European Premier League: Criticism builds as fans and clubs come out against plans

Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
Getty Images
Getty Images

The latest proposals for a lucrative breakaway European super-league were on Wednesday facing mounting criticism.

Liverpool and Manchester United are in talks to join the 18-team European Premier League, which would supersede the Champions League and comprise of three more English clubs, as well as sides from Spain, Italy, Germany and France, according to reports from Sky News and Spanish website Vozpopuli.

The league, which is the latest brainchild of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, would not include promotion or relegation and could reportedly be worth nearly £1billion to the winners, with investment bank

JP Morgan seeking to fund the project to the tune of £4.6bn, according to Sky. Fifa have not denied reports that they were involved in talks, but Uefa insisted the format would “inevitably become boring” and said it was strongly opposed.

European football’s governing body are close to finalising a revised Champions League format from 2024 and their leaders believe the proposals are designed to pressure them during negotiations.

The proposals come hot on the heels of Project Big Picture, the blueprint drawn up by United and Liverpool to reorganise English football’s wealth while consolidating power within the ‘big six’.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, described the breakaway plans as “the last nail in the coffin of the idea that football can regulate itself” and accused owners of the top clubs of being “out of control”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Miles said: “This is all about making more money for the ‘big six’ billionaire clubs in this country and their counterparts across Europe. That would have a massively detrimental effect on the rest of the game.”

Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham have also reportedly been invited to join the breakaway league, which is mooted to launch as soon as 2022.

Speaking after his side’s 0-0 draw with Sevilla last night, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said: “I love the Premier League. I wouldn’t be a huge fan. Chelsea, as far as we’re concerned, are focused on the Premier League.”

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “These projects only look good when drafted at a bar at five in the morning.”

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