Football in chaos
Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
Uefa, the Premier League and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have condemned 12 major European clubs, including the ‘big six’ from England, signing up to a breakaway European Super League.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are part of the group.
La Liga’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid and Serie A’s AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus are involved.
Uefa said it will use “all measures” possible to stop the “cynical project”.
Senior figures at European football’s governing body are furious about the proposals.
Johnson said the plans would be “very damaging for football” and that the UK government supports the sport’s authorities “in taking action”.
He added: “The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”
The European Clubs’ Association (ECA), which represents Europe’s clubs, held an emergency meeting on Sunday in the wake of the reports.
BBC Sport understands none of the clubs mentioned in the Super League reports responded to a request to attend the meeting.
The meeting was chaired by Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar. Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain were among the clubs who were present.
In a statement the ECA said it would be “strongly opposed” to a “closed super league model”.
It has pushed plans for a 36-team Champions League, which Uefa had hoped would head off the formation of a Super League. The Champions League reforms are set to be confirmed on Monday.
BBC Sport was told last week of plans for some sort of confirmation about a European Super League.
Uefa released a joint statement, together with England’s Football Association, the Premier League, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as well as Serie A, on Sunday.
They said they will “remain united” in trying to stop the breakaway, using both judicial and sporting measures if required.
They also reiterated Fifa’s stance that players taking part in the Super League would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level and could be prevented from representing their national teams.
In a separate statement, the Premier League said it condemned the proposal as it “attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart” of domestic and European football.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement the government is “concerned this plan could create a closed shop at the very top of our national game”. -BBC