• Wednesday, May 12, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:09 am

British PM leads backlash against 'big six' clubs planning to join Super League

  • Published at 11:28 am April 19th, 2021
Super League

The Premier League, English Football Association, players' union and fans' groups were also quick to voice their disapproval at the idea of a closed breakaway league

The announcement by six leading English clubs that they plan to join a breakaway European Super League sparked a furious reaction on Sunday, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the proposals "very damaging for football".

The Premier League, English Football Association, players' union and fans' groups were also quick to voice their disapproval at the idea of a closed breakaway league.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are among 12 teams to sign up to the plan, also featuring Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

"Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action," Johnson said via his official Twitter account.

"They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country.

"The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps."

On Monday, UEFA are due to announce changes to the Champions League format from 2024.

Europe's premier club competition is expected to be expanded from 32 to 36 clubs with a minimum of 10 games for each team.

Those changes were seen as a measure to dissuade a breakaway and appease the continent's biggest clubs, who are seeking greater revenue from more matches against each other.

However, the 12 breakaway clubs have been lured by a 3.5 billion euro ($4.2 billion, £3 billion) pot just to sign up to the competition.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper," the Premier League said in a statement.

"Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream."

The FA said a closed league would "attack the principles of open competition and sporting merit" and repeated a threat by FIFA that players who participate in such a competition could be banned from representing their countries at international level.

"We would not provide permission to any competition that would be damaging to English football, and will take any legal and/or regulatory action necessary to protect the broader interests of the game," said the FA.

- 'War on football' -

Leading former players were also scathing about the proposal.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand described the plan as "a war on football".

Ferdinand told BT Sport: "It's a disgrace. It's embarrassing, it goes against everything football is about. It's a closed shop and is only about one thing -- money."

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville called for Premier League points deductions and removal from the Champions League for the clubs involved, who still plan to take part in domestic competitions if allowed.

In a statement, the Manchester United Supporters' Trust said: "A 'Super League' based on a closed shop of self-selected wealthy clubs goes against everything football, and Manchester United, should stand for.

"To bring forward these proposals without any fan consultation, and in the midst of a global pandemic when people should be pulling together not serving their own selfish interests, just adds insult to injury."

Plans for a wide-ranging reform of English football backed by Manchester United and Liverpool were rejected by Premier League clubs in October 2020.

Under the controversial proposals, the number of teams in the English top flight would have been cut from 20 to 18 and the League Cup scrapped.

More power would have been handed to the biggest clubs in exchange for a large financial compensation package and a greater share of broadcast revenues for the English Football League (EFL).

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail