Elite soccer clubs forming European Super League despite opposition

According to the joint announcement, fifteen clubs are expected to become permanent members of the league, and five more will be played through after reaching the qualifying benchmarks. A corresponding women’s league is planned “as soon as possible” after the start of the men’s competition.

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Citing the “instability” of the “existing European football economic model” caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the clubs asserted that their plan would be good for the game overall.

“The new annual tournament will greatly increase economic growth and support for European football through a long-term commitment to unlimited solidarity payments that will grow in line with league revenues,” the announcement said.

UEFA, the European football association that hosts the Champions League, issued a statement earlier Sunday saying it and the national leagues “remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project”.

UEFA described the Super League as “a project based on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever”. She will consider all measures, including possible legal proceedings, to prevent their implementation. UEFA cited a statement from FIFA in January after details of the proposed Super League emerged, threatening that the clubs involved could be banned from other competitions and their players would be banned from participating in the World Cup and other international tournaments.

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UEFA also thanked the French and German clubs for “refusing to enter the tournament”, something that the Champions League would otherwise withhold from many of their most heavily supported teams. These countries were well represented in last year’s Champions League final, in which Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint-Germain. The 12 clubs previously announced for the Super League have won the Champions League a total of 40 times since it was founded in 1955.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday (via Reuters) that he “applauds the position of French clubs to refuse to participate in a European Super League football project that threatens the principle of solidarity and sporting merit”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter that the new league “would be very harmful to football and we are helping football authorities take action”. It would “hit the heart of the national game and affect fans across the country,” he added.

The Premier League agreed, saying on Sunday that it “condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit that are at the heart of the national and European football pyramid”.

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The Champions League model, at least in theory, allows almost every European club to get involved in the group stage of the annual 32-team tournament. In contrast, the Super League would have a smaller, much more solid group of participants who could then expect to benefit more and more regularly from the company.

The clubs involved in Sunday’s announcement said their solidarity payments to clubs involved in the early development of a given player will be “significantly higher than those generated by current European competition, and expected to be more than 10 Will be billions [euros] during the clubs’ initial commitment period. “Each founding club would receive € 3.5 billion, or approximately $ 4.2 billion,” just to support its infrastructure investment plans and offset the effects of the COVID pandemic. “

Several reports claim that US-based investment bank JPMorgan Chase will be a major funder of the Super League company.

“By bringing together the world’s best clubs and players to play against each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increasing financial support for the wider football pyramid,” said he Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, whose Florida family also owns Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arsenal and Liverpool are also American owned.

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“Our 12 founding clubs represent billions of fans around the world and 99 European trophies,” said Juventus chair Andrea Agnelli, the Super League vice-chair. “We joined forces at this critical moment to transform European competition, to put the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long term, to significantly increase solidarity and to provide fans and amateur players with a regular flow of headlines will nourish their passion for the game and at the same time provide them with committed role models. “

Agnelli was also chairman of the European Club Association but he reportedly resigned when Juventus left the organization. The ECA said on Sunday that it “strongly rejects” the “closed” model of the Super League and will continue to work with UEFA on the revision of European football competitions. One change could be to turn the Champions League into a single field of 36 teams, as opposed to its current division into eight groups of four, a proposal that is reported to be finalized by the UEFA Executive Committee on Monday.

The English Football Association stated on Sunday that every new tournament in which clubs from different associations participate must be approved by national bodies, confederations or FIFA.

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“We would not give permission for competitions that would harm English football,” said the FA, “and we will take all legal and / or regulatory action necessary to protect the broader interests of the game.”