Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have that today [Sunday] come together to announce that they have agreed to create a new midweek league, the Super League, which is controlled by the Founding Clubs.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs.
Three more clubs are expected to join ahead of the opening season, which will start as soon as possible. Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together to deliver the best results for the new League and for football as a whole.
The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated instability in European football’s existing economic model. Furthermore, the Founding Clubs have for a number of years had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are needed to increase value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.
In recent months, an extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders on the future design of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe that the solutions proposed after these discussions do not address fundamental problems, including the need to provide higher quality matches and additional funding for the overall football pyramid.
• 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualification mechanism for an additional five teams that qualify annually based on performance in the previous season.
• Midweek matches where all participating clubs continue to compete in their respective national leagues, while maintaining the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
• A start in August with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away games, with the top three of each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged playoff for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-legged knockout formula will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will take place as a single match on neutral ground.
As soon as possible after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s competition will also be launched, which will help to advance and develop the women’s game.
The new annual tournament will significantly increase economic growth and support European football through a long-term commitment to unlimited solidarity payments that will grow in line with the competition’s revenues. These solidarity payments will be significantly higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to exceed € 10 billion (£ 8.7 billion) over the course of the Clubs’ initial commitment period.
In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation, with all Founding Clubs signing a spending framework. In return for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of € 3.5 billion (£ 3 billion) solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic. Florentino Perez, Real Madrid president and first Super League president said: ‘We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and it is our responsibility as major clubs to respond to their needs. ‘
Andrea Agnelli, President of Juventus and Vice President of the Super League, supported the new European competition: ‘Our 12 founding clubs represent billions of fans around the world and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, transforming the European competition, giving the game we love a sustainable foundation for the long-term future, greatly increasing solidarity and providing fans and amateur players with a regular stream of headlining matches. who fuel their passion for the game and give them compelling role models. ‘
Joel Glazer, Manchester United Co-President and Super League Vice-President said: “ Bringing together the world’s best clubs and players to play against each other all season long, the Super League opens a new chapter for European football, bringing competition and world-class facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid. ‘