New Super League Threatens to Blow Up European Football
European football was rocked by the biggest story in at least a generation, when 12 of Europe's biggest clubs announced plans to break away from the established football order and form a Super League. The development has the potential to remake the European football landscape dramatically, and there is still much that isn't known about what's ahead.
The basics? A group of 12 clubs from across Europe's biggest leagues announced plans to form a new competition called the Super League. The league, should it be established, would offer permanent spots to some of the world's biggest clubs and play matches midweek, while allowing the involved clubs to remain in their domestic competitions. This plan is currently opposed by FIFA and UEFA, the governing bodies for international and European soccer, respectively.
What is the Super League?
The Super League is a long-discussed idea for a closed competition that would feature Europe's biggest clubs. Over the years, there have been many different theoretical proposals for what that league would look like. On Sunday, 12 clubs made it official, announcing their plans to break away from Europe's governing body, UEFA, and forming their own league. They plan to add three more permanent members and leave five spots open in the 20-team format that European clubs could qualify for from across Europe's domestic competitions.
The estimated earnings for would-be fixtures signing up to the proposed Super League are at least 5 million. Each of the would-be permanent members of the proposed Super League are being promised €350 million (5 million) to sign up, per documents obtained by the New York Times.
JP Morgan Chase & Co. were reportedly approached to raise financing for the project that has seen FIFA back UEFA by threatening to ban any players involved in such a league from future World Cup competition.
Which notable teams are not included?
So far, several of Europe's biggest teams have not officially signed onto the project. Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans Joachim Watzke says his team has no intention of joining in the next couple of weeks. RB Leipzig will not join, sources tell CBS Sports insider Fabrizio Romano.
Watzke also stressed that "both German clubs on the ECA board, FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, shared exactly the same stance throughout all discussions."
Notably, among Europe's elite clubs, current UEFA Champions League semifinalists Paris Saint-Germain are not among the teams making up the Super League. It's worth noting that Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the head of Qatar Sports Investments, which owns and operates PSG, also holds a seat in the UEFA executive committee. He was elected to his UEFA position back in 2019.
Pinto da Costa, president of FC Porto, confirmed his side will not be joining a league that against UEFA rules.
UEFA is threatening legal action against those 12 teams and could, in theory, ban them from future competitions. Jesper Møller, Danish FA chairman and UEFA ExCo member said to Danish outlet DR Sport that semifinalists involved in the Super League -- Real Madrid, Chelsea and Man City -- will be expelled from this season's competition, along with the remaining breakaway participants, by Friday.
On Monday, in a fiery press conference, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin emphasized the potential consequences for players participating in the league. "The players that will play in the Super League will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros. Ceferin. "They will not be allowed play for their national teams," he said while also calling on teams participating in the Super League to be banned from all UEFA competitions.
The group of 12 have responded by sending letter to FIFA and UEFA leaders, informing them that the Super League has already taken legal action to protect anyone looking to block their competition.
Plans to reformat the Champions League
Meanwhile, UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA) on Monday released the finalized version of an updated format to the Champions League this season, switching the tournament to a "Swiss Model."
Instead of six group-stage games, UEFA plans to expand from 32 to 36 participants and have each play 10 group stage games, five home and five away. This shift produces over 100 new matches.
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