THE twelve breakaway clubs behind football's proposed European Super League have launched their plan to change the face of the game. In a late night statement Sunday the 12 cubs - AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético, Chelsea, Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham have announced an agreement competition, the Super League.
The statement says that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which will be launched as soon as is practicable.
Putting flesh on the proposals that has rocked the game across Europe, the proposal is for 20 paticipating clubs in all with the 15 founding members joined by five more via a qualifying mechanism based in achievements the previous season.
The statement adds: "The fixtures will be midweek with all clubs continuing to compete in their domestic leagues. An August start (is planned), with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away, with the top three in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals and the fourth and fifth-placed teams playing home and away ties to join them. As soon as is practicable a corresponding women's league will be launched."
The statement adds: "In the future, the Founding Clubs look forward to consulting with UEFA and FIFA in order to work together".
Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer will be a vice-chairman of the Super League.
He said: "By bringing together the world's greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid."
The development came on the eve of Uefa's planned announcement Monday in which they will confirm an expansion of the existing Champions League competition.
But in a move designed to secure a bigger share of revenue, as well as guarantee a permanent place in the competition, England’s self-styled six biggest clubs sparked a civil war.
The breakaway move, due to start in 2023-24, was met with swift and complete condemnation.
Reports claim that investment bank JP Morgan have underwritten the project with a £4.3bn (€4.97bn) commitment that will be distributed to participating clubs as loans.
Supporters’ groups across Europe were quick to voice their fury but, crucially, governing bodies were equally swift in threatening retribution.
Uefa issued a statement that was co-signed by the FA, Premier League and Spanish and Italian leagues with a promise of legal action.
“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening,” it read. “Football is based on open competitions ands 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 the national teams.”
While Uefa had the vested interest of safeguarding their own competition, the Premier League and FA were quick to confirm they will not allow member clubs to play in a “bandit” competition.
“For new competitions to be formed involving clubs from different associations, approval would be required from the relevant national associations, confederation and/or Fifa,” read an FA statement.
“We would not provide permission to any competition that would be damaging to English football, and will take any legal and/or regulatory action necessary to protect the broader interests of the game.”
A Premier League statement added: "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."
To add to the pressure building on the rebels, Premier League chief exec Richard Masters wrote to all 20 clubs yesterday reminding them of “Rule L9,” which forbids teams playing in non-sanctioned events without permission.
“I cannot envisage any scenario where such permission would be granted,” he wrote. “It is the duty of the Premier League Board to defend the integrity and future prospects of the League as a whole, and we will have no choice but to do everything we can to protect and maintain both.”