UEFA, the governing body of European football, will approve sweeping Champions League reforms on Monday and issue a stern warning to clubs in the midst of a final Super League threat.
Sources told dpa that clubs from England, Italy and Spain were part of the latest plan, and there were reports of a 20-team league that could start in 2022.
Reports named Premier League clubs Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea as part of it.
Others include Italian clubs Juventus and Milan, AC and Inter, and the Spanish trio of FC Barcelona, Real and Atletico Madrid.
Fifteen or 16 of the 20 clubs in all must be permanent members, while the other four or five must qualify for the event.
According to the New York Times, the league “would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the participating teams, which are already the richest clubs in the sport.”
Bayern Munich, holders of the 2019/2020 Champions League title, and the finalist Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are not among the clubs that have not registered or have not shown interest.
In a statement, UEFA and the football leagues and federations of England, Italy and Spain referred to “a cynical project.
“It is a project based on the personal interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
“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 also 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.
The Premier League has declared that it “condemns any proposal which attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the pyramid of national and European football”.
The FA also condemned the plans and German Football League chief Christian Seifert said his body “rejects any kind of European Super League concept.”
It has been said that this “will irreparably damage 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 controversially chosen via historical results and not by qualifying via domestic action.
The large number of extra matches poses a threat to domestic competitions and fan groups have also expressed their disagreement.
An even bigger outcry is expected if a Super League becomes a reality.
Reports say European officials were 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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