European Super League: Twelve clubs announce plans for breakaway league to rival Champions League

Twelve clubs, consisting of six Premier League sides and three each from Spain and Italy, on Sunday announced the formation of the European Super League.

The European Super League. (Image: ESL website)
By Shayne Dias | Apr 19, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Twelve clubs, consisting of six Premier League sides and three each from Spain and Italy, on Sunday announced the formation of the European Super League. Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus, Milan, Inter, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico are the founding members. However, the league will feature 20 sides – 15 permanent members and 5 who will qualify for the tournament. It will replace the current UEFA Champions League.

A statement from the founding members confirmed their intentions. “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its founding clubs,” it read.

“AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”

Money a key factor

The league further said that the formation of the league was down to two things: money and competition.

“Going forward, the founding clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.

“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model.

“Further, for a number of years, the founding clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season. And of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.”

But as expected, the move has received widespread condemnation.

Death of football?

Social media reactions were overwhelmingly negative, with many terming the league ‘the death of football’. But more importantly, so was the reaction from UEFA and FIFA.

Europe’s governing body slammed the tournament, saying in a statement they would consider all options available. FIFA also expressed disapproval at plans of the ‘breakway, closed’ European Super League.

The move has also been criticised by executives of European domestic leagues, including the Premier League. Notably, no German or French club has signed up for the league.

German giants Bayern Munich are notably not a member of the ESL. Reigning Ligue 1 champions PSG have also been opposed to the new league.

What next?

What the future holds as of now is hard to predict. The breakway clubs are facing a number of sanctions for now.

This includes banning Super League players from playing in domestic leagues and even for their country. Reports have also suggested other sanctions, many of which are unconfirmed.

However, plans are to start the new league as early as 2021 or 2022. That gives the game’s stakeholders precious little time to take action.

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