Super League: Man City say clubs looking for best solutions amid Fifa threat
On Sunday, 12 of Europe's most powerful clubs announced the launch of a breakaway European Super League
Manchester City have said that the 12 elite clubs in the new Super League are looking forward to working Fifa, the game’s governing body, for the best outcome for the new tournament and football as a whole.
On Sunday, 12 of Europe’s most powerful clubs announced the launch of a breakaway European Super League in a potentially seismic shift in the way football is run.
Six Premier League teams — Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham — are involved, alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.
“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,” Manchester City said in a statement.
“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.”
Fifa has threatened to ban any players taking part in a breakaway from participating in World Cups, while Uefa said participating clubs would be banned from domestic leagues, such as the Premier League.
The ESL said the founding clubs had agreed to create a ‘new midweek competition’ but would continue to ‘compete in their respective national leagues’.
It said it hoped the inaugural edition would start ‘as soon as practicable’.
Three more founding clubs would be announced, the ESL said in a statement, with a further five places up for grabs through a qualifying system each year.
Crucially, the 15 initial members would be guaranteed qualification every season.
Clubs would be split into two groups of ten, playing each other home and away. The top three in each group would qualify for the quarterfinals and the teams in fourth and fifth would play a two-legged play-off for the two remaining spots.
“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,” Man City said.
“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.”
Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez, who was announced as the first ESL president, said the breakaway reflected the big clubs’ wishes.
“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,” he said.
Manchester United’s American co-chairman Joel Glazer, who will be a vice-chairman of the Super League, said it “will open a new chapter for European football”. (With inputs from AFP/Reuters)
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