“It is a time of great concern” – Lineker in the European Super League
The European Super League (ESL) is a “shameful, self-serving” plan and a “spit in the face of football fans,” says Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin.
He also said players playing for teams involved in the closed league would be “excluded from the World Cup and the euro”.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among them 12 clubs that have agreed to join the proposed ESL.
“We all agree against this nonsense of a project,” said Ceferin.
“I cannot emphasize how everyone agrees against these nefarious, selfish proposals, which are primarily driven by greed,” he said after plans for a revamped Champions League of 36 teams were agreed.
“”[It is a] cynical plan, completely against what football should be. We cannot and will not allow this to change.
“Players who play on the teams that may play in the closed league will be banned from the World Cup and the Euros. We urge everyone to stand up with us as we will do everything in our power to make sure this never happens comes into play. “
“This idea is a spittoon for all football lovers. We won’t let them take that away from us.”
The ESL will be a “new midweek competition” with teams continuing to “compete in their respective national leagues”.
After it was announced on Sunday, Fifa expressed its “rejection” of the proposed competition and called on “all parties involved in heated discussions to have a calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the benefit of the game”.
The governing body of world football previously said it would not recognize such a competition and all players involved could be denied the opportunity to compete in a World Cup.
The 14 non-ESL Premier League clubs will meet on Tuesday to evaluate the proposals and consider a response.
Protest banners were posted outside the Anfield Stadium in Liverpool
On Monday, Ceferin affirmed that clubs and players involved in the ESL could be banned from all UEFA competitions “as soon as possible”.
“We are still checking with our legal team but we will take all sanctions we can and we will let you know as soon as we can,” he said.
“In my opinion, they need to be banned from all of our competitions and players from all of our competitions as soon as possible.”
Aleksander Ceferin has been Uefa President since 2016
Ceferin particularly criticized Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who both resigned from UEFA.
Agnelli was also long-time President of the European Club Association (ECA), from which all 12 clubs involved in the ESL have resigned.
“He’s probably one of the biggest disappointments or the biggest disappointment of all,” said Ceferin.
“I don’t want to be too personal. But the fact is, I’ve never seen a person who lied so many times, so persistently, that he did it, it was amazing.
“I also spoke to him on Saturday afternoon. He said, ‘These are all just rumors. Don’t worry, nothing is wrong.’ And then he said, ‘I’ll call you in an hour.’ And he turned off the phone. “
Commenting on Woodward, Ceferin added, “I haven’t had much contact with him, but he called me last Thursday evening and said he was very happy with that [Champions League] Reforms that he fully supports the reforms and that the only thing he wants to talk about is financial fair play.
“And obviously he’s already signed something else.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, the only manager of one of England’s “Big Six” to join ESL, said he “trusts the club to make the right decisions”.
“I’ve known since yesterday, but I’m here to play the toughest competition. That’s why I came here to play the toughest competitions,” he said.
“I’m part of this club and I trust this club to make the right decisions. I think it’s too early to judge everything and it’s not my role. My badge says everyone has to play their role . My role is to train. ” , be focused and we have another game tomorrow. “
“A grotesque concept”
On Monday before, Aston Villa managing director Christian Purslow said the ESL was a “grotesque concept” and contradicted everything that football stands for.
“These proposals eliminate the sporting value,” Purslow told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
“It would allow a small number of clubs to participate in this competition, whatever and for millions of people in football contradicts everything the sport means and what it stands for.”
“The idea is that the insecurity that comes with the sport, making it so compelling that we all love it, is actually damaging the business models of these huge clubs.
“The program aims to remove that uncertainty and give their companies predictability so that if they are poorly managed or have a bad year, they will still be in the first tournament.
“Does that sound like sport or football to you? It sounds like a grotesque concept to me.”
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely against the sporting spirit, the dream of millions of fans to conquer champions on the field with planning, vision and work. Kill dreams of players and fans.
“The teams are fans and WE are the administrators of the club.”
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl reiterated his rejection of the move.
“There can be no other opinion on this. It’s a big threat what I see – war, if you want, from the big clubs,” he said.
“We’ll see what the future holds, but it’s a huge threat and we have to fight it.
“I hope we have the fans with us and without the fans football won’t work. They have a lot of power, these big clubs.”
And Preston North End, one of the 12 founding clubs of the Football League in 1888, said the runaway could “destroy nearly 150 years of football history for short-term riches for the few.”
North End won their first two league titles and the club’s statement went on: “The rationale that these breakaway clubs seem to have completely ignored is that football is all about its fans.
“This European Super League plan completely ignored your vote, which is unacceptable.”