European Super League breakaway proposal shocks footballing world

The announcement of Europe’s 12 top football teams breaking away to form a European Super League has shocked and outraged the footballing and wider world.

In a joint announcement six English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur three teams from Italy — AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus — and three from Spain — AtlĂ©tico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid — laid out plans to form a breakaway competition.

In addition to the 12 founding members of the proposed Super League, the group plans to add three additional clubs before the Super League’s inaugural season, which is “intended to commence as soon as is practicable,” according to the announcement posted on the 12 clubs’ websites.

The joint statement says the league will ultimately consist of 20 clubs and be governed by the founding clubs.

American investment bank JP Morgan said it would finance the proposed new breakaway European Super League.

French President Emmanuel Macron supported the position of French clubs to refuse to participate in the European Super League, while his UK counterpart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, condemned the plans, calling them “very damaging for football.”

“Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action,” he said on Twitter.

“They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden questioned the fairness of the proposed changes and stressed the focus of football is on the fans.

“Football supporters are the heartbeat of our national sport and any major decisions made should have their backing,” he said.

“With many fans, we are concerned that this plan could create a closed shop at the very top of our national game. Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that undermines this is deeply troubling and damaging for football.

“We have a football pyramid where funds from the globally successful Premier League flow down the leagues and into local communities. I would be bitterly disappointed to see any action that destroys that.”

FIFA, the global governing body for football, denounced the formation of the Super League, saying it goes against FIFA’s core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution.

In UEFA’s Sunday statement, it referenced FIFA’s earlier statement stressing that Super League clubs “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.”