Anger grows at plans for breakaway European Super League

Uefa and football authorities across continent announce they will fiercely oppose any breakaway competition

Uefa - along with English, Spanish and Italian football authorities - said any clubs who take part in a so-called European Super League would be banned from all other domestic and continental competitions. AFP
Uefa - along with English, Spanish and Italian football authorities - said any clubs who take part in a so-called European Super League would be banned from all other domestic and continental competitions. AFP

English, Spanish and Italian football authorities, along with Uefa, announced on Sunday that any clubs who take part in a so-called European Super League would be banned from all other domestic and continental competitions.

European football's governing body said it had learnt that some English, Spanish and Italian clubs might announce a breakaway competition.

"The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams," Uefa said in a statement.

Media reports on Sunday suggested that an announcement on plans to create a Super League could be made later in the day.

The English Premier League has said it "condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit" following reports that six of its clubs were supporting a European Super League.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are reported to be involved.

La Liga’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid and Serie A’s AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus have also been named.

"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," the English football governing body said in a statement.

"We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream."

Uefa is planning to announce its reforms to the Champions League on Monday, with an expansion to 36 teams from 32 and two 'wild card' slots expected to be among the plans.

There have been no reports that French or German clubs would be part of the Super League.

"We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this," Uefa added.

"We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced.

"This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough."

"It is illegitimate, irresponsible and anticompetitive by design," added Fans Europe, a football supporters' network.

"More to the point, it is driven exclusively by greed. the only ones who to stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs, and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues despite their inbuilt advantage."

Notably, last season's two Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, are among the big European teams not involved.

"Economic interests of a few top clubs in England, Italy and Spain must not result in the abolition of established structures in the whole of European football," German Football League boss Christian Seifert said.

"In particular, it would be irresponsible to irreparably damage the national leagues, as the basis of European professional football, in this way."

Updated: April 18, 2021 11:01 PM

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