May 8, 2021

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The European Super League LIVE: Latest updates, statements and FIFA, UEFA and teams’ reactions


Sunday night saw the announcement of a breakaway competition called the European Super League, with the 12 clubs involved being: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

European Super League LIVE: Latest updates, statements and FIFA, UEFA and teams’ reactions

Twenty clubs will participate in the European Super League. The 12 founding clubs will be joined by three more, and those fifteen will be joined by five that will be ranked annually on the basis of the previous season’s sporting performance. The European Super League, as announced by its creators, does not intend to put an end to domestic football and will be played on weekdays. Follow our live blog to see the latest news and updates.

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez LIVE

Those between 16-24 years old are losing interest in football

“Football was losing interest. Those 16 to 24 years aren’t interested in football anymore because there are many matches of little interest and they have other competing platforms.”

Florentino’s initial message: Real Madrid have lost 400 million euros.

In a bid to explain the reasons behind the Super League, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez highlighted falling revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The biggest clubs in England, Italy and Spain had to find a solution to the really terrible situation they were in,” he said. “The European Club Association says they’ve lost five billion euros. At Real Madrid we had a budget of 800m and we finished with 700m. This year instead of 900m, let’s see if we get 600m. In two seasons Real Madrid have lost 400m.

“When you have no income other than TV money, the best way to increase revenue is to have more attractive games that fans from all over the world can see. So we came to a conclusion that instead of doing the Champions League we would do a Super League and we would be able to alleviate what was lost.”

23:30 CET – Milner against Super League

As with his coach Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool midfielder James Milner has spoken out against the Super League. “I don’t like it and I hope it doesn’t happen,” he told Sky Sports after the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Leeds.

23:00 CET – Leeds forget Liverpool

After earning a late 1-1 draw with Liverpool, Leeds United took a dig at the one of the Super League founding members on Twitter. We don’t really need to say anything else.

22:30 CET – Florentino Perez set to speak about Super League

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will reveal some key parts of the Super League project on tonight’s edition of El Chiringuito de Jugones, so make sure you stay with us at MARCA for all the latest updates.

21:50 CET – European Super League: How did we get here?

The European Super League isn’t a new idea, in fact it has been floated in one guise or another since the 1990s. But how did we get from a group stage of just eight teams, to a Super League of only Europe’s heavyweight clubs. FIND OUT MORE

21:30 CET – What if UEFA go to court over the Super League

UEFA have publicly denounced the Super League, and should they choose to take legal action against the creation of the new competition, a legal expert that spoke to the Daily Mail believes they don’t have much of a case.

“I am of the opinion they have a strong case,’ said Mark Orth of MEOlaw, an expert in sports competition law. “The court is the right way to go. They have a good chance of winning. There are good prospects for the start of the Super League and the clubs that take part.

“If a monopolist is allowed to prohibit the generation of competition, then you do not need competition law at all. If that is allowed it touches on the fundamentals of competition law. There should be an opportunity to open the market.

“What if Amazon just assumed it could introduce exclusivity for dealers saying if you are offering your goods on any other online platform you are excluded from our platform. There would be an outcry.”

21:15 CET – Sevilla release Super League statement

Sevilla who were not invited to be one of the Super League’s founding members have released a statement condemning the creation of the competition.

“In light of the news regarding the creation of a new competition both organised and governed privately by certain European clubs from different countries,” the statement read. 

“Sevilla FC’s Board wish to publicly state their complete rejection of a tournament based exclusively on economic parameters and outside of UEFA, an institution which brings together the different footballing associations of the continent. A competition which involves private invitation goes against the spirit of sport in general and the ethos of football as we know it. 

“This lack of competition goes completely against our DNA to Never Surrender and to set ourselves ever more ambitious goals, with the intention of achieving them out on the football pitch.

“Furthermore, the creation of this Super League would only serve to satisfy the selfish interests that look to enrich the Founder Clubs who already have far larger budgets than the rest of football clubs. This will impoverish football in general and the teams outside of the Super League.”

21:00 CET – Leeds against the Super League

With Leeds taking on Liverpool, one of the Super League’s founding members on Monday night. The Leeds payers wore a shirt in protest at the new competition.

On the back was the slogan ‘football is for the fan’ while the front was emblazoned with he Champions League logo and a simple message ‘earn it’.

20:45 CET – Even royalty opposes the Super League

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge has also come out against the new Super League.

“Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I share the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.”

20:30 CET – Barcelona’s debt solution

With Barcelona being one of the founding members of the Super League, the injection of cash it would bring – around 300m euros just for taking part – which would help alleviate the debt burden on the club.

20:00 CET – A time limit for Bayern, Dortmund and PSG?

Der Spiegel has had access to a document from the Super League in which the 12 founding members have indicated that they want to offer Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG a place in the competition as soon as possible, as an additional three founding members. But they have to notify the Super League group of their intentions, PSG within 14 days and the German clubs within 30 days of the offer.

19:45 CET – Lyon stock falls

The only Ligue 1 team on the stock exchange, Lyon, have seen their share price fall by two points on Monday, following the announcement of the European Super League of which there are no French teams represented. It is thought that Paris Saint-Germain have a guaranteed place in the new competition, with another French club also being invited. Lyon and Marseille are the frontrunners.

19:40 CET – Possible Champions League sanctions for Super League clubs

Jesper Moller, president of the Danish football federation and member of UEFA’s executive committee, has told Danish TV that Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City could be thrown out of this season’s Champions League.

19:30 CEST – UK government promises football club ownership reform

The British government, which strongly opposes the Super League, has set in motion a revision of how it monitors how football clubs are run in the UK. In Germany, members must own 51 percent of their club.

“If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that football is nothing without its fans. These owners should remember that they are only temporary custodians of their clubs, and they forget fans at their peril,” said the UK’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden.

“That’s why over the past few months I have been meeting with fans and representative organisations to develop our proposals for a fan-led review. I had always been clear that I didn’t want to launch this until football had returned to normal following the pandemic. Sadly, these clubs have made it clear that I have no choice. They have decided to put money before fans. So today I have been left with no choice but to formally trigger the launch of our fan-led review of football.”

19:20 CET – Juventus stocks soar

Shares in Juventus have risen by 18 percent since the announcement that they would join a European Super League. The price of shares has risen from 0.773 euros on Friday to 0.911 euros on Monday.

19:10 CET – Spanish company to have say in Super League deals

According to the Financial Times, Anas Laghrari, a member of the Spanish company Key Capital, has been designated as the secretary general of the European Super League. He will be in charge of sealing TV rights and sponsorship deals.

19:00 CET – Atletico Madrid reasons for joining Super League

Atletico Madrid have plenty of reasons as to why they have signed up as one of the founding members of the new European Super League. READ MORE HERE

18:50 CET – Serie A hold meeting

The Assembly of the Serie A clubs have already started a meeting regarding the new Super League proposals which includes three of the founding members Juventus, Inter and AC Milan.

18:45 CET – Spanish Government doesn’t support the Super League

As with the UK Government, the Spanish Government has come out in opposition of the new proposed Super League with the Minister of Culture and Sports, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, holding talks with many of the key players in opposition to the move, including the presidents of UEFA, RFEF, La Liga, as well as with the presidents of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

18:30 CET – Super League and TV rights

The creation of a new Super League will likely devalue the TV rights of the current Champions League, as well as increasing the costs of the networks, which would likely be forced to bid for the rights to the new competition. According to a Barclays report, the key question is whether the current contracts signed by tv broadcasters for the Champions League allow them to return the rights to UEFA, should the competition lose 12 of its best clubs.

18:10 CET – Manchester United soar on Wall Street

Manchester United’s share price shot up a massive nine percent on Monday, following the announcement of the Super League. At just after 10am local time in New York City, MANU share price stood at 17.67 dollars.

17:45 CET – Bayern Munich state their position

Bayern Munich who are not among the 12 European Super League founding members have made their position on the matter clear.

“FC Bayern has not been involved in the plans for creating a Super League,” Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “We are convinced that the current structure in football guarantees a reliable foundation.

“FC Bayern welcomes the reforms of the Champions League because we believe they are the right step to take for the development of European football.

17:20 CET: Boris Johnson states position on European Super League

Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has come out against the European Super League and has made clear that his government will support the football authorities in taking action against the clubs involved. From England, there are six clubs involved in the plans: Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

16:50 CET: Investors are buying into European Super League

As Bloomberg journalist Maria Tadeo points out, Juventus’ stocks saw a sharp rise after the European Super League announcement. Investors are clearly keen to getting on board with the proposal.

16:20 CET: Atletico Madrid confirm their presence in European Super League… but they keep it quiet

Unlike many other teams, Atletico Madrid have decided to quietly tell the world that they have signed up for the European Super League. Rather than send out a tweet confirming their intentions, they have posted a press release on the lower part of their website.

“Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement with eleven of the most important football clubs in Europe to form a new competition, the Super League, which will be governed by its Founding Clubs and aims to be the best club-level sporting competition in the world,” the first paragraph read.

16:00 CET: UEFA president responds

Aleksander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, has responded to the European Super League breakaway idea, saying that it is a “spit in the face of all football lovers”. He also heavily criticised Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli and Manchester United’s Ed Woodward. Read what he had to say here.

15:45 CET: Changes to the Champions League

Amidst the news of the European Super League, the changes to the Champions League from 2024 have been announced. There will be four more teams, rising from 32 to 36, while there will be 10 group-stage games, which is an increase of four.

15:15 CET: Laporta has a change of heart

Barcelona president Joan Laporta was critical of the European Super League after former incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed that he had signed the Catalan club up for the breakaway league, but he seems to have changed his tune. Read more here.

14:45 CET: Porto rejected European Super League invitation

Porto have earned plaudits on social media after rejecting the chance to be in the European Super League. The club’s president, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, explained why.

“There were informal contacts from some clubs, but we didn’t pay much attention for two reasons. The first is that the European Union does not allow a closed circuit of events like in the NBA, for example,” Pinto da Costa said.

“As the Portuguese Football Federation is against this, and as part of UEFA, we cannot participate in anything that is against the principles and rules of the European Union and UEFA. If that goes forward, something that I have a lot of doubts about, UEFA [competitions] will not end and it is certain that they will continue to have evidence. It must be recognised that the events organised by UEFA are the official events. We are not concerned with being [in the European Super League] or not; we are in the Champions League and we hope to continue to be [there] for many years.”

14:30 CET: Gary Neville’s passionate message against the European Super League

Gary Neville appeared on Sky Sports on Sunday after Manchester United’s win against Burnley and voiced his frustration against the European Super League.

14:15 CET: Ozil and Lovren join Herrera in speaking out

Mesut Ozil and Dejan Lovren, now of Fenerbahce and Zenit Saint Petersburg respectively, have expressed their frustration at the notion of the European Super League.

14:00 CET: Liverpool fans criticise the club

Liverpool, widely regarded as a ‘club of the people’, are one of the behemoths that have signed for the European Super League. Some of the club’s fans went to Anfield today to hang up a banner showing their disapproval at the decision.

13:45 CET: Let us know how you feel about the European Super League

The European Super League has led to many debates, but we want to know what you think about it. Take part in our survey here.

13:30 CET: Ander Herrera speaks out against European Super League

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera has published a tweet stating his disagreement with the project put forward by the European Super Club, which at present does not include the French giants.

“I love football and cannot remain silent about this,” part of Herrera’s tweet read.

“I believe in an improved Champions League, but not in the rich stealing what the people created, which is nothing other than the most beautiful sport on the planet.”

13:15 CET: Will the European Super League be like the NBA?

In short, no. The goal is to follow the model set by the EuroLeague, Europe’s leading basketball competition, whereby the domestic leagues still have a key role to play. There will, however, be a heightened emphasis on European competition. We explain the situation here.

Real Madrid after winning the EuroLeague title in 2018.

Real Madrid after winning the EuroLeague title in 2018.

13:00 CET: No changes to this year’s European competitions

Despite five clubs in UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League semi-finals having signed up to the European Super League – Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United – they will still be able to continue their participation in this season’s editions of the competitions. Read more here.

12:45 CET: Rio Ferdinand speaks on behalf of fans

Rio Ferdinand was visibly frustrated with the news of the European Super League, which began to have more and more details come out during the FA Cup semi-final tie between Southampton and Leicester City on Sunday evening. Below is a video of Ferdinand, a former Manchester United centre-back, giving his views on the matter.

12:30 CET: Dortmund don’t plan on joining European Super League

There have been reports that Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain will join the European Super League as founding clubs, bringing the total number of clubs to 15, but Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed that his club and Bayern plan to proceed with the Champions League’s reforms instead of joining the European Super League.

“The members of the [European Club Association] ECA board got together on a virtual conference on Sunday evening and reaffirmed that last Friday’s board decision remains valid,” Watzke said in a statement released by Dortmund on Monday.

12:15 CET: Only Atletico Madrid have remained tight-lipped

Eleven of the 12 clubs named in the European Super League’s press release have come forward and acknowledged their desire to take part in this breakaway competition, but Atletico Madrid have not done so just yet, as the journalist Arancha Rodriguez points out.

12:05 CET: Barcelona in the European Super League

The announcement of the European Super League on Sunday night had Barcelona’s name linked to it, but they did not confirm this until Monday morning.

“FC Barcelona announce it has reached an agreement with eleven other of the most important clubs in Europe to form a new competition, the Super League,” a section of their statement read.

12:00 CET: JP Morgan behind the European Super League

The American investment bank JP Morgan have confirmed that they are the ones financing the breakaway European Super League.

11:45 CET: Big clubs set to miss out

Some historic giants of the European game have been overlooked and will find it difficult to make their way into the European Super League’s five remaining places. Have a look at who has missed out here.

11:30 CET: Financial gains from the European Super League

The winners of the European Super League could earn almost triple what they would in the Champions League. We talk about the finances involved here.

11:00 CET: The morning after the night before

More news is beginning to filter out about the European Super League, but just how will it work? Read about it here.