UEFA and National Leagues Vow to Stop Breakaway European Super League

european super league news featured image

The European football landscape was shaken dramatically by revelations on Sunday April 18 that several leading English, Spanish, and Italian clubs had agreed to form the European Super League. Announced as a midweek tournament, the new competition established itself as a direct competitor to the Champions League, provoking a strong reaction from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

UEFA and the Football Associations of England, Italy, and Spain, plus the Premier League, Serie A, and LaLiga have reacted angrily by issuing a joint announcement. Football federations and national leagues have said that they would not give up on their efforts to stop what they described as a “cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.” The organizations have also added that they would consider all measures available, both judicial and sporting, to fight against the formation of such a closed competition.

The statement has also reiterated what was previously announced by FIFA and the six confederations: the clubs that constitute the new European Super League will be banned from taking part in any other competition at the world, European, or domestic level. Their players may even be denied the opportunity to play in national teams.

According to the reports, six English clubs – Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City – have come together with three Spanish clubs – Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona – and three Italian clubs – Inter Milan, Juventus, and AC Milan – as the breakaway Super League’s founding members. Three more clubs are anticipated to join as founders ahead of the inaugural season. In addition to the 15 founding members, the competition’s format will allow another five clubs to qualify for the annual competition based on their achievements in the prior season.

The timing of the closed super league announcement was incendiary, coming just ahead of UEFA’s anticipated announcement of the latest changes to the Champions League format. The European football governing body is expected to allow an increase from 32 to 36 teams from 2024, with the existing structure of eight groups of four replaced by one league. Referred to as the “Swiss model,” the new format would see all teams play 10 games in the first stage, with competitors determined by a seeding system.