Late on Sunday night, 12 teams confirmed they intend to join the Super League as founders. The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Manchester United and Tottenham – will be joined by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan in founding the new competition.
In a seismic move for European football, the founding clubs have agreed to establish a “new midweek competition” with teams continuing to “compete in their respective national leagues”. The inaugural season “is intended to commence as soon as practicable” and “anticipated that a further three clubs will join” the breakaway.
There are also plans to launch a women’s competition as soon as possible after the men’s tournament starts.
The Premier League had said it “condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit” following reports that six of its clubs were supporting a European Super League.
UEFA has warned clubs that they face being banned from domestic and international competitions if they set up a rival to the Champions League.
Tottenham is reported to have sacked Jose Mourinho after an explosive morning where he refused to take the squad onto the training ground over the club’s proposed European Super League admission.
The proposals met fierce criticism from the worlds of sport and politics. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and President of France Emmanuel Macron all condemned the plans before the proposals were confirmed, while Gary Neville launched a scathing attack of the clubs involved and called for Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool to be relegated as punishment for their involvement.
World governing body FIFA has issued a strong condemnation, pointing out that the competition was unsanctioned.
A widely reported statement read: “In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial distribution.
“Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case.
“Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a ‘closed European breakaway league’ outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.”
It went on to call for unity and “all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game”.
The Super League 12 clubs will seek to work with UEFA and world governing body FIFA to “deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole”.
“The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues.
“These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of 10billion euros during the course of the initial commitment period of the clubs.”