British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has slammed plans for a new European Super League and says the UK government will support any action taken to prevent the ‘damaging’ proposals.
Speculation exploded on Sunday afternoon that the Premier League’s ‘big six’ – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – had signed letters of intent to join a new competition along with six other European heavyweights.
Spanish trio Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have also signed up, along with Italian clubs Juventus, Inter and AC Milan.But the news has been treated with outrage and cynicism from Uefa as well the governing bodies of the English, Spanish and Italian leagues – including the Premier League and Football Association.
In a joint statement, the bodies all threatened to do everything in their power to scupper the breakaway, including bans in domestic competitions and even preventing the players from each club playing international football for their countries.
The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has already criticised the plans and now the Prime Minister has waded into the debate, urging the Premier League renegade clubs to rethink their plans.
‘Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action,’ said Johnson in a statement on Sunday evening.
‘They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.’
Secretary of State Oliver Dowden echoed that messaged, saying: ‘Football supporters are the heartbeat of our national sport and any major decisions made should have their backing.
‘With many fans, we are concerned that this plan could create a closed shop at the very top of our national game. Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that undermines this is deeply troubling and damaging for football.
‘We have a football pyramid where funds from the globally successful Premier League flow down the leagues and into local communities. I would be bitterly disappointed to see any action that destroys that.’
Stay updated with news from Global Times Nigeria