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Football Reporting


Top-flight expulsion and Euro bans: Impact European Super League could have on players and clubs

The confirmation from 12 clubs that they are intending to form a breakaway European Super League has sent shockwaves through football.

The Premier League ’s so-called ‘big six’ clubs – Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham – are among those who have signed up to the new competition.

The proposals – supported by Spanish trio Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona alongside Italian clubs Milan, Inter and Juventus – intend for the clubs to run Europe’s premier club competition, and to act as an alternative to UEFA’s Champions League.

However, the plan has been met with a tidal wave of opposition including from FIFA, UEFA, football federations, the Premier League, multiple governments, and huge sections of football fans.

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What are the possible ramifications for the clubs and players who are involved in such a league?

FIFA President Gianni Infantino alongside UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – OCTOBER 13: FIFA President Gianni Infantino looks on with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin (R) prior to part I of the FIFA Council Meeting 2016 at the FIFA headquaters on October 13, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Leave domestic leagues?

The 14 Premier League clubs who are not involved in the plans talk Premier League CEO Richard Masters on Tuesday.

Multiple clubs have already publicly voiced their strong opposition to proposals; an Evertonstatement called out the “preposterous arrogance” of the six breakaway clubs and others have slammed the move on social media.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said on Sky Sports Monday Night Football: “Of course we want them back to the table. They are massive brands, very successful. We need them in our league and we have to find a way of understanding the issues but equally we have to be strong. Hopefully we can find a resolution.”

The Premier League’s Masters will listen to these concerns and act according to their best interests.

Similar opposition has been voiced in Serie A and La Liga, with clubs such as Sevilla, Real Betis, Valencia and Villarreal condemning the proposals.

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Liverpool won the Premier League title last season
Liverpool won the Premier League title last season

Removed from this season’s European competitions?

Five of the remaining eight clubs in the Champions League and Europa League are part of the proposals – Manchester City, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called for any club committed to the breakaway to be banned from European competition “as soon as possible”.

Jesper Moller, the Danish FA chairman and member of UEFA’s executive committee, believes those clubs will be eliminated from this season’s competition if they do not backtrack.

Moller has said: “[Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea] are going out, and I expect that to happen on Friday. And then you have to see how to finish the Champions League.

“There must be one extraordinary executive committee meeting on Friday. I have an expectation that the 12 clubs will be thrown out.”

However, the legality of any such move to be applied to this season’s competition remains unclear and all organisations and clubs will be consulting with their legal teams.

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Chelsea are through to the last four of the Champions League

Players banned from internationals?

The delayed European Championships are just months away and there is a possibility that players involved in a breakaway competition could be banned from international football.

Premier League rule L.9 states that all 20 of its clubs must obtain ‘prior written approval of the Board’ for any competition which their club do not currently participate – including international football.

If a club signs up to a competition which does not have the approval of the authorities, they therefore risk not being allowed to participate at international level.

Ceferin has said clarity on whether players could be banned from Euro 2020 will arrive “as soon as possible” and added: “We’re still assessing the situation with our legal team. It’s a bit too early. We will take all the sanctions that we can.”

FIFPRO – the world players’ union – has claimed in a statement that it would “vigorously oppose measures by either side that would impede the rights of players, such as exclusion from their national teams”.

Impact possible transfers?

The European Super League is set to be funded by investment bank JP Morgan, with a €3.5 billion to be shared equally between 15 founder clubs (only 12 have thus far been confirmed).

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That will equate to each club being afforded €233m (£200m) each, but that can strictly only be used for the club’s infrastructure and not on transfers.

The UK’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden suggested to MPs this week that restrictions may be implemented upon the clubs: “We are examining every option, from governance reform, to competition law, to the mechanisms that allow football to take place, like work permits and policing arrangements and taxation.”

Any immediate funding will come from JP Morgan – who will be charging an interest on the money loaned – while no broadcaster has yet to confirm talks with a new league, with BT Sport and Sky Sports among those to explicitly state that they have not.

As things stand, the financial benefits of the breakaway clubs are based on projections and would require additional funding.

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