Football communities around the world are outraged, and fans are voicing their fury, condemning the move. The formation has been described as “flying in the face of everything that is beautiful about the sport and puts profit above fans”.
That’s why football fan Sam has started a petition on the 38 Degrees site demanding the six UK clubs that are taking part pull out.
The creation of a new midweek competition known as the Super League has been announced. Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs (AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Tottenham Hotspur) have joined as founding clubs with three additional clubs anticipated joining before the commencement of the inaugural season.
Here’s the official statement from the Super League organisers:
“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.”
But FIFA, UEFA and other European football bodies have retaliated by showing their displeasure towards the new Super League competition as they see it as a project being founded on the self-interest of a few clubs.
UEFA’S Official Statement: “UEFA, the English Football Association and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have learned that a few English, Spanish and Italian clubs may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League.
If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
As previously announced by FIFA and the six Confederations, 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.
We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced. This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”
FIFA’s official announcement on the new European Super League: “In view of several media requests and as already stated several times, FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA.
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. Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case. Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a “closed European breakaway league” outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.
FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play. FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.”
The European Super League has been structured to have 20 participating clubs: 15 founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for an additional 5 teams to qualify yearly based on achievements in the previous season.
All the matches in this competition are to be pushed to midweeks so that each of the participating clubs can continue to compete in their respective national leagues.
The 20 clubs are to be shared into two groups of 10, playing home and away fixtures against each other. The top three clubs in the two groups automatically qualify for the quarter-finals phase. For the remaining quarter-final positions, the teams that finish fourth and fifth will go against each other in two-legged playoff games.
The knockout stages are going to be played in a two-legged format. The Final of the tournament would be played as a single fixture at a neutral ground at the end of May every year.