Twelve top European football clubs have agreed to found a Super League as soon as possible, the clubs said in a joint statement on Sunday evening.
“Three more clubs are expected to join ahead of the inaugural season, which is expected to start as soon as possible,” the 12 clubs said in a joint statement.
Considered financially very lucrative, the project does not benefit from the support of football governing bodies.
They described it as “a project based on the personal interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever”.
Fifteen of the 20 participating clubs must be permanent members, and the other five “will qualify each year based on the achievements of the previous season,” the statement said.
According to the New York Times, the new league “would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for participating teams.”
Clubs are already the richest clubs in sport.
Bayern Munich, winner of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League and finalist for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), are not among the clubs that have signed up or expressed interest.
In a statement released ahead of the announcement, UEFA and the football leagues and federations of England, Italy and Spain took the floor.
“As previously announced by FIFA and the six Federations, the clubs concerned will be prohibited from participating in any other competition at national, European or world level.
“Their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.
“We thank the clubs from other countries, in particular the French and German clubs, who refused to register.
Ahead of the announcement, the Premier League in England said it “condemns any proposal which attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit”.
“These are at the heart of the pyramid of national and European football.”
England’s Football Association (FA) also condemned the plans and German Football League chief Christian Seifert spoke of his body’s opposition.
“We reject any kind of concept of European Super League” which “would irreparably harm the national leagues as the basis of European professional football”.
The latest development comes on the eve of a meeting of the UEFA executive committee.
The meeting, in addition to the finalization of the host cities of the Euro of the summer, must also approve a reform of the Champions League from 2024.
The powerful Association of European Clubs (ECA) and UEFA’s club competitions committee reportedly agreed on the reform on Friday.
By virtue of this, the elite event has to grow from 32 to 36 teams and each team plays 10 instead of six group matches in what is called “the Swiss model”.
Two of the four additional clubs are to be controversial via historical results and not by qualification via domestic action.
The large number of extra matches poses a threat to domestic competitions.
Fan groups have also voiced their disagreement, with even greater outcry expected if a Super League becomes a reality.
Reports say EU officials are discussing countermeasures which could include banning clubs from the Champions League Super League next season.
“We will examine all the measures at our disposal, at all levels, both judicial and athletic, to prevent this from happening.
“Football is based on open competitions and on sporting merit; it cannot be otherwise, ”said the UEFA press release.
“We call on all football fans, supporters and politicians to join us in fighting against such a project should it be announced.
“This lingering self-interest of a few has gone on for too long. Enough is enough.”
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