The greatest revolution in European football since the 1950s could kill the lucrative Champions League. It’s called “Super League” and Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are among 12 European teams who have signed up. The plot would change the game as we know it. Initially spearheaded by Barcelona and Real Madrid, the proposed new competition could generate £3.1 billion ($5.6 billion) for the first 15 members. Secret talks have been taking place for years about generating a bigger prize pot for the biggest teams, but a plan has accelerated over the past year. Under the last offer from UEFA, 51 per cent ownership would remain with the governing body, and the rest would be controlled by the European Club Association. Two sources close to the talks said final negotiations were still taking place around commercial arrangements. Proposals have included a 20-team league, made up of 15 permanent members and five who would qualify annually. This format would have two groups of 10 clubs, with the top four from each group going through to a knockout phase that would be similar to the current Champions League.
The main advantage for the 15 founders is guaranteed entry and the revenue that goes with it each year. The plan could apply on 2024 but it is possible a late offer. Almost universal condemnation occurred. The Premier League described it as “deeply damaging” and urged clubs involved to “walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done”. Everton, West Ham and Leicester City are among the clubs with the most to lose in Europe. The Champions League would implode without its biggest teams.