It is probably the tipping point of modern football. Twelve European football clubs announced an agreement late yesterday to set up a new midweek football competition, the Super League, governed by the Founding Clubs
AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF e Tottenham Hotspur they have all joined as Founding Clubs. Three more clubs are expected to join as Founding Clubs before the inaugural season, which is expected to start as soon as possible
«In the future – reads the note – the Founding Clubs they look forward to consultations with UEFA and FIFA in order to work together and cooperate to achieve the best possible results for the new League and for football as a whole. The creation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability of the current economic model of European football. Furthermore, for several years now, the Founding Clubs have set themselves the goal of improving the quality and intensity of current European competitions throughout each season, and to create a format that allows top clubs and their players to compete against each other. regularly”.
The note underlines that «the pandemic highlighted the need for a strategic vision and a commercially sustainable approach to increase value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid. In recent months, an extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe that the measures proposed following these talks do not represent a solution to the fundamental issues, including the need to offer better quality matches and additional financial resources for the entire football pyramid ».
The format of the competition foresees «20 participating clubs including 15 Founding Clubs and a qualification mechanism for 5 other teams, which will be selected each year based on the results achieved in the previous season; Midweek matches with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional national match schedule that will remain the heart of inter-club competitions.
«The new annual tournament it will provide significantly higher economic growth – the note continues – and support for European football through a long-term commitment to pay solidarity contributions without a ceiling, which will grow in line with the league’s revenues. These solidarity contributions will be substantially higher than those generated by current European competition and are expected to exceed € 10 billion over the course of the clubs’ initial engagement period. Furthermore, the tournament will be built on a sustainable financial basis with all Founding Clubs adhering to a spending framework. In exchange for their commitment, the Founding Clubs will receive a one-off contribution of € 3.5 billion to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid CF and first president of the Super League, said: «We will help football at every level and lead it to occupy the rightful place in the world. Football is the only truly global sport with more than four billion fans and the responsibility of us big clubs is to respond to their wishes ».
By supporting the new European league, Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus and vice president of the Super League, said: «The 12 Founding Clubs have a fan base that exceeds one billion people worldwide and a palmares of 99 trophies on a continental level. At this critical moment we have come together to enable the transformation of European competition, putting the game we love on a long-term sustainable development path, with a greatly increased solidarity mechanism, guaranteeing fans and enthusiasts a match program that knows how to nourish. their desire for football and, at the same time, provide a positive and engaging example ».
Juventus, even with an official note , confirmed to have joined the Superlega project. In the press release, among other things, the Juventus club specifies that “the founding clubs will continue to participate in their respective national competitions and, until the actual start of the Super League, Juventus believes it will participate in the European competitions to which it is entitled to enter”.
Joel Glazer, co-chairman del Manchester United and vice president of the Super League, added: “By bringing together the greatest clubs and players in the world to compete throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring first-rate competition and facilities at the same level. world, as well as increased financial support for the football pyramid as a whole ».
Bayern Munich and Dortmund, the two German clubs present on the board of directors of the European Club Association (ECA), have expressed themselves clearly against the plan to create a Super League. This was declared by the CEO of Borussia Dortmund Hans-Joachim Watzke. «We met on Sunday evening for a virtual conference on Sunday and confirmed the willingness of the clubs involved to support the planned reform of the Champions League, rejecting the plans to form a Super League. Both German clubs represented (Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund) have expressed the same point of view ».
Harsh words come from all sides and they suggest a legal war that will leave many aftermaths. All with the Uefa Executive scheduled today in the background that should approve the new format of the post-2024 Champions League, with an increase in the number of participants from 32 to 36 for a total of 100 more games per year. A project that seemed to have averted the Superlega and instead here’s the break.
The ECA, the association of European clubs, from which three English SuperLeague clubs have already left this morning, creating a possibly incurable precedent, he takes sides against the SuperLeague. «The ECA, as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe, reaffirms its declared commitment to work on developing the competition model with UEFA for the cycle starting in 2024 and which is strongly opposed to the closed Super League project. to which the media refer ”, reads a note. A stance that makes noise, considering that the president of the ECA is Andrea Agnelli, number one of Juventus, among the companies ready to marry the Superlega plan. “The executive committee of the ECA will meet in the coming days to make the appropriate decisions in light of any further developments,” the statement concludes.
Fifa also expressed “disapproval for a “closed European separatist league” outside of international football structures ». “Any football competition, national, regional or global, should always reflect the fundamental principles of solidarity, inclusiveness, integrity and fair financial redistribution”, adds the note from FIFA, principles that the new initiative, in his opinion, “does not respect”.
«In light of the numerous requests of the media and as already stated several times – reads the Federation note – Fifa wishes to clarify that it remains firmly in favor of solidarity football and a model of equitable redistribution of resources that can help develop football as a sport, in particular globally, given that the development of global football is Fifa’s primary mission ».
The organized supporters of the six English clubs Signatories of the founding act of the SuperLega have expressed a firm and unanimous condemnation of the controversial project, defined as “disconcerting”, “selfish” and “contrary to the values of sport” through a joint statement. From London to Manchester, passing through Liverpool, the reaction of the fans was not long in coming, «with all their heart against the creation of a competition destined to separate from the Champions League», in the comment of the Chelsea Supporters Trust. Equally harsh and peremptory is the censorship of Tottenham’s Supporters Trust fans: “When it’s too much, it’s too much”.