A plan by some of the world’s biggest football clubs to start a new European Super League (ESL), has provoked strong opposition from fans.
Twelve major European soccer clubs have signed up to a new European Super League—six of them from the English Premier League.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, would join AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
The clubs want a new midweek competition to showcase the biggest and best teams on the continent while continuing to play in their national leagues.
The ESL would have 20 teams. Of these, the 12 founding members—plus three yet to join—would be permanent and never face relegation.
Five other sides would qualify each year.
The new league would rival the current Champions League competition, one of the biggest club tournaments in football.
Yet the announcement has provoked a major backlash from fans, pundits, and ex-players.
With 15 teams in the ESL not facing qualification or relegation, critics say it will create a closed shop at the top of football.
The Premier League says it “attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit.”
There’s also the fear that the ESL would draw huge global TV audiences away from existing leagues such as England’s Premier League and Italy’s Serie A.