The announcement by major European football clubs that they plan to join an erupting European Super League sparked furious reactions on Sunday, with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson both issuing statements condemning the outbreak.
Macron immediately took a stand against the move. “The President of the Republic welcomes the position of the French clubs in refusing to take part in a European Super League project that threatens the principle of solidarity and sporting merit.”
Britain’s Johnson said via his official Twitter account: “Plans for a European Super League would be very detrimental to football and we support the football authorities to take action.”
“They would strike at the heart of the domestic game and will touch fans across the country.
“The clubs involved must respond to their fans and the wider football community before taking further steps.”
Plans for a European Super League would be very detrimental to football and we support football authorities to take action.
They would strike at the heart of the domestic game and will touch fans across the country. (1/2)
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 18, 2021
The Premier League, the English Football Association (FA), players’ association and fan groups were also quick to express their dissatisfaction with the idea of a closed wrestling league.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are among 12 teams to sign for the pitch, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
On Monday, UEFA will announce changes to the Champions League format from 2024, which was seen as a measure to deter a breakout and appease the continent’s largest clubs, which are seeking greater revenue from more matches against each other.
Europe’s premier club competition is expected to expand from 32 to 36 clubs with at least ten matches for each team.
However, the 12 breakaway clubs have been lured by a pot of 3.5 billion euros just to sign up.
“A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game and have a profoundly detrimental effect 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 flourish,” the Premier League said in a statement. A statement.
“Fans of all clubs in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team can climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of the European Super League would ruin this dream. ”
The FA said a closed league would “attack the principles of open competition and sporting merit” and reiterated a threat from FIFA that players taking part in such a competition could be banned from representing their countries at international level.
“We would not authorize any competition that would harm English football, and will take any legal and / or regulatory action necessary to protect the broader interests of the game,” the FA said.
Leading former players were also keen on the proposal.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand described the pitch as “a war on football”.
Ferdinand told BT Sport: “It is a shame. It’s embarrassing, it goes against everything that football is about. It’s a closed shop and it’s just one thing – money. ”
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, who said the new league was based on “pure greed”, demanded a deduction for Premier League points and was removed from the Champions League for the clubs involved, who still plan to take part in domestic competitions if allowed. .
In a statement, Manchester United’s supporter confidence said: “A ‘Super League’ based on a closed shop of self-selected wealthy clubs goes against everything that football and Manchester United should stand for.”
“Presenting these proposals without any consultation with the fans and in the midst of a global pandemic when people should pull themselves together without serving their own selfish interests, only adds insult.”
Plans for a comprehensive reform of English football with the support of Manchester United and Liverpool were rejected by Premier League clubs in October 2020.
According to the controversial proposals, the number of teams in the English top flight would have decreased from 20 to 18 and the league cup would have been scrapped.
More power would have been handed over to the biggest clubs in exchange for a large financial compensation package and a larger share of the broadcast revenue for the English Football League (EFL).
( Jowharwith AFP, REUTERS)