European Super League explained: How many matches would be played, which clubs involved and what about Champions League?

MORE details on the proposed European Super League have emerged days after it emerged clubs are planning to announce an intent to participate.

A numbers of Premier League clubs were touted for the controversial proposals, which have been blasted by Gary Neville as “criminal”.

Real Madrid club president Florentino Perez had publicly backed the plans

Fifa dealt a huge blow on January 20 to the plans, but that does not seem to have deterred Europe’s biggest clubs.

Fans will be keen to know what is being laid out, how it would work and the impact any breakaway would have.

SunSport explains the plans, as they stand – and the hurdles that have to be overcome:

What is the European Super League?

An 18-team, self-elected and ring-fenced European Premier League, with matches to be played midweek and an end of season play-off to determine the winners, with a provisional kick-off from the start of the 2022-23 season.

Which clubs would play in it?

That is less than clear but the expectation is that we are only talking about the “Big Five” leagues.

England will have the largest contingent, with Liverpool and United joined by three from Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs.

Spain would supply Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona, plus one other team – probably Sevilla.

Italy want four places – Juventus, Inter, AC Milan plus one. Bayern Munich, Dortmund and one other German club would be invited with France represented by PSG and, presumably, either Lyon or Marseilles.

Here are the proposed teams

What would be the format of the league?

It is envisaged that the teams will play each other home and away in a midweek league, with the top four – or eight – involved in the end of season play-offs.

Will they play in their domestic leagues?

That’s the plan. At least, for now.

How does it all fit in to a standard football season?

That is the big question.

The Premier League’s 38-game season is already squeezed into a 34-week window and there would now be an EXTRA 34 games for each of the five selected Prem teams to fit in.

Reducing the Prem to 18 clubs, as envisaged in Project Big Picture – an element backed by all the Big Six – would create some wriggle room, as would scrapping the League Cup.

But Prem sides are mandated to play in the FA Cup.

Is there room for any other games?

Other than an early start and a late finish, no.

Until 2024-25, when the new international match calendar – still being worked on by Fifa – comes into operation.

One plan that gained support was for three four-game international windows – in November, March and June – each year, opening up the entire autumn part of the season for extra club matches.

How much would clubs be paid?

A huge £3.1billion fund was being formulated by the competition’s organisers, which was to be split between the 15 founder clubs.

The payment, ranging from £89m to £310m, was reportedly described as an ‘infrastructure grant’ to spend on stadiums, training facilities and account for lost pandemic revenue.

The Glazers own Man Utd, one of the teams touted as potential members

What would a European Super League mean for the Champions League?

Curtains – which is why Uefa will fight tooth and nail to kill the plot stone dead.

If Europe’s biggest 18 clubs go it alone, the Champions League – let alone the Europa League – will plummet in commercial value, devastating European football’s economic model.

What would be the impact on the Premier League?

Not so much in the immediate term – but significant in the longer term.

The “top four” race will be rendered redundant if there is a closed shop Super League, which will have an impact on future TV rights sales, although there will still be the appeal of the Big Six playing their domestic matches.

But the financial disparity between the elite and the rest will become a gaping chasm that will make the Prem utterly uncompetitive – unless the big boys prioritise the new European Premier League and play shadow sides at home, which, of course, will make the Prem even less appealing to the broadcasters.

Will it really go ahead?

After recent developments, the plans do look in jeopardy.

Fifa and the six intercontinental federations released a strongly-worded statement on 20 January banning players and clubs in a Super League from their competitions.

The statement read: “In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European ‘Super League’ by some European clubs.

“Fifa and the six confederations once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasise that such a competition would not be recognised by either Fifa or the respective confederation.

“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by Fifa or their respective confederation.”

Uefa are expected to confirm the details of the new-look Champions League to take effect from the 2024-25 season in the next few months.


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