A group of the world’s richest and most storied football clubs have agreed in principle on a plan to create a breakaway European club competition that would, if it comes to fruition, upend the structures, economics and relationships that have bound global soccer for nearly a century.
After months of secret talks, the breakaway teams — which include Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea in England, and Juventus and A.C. Milan in Italy — could make an announcement, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.
At least 12 teams have either signed up as founding members or expressed interest in joining the breakaway group, including six from England’s Premier League, three from La Liga in Spain and three from Italy’s Serie A, according to the people with knowledge of the plans.
The announcement would overshadow UEFA’s plans of a massive reform of the Champions League structure beginning in 2024 — which is expected to be announced on Monday — but the biggest clubs in the continent feel they don’t have enough power within UEFA and have accelerated the talks on breaking away from the current football setup.
Each club would receive 350 million euros to join the Super League according to the report, and the competition would take place in midweek as the teams would play their own version of the Champions League.
The plan is to have 16 permanent Super League members with four other teams invited annually from the European leagues. The 20 teams would be split into two groups of 10, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the knockout stages, with a one-game final taking place on a Saturday or Sunday.
UEFA has just come out with a statement regarding this issue. The governing body has thanked French and German clubs for refusing to sign up to a scheme driven by the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.
The Premier League has hit out, as well, at plans to create a European Super League, branding them anti-competitive and suggesting they undermine the integrity of the sport It has been joined by UEFA in slamming the proposal, which they say threatens the very structure of the game.
UEFA said: “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.”
Official statement from UEFA about Super League: “The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other domestic competition, European or International level, and the players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams”. 🔴🇪🇺 #SuperLeague #Uefa
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 18, 2021
UEFA, the English Football Association, the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), LaLiga, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have today released a statement.
Read it in full here: 👇
— UEFA (@UEFA) April 18, 2021