- European Super League Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona involved
- Quote: ‘It is your game and you can rest assured I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a straight red’ – PM Boris Johnson
- Quote: ‘Audiences are decreasing and rights are decreasing – something had to be done. We are all ruined. Television has to change so we can adapt’ – Real Madrid President Florentino Perez
By Andrew Atkinson Chief Sports Editor
THE twelve founding members of the proposed European Super League are facing a backlash from players, fans and politicians, after unveiling proposals for a breakaway tournament.
The European Super League six English clubs are Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham who have signed up to the league.
Spanish clubs Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona and Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan are also involved.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has met officials from football governing bodies the FA and the Premier League, along with fans’ representatives to discuss the matter.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez said the decision to create the new league was in part taken because young people are no longer interested in the game.
Speaking on Spanish TV he said: “Audiences are decreasing and rights are decreasing – something had to be done. We are all ruined. Television has to change so we can adapt.”
The proposed league, which has been described as a football ‘closed shop’ by a government minister – has united MPs from every party against it.
Under plans revealed the 12 founding football clubs would be permanent members – and never face relegation.
Critics say the new league could supplant the existing Champions League – disrupting the current football pyramid.
PM Johnson said to fans: “It is your game and you can rest assured that I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a ‘straight red’.”
Ex-England, Newcastle, Southampton and Blackburn Rovers player Alan Shearer said the six English clubs should be expelled from the Premier League.
The six clubs have said they aim to remain in the PL, while also playing in the European Super League.
“It’s not right what they are doing, it’s not competitive, it’s a closed shop,” said Shearer.
“You can’t have a competition – where no one else is allowed in. You can hear, feel and see the anger from almost everyone in football,” said Shearer.
Fans have protested against the European Super League outside Manchester United Old Trafford stadium.
Fans also burned a Liverpool replica shirt outside Elland Road on April 19 against Liverpool’s decision to be included in the European Super League, ahead of their game against Leeds United.
The president of European football’s governing body Uefa, Aleksander Ceferin, warned players who play for teams in the ESL that they would be banned from the World Cup and the Euros.
The competition would have 20 teams and another five sides would have to qualify each year for the competition.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said if football authorities could not prevent English clubs from joining the ESL, the government would do whatever it takes to protect the national game.
“Club owners should remember that they are only temporary custodians of these clubs and that they forget fans at their peril,” he said.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, said: “The new league smashes that dream for a fan of their team being promoted.
“It’s based on power, it’s based on greed, it’s based on money. It’s not based on sporting achievement.
“The government could make life very difficult for participating clubs. There’s tax exemptions, all sorts of things that these elite clubs enjoy, that government could interfere with.”
Sky Sports, who pump millions of pounds into the Premier League said: “We are completely focused on supporting our long term football partners in the UK and in Europe.”
The 14 Premier League clubs not participating in the European Super League are scheduled to hold meetings