How the new European Super League will work and what we know so far as Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham sign up for breakaway competition that will change the face of football
The Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ teams have signed up for the European Super League, sparking a furious backlash.
But what is the newly-formed competition and what will it mean for the game in this country and beyond?
Here’s what we know so far…
Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have announced they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, known as the European Super League.
The European Super League founder clubs
There are 12 founder clubs keen on a closed competition that would feature no relegation. There will 15 in total, three of which to be announced at a later date…
From England’s Premier League
Arsenal, Tottenham, Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea
From Italy’s Serie A
Milan, Inter, Juventus
From Spain’s LaLiga
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid
The next three?
What about the Bundesliga and PSG?
Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are not thought to be backing the new proposal.
However, five extra teams will be invited each year with a provisional kick-off from the 2022/23 season.
Will there be a women’s Super League?
The clubs said: “As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.”
Will they still play in their domestic leagues?
The clubs want to and this new league will be a direct rival to the Champions League, governed by UEFA and which is set to announce a new format in the coming days.
UEFA, FIFA, the Football Association and the Premier League are all opposed to it, however.
What the Premier League say
The league has come down hard on proposals and released this statement
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.
Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.
The Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world. Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.
A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.
We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game
When would games happen?
Teams will be be split into two groups of ten and play nine opponents home and away in a midweek league, with the top four from each season qualifying for end-of-season play-offs.
Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, will be the chairman of the Super League.
Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, will be its vice-chairman along with Juve supremo Andrea Agnelli. Both United and Liverpool are believed to be banking £310m up front. The others would get £200m.
And the other sides are set to earn big money given there is a £4.6billion pot backed by JP Morgan. This means that even if your side – or a founder – loses every game they will earn £130m.
The champions could bank £212m if they win every game and it will commence as soon ‘as soon as practicable’.
What has been said?
A joint statement from the clubs read: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new midweek competition, the Super League, governed by its founding clubs.
“AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid 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.”
Perez explained why he thinks this is a good idea.
“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world,” he said in the statement.
“Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
Agnelli said the founder clubs represent billions of fans.
“We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models,” he said.
Juve are struggling to finish in the top four of Serie A right now.
Gary Neville claimed clubs should be relegated, Jamie Carragher called Liverpool an ’embarrassment’ and Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanded answers as the proposals came to light.
Sir Alex Ferguson has also had his say on the matter.
“Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football,” Man United’s most successful manager said.
“Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s 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.”