European Super League releases official statement confirming plans
The controversial plans have been confirmed tonight
The 12 clubs which have agreed plans to establish a European Super League have released a joint statement under the title The Super League on Sunday night, confirming reports earlier in the day that a breakaway competition had been agreed upon.
In the statement, the Super League revealed that a further three clubs were expected to join the competition before its inaugural season, which they expect to start "as soon as practicable".
Calling themselves the 'founding clubs', the statement openly confirms the reasoning behind the deeply unpopular idea is economically driven, claiming that the new league has come at a time "when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model".
The major European leagues, as well as UEFA and FIFA, have released statements condemning the plans, which critics have labelled as greedy and against the nature of competitive sport.
In their statement, the clubs say "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".
One of the most vocal critics of the new competition has been Gary Neville, who stated his belief on Sky Sports that the clubs involved in the breakaway should have points deducted from them in the Premier League.
He said: “It’s an absolute scandal. Any clubs that have agreed to it should be ashamed of themselves.
“European Super League? Are Arsenal in that? They’ve just drawn with Fulham! Man United are drawing with Burnley!
"I cannot concentrate on the game. To sign up to the Super League during a season is a joke, they should deduct points off all six of them."
Read the statement in full below:
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.
AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.
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 formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
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. In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions.
The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.