12 Founding Clubs unveil Super League plan; Premier League statement hits back

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Nicholas Mendola
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The Premier League has issued a strongly-worded statement on the idea of a European Super League, as reports laid out a plan for a 15-team competition to begin as early as 2023-24.

Some reports have claimed that Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have “agreed” to join an “ESL,” while Manchester City has been mentioned in others to put all “Big Six” sides in the mix.

ESPN reported that “the proposed framework involves a total of 20 teams, with 15 permanent members who cannot be relegated,” saying an American fund would bring the tournament to life.

[ MORE: Sheffield Utd relegated | Norwich promoted ]

UPDATE 2: The 12 “Founding Clubs” —AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur — have officially announced their proposed competition, “the Super League,” and revealed that “a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”

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UPDATE 1: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson released the following statement on Sunday, calling upon clubs to consult their fans over the proposed change to league structures…

“We support football authorities in taking action. The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps”

Sounds like a real good time (Sarcasm dripping so much you might want to make sure your computer isn’t damaged).

The 15 permanent teams mentioned by ESPN would be broken down into six from the PL, three each from La Liga and Serie A, two from the Bundesliga, and one from Ligue 1.

UEFA has issued a separate statement condemning the idea and threatening domestic, European, and world bans for clubs and possibly even international team bans for players on teams in a European Super League. UEFA also thanked the Bundesliga and Serie A giants for not signing onto the idea.

Here is the Premier League’s statement:

The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.

Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.

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.

Hopefully the PL clubs “signing on” to the proposal is at-most a bargaining ploy. Stay tuned.

If the 15 teams are as the ESPN report described, one would expect that it would break down as PSG, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus, as well as the PL’s Big Six. Got it.

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12 Founding Clubs unveil Super League plan; Premier League statement hits back originally appeared on NBCSports.com