The world of football is in shock after 12 top European clubs announced late on Sunday the creation of their own league, to be called the “European Super League.”
The creation of the European Super League was met with anger by UEFA, the European Football Association, and most national Football Associations.
Critics say that the establishment of such an exclusive club will further increase the gap between the rich and the poor teams throughout Europe, and in effect bar the excluded clubs from competing against the best teams.
The English Premier League released a statement saying a super league would “destroy” the premise of open competition.
“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,” said the statement. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.”
Founding clubs of the European Super League
The founding – and governing – members of the European Super League are: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.
That’s six of the best from the Premier League, and three each from La Liga and Serie A.
Notable omissions for now are PSG and Bayern Munich. A further three clubs are expected to join before the inaugural season, which is intended to begin in August.
Five more clubs can qualify annually, however, based on their achievements during the prior season.
The clubs say that “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.
“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.”
About $5 billion has been committed to this new project by the American bank JP Morgan.
The plans have prompted widespread condemnation. Governing bodies and leagues across Europe are viewing the proposal as an attempted power-grab.
Gary Neville is the people's hero right now. Unreal piece of television about the European Super League. pic.twitter.com/ypdQbdQfs7
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) April 18, 2021
The Premier League released a statement saying a super league would “destroy” the premise of open competition.
UEFA was similarly critical in a joint statement with the English Football Association, the Premier League, the Spanish FA, La Liga, the Italian FA and Serie A and threatened to ban participating clubs from their domestic competitions.
“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.
“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.”
In January, FIFA had said that a breakaway league would not be recognized and that “any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organized by FIFA or their respective confederation.”