Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs (ho ho) are among 12 clubs who have agreed to join a new European Super League (ESL).
In a momentous move for European football, the Premier League clubs will join AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
The ESL said the founding clubs had agreed to establish a “new midweek competition” with teams continuing to “compete in their respective national leagues”.
It said the inaugural season was “intended to commence as soon as practicable” and “anticipated that a further three clubs” would join the breakaway.
Unlike the Champions League, which teams must qualify for, the ESL would include the same 15 teams every year, with the remaining five qualifying annually.
The ESL said it also planned to launch a women’s competition as soon as possible after the men’s tournament starts.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Premier League condemned the move when the news broke on Sunday, as did FIFA and UEFA, who are both clearly terrified of the potential reshaping of the football landscape if the ESL actually happens – and given how far along the road we are with it, there’s a very good chance it will happen.
Speaking on Monday, Johnson said the government was “going to look at everything that we can do with the football authorities to make sure that this doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed”.
The PM added: “I don’t think that it is good news for fans, I don’t think it’s good news for football in this country.”
For once, I agree with Johnson. This is a disgraceful power grab, but then it’s not as if everything was rosy in football’s garden before this bombshell. Greed and selfishness was already rife in the upper echelons of the game.