Following the announcement that 12 major European football clubs – including Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United – have agreed to join a breakaway European Super League, a controversy was sparked as UEFA currently considers prohibiting said football clubs from international and domestic games.
Leading European football clubs announce new Super League competition.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 18, 2021
The new format was put forward as a rival to the UEFA Champions League and 6 Premier League clubs will be joined by AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Real Madrid. Meanwhile, 3 more clubs could join for the inaugural season.
The official 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.’
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 18, 2021
‘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 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.’, it added.
Football supporters are the heartbeat of our national sport and any major decisions made should have their backing. (1/3)
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) April 18, 2021
Backing up the new European league were Florentino Perez (president of Real Madrid and the first chairman of the Super League), Andrea Agnelli (chairman of Juventus and vice-chairman of the Super League), and Joel Glazer (co-chairman of Manchester United and vice-chairman of the Super League).
The agreement also comes on the eve of plans to introduce a new format for the Champions League and UEFA, on the other hand, stressed that Europe’s top national football governing bodies and leagues will remain united in opposing the ‘cynical’ initiative and will even resort to legal action to prevent the aforementioned scheme.
Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action.
They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. (1/2)
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 18, 2021
FIFA has also criticized the scheme, declaring, ‘In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution’.
Other entities, like the European Club Association, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the EU Parliament Sports Group have also strongly opposed the breakaway league.