Five top Premier League clubs are reportedly among 11 European teams who have signed up to a breakaway Super League in what is seen as a huge snub to UEFA.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have signed up to the breakaway plan, according to the Times, which is likely to cause a huge uproar among the top brass in European football.
The moves come on the eve of UEFA’s announcement of a new Champions League format, with clubs said to be expressing discontent regarding the direction in which the competition is moving.
UEFA’s Champions League is under serious threat of a breakaway league of the top teams
It is now reported that only Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are left from the traditional English Big Six yet to sign up to the new league.
The timing comes at a difficult time for UEFA, who are trying to make sweeping changes of their own.
The footballing body is poised to announce its new 36-team Champions League format on Monday, to come into force from the 2024 season onwards.
The threat of a breakaway league has concerned UEFA for some time, though it was understood that Premier League clubs would not follow through on their desire to move.
Liverpool and Tottenham are said to be among the teams to have agreed to the new project
The implications of the league are set to run far and wide, with knock-on effects across the top divisions in European football.
Italy’s Serie A called an emergency board meeting on Sunday to discuss a newspaper report saying broadcaster DAZN is involved in new the plans for a breakaway European Super League, a league source told Reuters news agency.
The meeting, called by league president Paolo Dal Pino, comes ahead of Monday’s UEFA executive committee at which plans to expand and reform the Champions League, changing the format from 2024, are expected to be agreed.
The source told Reuters that the league had recently become aware of the plans for a breakaway project and the potential involvement of DAZN.
Corriere dello Sport reported that DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, has been working on the formation of this 16-team league, featuring the top clubs in Europe, for some time.
The newspaper did not indicate a source for the report. DAZN was not immediately available for comment. UEFA declined to comment.
It is now reported that only Man City are left from the traditional English Big Six yet to sign up
In January, European media reported plans for a breakaway European league, citing a document which outlined a 20-team league, outside of UEFA’s control, made up of 15 permanent members and five who would qualify for the competition annually.
Since then leading clubs in the European Club Association (ECA) have been negotiating with UEFA over a new expanded and restructured tournament.
Serie A clubs last month awarded DAZN the main domestic rights to screen Italy’s top-flight soccer championship for the next three seasons.
The meeting is being attended remotely, with the three Serie A clubs who could potentially be part of the Super League project – Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan – among the attendees, according to Corriere dello Sport.
It caps a tumultuous week for Serie A after seven clubs submitted a written request for Dal Pino to resign over issues including his management of plans to sell a stake in the league’s media business.
Inter, Juventus, Napoli, Lazio, Atalanta, Hellas Verona and Fiorentina jointly signed the letter, seen by Reuters.