MANCHESTER UNITED legend Sir Alex Ferguson has slammed plans for a European Super League saying fans ‘love the Champions League’ as it is.
The Red Devils are one of 12 rebel clubs known to have signed up to the breakaway league but their iconic former manager has lamented the move away from 70 years of football history.
Renegade plans for the new league have been widely slammed by fans across the country.
The competition could start as soon as NEXT SEASON with the 15 founding clubs signing up for 23 YEARS.
It will almost certainly spell the end of the Champions League and Fergie has leaped to the defence of the famous old tournament as anger intensifies.
He told Reuters: “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football.
“Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest.
“Everton are spending £500million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League.
“Fans all over love the competition as it is. In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights.
“I’m not sure Manchester United are involved in this, as I am not part of the decision making process.”
One of Ferguson’s former United players Gary Neville has been widely praised for his angry and emotional reaction to the story on Sky Sports yesterday.
The Premier League’s top sides signed up to the rebel move less than 24 hours before Uefa were due to release its own planned revamp of the Champions League.
And they could earn up to £310m as an initial ‘golden hello’ plus a minimum £130m each season from their share of a £4.6billion total pot.
The plans, pushed by Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United and AC Milan, are backed by the financial muscle of US investment giant JP Morgan.
After coverage of United’s 3-1 win over Burnley at Old Trafford, Neville said: “If they announce a letter of intent has been signed they should be punished heavily.
“Massive fines, points deductions, take the titles off them – who cares? Give the title to Burnley, Fulham. Let Fulham stay up.
“Relegate United, Liverpool and Arsenal because those three clubs are the history of this country they should be the ones to suffer most.
How European Super League would work?
THE European Super League will be made up of fifteen ‘founder members’ – starting with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, United, City and Spurs from England, with Atletico and Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG are likely to complete the list founders, who cannot be relegated.
Five extra teams will be invited to compete each year with a provisional kick-off from the start of the 2022-23 season.
Teams will be split into two groups of ten and play nine opponents home and away in a midweek league, with the top four from each group qualifying for end of season play-offs.
United and Liverpool will bag up to £310m up front. The other four Prem teams would each get £200m.
Total £4.6billion pot, initially backed by JP Morgan will mean a minimum £130m each year even if one of the ‘founders’ loses EVERY game.
Overall winners could earn up to £212m extra if they win every game.
“Deduct them all points tomorrow – put them at the bottom of the league and take the money off them.
“Seriously you have got to stamp on this, it’s criminal. It is a criminal act against football fans in this country.
“Make no mistake about it. This is the biggest sport in the world, in this country and it’s a criminal act against the fans, simple as that.
“They are bottle merchants, you never hear from the owners of these clubs. They are absolute bottle merchants – they’ve got no voice.
“And they’ll probably hide in a few weeks and say it was nothing to do with them and they were only talking about it.
“It’s pure greed. They are impostors. They are impostors. The owners of this club [United], the owners of Liverpool, the owners of Chelsea, the owners of Manchester City are nothing to do with football in this country.”
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