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New Super League to Rival CL - 11 Clubs Sign Up

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1 minute ago, Brownie said:

If you have no chance of winning the league, then what is the point in it? Take your Liverpool kit off for a second and think about it.

 

What is the point?

10 teams have won the English league title in the last 40 years. That’s an awful lot of clubs whose existence is apparently pointless.

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16 minutes ago, Anubis said:

Within the body of this article, Spirit of Shankly clearly speak out against it. Yes on Twitter, we are the only club not to feature on supporter outrage. Now, if you were just glancing at this, you'd think we were absent from our criticism and no doubt getting slagged by all and sundry. Take a look at the tweet below. This is deliberate. It's not accidental. And it's just indicative of how we've become everyones whipping boy. 

 

 

As predictable as night follows day. Fuck them and fuck seanroberts301.

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16 minutes ago, Nelly-Torres said:

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Why? You want to share more money with Sheff Utd so they can put 11 men behind the ball in the PL and stuff the wedge in their pocket to breeze back into the PL next season?  

You want Sean Dyche to do the same? 

You want to give part of our deserved cut to Spurs, to help them pay for their stadium?  So do we get a cut of their stadium income? 

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2 minutes ago, Moo said:

What was the point before top 4 became the be all and end all?  

Yep. I never liked the expansion of the EC / CL to include teams beyond champions - yes, I get the logic because the previous state of affairs meant that there were more big clubs in the secondary tournament, but no one should pretend the European Cup didn’t lose a certain element of its prestige and was a huge catalyst for where we find ourselves today.

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I'm struggling to find a way past all the noise on this at the moment, but I do share many of the concerns expressed.

But I'm not sure why people are saying the PL will suddenly be rendered meaningless?

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4 minutes ago, Jordy Brouwer said:

I have no idea what is going on. What even is life?

Erm, 42?!

 

Just seen a wolves fan on the news saying it's good news because if the 'big 6' get kicked out of the PL, then teams like wolves, villa and leicester will have the opportunity to win the league. And he said it with a straight face. Hmmm.

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7 minutes ago, Brownie said:

If you have no chance of winning the league, then what is the point in it? Take your Liverpool kit off for a second and think about it.

 

What is the point?

That's for the PL to answer.  The answer shouldn't be 'because you might get top four and then go into a properly good tournament run by our mates'. 

I'm all for fairness.  Let every club have a chance to win the league each year.  It's easy to design rules to help that.  But they won't. Because they want to skim TV money off the popular clubs like us, and then we get shafted by their shitty refs who hate us because we're famous and rich. I'm utterly sick of it.  

Minimum 6 homegrown players on the field for each side at any time. The wages go down, the ticket prices go down. 

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Athletic take on it:

 

European Super League explained: the contracts, plots and threats that shook football to its core

 

European football is at war after the continent absorbed the staggering news that the sport’s most famous football clubs are prepared to break away from UEFA competitions and establish a new European Super League.

 

The Premier League’s self-styled “Big Six” clubs have all agreed in principle to support proposals backed by Italian clubs Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan, in addition to Spain’s Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. England is the country with the most sign-ups so far, as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have conspired with their European counterparts and are committed to the plan.

 

Late on Sunday evening, the “Super League” published a statement. The release read: “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.” Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, Manchester United’s co-chairman Joel Glazer and Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez subsequently released statements supporting the launch.

 

The clubs have hired InHouse Communications as a British public affairs agency to promote the launch. Katie Perrior, the chair of InHouse, was formerly head of communications for Theresa May during her period as prime minister, while she also worked on Boris Johnson’s 2008 mayoral campaign.

 

The 12 clubs outlined an ambition to bring three more clubs on board, and these are thought to be Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain. However, as of Sunday evening, those three clubs had not been convinced by the proposal.

 

The idea is to have 15 founding members who will compete every season in the competition, irrespective of their performance in their domestic league, while five places among the 20 will be made available to other teams to qualify. The clubs did not, as of Sunday night, have a settled plan for how those five places would be awarded.

 

The tournament, which would start in August, would feature two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Those who finish fourth and fifth then compete for the remaining quarter-final places, before a two-legged knockout format is employed for the final eight, ahead of a single fixture final at a neutral venue. To be clear, the clubs committed to the Super League do not intend to compete in UEFA competitions such as the Champions League if the plan comes to fruition.

 

Additionally, the founding clubs said in a joint statement that “as soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a correspondent women’s league will also be launched”. No further details were supplied on the impact of the women’s game and Liverpool’s women’s team — who would, presumably, be parachuted into a women’s equivalent of the Super League — are currently in the second tier of English football. Lyon, the winners of the women’s Champions League in the past five seasons, are not among the founding clubs.

 

Today, UEFA had been scheduled to sign off a revamped format for its flagship competition, the Champions League, which would be due to come into effect from 2024. This new format would eliminate the 32-team group stage and instead have a 36-team “Swiss model” league, where each club play 10 matches: five at home, five away. The fixtures would be based on seedings and teams will be ranked from one to 36. The top eight would advance automatically to a 16-team knockout round, and the next 16 teams go into a play-off round to decide those final eight slots.

 

A meeting of UEFA’s executive committee had been expected to rubber-stamp the new format at the end of March but talks were postponed after the European Club Association, the organisation that represents Europe’s leading clubs, failed to agree a unified position.

 

It was originally believed that the sticking point had not been a collision over the format changes. Rather, Europe’s leading clubs wanted a far more substantial level of control over how the Champions League’s broadcast and commercial deals are secured and marketed. Yet UEFA’s hopes of sealing the deal are in tatters following revelations that 12 European clubs have made a commitment to break away into a Super League.

 

Late on Sunday evening, sources close to the Super League revealed that the clubs are also now opposed to the “Swiss model” format, as they consider the plan to represent quantity over quality. Sources close to several clubs say their research shows that younger supporters want to see more games between the world’s most famous clubs and players and the clubs are responding to the trends.

 

The founding clubs will receive €3.5 billion, shared between the 15 clubs upon joining, and this would be targeted at offsetting the losses sustained during the global pandemic and to support infrastructure investment plans. The clubs also argued that this would not constitute a selfish pursuit, as they have pledged €10 billion in solidarity to the European football pyramid over 23 years, which they claim is substantially higher than the current offering under UEFA.

 

Sources said that the paperwork distributed between clubs are “agreements of principles” and “memorandums of understanding” at this stage, rather than contractually binding. They are, however, significant statements of intent. Owing to the pandemic, much of the groundwork in recent months has been through secret WhatsApp groups and Zoom calls between the billionaires who run major European clubs.

 

The New York Times reported that projections shared between the clubs early this year suggested each club could earn $400 million each for taking part, which would be four times as much as the winner of last season’s Champions League. The project is sufficiently advanced that the clubs have held discussions with the American investment bank JP Morgan, which would underwrite the league by debt financing and set it against future broadcast revenue. Coincidentally, JP Morgan has a longstanding relationship with the Glazer family, the owners of Manchester United and they are former employers of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

 

It is unclear, at this stage, who would be the main broadcast partner of the tournament after DAZN distanced themselves on Sunday following reports linking the network to the competition. There were suggestions from sources on Sunday evening that one of the global tech streaming giants could yet emerge as a partner.

 

The response has been explosive. Almost immediately, the breakaway plan appeared fraught with peril. The Athletic revealed on Sunday lunchtime that PSG are, for now, significantly opposed to the plans, while German clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are also yet to sign up. In the circles of football politics, the knives were out on Sunday, with various sources alleging that Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli and Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward have lost the trust of their counterparts across Europe. On Sunday night, Agnelli quit his roles with both UEFA and the European Club Association.

 

Andrea-Agnelli-Cristiano-Ronaldo-scaled.

Agnelli has quit his ECA role and angered many fellow executives

 

UEFA joined forces with the English Football Association, the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, La Liga, the Italian Football Federation and Serie A to condemn the breakaway movement. They pledged sporting sanctions and legal action against clubs who press on with the plans. This could include a ban from competing in domestic leagues and forbidding the founding club’s players from competing in UEFA tournaments for their national teams.

 

The Premier League wrote to all 20 Premier League clubs on Sunday and chief executive Richard Masters urged the “Big Six” to “walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done” and he also reiterated that signing up to a new European competition would require Premier League approval.

 

The Premier League insists this will not be granted. Privately, many rival Premier League clubs and clubs across Europe suspect this may be extreme posturing from the founding clubs but sources close to the Super League insisted the dozen clubs are committed to the plan. Other well-placed sources suggested the Super League model may be the starting point of a negotiation for more UEFA concessions or a more inclusive Super League, rather than the final version.

 

Elsewhere, The Athletic can reveal that major broadcasters are prepared to enact legal action against clubs who break away or devalue national competitions, as the broadcasters believe the product they’ve invested in would be fundamentally different without the involvement of leading sides.

 

Manchester United icon Gary Neville, in his capacity as a pundit on Sky Sports, called the plans “an absolute scandal.” Sir Alex Ferguson, the former United manager and a member of the club’s football board, added his voice to the opposition. He described it as “a move away from 70 years of European club football.” It is the first time he has spoken out on a sensitive club matter since retiring as manager of United in 2013. British prime minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “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.”

 

Here The Athletic explains the details of a staggering development, what those in the game are saying — and what comes next.

 

*

 

Why do Europe’s leading clubs want to break away? 

 

They want it for the same reason the major clubs in England wanted to break away from the Football League and the major clubs in Europe forced UEFA to swap the European Cup’s quarter-finals for two groups of four: money.

 

And if you agree with those who believe the European Super League is a crime against sport, the ability, motive and opportunity today are similar to those that existed in 1992, when the Premier League was created and the European Cup stopped being a straightforward knockout competition.

 

Football’s richest clubs can, in theory, form their own competition, attract broadcast and/or streaming partners, bring in sponsors and still play to packed stadiums, because they are the most popular clubs, with the best players and the biggest brands. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to fully exploit those assets? Why should they let less attractive brands dilute their value?

 

These were the same arguments England’s top teams made 30 years ago. With interest rates now near zero, there should be no problem persuading a bank or private equity firm to put up the guarantees they need to compensate for lost UEFA income until they can secure a new, game-changing relationship with whichever internet giant or media conglomerate is willing to take a punt on this competition being a bigger watch than the Champions League.

 

In regard to motive, the cynical view is to say it is the same as the scorpion’s when he stung the frog who was ferrying him across the river: it is in their nature. No matter how much money you offer them, how easy you make it for them to qualify to tournaments or how many games you let them play before they are knocked out, they will always want more. But that impulse has sharpened over the last year or so, when the pandemic has cost these clubs billions of dollars, euros and pounds in lost revenue. They now have an itch and a grudge. Throw in some jealousy about the amount of money North American sports franchises — in their closed leagues — are swapping hands for these days and the motivation could become irresistible.

 

But, as every investor knows, one man’s crisis is another’s opportunity. The virus has weakened everyone but because the Deloitte Money League gang were stronger when it first hit, the damage is relative. When the Champions League and Premier League were created, football had spent a decade dealing with disasters and hooliganism. Back then, the game’s obvious problems created the perfect conditions for change. The landscape looks just momentous now.

 

*

 

Why has it got to this point now?

 

The big clubs have been playing the European Super League card twice a decade for half a century and it has nearly always resulted in UEFA granting them more of what they want. The sensible money is still on that being the outcome this time but the rich know they might never have a hand this strong again.

 

Despite the popular cries to just “let them go”, UEFA knows that will hurt everyone else, too. For example, some of Europe’s smaller footballing nations are kept afloat by the money the governing body earns from its most lucrative annual competition. Even the Premier League, the game’s richest domestic league, understands that size really does matter when it comes to TV contracts, so you cannot just wave your biggest draws off and expect the world to continue like before.

 

The elite know this, so they will push for that little bit more. They have got the changes to the competition format they wanted and they have even carved out two extra invites for anyone in their peer group who suffers the indignity of not qualifying via performances at home the previous season. But now they want to run the competition, too.

 

During the 2018-19 season, the live match audience for Champions League football dropped from an average of two billion during the previous three-year cycle to 1.3 billion in the last campaign. In a single year under the current operators, therefore, the Champions League experienced a traditional television audience fall of 35 per cent. The Europa League also experienced a 17 per cent drop.

 

The elite clubs want to sell the broadcast rights, do the sponsorship deals and shape the next iteration of the competition’s development. And they do not want to share.

 

*

 

Who is driving the concept?

 

As far back as 2009, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had his eyes set on establishing a new European competition. He said then: “We have to agree to a new European Super League which guarantees that the best always play the best — something that does not happen in the Champions League.”

 

This is at the heart of the plan. One former Manchester United board member, who worked with the Glazer family, tells The Athletic: “When the Glazers came in, they had the realisation that football at the highest level is a European game and to maximise the value of the asset, it must be maximised on the European stage.

 

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The Glazers with Ferguson, whose protest appear to have fallen on deaf ears

 

“This, therefore, means more games against high-calibre European opponents. It was clear from the conversations that the value, the growth and the future was to be found in more games such as Liverpool v Barcelona, which is sexier than Watford v Burnley, which will eventually run its course. This can’t be unexpected from American owners, to attempt to move the English football model to the American sports model. They would argue we do need to tip a wink to where the value is being created.”

 

The biggest drivers of the current Super League proposals are, according to multiple sources, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. The clubs’ statement said that Perez would be the chairman of the league, while Manchester United’s Joel Glazer and Agnelli, the Juventus chairman, would be vice-presidents. It was reported that Liverpool’s John W Henry and Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke would also have vice-chairman roles.

 

Support elsewhere has come from Tottenham who, despite winning only two significant trophies since 1991, are seen to be commercially appealing. The club’s impressive new stadium, combined with their exposure through an Amazon Prime documentary and positive performances in the Champions League in recent years, has secured a place among the elite. The celebrity status of former manager Jose Mourinho, who was sacked on Monday, also improved the club’s commercial profile.

 

Several sources suggested a club such as Tottenham would be keen to sign up to the Super League as any breakaway would likely see the value of a club instantly rise. This is because elite-level European football would be guaranteed as part of Super League membership and this, therefore, would enable the owners to sell the club at a higher price. Tottenham insist the club is not for sale.

 

Manchester City and Chelsea were later subscribers to the plan and City’s positioning is particularly ironic as the club have long complained that the majority of “super clubs” in Europe have conspired to limit the club’s spending and squeeze them out of the established elite. The possible participation of Chelsea and City has been described by sources as more out of a desire not to be left behind, than a fervent desire to lead the charge. City chief executive Ferran Soriano emailed staff late on Sunday night, telling them they will have the chance to ask questions at the club’s next staff meeting and that “the objective is to improve the quality and intensity of competition”.

 

In Spain, Barcelona’s debt is in excess of €1 billion while Real Madrid’s is in excess of €900 million. In a COVID-19 world that has decimated growth and revenue streams, the windfall of the Super League has an obvious pull.

 

The Italian trio of clubs are later on the trail and sources in Italy explained on Sunday that their position has been informed by the struggles experienced by Serie A in negotiating their latest domestic television deal. After much wrangling, Serie A signed with DAZN, the sport streaming service owned by billionaire Leonard Blavatnik. However, the €2.5 billion deal, worth €840 million per season to broadcast the majority of games between 2021 and 2024, represented a drop on previous TV deals.

 

However, the stance of Juventus chairman Agnelli has stunned European football this weekend. Until his explosive resignation on Sunday night, Agnelli was a member of UEFA’s Executive Committee and he was the chairman of the European Club Association (ECA). The ECA is a body made of 246 clubs but these range from HJK Helsinki to Barcelona. As chairman of the ECA, it was his responsibility to defend the interests of member clubs. As such, it is remarkable that Agnelli appears to have sided with a breakaway set that threatens the future of established European competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League, as well as the UEFA Conference League, which had been due to begin next season.

 

Manchester United’s Woodward is also on the ECA board, along with Arsenal’s Vinai Venkatesham and AC Milan’s Ivan Gazidis. All are expected to resign or be removed for the perceived treachery. Gazidis was formerly the CEO of Arsenal and on Sunday, several sources suggested that Arsenal’s former head of football Raul Sanllehi had been involved as an intermediary between discussions. He did not comment when approached.

 

On Sunday evening, the ECA held an emergency meeting but representatives of Super League clubs did not join the call. Ajax’s Edwin van der Sar hosted the meeting and they were joined by PSG and Bayern Munich. UEFA had publicly thanked the French and German clubs earlier in the day for resisting the temptation to join the rebels.

 

Within the ECA, there is fury at Agnelli and Woodward’s perceived betrayal and many clubs feel let down after the ECA decided only on Friday to support the UEFA proposals at Monday’s meeting. Indeed, on a call with investors in October, Woodward had dismissed suggestions United may be part of a breakaway group and insisted the club were dedicated to working with UEFA on reforms to European club competitions.

 

Agnelli, in particular, has been the subject of scorn this weekend. Agnelli has long been seen as a close ally of Ceferin, to the extent that the latter is the godfather of Agnelli’s daughter. Yet this weekend, multiple sources claim Ceferin has been unable to get hold of his friend. One source says: “Ceferin thought Agnelli would stand with him on the breakaway proposal and yesterday he just could not get hold of him, for all his trying.”

 

A second contact at a leading European club added: “This whole battle now is Ceferin v Agnelli: they are having the most public arm wrestle imaginable.”

 

Others have been utterly scathing of Agnelli’s approach and some club executives described the Italian as a “snake” for the manner in which he has appeared to double-cross UEFA and the ECA while joining the breakaway. Only last month, he had publicly described the Swiss-style reforms as “beautiful”.

 

In January, however, he had triggered concern at UEFA after hosting Madrid’s president Perez at La Continassa, the lavish 18th century building that Juventus recently renovated into their new headquarters. The two men spent three hours together and in hindsight, it feels like a seminal moment. This, after all, is Perez’s long-standing vision merging with the highly US-driven ambition of developing a fixed place in elite competitions for American-owned Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

 

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Perez has long held an ambition for a European Super League 

 

On Sunday, reports emerged in Italy that DAZN, which owns the domestic Italian television rights, could become the broadcast partner of the new Super League but the company distanced itself from the story. The Athletic understands that Sky Sports has not been involved with Super League plotting. An extended segment of coverage both at half-time and full-time of Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Burnley, in which pundits Neville, Roy Keane and Micah Richards delivered a scathing assessment of the plan, would appear to reaffirm that the broadcaster has little to gain from the development of a Super League.

 

In addition, several major broadcasters across the world are preparing to take legal action against clubs who take steps to devalue the domestic leagues. If, for example, a broadcaster has signed a five-year contract to cover the Premier League, it has done so under the impression that access to European competition will be a compelling narrative strand of the season. As such, any measures that would reduce the jeopardy and fundamentally alter the nature of the domestic leagues, would subsequently see clubs face demands for rebates.

 

“Broadcasters will take legal action,” insists a well-placed source. “They demanded rebates simply for fans not being in the stadium, so if the product is different, the rebates will be huge. It’s as though you’ve bought the rights to the Premier League and you have ended up with the Championship instead.”

 

*

 

Why have Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain not joined the breakaway?

 

On the surface, a European Super League would appear to appeal to Bayern or PSG. Both have enjoyed sustained dominance of their domestic leagues and require greater exposure internationally to continue developing the brand of their respective clubs. In addition, the latest German domestic broadcast deal was five per cent down on the previous while a catastrophic television rights’ situation in France has left clubs staring at a £30-45 million black hole this summer. As such, both clubs could, in theory, use the cash on offer in a Super League.

 

Yet on Sunday, it emerged quickly that last season’s Champions League finalists have concerns. Bayern have been more reserved but PSG insist they have no desire or interest in the plan as things stand and there was bewilderment that the English, Spanish and Italian clubs were prepared to go public with their plans while still failing to convince several of Europe’s most famous clubs to join the Super League. PSG’s concerns are multiple. While it is true they were approached by Real Madrid and Manchester United, several sources cited their discomfort over the idea of limiting access to the elite competitions to a closed shop of clubs. One senior source at PSG warned that European football “cannot only be for the super-rich.”

 

PSG are also worried that the initial novelty of a Super League may wear off after a couple of seasons while sources also said the involvement of breakthrough clubs such as Atalanta or Leicester City must be protected if football’s competitive spirit is to be maintained. On a more personal level, PSG’s President, Nasser al-Khelaifi, is a member of the UEFA board and also the ECA. Sources close to the PSG president insisted on Sunday he would be reluctant to publicly knife Ceferin in the manner that Agnelli has been accused of doing by some of his peers.

 

Al-Khelaifi also heads up beIN Media Group, the Qatari television networks that has the rights to broadcast UEFA’s Champions League. This tournament would of course be grossly devalued should a Super League emerge independently of UEFA. “Nasser has his critics,” explains one friend of the president, “But he is a very loyal person. He is not a two-faced bastard. He is friends with Ceferin and has been on the UEFA board for a long time. If you are Nasser’s friend, he looks out for you.  So, yes, there is a personal loyalty to Ceferin but also integrity to his job on the board of UEFA.”

 

Both PSG and Bayern are conscious of the impact on their own domestic leagues and that public opinion is firmly against a breakaway movement. One source in the United States, who has worked with both clubs, said the opposition is also rooted in a fear the Super League would not be as successful as its advocates propose. “It’s like Brexit Day,” says one critic. “The bus says ‘Look at the £350m, it will be amazing’ but it turns it is a big lie and economically, you are out of your own domestic league and you are screwed.”

 

The calculation from the 12 clubs who have signed up is that, if they break away from UEFA, then PSG, Bayern and Dortmund will have no choice but to eventually join them as they will be left to play in a diluted competition. Yet this would now be a substantial and controversial U-turn. In France, for example, the office of President Emmanuel Macron has praised the resistance shown by French clubs in repelling the advances of the Super League.

 

Yet now the 12 clubs have gone public, we will discover the extent of the resistance.

 

*

 

What happens to the Premier League?

 

The Premier League has, by now, become accustomed to the posturing of the Big Six. For several years, the six leading clubs have held their own talks, sometimes even scurrying into a huddle among themselves during Premier League meetings. Tensions surfaced last year over Manchester United and Liverpool’s Project Big Picture document but this latest development is the most severe threat to the hegemony of the Premier League as the dominant domestic league in world football.

 

The Premier League’s extraordinary broadcast deals have grown due to the competitive nature of the league, which currently sees Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all residing outside of the Champions League places.

 

As such, it is easy to understand why underperforming clubs want a guarantee of qualification to an elite European tournament. However, clubs outside of the Big Six, particularly upwardly mobile outfits such as Leeds, West Ham, Aston Villa, Leicester and Everton, have ambitions of breaking into the top four and securing elite European football.

 

The Super League plan would render domestic performance as irrelevant. As such, even if Arsenal finish 10th this season, they would join the Super League if it were to begin in August whereas Leeds could, theoretically, finish second next season but not enter the Super League. The rules on qualification for the five spare places in the Super League remain a mystery.

 

In a letter sent out to Premier League clubs, Masters warned that Premier League rules forbid clubs from entering competitions without the prior permission of the Premier League board. Masters warned he could not envisage a situation by which this permission would be granted. On Sunday, Premier League officials were struggling to make sustained contact with representatives of the Big Six. One source close to Masters said: “This will either make him or it will break him. This isn’t his fault. But it’s become his problem. And it will be hard for him to fix.”

 

In a remarkable intervention on Sunday evening, Ferguson, the most successful manager in Premier League history, told Reuters: “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football. Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 1960s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest. Everton are spending £500 million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League. Fans all over love the competition as it is. In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights. I’m not sure Manchester United are involved in this, as I am not part of the decision making process.”

 

Sources close to the situation said that Ferguson’s comments did not overly trouble the decision-makers or disturb the desire of the top brass among the founding clubs on Sunday evening.

 

It was Ferguson’s first public intervention on a live issue affecting United since his retirement as manager in 2013. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has previously condemned plans for a Super League. He told The Athletic: “For me, the Super League cannot happen. We have the Champions League. It’s enough, right? The Champions League pits the best against the best already. But the future of football must value national (domestic) competitions more.”

 

*

 

What happens next? 

 

Well, UEFA’s aspirations of securing its competition reforms today appear to be in ruins. UEFA had been working around the clock during the weekend to lean on clubs and get them back on side. Ceferin, a source said, is “not a panicky guy”, before adding: “This has shaken UEFA to the core.”

 

There will be enormous blowback. The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust issued a statement on Sunday night in which it accused the club’s board of being “prepared to risk the club’s reputation and its future in the opportunistic pursuit of greed” and that the club risked being expelled from English league football and its players banned from international competition, “And yet the current owners — mere custodians of a 139-year-old institution — are prepared to risk it all for avarice and self-aggrandisement. We demand the board immediately disassociates itself from the breakaway league.”

 

The criticism is likely to follow from the media, to former players and likely current managers and players too. There will, inevitably, be a great deal of threats.

 

UEFA issued a joint statement with the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A in which in confirmed that “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.”

 

FIFA reacted later and with less condemnation but did say that it “can only express its disapproval to a ‘closed European breakaway league’ outside of the international football structures.”

 

One source close to the situation concluded: “This is existential for UEFA. They are obsolete and they lose everything if this passes. Internally, there is still a feeling UEFA will make a deal just about good enough to get over the line. But only because that is what always happened before. If they don’t strike a deal, it is heading for one place — the courts.”

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What worrying here is what`s still to come, and the fact that nobody seems to really know.

This has to be some kind of bigger-picture "power play" and I think it`s only a first step in some kind of calculated turnover of the whole fucking game. How and for what is what`s interresting, Super League for me seems like such a bad fucking idea that it has to be some kind of red herring or distraction.

 

Both UEFA and FIFA are a bunch of corrupt shitbirds and the fact that I`m on their side for once is really really scary.

 

I don`t know, I just don`t get it. For all 12 of these clubs to give it their backing, knowing it would blow up in their face, is beyond baffling.

 

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6 minutes ago, Moo said:

I'm struggling to find a way past all the noise on this at the moment, but I do share many of the concerns expressed.

But I'm not sure why people are saying the PL will suddenly be rendered meaningless?

Me too.  The details of all this aren't even confirmed, and yet it says 'European' on it and so Boris has said it's evil, so it's a pop-up Brexit circus for the Tories to pretend they are dead into footy. 

And...and...let's not forget how dreadfully shite the PL is right now. 

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Sad times but you evolve or you die. We took far to long to evolve when the premier league started and it took us the best part of 30 yrs to recover. What benefit is there to taking the moral high ground and letting all the other top teams in Europe go ahead without us. We’d never be able to compete. Sad times but it is what it is football has been a business since 92 and was made even worse by Abramovich/ Mansour etc. FSG out ? Then what do you think a new owners gonna invest 2 billion plus to buy the club out of the goodness of there heart and give it back to the people! 

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I understand the desire to get rid of FSG - especially after this. I have flipped really, but I am not sure anyone better will take us over. This isn't just about ownership of a particularly club - it is about the whole culture of English football. Why get rid of FSG so that another Hedge Fund/Corporation takes us over? I'm struggling to believe they will think any differently. 

 

Unless the Government absolutely alters the ownership rules in football - with a cap of say 25% for any individual - then, we'll be back here soon enough. It may be another 6 next time. But, this also comes down to us as fans and what we want out of our team? Are you prepared to try and win the league with a budget and development on growing a team - or do you want to buy big players for big wages and compete with City, Chelsea et al? I don't see an altruistic Liverpool fan out there willing to spend a couple of billion buying the club - and the only way you compete is by maximising your commercial appeal - through TV and all the shit we don't like about football. That is a difficult balance - I am not sure the world we would be operating in is any different away from FSG. 

 

We may see this change off. But the next one will be along. Is it better to say goodbye to the European Super League and just take our 'legacy' to the Premier League games? (if we are allowed). We encouraged wealthy people to invest in the teams because we were awash with money - and now we are complaining because they can identify ways to make even more money! This should have ended with Leeds and Risdale. 

 

*I say 'we' I mean fans in general in this country. 

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Spion Kop 1906 removing all their flags from Kop.

 

Sky will be loving all this.

 

After 30 years of driving the greed and over commercialisation of game they can now position themselves as the fans friends and guardians of the corinthian spirit.

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23 minutes ago, Moo said:

I'm struggling to find a way past all the noise on this at the moment, but I do share many of the concerns expressed.

But I'm not sure why people are saying the PL will suddenly be rendered meaningless?

Once a "big" team knows they can't win the league,may as well rest players for the super league. They don't have to do their best to get Europe is one reason 

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It's all about history. James Cooper on Sky asked a guy from a  United fans' group if a campaign will be started "considering the success of the 'Yellow and Gold' protest". Who owns United?

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1 minute ago, torahboy said:

 

 

It's all about history. James Cooper on Sky asked a guy from a  United fans' group if a campaign will be started "considering the success of the 'Yellow and Gold' protest". Who owns United?

What success? The sale of scarves? Their owners are the main instigators so how was that protest a 'success'?

 

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2 minutes ago, torahboy said:

 

 

It's all about history. James Cooper on Sky asked a guy from a  United fans' group if a campaign will be started "considering the success of the 'Yellow and Gold' protest". Who owns United?

The same opportunistic business men who stocked the club shop with green and gold scarves.

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