As Spurs sack Mourinho...

Boris joins condemnation of Super league plan

Anfield (Liverpool FC) unsplash

Anfield, home of Liverpool, could host ESL matches

European football is facing a damaging split as 12 of the biggest clubs – half of them from England – have agreed to form a new European Super League (ESL).

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham would play AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid in a new midweek tournament.

The ESL said the founding clubs would continue to “compete in their respective national leagues”.

About $5billion has been committed to this new project by the American bank JP Morgan.

In an announcement, the breakaway clubs said: “The Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.”

However, the idea prompted widespread condemnation with governing bodies FIFA and UEFA refusing to recognise the new competition. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the English Premier League also criticised the plan.

“Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action,’ said Mr Johnson on Twitter.

“They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country

“The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”

Latest: Tottenham have sacked Jose Mourinho less than a week before the club play Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Mourinho, 58, replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019 but has now been dismissed after a dismal domestic campaign and failure in the Europa League.

Uefa released a joint statement with England’s Football Association, the Premier League, the Spanish Football Federation, La Liga and the Italian Football Federation, as well as Serie A, saying they will “remain united” in trying to stop the breakaway, using “all available measures”.

Former players were also critical of the plan. Manchester United’s former captain Gary Neville told Sky Sports he was “absolutely disgusted”, while his ex-team-mate Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport that the proposals will hurt fans the most. Fan groups associated with all six English clubs expressed strong opposition to the Super League, accusing participants of being motivated by greed.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust called the move “unforgivable” and said their members and “football supporters across the world have experienced the ultimate betrayal”.

The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust called their club’s agreement to join “the death of Arsenal as a sporting institution”.

Manchester City FC Official Supporters Club said the move showed “those involved have zero regard for the game’s traditions”.

Scottish clubs have not been party to the plans and there will be concerns that the ESL would drive a bigger wedge between the rich clubs and the rest, with its implications for signing top players.

Fifa warned that any players involved in the ESL could be denied the chance to play at a World Cup, while UEFA said players involved would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level and could be prevented from representing their national teams.

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