The Premier League, its European counterparts and UEFA have released a joint statement condemning plans for a European Super League and will consider banning any teams that take part in the breakaway format.
12 clubs from England, Spain and Italy have been in talks to join a new league format which would effectively bring an end to the Uefa Champions League.
The Premier League’s ‘big six’ – Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham – are understood to be among those clubs to have signed up for the new format which would operate without qualification or relegation.
But a joint statement from UEFA, the English Football Association, the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A has strongly hit back at the ‘cynical project’ – warning of heavy sanctions for those involved.
The governing bodies also paid tribute to clubs from France and Germany thought to be Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund for turning down the proposal.
A statement read: ‘UEFA, the English Football Association and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have learned that a few English, Spanish and Italian clubs may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League.
‘If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
‘We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
‘As previously announced by FIFA and the six Federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.’
Reports suggest a formal announcement on the Super League could be announced tonight.