European Super League clubs officially release statement on breakaway plans

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Twelve of the world's biggest football clubs have officially announced a statement on the European Super League plans.

Football is in all-out civil war after plans for the breakaway cult were leaked by the media on Sunday afternoon.

Six Premier League clubs are among those involved and are part of the joint-statement which was released after furious backlash from around the world.

The six clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – have been joined by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. A further three founder members are expected to be established in weeks to come.

But the plans have been met furiously, with even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opposing the plans publicly.

There have also been other public shows of disapproval from significant personalities, including a fierce and emotional plea from Gary Neville during Sky Sports' coverage of Manchester United's win over Burnley.

Despite the backlash, the European Super League clubs have released a statement.

The statement reads: "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.

"AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atletico 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.

"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.

"The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.

"In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions.

"The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid. "

The statement comes less than 24 hours before UEFA were due to officially announce their plans for a reformed Champions League, with 10 group games and 36 teams competing.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will head up the new league, with United co-owner Joel Glazer and chairman of Juventus Andrea Agnelli involved.

UEFA, the heads of European football, thought that they had seen off the challenge of a Super League but are now left panicking that they are fighting a losing battle.

UEFA had succeeded in winning the support of the European Club Association but the Super League project has been revived by Agnelli.

Back in January it emerged that founder members of a proposed European Super League would be offered up to £310m each to join the competition if it gets the go ahead.

15 clubs would be founding members, while five other teams would qualify on a season-by-season basis.

Real Madrid President Perez, who is the the first Chairman of the Super League, has said: “We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world.

"Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”

Chairman of Juventus Agnelli, now Vice-Chairman of the Super League has said: “Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies.

"We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”

Co-Chairman of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of the Super League, Glazer, has said: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”

Confirmed competition format

  • 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
  • Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
  • An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.

Proposals for European Super League:

  • Two groups of 10 clubs who play home and away, with the top four from each group going through to two-legged quarter-finals, semi-finals and a one-legged final.
  • Matches would be midweek
  • Clubs would have rights to show four matches a season on their own the digital platforms
  • 20 per cent of the pot would be merit money “distributed in the same manner as the current English Premier League merit-based system” according to where clubs finish in the competition
  • The remaining 15 per cent would a “commercial share based on club awareness”
  • A cap of 55 per cent of revenues permitted to be spent on salaries and transfers
  • A ‘Financial Sustainability Group’ would monitor clubs’ spending

Proposals as previously reported by The Times.

  • Champions League
  • Premier League
  • Manchester United FC
  • Liverpool FC
  • Manchester City FC
  • Arsenal FC
  • Tottenham Hotspur FC
  • Chelsea FC

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