European Super League plans expected to be announced
Six Premier League clubs are reported to have signed up to the plans
UEFA are planning crisis talks in response to reports that Europe's elite clubs have signed up to a new European super league. Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs are the six Premier League teams rumoured to be involved.
The Premier League themselves have condemned the plans, and wrote to clubs on Sunday making it clear that its rules prevent clubs joining other competitions without its approval, the Associated Press reports.
The Associated Press say that they have got the information from an anonymous source involved in the talks and with knowledge of the situation. The rumours have also been reported in the Times.
Spanish giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are also said to be involved along with Italian titans Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan. So far no French or German clubs are rumoured to have signed up, including last year's Champions League finalists PSG and Bayern Munich.
BREAKING - A European Super League is expected to be announced tonight, according to reports.
No German or French clubs involved. Man United, Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Inter, AC and Juventus are.
UEFA crisis talks planned. pic.twitter.com/jOGveIO30N
— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) April 18, 2021
The news comes just hours before UEFA is set to announce its new format for the Champions League, to be implemented from 2024. The revamped competition would see the tournament expanded from 32 to 36 teams and see all the teams involved in one large group to start with, as oppose to the current format of eight groups of four.
These plans have been met with major opposition from some of Europe's biggest sides.
The European Super League plans would revolve around 15 elite clubs as permanent members in a 20-team annual competition, according to the Associated Press. The five extra teams would vary each season, but a qualification process has yet to be decided.
PL statement condemning Super League plans: “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.” https://t.co/wh3LrUS5Tm pic.twitter.com/s1UpQd2k6F
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 18, 2021
The 15 core members would receive at least €3.5 billion in initial infrastructure grants, with the money then split between four tiers of clubs. the top six would each receive €350 million.
The format would involve two groups of 10 teams, with the top four from each group qualifying for the quarter final stage. This would guarantee each team 18 Super League matches every year, considerably more than the guaranteed minimum of ten games that the new-look Champions League would offer.
Games would be played in midweek, allowing teams to continue to compete domestically.
But this would surely be the death knell for domestic competitions across Europe. Whilst the English clubs do not intend to leave the Premier League, it is a certainty that the league will not all them to take part in the new tournament, thus forcing them to leave.
The Daily Mail reports that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has sent a letter to clubs urging them to "walk away...before irreparable damage is done."
The Super League proposals hope to generate €4 billion in revenue from broadcasters, significantly more than the €3.25 billion that UEFA made from selling the broadcasting rights for the most recent packages of the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.