The ‘dirty dozen’ have caused outrage after announcing the launch of a £3.45billion tournament. So, will the Super League ACTUALLY happen?
- The European Super League proposal has caused blistering attacks in football
- Sources from within the Premier League ‘big six’ are adamant that it will happen
- Sportsmail’s Mike Keegan answers all the key questions amid the ESL drama
That is the £3.45billion question. Sources from within the big six are adamant that it will.
They strongly refute claims that this is a gun to the head of UEFA in an attempt to extract more money from the current Champions League format.
The resignations of the dirty dozen from the European Club Association, Andrea Agnelli’s departure as its president and Ed Woodward’s exit from UEFA, would suggest that yes – this is actually happening. Aleksander Ceferin’s unprecedented, blistering attack would also point in that direction.
There are, however, sceptics who still believe this is a cynical ploy. They point to the back-of-a-fag-packet nature of the launch, outrage and the many legal barriers as evidence that the Super League will not happen.
The European Super League proposal has caused blistering attacks through European football
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin launched a scathing response to the partaking clubs
WHEN WOULD IT START?
The press release said launch would come ‘as soon as practicable’ which was a very political statement.
Those involved say the competition will start in August this year. Sources have disclosed that in an ideal world, kick-off would happen just four short months from now.
WHAT STOPS IT?
Where to start? The Premier League itself, for one. As Richard Masters pointed out on Sunday, any club that wished to play in a new competition would need the backing of the Premier League board – which is unlikely to say the least.
Officials know that what makes the Premier League so attractive to broadcasters is its competitive nature, and so bundles of extra cash for the Big Six every year would not be a welcome prospect.
Those involved want to remain in the Premier League and in reality it is hard to see a scenario which would result in them being booted out.
But UEFA has warned that those involved would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level. Players could also be prevented from representing their national teams.
It is hard to see a reality where the Premier League’s six club are booted out of the league
WHAT INCREASES THE CHANCES?
The dirty dozen are confident that the law is on their side. Whether this is the case remains to be seen.
They claim they have already taken legal steps to ensure FIFA or UEFA do not block their path. UEFA will take any action they feel is appropriate, which includes going to the European Commission. This may well get very messy.
WILL IT BE PLAYED BEYOND EUROPE?
It would come as no surprise. The global television audience – and the cash that brings – is the driving force here.
Fans in England are already discussing a boycott of matches, should the competition launch. Empty stadiums are not a good look.
As other sports have shown, there are willing, lucrative venues across the globe in the market to stage high-profile events.
Fans in England are already discussing a boycott of matches, should the competition launch
WILL THOSE INVOLVED BE BOOTED OUT OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?
Danish UEFA member Jesper Moller says he expects Manchester City, Real Madrid and Chelsea to be kicked out but the prospect of that happening is highly unlikely. Any sanctions are likely to come into play next season.
WILL IT AFFECT ENGLAND?
Not yet. Given we are now in mid-April there is very little chance that if UEFA and FIFA decide to go down the route of banning players from playing for their country it would come into play for this summer’s European Championship.
Indeed, the view within UEFA is that if there are to be punishments then the clubs, rather than the players, should bear the brunt.
WHAT ABOUT THE PLAYERS THEMSELVES?
Should permission to play in the ESL not be forthcoming, players from the clubs involved would technically have an argument that their employer is in breach of contract and could effectively seek to leave on a free transfer.
Expect new agreements – with no doubt sweetener pay-rises – to come into play across the Big Six.
Players could argue a breach of contract and could effectively seek to leave on a free transfer
IS THERE A BROADCAST PARTNER?
Nobody has thrown up their hands yet.
The grant from JP Morgan suggests that finding a broadcaster is a work in progress. It remains to be seen what impact the backlash, which is turning the proposal toxic, will have.
Would an Apple, for example, wish to be associated with this?
ARE FOUNDING MEMBERS IN FOR LIFE?
Founding members are in for the duration of the original agreement which is at least 23 seasons.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE & THE CUPS?
The ramifications are widespread.
Some have even suggested that the six are relaxed about expulsion from the Premier League because they would enter the EFL and quickly gain promotion.
The impact on the League Cup could be grave. The format of the competition would either have to be changed or clubs would have to pay to end their participation.
That may actually prove beneficial given the financial difficulties being suffered across the EFL. The FA Cup could also come under threat.
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