The rivals of the ‘big six’ Premier League clubs who have signed up to the European Super League want them immediately kicked out of England’s top flight. Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham are among 12 clubs to have signed up to the breakaway league.
The 12 will form 15 founding clubs, with the final three still unconfirmed, in a 20-team division with no promotion or relegation.
The ESL declared in a statement on Sunday that they want to co-exist alongside national domestic leagues and that tournament matches would be held midweek, replacing the Champions League.
The Super League added that it intends to begin “as soon as practicable” and that the new proposals to modify the existing Champions League into a 36-team tournament “do not solve fundamental issues” within the game.
They feel their plans propose better solutions to problems such as “the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid”.
UEFA however warned that it will use “all measures” to put an end to what it has described as a “cynical project” from the clubs involved, all of whom have been widely condemned for their decision-making.
Both European football’s governing body and also FIFA have warned that players who are involved in the Super League could be banned from all other competitions, both at club and international level.
And according to Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, some of the Premier League clubs not invited into the Super League are so furious with their rivals that they want the ‘big six’ kicked out immediately.
He spoke to a board member, who wished to remain unnamed, at one of the clubs intending to join the Super League who admitted the move has caused massive friction within the Premier League, which still has six rounds of matches remaining before its 2020-21 season is completed.
Speaking on Sky Sports News on Monday, Solhekol said: “I asked this board member if civil war had broken out in football and he said, ‘This is not civil war, this is a nuclear war.’
“Some of the other 14 Premier League clubs who are not involved in this breakaway want the six breakaway clubs to be sanctioned immediately.
“They believe the sanction should include suspension from the current Premier League season. Some of these other 14 clubs are so unhappy with what is happening that they want this six clubs to be kicked out of the Premier League immediately.”
He added: “One club owner [of the big six] has said privately that he would be prepared to leave the Premier League if they had to.
“He is saying that the riches on offer are so great, even if we were to be kicked out of the Premier League we would still just focus on joining the new European Super League.
“The owners of the clubs involved are totally committed, the breakaway is being driven by the Glazers and Ed Woodward and JP Morgan.
“Several of these American owners we’re being told can still not understand why we have relegation in English football.
“Finally, Chelsea and Manchester City had major reservations about joining but in the end they decided they could not be left behind playing in a weakened Premier League and weakened Champions League.”
Despite the determination of the six English clubs, the Premier League said in a 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.
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“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.”
While even the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson has vowed to help block the plans.
He said on Monday: “We are going to look at everything that we can do with the football authorities to make sure that this doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed.
“I don’t think that it’s good news for fans, I don’t think it’s good news for football in this country.
“These clubs are not just great global brands – of course they’re great global brands – they’re also clubs that have originated historically from their towns, from their cities, from their local communities, they should have a link with those fans, and with the fan base in their community.
“So it is very, very important that that continues to be the case. I don’t like the look of these proposals, and we’ll be consulting about what we can do.”