Twelve top European clubs announce ‘cynical’ Super League
The following clubs are closely involved in the revolutionary project: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. It is expected that three more clubs will be added for the first season in the new European top competition.
In the press release, the Super League management stated that the founders look forward to discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together, “for the best outcome of the new league and for football as a whole.”
Twenty clubs are planned to participate in the Super League: the fifteen clubs that founded the new league and five clubs that qualified based on the performance of the previous season. In August, the competition should start in two groups of ten teams, with away and home games. The top three of each group qualify for the quarter-finals. The clubs that finish fourth and fifth will compete in play-offs for the remaining two tickets.
A home and away game is also played in the knockout phase. The final of the Super League will then be one match, which must be completed at the end of May.
The teams that play in the Super League will continue to play league games in their own country according to the founders’ plan. However, the question is whether that will still be possible. UEFA on Sunday denounced the arrival of a ‘wild’ Super League in harsh terms and threatened to expel the participating clubs from the national competitions and to ban the players who play in the Super League from the national teams.
After the start of the Super League, the organization also wants to set up a European top competition for women’s teams. Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has been put forward as the first president of the new organization. Andrea Agnelli, the president of Juventus, will serve as vice-president. Joel Glazer, Manchester United co-chair, is also acting as Super League vice-chair.
The founders expect to generate an amount of 10 billion euros with the Super League during the period that the clubs have committed themselves to the ambitious project. It is still unclear how many years it will initially be. The twelve to fifteen clubs that make the creation of the Super League possible can count on an amount of 3.5 billion euros to support their investment plans and absorb the financial impact of the corona pandemic.
UEFA will meet on Monday to discuss possible reforms of the Champions League. The major European clubs have long been dissatisfied with the set-up and distribution of the revenues of that tournament. Partly because of this, the plans for a Super League arose.
The KNVB took the position on Sunday that a “Super League is not in the interest of Dutch football.”
FIFA calls for calm
The world football association FIFA sees no point in the formation of a Super League by a select group of European top clubs. “We disapprove of a closed and divisional European competition, outside the international football structures,” FIFA said in a brief statement.
The World Football Association responded about an hour after the founders of the Super League officially came out with the already partially leaked plans. “FIFA has always stood for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in a calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play. FIFA will do whatever it takes to contribute to a harmonized path forward in the common interest of football. ”
UEFA, ECA (the association of European football clubs) and various national associations and leagues also see nothing in the revolutionary plans. “This is a cynical project based on the self-interest of a few clubs, at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever,” said UEFA, among others.
On Monday, UEFA will talk about the future of the lucrative Champions League, the tournament that could devalue sharply due to the arrival of the Super League.
Juventus has a reservation on the establishment of the Super League
Of the twelve football clubs that jointly announced the creation of the Super League, Juventus is the only one to have made a reservation. The listed Italian club said in its own statement that it is not yet certain that the Super League will actually come about.
“The clubs that founded this project are doing their best to implement it as quickly as possible,” reports Juventus, the club of Orange international Matthijs de Ligt. “However, we cannot at this point guarantee that the project will ultimately be successfully launched or predict the exact timing of it.”
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli becomes Super League vice president. Agnelli has stepped down as president of the ECA, the umbrella organization for 246 top European clubs. In that role, the Italian argued earlier to support the proposed reforms of the Champions League. Just before the European federation UEFA wanted to adopt these reforms, twelve top clubs from Italy, England and Spain came with the message that they will set up their own Super League.
The ECA has always rejected those plans. Edwin van der Sar, general director of Ajax, is one of the vice-chairmen of the umbrella organization to which, in addition to Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, AZ, FC Utrecht, Vitesse, sc Heerenveen and FC Twente are also affiliated. Van der Sar held a lot of meetings with the ECA around the cup final won by Ajax against Vitesse (2-1) on Sunday. “It was a busy day with constant phone calls and video meetings with the ECA, even after the final whistle,” the former goalkeeper wrote on Twitter.
The intention is to increase the number of regular participants in the Super League by three more clubs. In addition, five clubs annually could qualify for the tournament. It is unclear whether Ajax is interested in this.
Since the 90s, European top clubs have been talking about the possible set-up of a Super League, as a counterpart to the Champions League. Ajax was also closely involved in this in the beginning.
Premier Johnson: ‘Super League hits national football in the heart’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finds the plans to set up a Super League “very harmful” for football. Johnson responded via Twitter to the message from twelve European top clubs, six of which from England, that they have founded their own international competition. “This goes to the heart of national football and will worry supporters from all over the country,” said the prime minister.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal want to start their own top competition together with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Internazionale. The clubs from England, Spain and Italy are planning to remain active in their national competitions, but instead of the Champions League, they will play midweek in the Super League: a ‘closed’ competition in which the founders always participate.
“The clubs involved must be accountable to their fans and the entire football community before taking any further steps,” Johnson said.