European football governing body, UEFA has slammed plans by some top clubs in European top leagues for plans to break away from the normal league and champions league format to set up their own European super league while also thanking French and German clubs for refusing to sign up to the scheme.
According to the Premier League and UEFA, the plans to create a European Super League, are anti-competitive and will undermine the integrity of the sport.
Reports of a rival competition known as European Super League emerged on Sunday April 18, just a day before UEFA were to hold a meeting to ratify the current Swiss model being used for the Champions league.
In a joint announcement on Sunday night, six English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur — alongside three teams from Italy — AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus — and three from Spain — Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid — laid out plans to form a breakaway competition, referred to in the announcement as the Super League.
The top clubs feel cheated by the current champions league format which does not give them enough financial protection. The top clubs feel that it’s easier now for ‘small clubs’ like Leicester City, Everton, Atalanta, Bilbao to qualify for the Champions league than them. Most especially top premier league clubs feel cheated as they earn the same amount of television rights money as the likes of Burnley, West Ham, West Brom when they believe fans from all over the world will rather watch a Manchester United vs Chelsea than a West Brom vs Burnley.
UEFA, the premier league and the English FA have now released statements condemning the clubs. In a statement, the English premier league said: “The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.
“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 Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world. Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.
“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.
“We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game.”
UEFA in a statement said: “UEFA, the English Football Association and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and La Liga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A have learned that a few English, Spanish and Italian clubs may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League.
“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
“As previously announced by FIFA and the six Federations, 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.
“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. 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.”
The FA in a statement also said: “It is clear that this would be damaging to English and European football at all levels and will attack the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are fundamental to competitive sport.
“For new competitions to be formed involving clubs from different associations, approval would be required. 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.”
There have been no official comments from any clubs so far.