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UEFA to ban clubs who take part in a ‘cynical’ European Super League

Paris (AFP) – UEFA and English, Spanish and Italian football authorities announced on Sunday that any clubs who take part in a so-called European Super League would be banned from all other domestic and continental competitions.

European football’s governing body said it had learned that some English, Spanish and Italian clubs might announce a breakaway competition.

“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,” UEFA said in a statement.

Media reports on Sunday suggested that an announcement on plans to create a Super League could be made later in the day.

Sky Sports reported that Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea were among six Premier League teams set to be part of the plans.

“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we –- UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, La Liga, 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,” read the statement.

Arsenal currently sit ninth in the Premier League, well off the pace in the race to qualify for Europe, while Liverpool and Chelsea are both also currently outside the Champions League spots.

“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,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.”

– German, French clubs ‘refuse’ to sign up –

UEFA is planning to announce its reforms to the Champions League on Monday, with an expansion to 36 teams from 32 and two ‘wildcard’ slots expected to be among the plans.

There have been no reports that French or German clubs would be part of the Super League.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this,” UEFA added.

“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.”

The New York Times reported that at least 12 clubs have signed up for the competition, including Juventus and seven-time European champions AC Milan, who have not played in the Champions League since 2014.

“It is illegitimate, irresponsible and anti-competitive by design,” said Fans Europe, a football supporters’ network.

“More to the point, it is driven exclusively by greed. the only ones who to stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs, and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues despite their inbuilt advantage.”

Real Madrid and Barcelona are reported to be two of the teams from Spain set to join.

Former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, when he resigned from the role last October, said he had accepted a proposal for the Catalan giants to play in the Super League.

“Finally the ‘gurus’ of the superleague PowerPoint are exiting the darkness of the bar at 5AM, intoxicated with selfishness and a lack of solidarity,” said La Liga president Javier Tebas on Sunday.

Notably, last season’s two Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, are among the big European teams not involved.

“Economic interests of a few top clubs in England, Italy and Spain must not result in the abolition of established structures in the whole of European football,” German Football League boss Christian Seifert said.

“In particular, it would be irresponsible to irreparably damage the national leagues, as the basis of European professional football, in this way.”

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  1. Yespage

    April 20, 2021 at 9:00 am

    About American ownership, there have been two types of American owners. The Glazers and Fenway. The Glazers like Hicks/Gillette abuse the team, over-leverage, and threaten the financial viability of the franchise. Fenway saved LFC from their previous American owners. So while I am against Fenway pushing to elevate LFC to a big boy league for the wealthy, it is unfair to put Fenway in league with the Glazers. Fenway helped deal with the debt Liverpool was under with the Hicks/Gillette nonsense. Their management has also been pretty solid.

    Regarding how American money is stealing away football teams, it is probably notable to point out Americans don’t own a lot of football clubs, certainly not Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    Regarding the debt, I find the debt funny. These big teams say they need more money, when it is them that are driving up the transfer market and make purchasing players so expensive.

  2. Chris Guardiano

    April 20, 2021 at 1:17 am

    It should be pointed out that the bans both UEFA and FIFA are proposing for players that play in this European Super League not only apply to the men’s game but also the women’s game as well. This means that stars who play on the USWNT for example like Christen Press who plays for Man United and Sam Mewis who plays for Man City would be ineligible to play for the US should Man United and Man City’s men’s teams join the Super League. This shows us that the impact of the Super League not only hurts the men’s club game but the women’s club game as well especially in Europe because the clubs involved would likely pull their women’s teams out of their domestic league and form a European Women’s Super League. Domestic women’s leagues across Europe would be greatly weakened. The Women’s Champions League would cease to exist as a competitive tournament if a European Women’s Super League was created because it would be dominated by PSG and Lyon (clubs not part of the Super League) every season with few challengers outside of that and clubs that are challenging those two currently like Chelsea Women would be in the Super League instead. It also greatly weakens the European national teams especially England and the USWNT to a certain extent because the majority of the England women’s team play for clubs in the Super League and core USWNT players like the ones I mentioned. All of them would be ineligible to play for their country should UEFA and FIFA extend the player ban to the women’s game. The only possible positive that I see out of the Super League for the women’s game is that the NWSL here in the US along with the W League in Australia would benefit from this because more players that are currently playing in Europe would come to those leagues because they don’t want to give up their eligibility to play for their national team but also want to play club football as well.

  3. Roberto

    April 19, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    This is actually a process that started with the creation of the EPL. The so-called big six demanded a higher percentage of the money. The teams are from the bigger markets, so already had more money then teams from smaller markets. This setup guaranteed these teams the likelihood of remaining on top. Greed is like a cancer it continues to grow. This so-called super league is just the continuation of that process.

  4. Ivan

    April 19, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Arsenal may or may not finish in the top half of the PL. They are no better than relegation bound Fulham. Nothing “super” about this shockingly mediocre franchise.

    Tottenham is a third rate laughing stock. Ipswich and Blackburn have won the league more recently than this laughing stock of a franchise.

    AC Milan have been irrelevant third rate garbage for 20 odd years now. I would probably close the blinds and call the cops if they show up to play at my front lawn.

    Hope UEFA/FIFA take out the big hatchett here. Bans for these franchises and their players from domestic and international competitions.

    Corporate greed for you! Modern football is disgusting!

  5. disco george

    April 19, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    The Gab & Juls podcast brought up some interesting points today (just starting Ornstein & Chapman and I’m sure they’ll have a lot to say, too). One was that, with only three countries participating, is it really a Super League? Do they really need the Germans and PSG to pull this off?
    Another was that PSG is in a really interesting position, considering that their president also basically runs beIN and has a lot of financial motive to not undermine the deals that beIN has for both domestic leagues and Champions League in different markets around the world.
    This whole thing is bonkers.

  6. Michael

    April 19, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    I agree completely that we don’t need Super League, and I agree that there will be some people that will loose their love for the game locally…I will even agree that the American and Middle Eastern Owners may not be good for the tradition in the EPL. I will take it one step further, a EPL without the big six would be more even and competitive like Champions…but the Big 6 are called the Big 6 for a reason. They are the Big 6 because they have fans all over the world. People will watch, and they will make their money back. If someone can help me, please explain why several people keep saying, “I have no desire to watch Team A vs Team B over and over again.” I don’t see what the different is. The Super Leagues would get 19 T/W home games and 19 T/W road games in a complete round robin. Then the top four would be 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3. They would also have 19 home S/Su games and 19 road S/Su games. So let’s use an extreme example Gunners vs Spurs. They could end up facing 5 time: 2 in EPL, 3 in EPL. That is the same as now. They always faces either other twice in EPL, and they could meet in FA, and Carabao Cups, and maybe even in UCL games. I don’t think that is the problem. The problem for me is that I like watching the Mid-Tier teams. For instance I am a Barca fan. Two of the most competitive matches we see every year are Sevilla. While their little 43,000 seat stadium is not nearly as big as Barca’s 99,000 stadium…the atmosphere (pre-covid) is amazing. It is one of the most energetic pitches around. That I what I will miss. El Clasico will be El Clasico no matter when or where they play. At the end of the day, La Liga has put their selves in this fix because they didn’t have a very good TV deal as compared to some of the other leagues. There are two ponderances that I have for Chris:
    1. Do you think the Super Leagues idea has been along long enough the TBS caught wind of it and gave up their rights ahead of the storm?
    2. Do you feel that this development helps or hurts ESPN buying La Liga US rights as per your sources? ESPN already holds the La Liga rights in Mexico, but they can’t put any of those games on ESPN Deportes. It would easy for them to flip the switch if they get the rights.

  7. jason

    April 19, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Fantastic. We dont’ need those bums. A premier league without them will be more interesting too.

  8. Roberto

    April 19, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Just saw that Man. City, Chelsea and Real Madrid are going to be kicked out of the Champions league, Man. U. and Arsenal kicked out of Europa league this Friday!

  9. Michael F

    April 19, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    @Don Dickerson. Maybe so, but I don’t think one should ever compare European soccer competition from American pro sports leagues. Apples and oranges.

    The NHL, MLB and NFL leagues (for example) created their own leagues from the beginning as a separate entity from lower or inferior competition. THEIR tradition has been exclusive for many many decades in the league competition they created (MLB for example is well over a century of history – like EPL). They never intended at any time throughout this history to exclude other clubs from their storied tradition and league. The concept of promotion and relegation is simply different and a matter of like or dislike by fans that follow it, although one could easily argue over the amazing disparity of rich clubs have such an overwhelming advantage over lesser lucrative clubs in Europe. You don’t see that crazy disparity in American pro leagues (although it does exist to a degree – larger markets over small).

    Point is… American pro sports leagues is much different from this concept of elite clubs in Europe that now want to completely disrupt 125+ years of tradition to create their own league.

  10. Don Dickerson

    April 19, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    “Fat slob Americans” are at fault for the Super League according to TalkSports this morning well afternoon over the pond.

    I cant say I disagree because I’ve heard people who dont watch any soccer say they will watch if it is only the REAL teams. These are the same people who think Jacksonville and Miami and other are perfect the way they are in the NFL being bottom feeders every year. Then again us Americans cant handle relegation no matter what sport it is NBA NHL MLB NFL.

    I love that you cant just throw in the towel if your team sucks in soccer so you can get a better player with the “number 1 pick” like we do over here.

  11. Michael F

    April 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    @Edward. The issue for me is not as much that these clubs want to break away from the rest and create this super league (although that is bad enough). It’s that they also want to continue to be part of domestic league competition. That is outrageous. And they should be banned from such consideration if they want to compete in their own elite league.

  12. Edward

    April 19, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Ahmed Fareed representing the American viewpoint on Sky Sports News being in favor of the Super League! Not Liam McHugh, or Mike Tirico, but Ahmed Fareed!

  13. Edward

    April 19, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    not seeing Premier League channel on Peacock cover this.
    no more Micah/Jamie on P+ unless DAZN brings them over

    Spurs burying the news by firing Mourinho

  14. Michael F

    April 19, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    The very essence of sport is following a great story and watching the unexpected happen. This super league that excludes certain elite clubs from the rest completely removes these great stories from happening. A story like the shock of 2015 when Leicester City won the EPL. To these clubs that throw a middle finger to tradition and principle due to greed, no fan or follower of the sport should accept. There IS NO upside.

    Here is a concept for clubs like Tottenham and Liverpool and Chelsea that want a privileged pass to play with the elite clubs all the time and make more money via Champions League or Super League or whatever: HOW ABOUT JUST WIN ENOUGH OF YOUR MATCHES AND EARN IT!?

    Here is one fan that will NEVER tune into this stuper league, because of upholding tradition and principle. On one hand, I kind of like to see these greedy clubs try this and have it fall flat on their face. I am happy to see UEFA and EPL etc taking the stance they are taking.

  15. Roberto

    April 19, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Yespage you are correct, it could be a problem. I’ll again try for an upside. If the money for the next TV deal is divided evenly the remaining teams should be more equally competitive. All the very rich teams distort their leagues, maybe the future will return the teams to the fans and leave the Oil Tyrants and Oligarchs with teams few will care about.

  16. Yespage

    April 19, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Roberto, the upside is that EPL and other top league programming rights should get much cheaper! Of course, that could lead to a death spiral.

  17. Roberto

    April 19, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Trying to find an upside to this stupid idea. Chris is a long time fan of Swansea and Kartik and I follow Brentford. Maybe to have 18 teams in the Premier and Championship, both teams will be promoted to go with the other two going up!

  18. rkujay

    April 19, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Tell me this isn’t the Harlem Globe Trotters vs. the Washington Generals…I hope the twelve get relegated, fined and their boards stripped bare. I have a supreme disdain for the glazer leeches.

  19. Yespage

    April 19, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Don’t have to ban the teams, just ban transfers to and from them.

    A super league has so much money around it. But that would be siphoning money away from domestic leagues. The very leagues that develop the talent that the top teams pilfer from every year! It is an unsustainable project.

    Additionally, promotion and relegation and the European cup qualification spots are substantial when it comes to driving interest late into seasons. In the US, you can be half way through a season and have half of the games no longer meaning anything. The European Football system makes every game matter, from top to bottom. A super league doesn’t have any of this, and further down the table, there could become some indifference as losing no longer means risk.

  20. Roberto

    April 19, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Michael Calvin has a new book out, today. “Who’s Game is it Anyway?” Wonder if he saw this coming?

  21. Jon

    April 19, 2021 at 3:10 am

    Shockingly greedy on behalf of the breakaway teams. I hope FIFA and UEFA will act quickly and decisively now that this is a tangible threat to open European competition.

  22. Jasinho

    April 19, 2021 at 12:47 am

    (cont.) taking place within continents, clubs qualify to the Champions League via their top level domestic leagues such as La Liga, Serie A, and the Premier League.

    The open competition concept enables the Leicester Citys an opportunity to play in the UCL should those smaller clubs make it their focus. As Gary Neville recently said in his commentary on Sky Sports Youtube, football is a sport that is built on sporting merit. I hope FIFA and UEFA make good on their promise to ban their players from national team competitions should this really get off the ground.

  23. Jasinho

    April 19, 2021 at 12:35 am

    The proposed Super League is about to kill the very concept of elite continental club competition. Part of the major appeal on why I’ve started watching a multitude of European leagues is because very much in a similar fashion of World Cup qualification

  24. Hans

    April 18, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    routing / rooting

  25. Hans

    April 18, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    I for one am not interested in watching just a few teams that are considered to be top of their home FA battle it out year after year. This would be mind numbing and any joyous football by young teams with upstart managers that are good in a particular year battling it out with the established regular champs would be missing routing for the underdog would be gone just dull football by teams run by individuals for the sake of making max profits. Gone would be established rivalries that have been formed for decades. When the stadiums open up to fans I hope they will make their displeasure known. How would we then ever see young talent challenge the fat cats, Atalanta and Monaco, Lille come to mind from recent years.
    This is just hastening me dropping football as my favorite sports event to watch and switch over to Rugby Competitions until the next World Cup or next European championship comes along.
    Heard an excellent phrase that shows the difference between Football and Rugby. Football is a game of 90 minutes where players pretend to be injured while Rugby is a game of 80 minutes where players pretend not to be injured. Let that sink in besides the crap that the greedy owners are trying to dish out as a sporting competition. Whatever the decisions you can already see the massive court battle brewing as FiFA and it associations will battle it out over banning these teams and players from their associations. Way to go knuckleheads,

  26. Roberto

    April 18, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    Maybe they will take all their homer pundits with them. If they are banned, as they should be from their domestic leagues, it will leave the remaining teams much more competitive. If they want to come back in the U.K. they should start in the National league.

  27. xl

    April 18, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    If this pans out, shouldn’t CBS/Paramount+ be furious holding the water downed UCL TV rights? Not that i would shed a tear for them.

  28. Michael F

    April 18, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    The mind numbing greed that overrides tradition and principle is simply fascinating – and not in a good way.

    So… I wonder who gets the tv rights in America for this stupor league (no, that was not typo).

    The irony…. is there has been months and months of banter on this very site about the tv rights battle for European domestic leagues like EPL and Italia and LaLiga, but… these leagues will look mighty different and certainly less appealing to fans only interested in seeing elite talent on display.

    • Christopher Harris

      April 18, 2021 at 8:33 pm

      DAZN is the front-runner to get the exclusive rights to The Super League.

  29. xl

    April 18, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Holy, this actually just happened. I am wondering what the hell UCL is going to be as we know it.

  30. Mercator

    April 18, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    To what extent is this caused by the huge disparity in TV revenues between the various European leagues? The PL clubs are now raking in so much in broadcast revenue, you have clubs like Villa and Everton outspending everyone but the top team in other major leagues. It’s no accident the big 6 are signed on to this – by definition 2 of them won’t even make the Champions League every year, 3 or 4 could miss out when Everton, Leicester, or a few other clubs have a good year. The PL has so many clubs with the revenues to be competitive now that the big clubs are now desperate to lock in their seat in Europe. It would always have been good to do, but it’s become an existential matter for a club like Arsenal or Spurs. On the other hand, you have clubs like Juve which dominate their league, yet bring in broadcast revenues like Brighton. That’s not competitive over the long term, and the Milan clubs and Atletico face the same issue. Even if you can ensure a place in Europe, these clubs struggle to have the real firepower to match the super clubs in Germany/Spain, or the PL/Nation-state teams.

  31. KL

    April 18, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    This may be the end of european soccer as we know it.

  32. Jesus

    April 18, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    The Premier League won’t be the same without clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, etc. So the thereat of banning these clubs that participate in the Super league is not realistic. The domestic leagues will have to find a way to live alongside the Super league. The biggest impact will be that the clubs in the Super League will generate more money which will give them a clear advantage in buying top players. Theoretically this means that the other clubs will find it hard to compete for trophies.

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