten other top European football clubs have founded a new Super League, which promises investments in “higher quality” football and higher revenues despite the threat of bans by UEFA.
The 12 founding clubs said in a statement on Sunday that they will rule the runaway league themselves and that the opening season will be “as soon as possible”. Three more charter clubs are expected to join, and five more teams qualify annually based on their pre-season performance.
The founding clubs include Manchester United and Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico de Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Internazionale Milano, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. They agreed to continue the plan despite threats of being banned from participating in their home leagues.
“The founding clubs look forward to holding talks with UEFA and FIFA in the future in order to jointly achieve the best results for the new league and football as a whole,” said the 12 clubs.
Prior to the announcement, UEFA was already expressing its anger at the plan, claiming it would “take all measures available to us at all levels, both in the judiciary and in sport, to prevent this from happening”.
As announced by FIFA and the six confederations, the clubs concerned are prohibited from participating in other competitions at national, European or global level and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.
UEFA, the English Football Association, the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Association (RFEF), LaLiga, the Italian Football Association (FIGC) and Lega Serie A released a statement today. Read them in full here: 👇
– UEFA (@UEFA) April 18, 2021
Meanwhile, FIFA issued a more reluctant statement, expressing its “opposition to a” closed European breakaway league “but not threatening any impending bans.
The new weekday Super League games would allow clubs to continue competing in their national leagues provided they are not suspended. The season starts in August with clubs participating in two groups of 10 teams. The top three teams in each group would qualify for the quarter-finals, while fourth and fifth would fight for the remaining quarter-final positions.
“The new annual tournament will greatly increase European economic growth and support for European football through a long-term commitment to unlimited solidarity payments that will grow in line with league revenues,” said the founding clubs.
In addition, the clubs have been pledged a € 3.5 billion grant to support infrastructure investments and cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The clubs are also planning to open a corresponding Super League for women as soon as possible after the start of the competition for the new men’s league.
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