European Super League: UK government backs football authorities over breakaway competition

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed the UK Government's backing of football authorities over opposition to proposals for a breakaway European Super League.

In an emphatic response to widespread media reports, UEFA – together with the English Football Association (FA), Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), LaLiga, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A – publicised their collective opposition to the proposals. 

One of the sanctions put forward by UEFA was to ban the 12 teams from participating in its club competitions, namely the Champions League and Europa League.

An official statement from the newly formed European Super League followed late on Sunday, European time.

Six Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham – along with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter, Milan and Juventus, are the teams involved.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain have not been included, with reports suggesting the sides had opted not to join.

The FA warned a European Super League would hurt football "at all levels", stating any closed-shop tournament would go against long-standing principles of the game.

Oliver Dowden, the UK Government's culture secretary, said clubs signing up for any such project would be neglecting their duty to supporters by taking away their say, and Johnson later expanded on his party's stance.

"Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action," a statement on Johnson's official Twitter account read.

"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."

UEFA also alluded to FIFA's threat of barring players from the World Cup should they play for teams who choose to participate in a European Super League, and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) said it had "substantial concerns regarding the wide-ranging implications of the proposed European Super League concept."

A statement read: "This proposed move would detract from the strength and joy of domestic football and diminish the game for the vast majority of fans across the continent.

"Clubs across all domestic competitions are not equal, each having differing financial starting points. However, success is never guaranteed, often cyclical and always earned.

"We have seen countless examples around Europe of teams outperforming their resources. In recent years, at home in the Premier League, this has resulted in unrivalled global entertainment and sporting drama.

"A system that rewards all clubs for success is paramount. In England, we are privileged to enjoy the most professional teams, the most professional players and in normal times, the highest aggregate attendances across the world. This success is achieved by working together and in solidarity."

Related items

  • Christensen hopes Azpilicueta and Alonso follow him from Chelsea to Barcelona Christensen hopes Azpilicueta and Alonso follow him from Chelsea to Barcelona

    Andreas Christensen hopes he is not the only defender to leave Chelsea for Barcelona this close season, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso both appearing to be targets for the Catalan club.

    Christensen was presented as a Barca player on Thursday after departing Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract.

    Spain internationals Azpilicueta and Alonso have been linked to the Camp Nou giants, too, and Christensen revealed he had discussed the move with both players.

    "I spoke to them and told them I was going to Barca," he said in a news conference. "They are great friends, and hopefully I can play with them.

    "I haven't met my team-mates here yet, who have a lot of quality, but I do want to play with [Azpilicueta and Alonso] again next season."

    Barca sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff was also asked about the Blues pair and said: "It is true that the change of ownership at Chelsea delays everything a bit.

    "We want to reinforce several positions of the team, and we have several names on the table.

    "What has struck me the most is that all the players open their eyes when they hear the name of Barca and are willing to lose money to adapt to the salary scale.

    "We are proud to see how people are willing to lose money to come to this club. The new wage structure must be fair and stable.

    "We don't want to talk about names, because they have a contract with their clubs, but it is true that we are looking to reinforce positions that we consider fundamental."

  • Barcelona 'waiting for Bayern's response' after Lewandowski bid Barcelona 'waiting for Bayern's response' after Lewandowski bid

    Barcelona have made a bid for Robert Lewandowski but are yet to hear back from Bayern Munich, Joan Laporta has revealed.

    Lewandowski emerged as a top target for the Blaugrana towards the end of the 2021-22 season, having enjoyed another outstanding campaign at Bayern.

    The forward, who turns 34 next month, scored 50 goals in all competitions to lead all players across Europe's top five leagues.

    He also topped the charts in netting once every 80 minutes on average.

    Lewandowski has made clear he would be open to a move to Barca, but progress has been slow while the club have wrapped up other signings.

    Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen were presented at Camp Nou on consecutive days this week, with Barcelona president Laporta insisting there would be no further incoming business until the club had addressed their financial situation.

    That is not the only reason Lewandowski is not yet a Barca player, though, as Laporta suggested the ball remained in Bayern's court – even if the Bundesliga champions have publicly stated a desire to keep their star man.

    "You know we've made an offer for Lewandowski, and we're waiting for Bayern's response," the president said at Christensen's news conference on Thursday.

    "I want to thank the player for his gestures to come. [Bayern] must be evaluating the offer, and we are waiting for the answer."

    Laporta was also again asked about Cristiano Ronaldo, as he had been when appearing alongside Kessie the previous day.

    The Barca chief was reluctant to discuss Ronaldo specifically but had not been surprised by links to the wantaway Manchester United forward, who spent nine years at rivals Real Madrid.

    "We have the great luck that most players want to come to Barca," Laporta said. "When the possibility opens, they consider it and get excited.

    "We have seen this, and we have this great luck – for our history, the players we have had and what we have achieved.

    "I don't go into names, I'm talking in general. There are great players who are in big clubs, but when there is the option of Barca, they consider it.

    "Barca is still very attractive, and the credibility and illusion have returned. The proof is that players like Christensen want to continue their sporting career at Barca.

    "We will return to normal and go into the transfer market with greater guarantees of success."

  • Leeds continue signing spree by bringing in Sinisterra from Feyenoord Leeds continue signing spree by bringing in Sinisterra from Feyenoord

    Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Colombia international Luis Sinisterra from Feyenoord, with the 23-year-old penning a five-year deal at Elland Road.

    The winger, who is the sixth capture of a busy off-season for the Whites, joins for a reported fee of £21.3million (€25m).

    Sinisterra follows United States duo Brendan Aaronson and Tyler Adams, Denmark's Rasmus Kristensen and the pair of Marc Roca and Darko Gyabi through the door at Elland Road.

    Leeds have moved to bolster their squad having survived relegation only on the final day last season and then lost Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City, with Brazil winger Raphinha's departure also anticipated.

    Sinisterra, who registered 23 goals and 14 assists in 49 games last term for Feyenoord, will add to Jesse Marsch's wide options alongside Aaronson, Daniel James and Jack Harrison.

    "I am very happy to be here in this beautiful club," Sinisterra said.

    "I know it's a historic club with beautiful fans. I heard a lot of things about the stadium and atmosphere, it's amazing, so I can't wait to feel that in person.

    "It was my dream when I was a child [to play in the Premier League], right now I am close to making that. Of course, I will work to bring quality to Leeds.

    "This is my feeling, that I want to do the same or even more for this team and for the fans.

    "I think it is also one of my characteristics, to enjoy and make the fans happy with my skills, my quality, and hopefully I can do that here at Elland Road."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.