This is a moment of great concern – Lineker in the European Super League.
The dust of the unusual 24 hours of European football has not yet settled or the question arises: What are we going to do now?
The 12 clubs that want to promote to the European Super League are going ahead with the implementation of their plans. Those who do not, retreat and prepare for battle. The emotions are strong. UEFA president Alexander Zeferin even called the Juventus president a liar and the clubs snakes.
There are so many opinions, the vast majority of which are against the project.
The sport has taken a step back to try and assess what the next period will be like and what key decisions need to be made.
Were the 12 clubs prepared for the negative reaction?
Yes. They knew what was about to happen, and the cruelty of it did not surprise them.
They want to wait for the storm to subside and then talk to Fifa, Uefa and other stakeholders about their plans.
The associations stress that they want to work with the authorities, not against them.
We will do everything in our power to protect our national game – Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture
What are the legal implications?
UEFA president Seferin could not have been clearer in his press conference on Monday. He wants 12 clubs to be banned from European competitions as soon as possible and the players who play for them to be banned from major tournaments.
Five ESL clubs will be in the semi-finals of the Champions League or Europa League next week.
Uefa is talking to lawyers about these matches. It’s hard to imagine clubs getting sacked at this stage, but Seferin doesn’t deny it can happen when the pressure is on.
What did Fifa say?
Cautiously, Fifa president Gianni Infantino has held out the prospect of an expanded Club World Cup, with many breakaway teams taking part.
A statement from the world governing body late on Sunday that Fifa did not approve of Super League plans was seen as a weak response by those who feel betrayed by the big clubs.
Infantino’s wish to speak out publicly on the situation will be fulfilled at the UEFA Congress on Tuesday.
It was recognised that it would be very difficult to stop the Super League unless Infantino took a position in consultation with Ceferin.
Football should be based on performance – fans respond to the offer of the European Super League.
Is this the end of the Champions League?
One of the few things the 12 clubs and UEFA agree on is that the Champions League can continue to exist regardless of the actions of those who don’t want to play in it.
It is clear that they came to this conclusion from very different perspectives.
The clubs say there is no reason why the Champions League could not co-exist with their own league and possibly provide a qualifying element for the five extra places.
The Uefa leaders don’t see it that way. For them, the Champions League is the most important club competition and will remain so.
But has UEFA just announced a new Champions League?
This gets to the heart of the matter.
After almost two years of negotiations, UEFA, with the support of the European Club Association (ECA), has finally announced that the Champions League will be extended from 2024.
These include some controversial measures introduced as a direct result of lobbying by the big clubs.
First: Instead of groups of four teams playing each other twice, the first round is played as a championship.
Each of the 36 clubs will play 10 matches against clubs of different strengths. This allows for more matches and makes the games, in theory, more attractive.
In addition, two of the four extra places go to the teams with the highest UEFA coefficient that have qualified for European competitions but not the Champions League.
Had the concept been applied this season, Chelsea Dortmund, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund would have been the most likely beneficiaries. But the plans don’t go far enough for the clubs.
They need loud noises every time they play. If they get it, it will bring them and the rest of European football additional revenue.
Which three other teams will be invited?
A statement released Sunday by 12 clubs included contact numbers for German and French PR agencies, and suggested that Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain will be the other three teams because they cannot afford to be absent.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has dismissed the possibility of replacing Andrea Agnelli as ECA president, but Sport has learned that it is not because of an imminent move to ESL.
Nevertheless, all three clubs appear to have been caught off guard by Sunday’s events, having previously turned down the opportunity to participate. It is assumed that the tensions, once taken off, will continue to be rented out.
Dion Dublin and Danny Murphy discuss the plans for the European Super League.
What about the Celtics and the Rangers? – What about the rest of them?
The ESL is expected to have 20 teams, but there is no plan yet for selecting the five additional teams from the 15 founding members.
According to Super League sources, this could be done through the Champions League qualification system, although this would require agreement with UEFA.
If we are talking about the best supported teams, Schalke, West Ham, Celtic, Stuttgart and Benfica would be the top places. If the UEFA club rankings were decisive, Sevilla, Porto, Roma, Ajax and Shakhtar Donetsk would also qualify.
At this point, this is all conjecture. Nobody knows, not even the people who want to organize the tournament.
When would it have started?
ESL’s statement on Sunday said it’s as soon as possible.
The sport has been told this could happen as early as next season. Clearly this is not the case and 2022-23 is a more realistic option, although even that is optimistic if existing positions are not weakened.
How can the Premier League recover? Can teams trust each other again?
It can be said that the trust has been broken forever, but there are two ways to look at it.
First: Is there any credibility? The clubs clashed over the Big Picture project in the autumn, when the same six clubs were accused of backstabbing.
Nevertheless, they continued to meet in the premier league during the second wave of the pandemic, which threatened to close the league at one point again.
Secondly, there has been no greater split than the split of the Premier League in 1992. Yet the world went on.
Liverpool FC fans gathered outside a Premier League match in Leeds on Monday to protest against their club’s decision to be one of the clubs trying to create a new European Super League.
Will the Premier League be affected?
Six clubs have said they want to keep playing. If Seferin goes his own way, clubs will be kicked out if they don’t withdraw their Super League bid.
Apart from this particular argument, there are three areas where the impact will be dramatic:
Firstly, there will be no battle for the top four places, as virtually all clubs vying for a place will still qualify.
Secondly, the financial gap between the Super League clubs and the excluded clubs would be so large that it would be virtually impossible for these six clubs not to finish in the top six.
Third: If broadcasters pay more for European rights, this could have a significant impact on payments to the Premier League.
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