European Super League bosses have shockingly claimed the controversial new tournament will give fans “what they want”.
The proposals, that will see 15 clubs gifted guaranteed entry into Europe’s top competition, have been widely condemned across the footballing spectrum.
Thus far, 12 teams – including six from the Premier League and three from Serie A and La Liga respectively – have confirmed they intend to be founding members, despite intense criticism from all corners.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin took aim at all involved, claiming it was a ‘spit in the face of all football lovers’.
"We are all united against this nonsense of a project," he said.
"I cannot stress more strongly how everyone is united against these disgraceful, self-serving proposals, fuelled by greed above all else.
"[It is a] cynical plan, completely against what football should be. We cannot and will not allow that to change.
"Players who will play in the teams that might play in the closed league will be banned from the World Cup and Euros. We urge everyone to stand tall with us as we do everything in our power to ensure this never ends up in fruition.
"This idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers. We will not allow them to take it away from us."
But despite the dramatically negative PR, as of yet, there has been no climb down from anyone involved.
In fact, bosses of the new tournament have suggested it will actually improve the sport for lifelong fans.
According to a document obtained by the Guardian, the Super League had ‘four guiding principles’ in mind when devising the proposal.
The first of which is entitled ‘Exceed fan expectations’ which reads: “Our aim is to deliver to fans the best football possible while providing access for qualifying clubs to ensure the vibrancy of the competition and to maintain a strong commitment to the principle of sporting merit.”
Secondly, ‘solidarity and sustainability’ will be achieved by offering affordable tickets as well as “reinvestment into the football pyramid via ongoing and substantial solidarity payments”.
There have been suggestions that the rebel clubs could be expelled from their respective domestic competitions, but the third point on their list suggests that plans have been “designed around the principle of maintaining strong and vibrant local leagues”.
The fourth and final principle, entitled ‘Readiness to change’ explains that “The Super League ownership and governance structure is designed to allow us to rapidly adopt and incorporate new ideas into the competition.
"Whether it’s changes in live match distribution formats, technology-enhanced rule implementation or player development, we can no longer rely on external bodies to drive progress in these areas.”
The document continues: “At its heart, this is a comprehensive solution to the critical issues facing the sport. It starts with the fans of the game, giving them what they want and deserve; the best players and the world’s top clubs competing with each other throughout the year.”
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