The footballing community was left in shock as the plans for a new European Super League were confirmed on Sunday night, with 12 initial teams announced as taking part.
There have been murmurs regarding the start of this league but last night it was confirmed and clubs are ready to take part in this.
A statement by the Liverpool Football Club (LFC), one of the founding members of the league said: “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, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea, 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 statement also confirmed that the league will compromise of 20 teams in total, with a total of 15 founding members set to take part. The remaining five will then compromise of club’s who have earned success in the previous season.
Furthermore, the tournament will begin in August.
What Happens Next?
The league is already facing criticism from the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), fans and the pundits. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also raised question marks over it.
A statement from UEFA said the following: “The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other domestic competition, European or International level, and the players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.”
As a result, it is likely that the tournament will face stern opposition from numerous parties.
What would the format be?
The Super League website reads: “The Super League is a new European competition between 20 top clubs comprised of 15 founders and five annual qualifiers. There will be two groups of 10 clubs each, playing home and away fixtures within the group each year.
“Following the group stage, eight clubs will qualify for a knockout tournament, playing home and away until the single-match Super League championship, in a dramatic four-week end to the season.
“Games will be played midweek, and all clubs will remain in their domestic leagues.”
In their statement, the clubs themselves have outlined the format in three stages:
20 participating clubs with 15 founding clubs and a qualifying mechanism for further five teams to qualify annually based on the achievements in the prior season.
Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs 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 away and home fixtures, with the top three in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. 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.