Football in crisis: UEFA threatens bans over mutiny as Premier League and pundits slam ‘pure greed’ of European Super League plans
Manchester United legend Roy Keane has condemned plans for a European Super League as "pure greed" and Premier League winner Micah Richards has labeled them an "absolute disgrace" following a series of explosive new developments.
Eleven clubs, including Spanish La Liga top three Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Italian Serie A club Inter Milan and five English Premier League sides have reportedly signed up for a breakaway league, with the news re-emerging just a day before UEFA was thought to be planning to announce a new 36-team Champions League.
Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis were all set to be involved in talks with European football's governing body, but any discussions will now be overshadowed by widespread fury at the new proposals.
"It comes down to money, greed," retorted seven-time Premier League champion Keane, praising Champions League holders Bayern Munich, who joined French champions Paris Saint-Germain in speaking out against the league, while giving his immediate reaction on Sky Sports.
Breaking | 5/6 English clubs, 3 Spanish clubs & 3 Italian clubs are set to announce the creation of a European Super League this evening, according to @LatourBertrand - there would be no French nor German sides in the competition, UEFA crisis meeting apparently currently ongoing.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) April 18, 2021
Breaking | These are the 12 clubs who have agreed to form a European Super League: Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan & Juventus. (RMC)— Get French Football News (@GFFN) April 18, 2021
"We've heard nothing from FIFA yet but it doesn't sound good. Let's hope it's stopped in its tracks because it is just pure greed. Bayern Munich are one of the biggest clubs in the world – at least they've made a stand, which is a good start.
"We've seen new ownerships come into the English game, buying clubs over the last 20 years. Greed is the only word I would use to describe it – nothing but greed.
"They couldn't care less about the football supporter who works hard and supports their club. It's just down to money."
BREAKING NEWS:In a joint statement, UEFA, English FA, Italian FA, Spanish FA, Premier, Liga, Serie A announce that the 12 clubs involved in SuperLeague will be banned from domestic league if they will pursue their project— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) April 18, 2021
Arsenal of the European Super League playing an absolute blinder here— Jonathan Liew (@jonathanliew) April 18, 2021
The new league is expected to guarantee certain clubs the riches of entry each season while making it even harder for newcomers to compete with the elite on and off the pitch.
"The Premier League has been run amazingly," said former Manchester City and England defender Richards.
"We all know that clubs are an investment and a business but what happens to the fans? What happens to the memories of what they've had over the years?
We’re actually getting a farmer-free competition! pic.twitter.com/uA1o8cI9OI— Chris. (@EmenaIo) April 18, 2021
bayern the farmers missing out lmaoooo— . (@neygooner) April 18, 2021
"They're just forgotten for the sake of money? That's the way football has become now. It's an absolute disgrace.
"It's disgusting as well because of the timing of it. The season's not finished yet and they're talking about breaking away?
"I believe Man City are involved in this as well. I can't understand, after what they have built in Manchester, with the local community – the women's, the men's, the kids', for them to want to pull away?
Bayern is bigger than every single premier league club btw (in terms of trophies)— fcbkimmich (@uw3nner7883) April 18, 2021
it is an idiotic thing that basically all the big teams in europe are for except for Paris and Bayern— Magic Magda (@MagiccMagda) April 18, 2021
"I'm flabbergasted. I'm really getting emotional. It's about lining pockets. They're taking away the soul from what we believed is this best sport in the world – it's like ripping the heart and soul out of it."
In their own response, the Premier League warned that the competition would "destroy the dream" of supporters and ruin the "principles of open competition and sporting merit".
"Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best," they said.
Tottenham as one of the English representatives for the European Super League pic.twitter.com/sLRzI9WnPz— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) April 18, 2021
The European Super League story is absolutely grim. I just hope that supporters remember it when their club claims to care about them as a means of emotional blackmail to increase their brand loyalty. They don't care about you, whatever the marketing slogans might imply.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) April 18, 2021
"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper."
UEFA said that clubs involved would be "banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level", adding that players "could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams."
"We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced," they said.
"This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough."Also on rt.com Rancor rises at Champions League winners Bayern Munich as ‘disapproving’ bosses hit back at manager Flick announcing his exit plan