Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus is one of 12 major European clubs to unite to form a new breakaway competition away from UEFA.
Plans to launch a European Super League have been confirmed.
12 of Europe’s biggest clubs have each released the same statement confirming their involvement and their official departures from the European Club Association.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Tottenham Hotspur are the founding members.
Three more unnamed clubs are expected to join to give this new mid-week competition 15 teams.
The founding clubs will also receive an amount of €3.5 billion to support their investment plans and “to offset the impact” of the pandemic.
Why has this happened?
“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model,” read a statement.
“Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.
“In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions.
“The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”
Who is in charge?
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has become Chairman of the new European Super League.
“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world,” said Perez.
“Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, meanwhile, is the Vice-Chairman of the rouge competition. Therefore, he has vacated his role as president of the ECA.
“Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies,” said Agnelli.
“We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”
Joining Agnelli as the second Vice-Chairman is Manchester United Co-Chairman Joel Glazer.
What will be the tournament format?
- 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
- Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
- An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.
The European Super League plans to start the men’s competition as soon as possible. Plans to launch a women’s league are also in the pipeline.