London, Apr 20 (EFE).- The Premier League, the English Football Association and the 14 top division clubs not involved in plans for a hypothetical European Super League on Tuesday said they would consider “all options” to prevent the proposed elite league from going ahead.
“The League will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, Government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately,” the Premier League said in a statement.
The Premier League’s so-called big six, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are all involved in the plan to join the proposed European Super League with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus as founding members.
But the announcement late Sunday night sparked an immediate backlash from pundits and fans in England, as well as other teams not involved in the proposal, which critics see as a purely financial project and one that would be damaging the sport at its grassroots level.
“The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue,” the Premier League statement added. “The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people.”
UEFA, FIFA and the affected domestic league associations have all spoken against the move.
On Monday evening, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, who has previously criticized the idea of a Super League, told local media that neither he nor the players were involved in the process and lamented the fact that Leeds United fans had jeered the Liverpool bus before their Premier League match at Elland Road.
Following the team’s 1-1 draw with Leeds United, Liverpool player James Milner said: “I don’t like it one bit and hopefully it doesn’t happen.”
Liverpool, owned by Fenway Sports Group, won the Premier League last season and the UEFA Champions League the season before that.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also drew a line between what coaches and players know compared to the club’s owners — in this case the City Football Group, co-founded by Emirati Sheikh Mansour.
“As I said, I don’t have all the info. I have some info,” he said. “It is not a sport when the relationship between effort and reward does not exist,” he added in reference to the proposed format of the league whereby the top clubs would never face relegation.
“It is not a sport if success is guaranteed or if it doesn’t matter when you lose.”
He also criticized UEFA for what he said were its own failures in the organization of the Champions League.
The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, an early critic of the plan, said in a meeting with Premier League and FA representatives that “no action was off the table” and that his government was considering legislative avenues to stop the creation of the ESL.EFE