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European Super League Man United Liverpool among clubs in $6 billion European Super

Real Madrid, Super League, Man City

European Super League Man United Liverpool among clubs in $6 billion European Super

European Super League European Super League among billion … European clubs United, in Liverpool Man Super $6

Sun, 18 Apr 2021 07:00:00 -0700

Fifteen of Europe's biggest clubs are in talks to launch a European Super League with a $6 billion fund backing the project, sources told ESPN

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Alessandro Del Piero reacts to reports detailing momentum toward the creation of a European Super League.

(0:52)Fifteen of Europe’s biggest clubs are in talks to launch a European Super League, planned to start in time for the 2023-24 season, with a $6 billion (£4.3 billion) fund backing the project, sources have told ESPN.If the initiative is successful, it would threaten the existence of the Champions League — football’s biggest club competition — with UEFA due to announce on Monday a new 36-team format for the tournament designed to stave off attempts by the game’s top clubs to break away.– Marcotti: What a breakaway Super League would mean
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only)As reported by UK newspaper The Times, English top-flight clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are among 11 European teams to have signed up to the Super League plan.ESPN has been told by a person familiar with the blueprint that the proposed framework involves a total of 20 teams, with 15 permanent members who cannot be relegated.A further five teams will be rotated in and out of the competition, based on performance, but the permanent members will include six Premier League clubs, three from La Liga, three from Italy’s Serie A, two from the Bundesliga and one from France’s Ligue 1.Sources have told ESPN that New York-based investment bank JP Morgan will underwrite the project, with $6 billion distributed as loans to the teams.Under pressure from the European Club Association, UEFA has drawn up plans to reshape the Champions League format, with the new-look competition due to be unveiled Monday, ahead of UEFA’s executive committee summit in Switzerland this week.UEFA criticised the plans in a statement and said: “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.Janusz Michallik explains how a European Super League would threaten the existence of the Champions League.”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 Federations, 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.”Planned to come into force in 2024, the remodelled Champions League would involve 36 teams playing 10 group games rather than six.

The biggest clubs would also receive an increased share of prize money.Sources told ESPN that UEFA plan to press ahead with their announcement Monday, and that any breakaway league remains a distant prospect, with national associations UEFA and FIFA both needing to sanction the proposal.Meanwhile, the European Clubs’ Association issued a statement in which it reiterated commitment to working with UEFA on competition reform, adding that a “closed super league model …

would be strongly opposed.”Serie A called an emergency board meeting on Sunday to discuss a newspaper report saying broadcaster DAZN is involved in new plans for the breakaway league, a source told Reuters.The meeting was called by league president Paolo Dal Pino, and Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reported that DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, has been working on the formation of the league for some time.The report claims the meeting is being attended remotely, with the three Serie A clubs who could potentially be part of the new project: Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.FIFA has earlier said that players who feature in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.It caps a tumultuous week for Serie A after seven clubs submitted a written request for Dal Pino to resign over issues that include his management of plans to sell a stake in the league’s media business.The plans to expand the Champions League are also likely to meet opposition from supporters; ESPN reported last week that fans’ groups have already registered their anger over UEFA’s proposed changes.On Sunday, a statement from the Premier League condemned the breakaway plans.It read: “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.”Information from Reuters was also included in this report..

European Super League

Sun, 18 Apr 2021 07:00:00 -0700

A group led by Juventus, Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid has agreed in principle on a plan to upend the sport

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AdvertisementSupported byReal Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus are among the dozen founding members of a league that would upend the sport’s structures and economics.LONDON — A dozen of the world’s richest and most storied soccer clubs on Sunday announced that they had formed a breakaway European club competition that would, if it comes to fruition, upend the structures, economics and relationships that have bound global soccer for nearly a century.After months of secret talks, the breakaway teams — which include Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain; Manchester United and Liverpool in England; and Juventus and A.C.

Milan in Italy — confirmed their plans late Sunday.

They said they planned to add at least three more founding members, hold midweek matches that would put the league in direct competition with the existing Champions League, and begin play “as soon as practicable.”“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world,” said Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, who was named the first chairman of what the clubs were calling the Super League.The league they have agreed to form — an alliance of top clubs closer in concept to closed leagues like the N.F.L.

and the N.B.A.

than soccer’s current model — would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history.In its current form, European soccer supplements domestic league play — an English league for English teams, a Spanish one for Spanish clubs — with Continental competitions between the best clubs.

The most prestigious of those, the Champions League, brings together the best teams from each domestic league each year to play for the title of Europe’s, and arguably the world’s, best club.The current system funnels hundreds of millions of dollars of annual television and sponsorship revenue to the world’s richest clubs, which supplement their domestic revenue with multimillion-dollar payouts from the Champions League.

But the format also sustains smaller teams in each country, which benefit from the gloss of their encounters with the giants and share in the money those teams bring in from broadcasters.The new superleague model would change that, by stripping the Champions League of its most attractive and most successful teams and effectively walling off the richest clubs in their own closed competition — and allowing them to split the billions of dollars in annual revenue among themselves.

According to the Super League’s announcement, the founding clubs will split 3.5 billion euros (almost $4.2 billion) for signing on to establish “a sustainable financial foundation.” The per-team figure means each founding club will receive about $400 million — more than four times what the Champions League winner took home in 2020.The 12 teams that signed up as founders are, for the moment, limited to a dozen clubs from Spain, Italy and England.

A cohort of six teams from the Premier League — United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham — represents the biggest grouping from a single country.

Atlético Madrid is the other team from Spain that is said to have endorsed the project, while the Milan rivals Internazionale and A.C.

Milan would join Juventus as Italy’s representatives.Three more clubs will join as founding — and thus permanent — members, organizers said, and a qualifying mechanism will be created to fill the five other places in the 20-team Super League each season.A women’s league will be started as well, the announcement said, presumably including the women’s sides of many of the same clubs.European soccer officials moved quickly to try to block the project.

The Premier League condemned the concept in a statement on Sunday and also sent a letter to its 20 member clubs warning them not to take part.

Officials at European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, which runs the Champions League, labeled the proposal for a closed superleague a “cynical project” in a statement.The missive was co-signed by the Premier League, La Liga in Spain and Italy’s Serie A, as well as the soccer federations of each country.

Within hours, France’s federation and the French league had added their voices to the growing opposition inside key European soccer circles.

Politicians, including Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, also weighed in to denounce the plans.But UEFA was taking the threat seriously.

Its leaders spent the weekend in discussions about how to block the plan, including banning the breakaway teams from their domestic leagues and blocking their players from competing for their national teams in events like the World Cup.

European officials also pointedly reminded the prospective superleague clubs (and, effectively, their players) that soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, has backed their threats of expulsion.FIFA on Sunday expressed its “disapproval” of the concept of a closed league, but refrained from the type of threats being lobbed by top officials in Europe.“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening,” the UEFA statement said.

“Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.”At the same time, soccer officials also began contacting lawmakers at the European Union, hoping the bloc would be able to strengthen its hand in preserving the status quo.The leaders of the breakaway group have been trying to get other top teams, like Germany’s Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and the French champion Paris St.-Germain, to commit.

But to date those clubs — and others — have declined to walk away from the domestic structures and continental competitions that have underpinned European soccer for generations.Their concerns can be political and financial.

P.S.G.’s president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, sits on the UEFA board, for example, and also heads beIN Media Group, the Qatar-based television network that has paid millions of dollars for the broadcast rights to games in the Champions League and various domestic competitions.The Premier League wrote to its 20 clubs after its board meeting on Sunday, though, warning the teams that the league’s rules bar clubs from joining outside competitions without approval.“This venture cannot be launched without English clubs and we call upon any club contemplating associating themselves or joining this venture to walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done,” it said in a letter to the teams.The timing of Sunday’s news appeared designed to overshadow UEFA’s plan to ratify a newly designed Champions League on Monday.

That competition would be ravaged by the departure of its biggest teams.The repercussions of a split between European soccer and its best-known, best-followed and most deep-pocketed clubs would be seismic.

Without the top teams, UEFA and the domestic leagues would face demands for millions of dollars in refunds from the broadcasters who pay billions for television rights to air their tournaments.

The clubs left out would face a serious blow to their budgets while many are still wrestling with the financial wreckage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

And any ban on national team play would affect players individually, even if they had no role in the decision-making.Among the most notable teams involved in the breakaway group is Juventus, the serial Italian champion.

Its chairman, Andrea Agnelli, had been until Sunday — when he resigned from both posts — a member of UEFA’s executive board and also the head of the European Club Association, an umbrella body for more than 200 top division clubs, the majority of which will be left out of the proposed Super League.When asked by The New York Times this year to discuss his role in the talks of a breakaway league, Agnelli brushed off the idea as a “rumor.”Still, according to documents reviewed by The Times in January, plans for the breakaway league had gathered pace since last summer.

Top clubs sought to take advantage of uncertainty in the soccer industry caused by the pandemic to forge a new path that would ensure a degree of financial stability for them but would also almost certainly lead to a significant — and potentially devastating — loss in value and revenue for the teams excluded from the project.Each of the would-be permanent members of the proposed superleague was promised 350 million euros, or $425 million, to sign up, the documents said.

The group leading the effort had entered into discussions with JPMorgan Chase to raise financing for the project, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The firm has so far declined to comment.Earlier this year, UEFA found a powerful ally in opposition to the plans in FIFA, which warned that any player who took part in such an unsanctioned league would be barred from appearing in any of its tournaments, including the World Cup.

The statement came after UEFA’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, demanded support from his FIFA counterpart, Gianni Infantino, amid mounting speculation that the breakaway group had FIFA’s support.By Sunday night, even the alliance of clubs led by Juventus’s Agnelli, the E.C.A., appeared to reject his idea.Significant hurdles to the plan’s implementation remain.

Governing bodies and leagues could follow through on their threats to expel the clubs and their players.

As member-owned clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid would most likely require the support of the thousands of their supporters before formally joining, and any German clubs that agree to take part would face similar obstacles.

All can expect heavy internal opposition, too; fan groups across Europe have consistently opposed even the idea of a closed superleague.On Sunday, one umbrella fan group, Football Supporters Europe, called the superleague idea “illegitimate, irresponsible, and anti-competitive by design.”“More to the point, it is driven exclusively by greed,” the group said.

“The only ones who 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.”Advertisement.

– April 18, 2021
Real Madrid, Super League, Man City