Fourteen Premier League clubs were on Wednesday night considering their position amid an angry response to the news that the Big Six would have to pay a combined total of just £22m following their breakaway attempt.
Urgent talks were held ahead of Thursday’s top flight AGM in Harrogate after the half dozen involved in the European Super League agreed a ‘goodwill gesture’ that will see each pay £3.66m to good causes within football.
Sources have disclosed that there was disbelief in some quarters at the perceived leniency of the agreement, which will also see any side attempting to repeat the trick docked 30 points and fined £25m.
Manchester City and Chelsea are two of the clubs who attempted to form the Super League
Manchester United and Liverpool were both also heavily involved in the Super League’s launch
Both Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham struck a deal with the top flight and the FA following their contentious bid to form a new competition.
Sportsmail reported that a deal was close after ‘fraught’ talks and that a points deduction – despite the calls of some of the other 14 clubs – was off the table.
Instead, each will pay £3.66m. And in a further blow for some rivals whose owners wanted their sides to be compensated, the cash will go to grassroots, support for fans and community projects.
The failed breakaway had led to supporters of the Big Six clubs taking to the streets to protest
Many believe the arrangement does not go far enough. Gary Neville tweeted ‘an absolute embarrassment’. West Ham, Wolves and Everton are understood to have been amongst those pushing hardest for a more severe penalty and the details of the deal have not gone down well, however, what action they can take is unclear.
The owners of Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham are expected to pay the fines themselves.
The FA and Premier League decided against launching disciplinary proceedings in a bid to come to a rapid conclusion – a move that has also been questioned.
In a joint statement they confirmed the money ‘will go towards the good of the game’, which includes ‘new investment in support for fans’ and will help fund grassroots and community projects.
‘The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have today acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake, and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game,’ they added. ‘They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and the FA.
‘The Premier League and the FA have worked closely together throughout this process and this agreement brings both investigations into the matter to a conclusion.’ The amount is similar to that which UEFA ordered the clubs to pay last month. The six were keen to ensure that the cash went to good causes, rather than their rivals.
Chelsea and owner Roman Abramovich pulled out of the tournament amid widespread anger
City, who are owned by Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (middle), had also dropped out
THE JOINT STATEMENT IN FULL
The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have today acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake, and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game.
They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and The FA.
As a gesture of goodwill, the clubs have collectively agreed to make a contribution of £22million, which will go towards the good of the game, including new investment in support for fans, grassroots football and community programmes.
Furthermore, the clubs have agreed to support rule changes so that any similar actions in the future would lead to a 30-point deduction.
Each of the six clubs, in that event, would also be subject to an additional £25m fine.
The Premier League and The FA have worked closely together throughout this process and this agreement brings both investigations into the matter to a conclusion.