Despite far reaching opposition not just from many commentators who suspect this is a cash grab and further monopolisation of the industry by the richest clubs, Andrea Agnelli, Juventus President and ECA chairman has perhaps achieved his dream and a nightmare for others…

A statement was released last night from the Super League clan, ironically on the same eve when Pirlo continued his shambles of a masquerade as a tactician when being outfoxed away to Atalanta and plunging our top four aspirations into further jeopardy. Perhaps this is in Agnelli’s thinking, as we may well not be good enough to qualify for the current premier continental tournament, so must still get at the mega riches through hook and crook…why not just make a new competition entirely? which is mainly my current gallows humour emerging, after waking to find Pirlo had reverted to his idiotic Mckennie as a RM/AM routine to balance out Chiesa as a LM, which has never worked…no matter how well we play. The system is moronic tactically and I have had enough of Pirlo. Such bile can be saved for elsewhere.

Back to the more hideous news…the statement from the Super League crew read>>>

“Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.

“AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs.

“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.

“Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.

“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model.

“Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.

“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.

“In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions.

“The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”

The statement goes on to list the competition format, which is:

“20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.

“Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.

“An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-final.

“Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions.

“A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.”

“As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.

“The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues.

“These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs.

“In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework.

“In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.”

The statement released also included a quote from Real Madrid President and first Chairman of the Super League Florentino Perez.

“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”

The Vice-Chairman of the Super League is Andrea Agnelli of Juventus, who had until today also been the President of the ECA (European Club Association).

“Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”

The Co-Chairman of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of the Super League is Joel Glazer.

“By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”

It seems we will receive $3.5bn which could come in handy though seems an astronomical figure plucked from the imaginary money tree. With the Juve President set to remain in the control room working with the billionaire co-owner of United, Joe Glazer. Couldn’t find more 100% focused money men to help glue the thing together and work to suck ever more riches from the financial pools and keep the plebs at the gates of the mansion…

No surprise to find the ever putrid ‘lets turn football into a platform to promote mindless progressive causes slimy haughty shiteyes’ aka Mr Liew at the Guardian, instantly all over this, fawning and foaming at the mouth, trying desperately but thankfully failing to somehow bring the discussion towards gender neutrality and the Deplorables…

How we reached this point. How the game’s elite clubs managed to engineer a scenario in which a hostile takeover came to feel inevitable, even irresistible. How the world’s most popular sport managed to hand over so much of its power and wealth and influence to people who despise it.

Because make no mistake: this is an idea that could only have been devised by someone who truly hates football to its bones. Who hates football so much that they want to prune it, gut it, dismember it, from the grassroots game to the World Cup. Who finds the very idea of competitive sport offensive, an unhealthy distraction from the main objective, which in a way has always been capitalism’s main objective.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/apr/18/only-someone-who-truly-hates-football-can-be-behind-a-european-super-league

Jonathon has – as is his bent – gone a little further than perhaps a more reasonable mind could travel. Yet his deep aimed condemnation is mirrored in the football realm of ex pros…

Gary Neville is comparably enraged, and yet I respect his opinion more, given his career, historical bond to the game and intimate connection to United>

“I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool the most,” Neville said. “They’re breaking away to a competition they can’t be relegated from? It’s an absolute disgrace. We have to wrestle back power in this country from the clubs at the top of this league – and that includes my club.

“It’s pure greed, they’re impostors. The owners of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City have nothing to do with football in this country. Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham aren’t even in the Champions League. Have they even got the right to be in there? They’re an absolute joke. Time has come now to have independent regulators to stop these clubs from having the power base. Enough is enough.

“Deduct them all points, put them at the bottom of the league, and take their money off them,” Neville said of the clubs linked to the breakaway league. “Seriously, you have got to stamp on this. It’s a criminal act against football fans in this country. Punish them. They [club owners] will probably hide in a few weeks, and say it was nothing to do with them, they were only talking about it. Seriously, in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis and these lot are having Zoom calls about breaking away and basically creating more greed? Joke.”

Gary Linekar also chimed in…less verbose>

‘“Sense this Super League plot will die on its preposterous and avaricious arse.”

Whilst FIFA can be ignored as are in no position to lecture anyone on GREED, the opposition from UEFA may be considered slightly more nuanced and of course they are rather nonplussed by the idea of losing control.

European football’s governing body UEFA has warned clubs linked to a breakaway Super League that they face being banned from domestic and international competitions if they set up a rival to the Champions League.

In a joint statement on Sunday with Spanish, English and Italian leagues and federations, UEFA said it will consider “all measures”, including the courts, in opposition to plans for a breakaway competition.

Why would the top clubs involved give a damn of being banned from a CL competition they have already trounced and usurped with their Super League? That is no threat whatsoever and to threaten nation states with a ban from UEFA nations league and UEFA Championships is probably embellishment for effect. Or will be trumped quite easily by the staggering riches on offer for those taking the plunge into the oceans of gold washing tidal waves daily upon their shorelines.

How can you ban Italy as a nation for Juve and the two Milanese clubs joining the super league? Or would it be only the players from those clubs excluded??Reminds me a little of the threats made by UEFA to ban Italy unless Juve accepted their wrongful punishment for calcioipoli…perhaps it payback time? Not quite in the way I had hoped or would have wanted.

Why are Bayern and PSG not included?

Perhaps most instructive is this passage to be found at the end of the statement (which came from Juventus) suggesting the project might not even be launched-

“The Company cannot assure that the project will be eventually successfully launched or predict the exact timing of the project.”

Discussions are now taking place with domestic league corporations…

The clubs discussed the breakaway Super League in an extraordinary Assembly with the Lega Serie A last night and the Juventus patron was questioned by the other clubs.

La Repubblica reports the great tension was especially aimed at the Bianconeri President, who provoked a reaction with his response to the concern of the other clubs.

“With €350m a year guaranteed, the Scudetto will always be won by Juventus, Milan and Inter,” the newspaper reports the owners and directors pointed out during the conference call.

The Juventus patron then replied: “But it has been like this for 80 years, I believe.”

A response that reportedly provoked the other Presidents into a rage, meanwhile the three teams insisted they wanted to remain in Serie A.

The report reveals the League has acknowledged that it doesn’t have the legal possibility or the convenience to remove the three rebels.

But the FIGC could, in agreement with the UEFA, and thus a long battle in court is expected. It would also involve the issue of TV rights.

https://www.football-italia.net/169424/agnelli-what-changes-we-have-been-winning-80-years

Winning a fair amount, yes, but currently on a downward spiral and fighting for a top four slot!