Chelsea ‘preparing to pull out of European Super League’

Chelsea are tonight reportedly preparing to pull out of the widely-slated European Super League after days of fury from across the footballing world.

The wealthy west London club are said to be preparing documentation to withdraw from the much-maligned new tournament, according to the BBC.

The news came as hundreds of Chelsea fans tonight protested against the club’s involvement in the £4.3billion breakaway plans, by chanting and holding banners outside Stamford Bridge.

Fans blocked the Chelsea team coach’s entry to the stadium, ahead of their Premier League clash against Brighton, sparking legend and current technical director Petr Cech to get amongst the fans in a bid to appease them.

But it was only once news broke that the club could now withdraw from the new tournament did fans relent – cheering the decision, the club and the name of some of its legendary stars.

It comes as two other of England’s ‘Big 6’ rebels backing the European Super League are now said to be ‘increasing doubtful’ about joining as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford openly criticised the ‘unfair’ competition their clubs have signed up for.

What could Boris Johnson do to stop English clubs joining the European Super League? 

Boris Johnson has told the football authorities that he is prepared to introduce new legislation to prevent the formation of a European Super League.

At a meeting with the FA and the Premier League, the Prime Minister voiced his ‘unwavering support’ for their efforts to block the so-called Big Six clubs of the English game going ahead with the new breakaway competition.

Mr Johnson told the virtual meeting that the Government should ‘drop a legislative bomb’ to prevent the proposal going ahead as planned, sources said.

The PM did not set out what would happen, but these are the moves he is said to be considering:    

  • Introduce new legislation in area of competition law for the introduction of ‘sports-specific legislation’ declaring the European Super League is an anti-competitive cartel and therefore illegal; 
  • Use powers available since Brexit to stop foreign players getting work and travel visas, preventing ‘Big 6’ stars travelling to Super League games and preventing new players signing;
  • Home Office to withhold funding and stop matches being policed, making them near impossible to go ahead;
  • Impose a ‘non-dodgeable’ windfall tax equating to 100% of their TV revenues for football clubs joining; 
  • Pile pressure on the Competitions and Markets Authority to rule the new league illegal;  
<!—->

Advertisement

The crumbling resolve of the architects today came as Boris Johnson threatened to drop a ‘legislative bomb’ to stop it, telling the FA, Premier League, the PFA and fans and the Government will change the law to stop a small handful of billionaire owners creating a ‘closed shop’ destroying England’s 132-year-old football pyramid.  

The new league has no relegation and founding clubs have agreed to play in it for the next 23 years – but rebels including Man City and Chelsea are already said to be ‘getting cold feet’ in the wake of vitriol from players and supporters.

Liverpool are also growing ‘increasingly doubtful’ about the project after the wave of fan anger and protests outside Anfield, according to Bild. 

Adding fuel to the rumours of unrest, Pep Guardiola said: ‘Sport is not a sport when the relationship between effort and success, and reward, does not exist. It is not a sport if you can’t lose. It’s not fair if a team fights to get to the top and success is only guaranteed for some clubs’. He added: ‘I would love the [Super League] president of the committee to go out around the world and explain how we got this decision’.   

MailOnline can also reveal Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League amid unrest amongst players sucker-punched by the plans.

This afternoon Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford shared a picture of Old Trafford and a quote by legendary manager Sir Matt Busby: ‘Football is nothing without fans’, in a thinly-veiled criticism of the proposals spearheaded by the club’s owner Joel Glazer.

Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out. 

But bookies say Klopp is now favourite to be the next Premier League boss to resign or be sacked after he was blindsided by the decision and then forced to face the cameras last night, where he told fans he would ‘try to sort it out’. His comments never made it on to the club’s website, leading to claims of censorship.

One unnamed UK chief executive told Sky: ‘This is not what we signed up for’ and alleging ringleaders Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid bullied them into it. Another source told Politico that Man United and Liverpool had ‘lied’ to get them to join and had ‘f***ed up’ ever since. 

‘Big 6’ players, who have been threatened with a ban from this summer’s European Championships, are also said to be angry because they weren’t consulted with messages said to be flying on team WhatsApp groups about how they could sink the proposals.  

It is understood that Boris Johnson told officials today that whilst he was a staunch free marketeer, he believed the breakaway competition was ‘anti-competitive’, that a ‘legislative bomb’ such as a new law should be dropped to stop it and that it ‘should be done now’.  

And the Prime Minister tonight underlined his opposition to the proposed European Super League, saying that it was wrong that historic clubs were being turned into ‘international brands and commodities’.

The Prime Minister told a Downing Street news conference: ‘Be in no doubt that we don’t support it … the creation of this European Super League.

‘I think it’s not in the interests of fans, it’s not in the interests of football, how can it be right to have a situation in which you create a kind of cartel that stops clubs competing against each other, playing against each other properly, with all the hope and excitement that gives to the fans up and down the country?

 ‘Football was invented and codified in this county. It is one of the great glories of this country’s cultural heritage. These clubs, these names, originate from famous towns and cities in our country.

‘I don’t think that it is right that they should be somehow dislocated from their home towns, home cities.’

Mr Johnson reiterated that the Government stood ready to legislate if there was no other way to stop the plan.

He said: ‘That remains something that we will bring to the forefront if we have to.

‘What we want to do first of all is back the FA, back the Premier League, and hope that we can thwart this proposal before it goes very much further.’ 

The row that threatens the most seismic change to English football in decades, came as: 

  • EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss a response to ESL as footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford  speaks out in favour of the fans;
  • Man City ‘most likely to crack’ and quit the European Super League, Jurgen Klopp ‘can turn Liverpool’s owners’ against the plans, claims Gary Neville, with Chelsea also said to be unsure about continuing;
  • Liverpool boss Klopp now favourite with bookies to be the next Premier League boss to go after he was blindsided by Super League announcement before being left to face the cameras as American owners stay quiet. Bill Shankly’s grandson insists his grandfather would be ‘spinning in his grave’;
  • ‘Heartbroken’ West Ham fan James Corden launches into emotional six minute rant about European Super League on his Late Late Show in America, claiming Premier League’s Big Six owners have shown ‘the worst greed I’ve ever seen in sport’; 
  • Premier League excluded the ‘Big 6’ from an emergency meeting today where remaining 14 club rejected the plans and threatens sanctions for owners for breaking rule about joining competition with prior permission;
  • Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warns against the plan saying: ‘A lot of football clubs were founded by churches, it happens, including Liverpool. And we want to preserve community’. 
  • Britain’s competitions watchdog is ‘carefully’ looking at the Super League plans to see if it is illegal; 
  • Facebook and Amazon will NOT bid to screen the European Super League, leaving just Sky and Disney to announce whether they will bid for the rights; 
  • Real Madrid President Florentino Perez insists he is ‘saving football’ and calls for shorter matches claiming younger fans don’t have the attention span for 90 minutes;
Chelsea are tonight reportedly preparing to pull out of the widely-slated European Super League after days of fury from across the footballing world

Chelsea are tonight reportedly preparing to pull out of the widely-slated European Super League after days of fury from across the footballing world

Chelsea are tonight reportedly preparing to pull out of the widely-slated European Super League after days of fury from across the footballing world

The news came as hundreds of Chelsea fans tonight protested against the club's involvement in the £4.3billion breakaway plans, by chanting and holding banners outside Stamford Bridge

The news came as hundreds of Chelsea fans tonight protested against the club's involvement in the £4.3billion breakaway plans, by chanting and holding banners outside Stamford Bridge

The news came as hundreds of Chelsea fans tonight protested against the club’s involvement in the £4.3billion breakaway plans, by chanting and holding banners outside Stamford Bridge

Boris Johnson, pictured today, takes part in a virtual round table with English football's leaders who were told by the PM that he would bring a new law in to stop the European Super League if he has to

Boris Johnson, pictured today, takes part in a virtual round table with English football's leaders who were told by the PM that he would bring a new law in to stop the European Super League if he has to

Boris Johnson, pictured today, takes part in a virtual round table with English football’s leaders who were told by the PM that he would bring a new law in to stop the European Super League if he has to

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both spoken out against the European Super League despite the billionaire owners of their clubs signing up for the next 23 years

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both spoken out against the European Super League despite the billionaire owners of their clubs signing up for the next 23 years

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both spoken out against the European Super League despite the billionaire owners of their clubs signing up for the next 23 years

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both spoken out against the European Super League despite the billionaire owners of their clubs signing up for the next 23 years

Pep Guardiola (left today) and Jurgen Klopp (right last night) have both spoken out against the European Super League despite the billionaire owners of their clubs signing up for the next 23 years

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford shared an image on Twitter of one of the banners which covers the stands at Old Trafford. Carrying a quote from the club's great former manager Sir Matt Busby, it reads: "Football is nothing without fans".

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford shared an image on Twitter of one of the banners which covers the stands at Old Trafford. Carrying a quote from the club's great former manager Sir Matt Busby, it reads: "Football is nothing without fans".

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford shared an image on Twitter of one of the banners which covers the stands at Old Trafford. Carrying a quote from the club’s great former manager Sir Matt Busby, it reads: ‘Football is nothing without fans’.

Fans burnt a Liverpool shirt using outside Elland Road – where Liverpool drew 1-1 with Leeds last night – as outrage grows over plans for a European Super League

The protest took place as fans gathered to to show their anger over proposals to create a new breakaway league with teams signed up until 2046

The protest took place as fans gathered to to show their anger over proposals to create a new breakaway league with teams signed up until 2046

The protest took place as fans gathered to to show their anger over proposals to create a new breakaway league with teams signed up until 2046

A member of the public poses for a photo in front of a sign posted by football fans opposing the European Super League outside Old Trafford in Mancheste

A member of the public poses for a photo in front of a sign posted by football fans opposing the European Super League outside Old Trafford in Mancheste

A member of the public poses for a photo in front of a sign posted by football fans opposing the European Super League outside Old Trafford in Mancheste

Banners and football scarves are tied to the world famous Paisley Gateway outside Anfield, with one banner declaring the death of the club

Banners and football scarves are tied to the world famous Paisley Gateway outside Anfield, with one banner declaring the death of the club

Banners and football scarves are tied to the world famous Paisley Gateway outside Anfield, with one banner declaring the death of the club

Another fan placed a sign saying 'Give Us Our Arsenal Back' in the hand of a statue of Thierry Henry, the club's greatest goalscorer

Another fan placed a sign saying 'Give Us Our Arsenal Back' in the hand of a statue of Thierry Henry, the club's greatest goalscorer

Another fan placed a sign saying ‘Give Us Our Arsenal Back’ in the hand of a statue of Thierry Henry, the club’s greatest goalscorer

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Experts have pondered if this was when the Super League was cooked up

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are the six English clubs who have signed up to the deeply unpopular European Super League

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are the six English clubs who have signed up to the deeply unpopular European Super League

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are the six English clubs who have signed up to the deeply unpopular European Super League

PM promises to drop ‘legislative bomb’ on rebel teams as Premier League keeps ‘all actions’ on table

Boris Johnson has told the football authorities that he is prepared to introduce new laws to prevent the formation of a European Super League.

At a meeting with the FA and the Premier League, the Prime Minister said the Government should ‘drop a legislative bomb’ to prevent the proposal going ahead as planned, sources said.

‘No action is off the table and we are exploring every possibility to ensure these proposals are stopped,’ the Prime Minister said after the meeting.

The plans for a breakaway Super League involving England’s so-called ‘Big Six’ clubs have been ‘unanimously and vigorously’ rejected by the other 14 members of the top flight.

A statement released by the Premier League after its meeting read: ‘The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.

‘The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those shareholders (clubs) involved to account under its rules.’

<!—->

Advertisement

Downing Street has not ruled out stopping players of clubs involved in the breakaway European Super League getting work visas or withdrawing police funding for match days. 

No 10 added the PM ‘expressed his solidarity with football fans and agreed they must always be at the heart of any decisions about the future of the game. He reiterated his unwavering support for the football authorities and confirmed they have the government’s full backing to take whatever action necessary to put a stop to these plans.’. 

While the government would prefer the breakaway to be stopped via existing football regulations, it can be disclosed that it has told the Premier League it will do ‘whatever it takes’ including possible competition law intervention and the introduction of ‘sports-specific legislation’. 

A host of measures are being discussed along with government intervention. Sportsmail understands that among them are ‘immediate disciplinary proceedings’ against the six, who are both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.  

Prince William, President of the FA, has warned the proposals could ‘damage the game we love’.  Even Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has come out against it, telling clubs like Liverpool, founded by the church, they should think about the communities they serve.   

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ of Europe’s top clubs who have signed up have already agreed to be part of the midweek competition for at least 23 seasons with the sweetener of up to £300million each when it starts in as early as August.

One insider close to the deal said today that with the financial support of JP Morgan the new league ‘is happening’. ‘There are signed agreements – 23-year contracts. This is categorically not a bargaining chip. I can see why people might come to the conclusion but I am happy to correct it. This is proper, it’s happening’, the source told The Times. Leading lawyers have also said competition law is probably on their side.

The ‘greedy’ American owners of England’s top clubs behind the maligned new European Super League may have started talks three-and-a-half years ago at a New York lunch with Manchester United’s former JP Morgan banker boss at its centre, MailOnline can reveal today.

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson calls emergency meeting between Premier League captains with the England man set to spearhead players’ response to Super League proposals 

By Mike Keegan 

Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League.

The Liverpool skipper, whose own club is one of the six English sides that has signed up for the competition, is set to lead the players’ response to the plans that have rocked football.

Henderson, 30, has long been seen as a trusted, respected figure among the top-flight’s footballers.

The summit will be significant as it will include representatives from clubs who are part of the breakaway plans and those who are not.

England international Henderson led the players response to the NHS crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Sunderland man oversaw the creation of a fund, which was aimed at making millions for the service in the light of what many perceived to be unjust criticism by health secretary Matt Hancock. 

<!—->

Advertisement

Liverpool owner John Henry and Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis met with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club-owning Glazer brothers Avram and Joel for discussions in one of New York’s most popular restaurants, Locanda Verde, in the trendy Tribeca district in October 2017.

These are the men who have sat in silence while the football world reacts in horror at their plans to upend the competitive spirit of the sport once and for all bankrolled by £4.3billion in loans from Mr Woodward’s former employer JP Morgan. 

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin turned on club leaders he called ‘snakes’ and ‘liars,’ singling out Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli and Manchester United vice chairman Ed Woodward for betraying him by reneging on a pledge to stick with the Champions League. 

Mr Ceferin, who is godfather of Mr Agnelli’s daughter, said: ‘They don’t know s*** about solidarity. They spit in the face of football lovers. We didn’t know we had snakes working close to us, but now we know’. 

Today at Uefa’s annual congress, he piled more pressure on to wavering English clubs, telling them: ‘Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake. What matters is that there is still time to change your mind. Everyone makes mistakes. Come to your senses, not out of love for football, because I imagine some of you don’t have much of that, but out of respect for those who bleed themselves dry so that they can go to the stadium to support the team and want the dream to be kept alive. For those, you (must) change your mind’.

As outraged fans of the breakaway teams threatened to overthrow the mainly-foreign billionaire owners of their clubs, and rival supporters set fire to their kits outside football grounds, the Prime Minister weighed in having vowed to ‘do everything’ to stop it. 

The Prime Minister had previously described the new midweek competition, which includes six leading English clubs among the founders, as ‘ludicrous’ but there are still concerns that he can do nothing to prevent it. 

Asked if the PM was planning to speak to his Spanish and Italian counterparts, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: ‘We would inform you of any conversations that happen with counterparts in the normal way.

‘We are keen to speak to everyone involved in this, from other countries to, like I said, the Premier League and others.’

And amid reports of some of the ESL clubs wobbling, the spokesman said: ‘I think we are fairly unequivocal that we don’t want this to go ahead in the current form so we would welcome any club that wants to step back from this approach.

‘But I think that as far as I am aware speculation at this stage.’

Man City are ‘most likely to crack’ and QUIT the European Super League and Jurgen Klopp ‘can turn Liverpool’s owners’ against the plans, claims Gary Neville… as Chelsea also face huge pressure to pull out 

Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out. 

Chelsea and Manchester City appear to hold the greatest hopes of derailing the controversial European Super League, with club bosses believed to be ‘losing their nerve’ amid mounting pressure from fans and Government.

Six teams from the Premier League, including Chelsea and Man City, signed up to the breakaway competition over the weekend as part of 12 founding teams.

Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt suggested overnight, following a wave of criticism from supporters and senior Government figures, that two English teams were ‘wavering’ in their commitment to the breakaway.

Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be the least committed of the six English teams and pressure is continuing to increase for them to make a statement of intent by walking away.

Complications could arise, however, after Real Madrid president, and the chairman of the European Super League, Florentino Perez insists the 12 clubs who signed up have agreed to a ‘binding’ contract that prevents them from reneging on their decision.

<!—->

Advertisement

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, said Boris Johnson made clear at the meeting he would be prepared to protect the authorities from legal action if they moved against the breakaway six.

He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: ‘There was a discussion about what powers the football authorities have in order to prevent this, what sanctions they can take, which will include exclusion from taking part in domestic competition for those clubs who have broken away.

‘The Prime Minister then suggested that if any legislative change might be required in order to shore up the powers of the league and the FA to enforcing those sanctions, then that could be forthcoming.’

He added: ‘My understanding is that the rule books of the FA and the Premier League quite clearly give those bodies the power to exclude clubs from their competitions.

‘They would anticipate, however, that those clubs would then challenge that legally under competition law.

‘The mood music from the Government was they would do what was required to make sure that the measures to exclude those clubs from competitions would not fall foul of competition law and that they would amend the law if necessary.’

Banners were put up outside the stadiums of the Big 6, accusing them of ‘killing football’ and saying the beautiful game had been ‘created by the poor and stolen by the rich’. The clubs involved are said to have signed 23-year contracts tying them in until at least 2046.

Insiders say fissures are said to be beginning to show with two of the six English clubs said to be wavering. Gary Neville predicted that Manchester City could be the closest to ‘cracking’, but that his former club Manchester United will hold on because their American billionaire owner Joel Glazer is one of the architects. He labelled the Glazer family ‘scavengers’ – and said they should be ‘booted out’ from the club.

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Michael Owen has urged those behind the proposed European Super League to ‘let the people have their game back’.

Owen wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s an ill-thought through idea that can not and will not work.

‘Protecting the football pyramid is paramount and any proposal as radical as this requires all clubs and their fans to support it. This support should have been sought at the outset.

‘It wasn’t and as such it’s doomed to fail. Bin it now and let the people have their game back.’

A screen display is seen through the windows of The English Premier League's headquarters in west London during a key meeting with the PM

A screen display is seen through the windows of The English Premier League's headquarters in west London during a key meeting with the PM

A screen display is seen through the windows of The English Premier League’s headquarters in west London during a key meeting with the PM

Manchester United fan Connor Kennedy outside Old Trafford objecting to the decision of the Glazers to join the Super League, writing: 'RIP The Working Class' on the shirt

Manchester United fan Connor Kennedy outside Old Trafford objecting to the decision of the Glazers to join the Super League, writing: 'RIP The Working Class' on the shirt

Manchester United fan Connor Kennedy outside Old Trafford objecting to the decision of the Glazers to join the Super League, writing: ‘RIP The Working Class’ on the shirt

More banners outside of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool protesting against the clubs decision to join the European Super League

More banners outside of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool protesting against the clubs decision to join the European Super League

More banners outside of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool protesting against the clubs decision to join the European Super League

More banners outside of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool protesting against the clubs decision to join the European Super League

More banners outside of Anfield Stadium, Liverpool protesting against the clubs decision to join the European Super League

David Beckham became the latest big name to speak out against the league proposed by many of the biggest clubs in Europe

David Beckham became the latest big name to speak out against the league proposed by many of the biggest clubs in Europe

David Beckham became the latest big name to speak out against the league proposed by many of the biggest clubs in Europe

A fan attempts to stop the Liverpool team buses from entering Elland Road ahead of tonight's match between Liverpool and Leeds United

A fan attempts to stop the Liverpool team buses from entering Elland Road ahead of tonight's match between Liverpool and Leeds United

A fan attempts to stop the Liverpool team buses from entering Elland Road ahead of tonight’s match between Liverpool and Leeds United

‘There’s time to change your mind’: UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin publicly appeals for ‘greedy and arrogant’ English clubs to correct their ‘huge mistake’ of joining the European Super League 

Aleksander Ceferin continued his war path against the European Super League on Tuesday

Aleksander Ceferin continued his war path against the European Super League on Tuesday

Aleksander Ceferin continued his war path against the European Super League on Tuesday

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has publicly urged the Premier League’s Big Six to perform a dramatic U-turn and walk away from the much-maligned European Super League that has created a civil war within football. 

Ceferin launched a scathing attack on the plans on Monday – blasting those ‘snakes’ and ‘liars’ for making it happen – and just one day on he continued to make his resentful feelings known in his address to the 45th UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.

And the UEFA president also directly appealed to the Premier League’s ‘greedy’ and ‘arrogant’ Big Six to backtrack on their controversial decision to join the Super League. 

‘At this point I would like to address the owners of some English clubs,’ Ceferin said during his powerful address on Tuesday.

‘Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake. Some will say it is greed, others disdain, arrogance, flippancy, complete ignorance of England’s football culture. But actually it doesn’t matter.

‘What matters is there is still time to change your mind, everyone makes mistakes. English fans deserve to have you correct your mistake, they deserve respect.’ 

<!—->

Advertisement

There was also open opposition from Liverpool’s managers and players about the plans after the club drew 1-1 with Leeds United last night. Leeds added fuel to the fire by wearing T-shirts emblazoned with ‘For the Fans’ before kick off. Supporters also blocked the team coach as it arrived in West Yorkshire.

Manager Jurgen Klopp and his captain on the night James Milner both came out against the Super League. But there comments were not on the club’s website, leading to claims of censorship.

Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League.

The Liverpool skipper, whose own club is one of the six English sides that has signed up for the competition, is set to lead the players’ response to the plans that have rocked football.

Henderson, 30, has long been seen as a trusted, respected figure among the top-flight’s footballers. There were also reports from German publication BILD on Tuesday that Liverpool were feeling ‘increasingly doubtful’ about the Super League project because of the amount of anger from fans at the proposals.

Uefa’s executive committee member Jesper Moller said last night that they are looking at whether Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea could be banned from this season’s Champions League semi-finals by the end of the week. 

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin was addressing the 45th UEFA Congress in Montreux, and was preceded on the stage by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

He did not explicitly threaten to ban players at European Super League clubs from future World Cups, but did say to the clubs involved: ‘If some elect to go their own way then they must live with the consequences of their choice. They are responsible for their choice.

‘Concretely, this means either you’re in or you’re out. You cannot be half in or half out.’

Ex-England captain and now owner of Major League Soccer franchise, David Beckham, has warned that fans will be the ones to suffer if plans go ahead.

‘I’m someone who loves football. It has been my life for as long as I can remember. I loved it from when I was a young child as a fan, and I’m still a fan now. As a player and now as an owner I know that our sport is nothing without the fans. We need football to be for everyone. We need football to be fair and we need competitions based on merit. Unless we protect these values the game we love is in danger…’ he wrote on Instagram. 

Alan Shearer has predicted that some of the clubs involved in the breakaway Super League would be considering their positions as a result of the condemnation which has followed Sunday night’s announcement – but said they must be banned from competition if they don’t back down.

He said:  ‘They have thrown a Hand Grenade. Let’s throw one back and ban them. When you look at the reaction over the last 36 hours, common sense would tell you that these clubs will have to go away and think, ‘Have we really done the right thing here?’.’  He added: ‘Where are these owners? Why don’t they come out and face the media and tell us why they’ve done it, why they want a closed shop that no-one else can get into?’. 

There was also open opposition from Liverpool’s managers and players about the plans after the club drew 1-1 with Leeds United last night. Leeds added fuel to the fire by wearing T-shirts emblazoned with ‘For the Fans’ before kick off.

‘Heartbroken’ West Ham fan James Corden launches into emotional SIX MINUTE rant about European Super League on his Late Late Show in America, claiming Premier League’s Big Six owners have shown ‘the worst greed I’ve ever seen in sport’ 

British TV host James Corden has slammed controversial European Super League proposals

British TV host James Corden has slammed controversial European Super League proposals

British TV host James Corden has slammed controversial European Super League proposals

James Corden has slammed the controversial European Super League proposals in an impassioned six minute tirade on American television.  

The British TV host opened his popular US late night show, The Late Late Show, with an emotional speech decrying plans which critics say will cause irrecoverable damage to the sport. 

Corden, a West Ham fan, joined the dissenters on Monday night and became emotional while outlining his opposition. He joked no-one in his American audience cares about the goings on in European football, but said the ‘monumental’ announcement had outraged him.

Corden said: ‘I’m heartbroken by it, genuinely heartbroken by it. I’m heartbroken because the owners of these teams have displayed the worst kind of greed I’ve ever seen in sport.’

London-born Corden said British football teams are historic institutions with working class roots and are not the same as franchises in US sport.

He compared the Super League, which would allow its founder members access on an historical basis rather than merit, to an imagined scenario where A-list actresses Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan and Viola Davis carve up Oscar nominations for themselves.

And Corden condemned the owners of the clubs – including Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona – for taking the game away from fans.   

He said: ‘It’s hard to express how much these communities rely on football, not just financially, which is considerable, but football is like a focal point of a town’s hopes and dreams, that’s what it is, you know?

‘And these dreams, they’ve just been shattered not just in Britain, all across Europe. And the reason these dreams have been shattered and discarded is so that a group of billionaires can buy themselves a bigger boat, or a second boat.

‘Football is a working class game where anyone can beat anyone on their day, and it’s that that makes it incredible, it’s that that’s made it the global force it is today.’

<!—->

Advertisement

James Milner, who was captain last night, told Sky Sports: ‘I can only say my personal opinion, I don’t like it and hopefully it doesn’t happen. I can only imagine what has been said about it and I probably agree with most of it. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had earlier said his own negative opinion of a European Super League had not changed.

Klopp, speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his side’s game at Elland Road, stuck by his words from 2019 when he said he ‘hoped this Super League will never happen’. 

‘It didn’t change. My opinion didn’t change,’ the German said. ‘It is a tough one, people are not happy with that. I can understand that. I have no issues with the Champions League, I like the competitive factor of football. I like the fact that West Ham might play in the Champions League next year. I don’t want them to because we want to do that, but I like that they have the chance.’ 

Liverpool’s city neighbours Everton, which has won more league titles than Man City, Chelsea and Spurs, has called out ‘preposterous arrogance’ of the clubs trying to form the Super League.

Their board of the club said in a statement: ‘The self-proclaimed Super Six appear intent on disenfranchising supporters across the game – including their own – by putting the very structure that underpins the game we love under threat.

‘The backlash is understandable and deserved – and has to be listened to. This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan’.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s superstar midfielder Bruno Fernandes last night became the first player from the breakaway clubs to publicly rally against the proposals, by sharing a social media post saying ‘Dreams can’t be bought’.

Other players at the club are said to have made their feelings known to executive vice chairman Ed Woodward as he delivered an emergency Zoom briefing at the club’s Carrington training ground yesterday.  

It comes as a ‘nuclear war’ broke out in football over the proposals, which would see the six clubs become part of a group of a dozen elite European teams to compete in a tournament rivalling the current Champions League.

The founding members of the proposed European Super League would be guaranteed a spot without qualification – a move which would all but end hopes of any club outside England’s top six playing in Europe’s most elite competition.

Arsenal fans were yesterday seen hanging signs calling for their owner to quit the club following the announcement, while Leeds United fans were seen burning a Liverpool shirt outside Elland Road – where the two sides played in the Premier League last night.

Earlier Prince William, who is the current president of the FA, spoke out against the European Super League project, saying it risked ‘damaging the game we love’.

In a statement released through the Kensington Palace Twitter account, the Duke of Cambridge, who is due to speak to FA chiefs about the issue later this week, said: ‘Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core.

‘I share the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.’  

Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville involved in extraordinary row after Liverpool boss took exception to You’ll Never Walk Alone reference in Super League criticism 

Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with comments made by Gary Neville on 'You'll Never Walk Alone'

Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with comments made by Gary Neville on 'You'll Never Walk Alone'

Klopp hit out at Neville, who defended his comments after Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Leeds

Klopp hit out at Neville, who defended his comments after Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Leeds

Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with comments made by Gary Neville on ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

Jurgen Klopp slammed Gary Neville as the pair were involved in an extraordinary war of words after Liverpool‘s 1-1 draw with Leeds.

The Merseyside club are one of six Premier League sides that have agreed to take part in the European Super League.

After Liverpool conceded a late goal in the draw with Leeds, Klopp was asked to give his views on the breakaway competition. 

The German manager, who is against the plans, defended his team and hit out at Neville over comments he made referring to Liverpool’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ anthem. 

He told Sky: ‘Gary Neville speaks about You’ll Never Walk Alone.  That already should be forbidden to be honest. 

‘Because we have a lot of right to sing that anthem, that’s our anthem and not his and he doesn’t understand it anyway so I really don’t want these kind of things because it’s not fair.

‘I understand all the talk and I don’t like it as well. But I don’t talk about other clubs like this, you can be emotional but I wish Gary Neville would be in a hotseat somewhere and not everywhere where the most money is.

‘He was at Manchester United, Sky all these kinds of things. Don’t forget we have nothing to do with it. We’re in the same situation as you all we got information and we still have to play football.’

After Klopp’s interview, Neville defended his quotes from Sunday afternoon and suggestion that his comments were not fair on Liverpool.

He said: ‘Why is it not fair? I have insulted Liverpool loads of times over the years, yesterday was nothing to do with insulting Liverpool. 

<!—->

Advertisement

Players too made their feelings clear, with Leeds United stars wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the logo ‘football is for the fans’ before their Premier League clash with Liverpool.

In a candid interview after the 1-1 draw, Liverpool midfielder James Milner broke ranks with his club’s plan to join the European Super League by saying: ‘I don’t like it and I hope it doesn’t happen.’

The club’s Premier League and Champions League winning manager Jurgen Klopp also hinted he was against the proposals, telling Sky Sports before the game: ‘People are not happy with it, I can understand it.

‘I like the competitive aspect of football. I like that West Ham might play in the Champions League. I don’t want them to, because we want to, but I like they have the chance.’ 

Last night the row heated-up even further amid reports that football chiefs were looking into the possibility of banning players from rebel clubs from playing for their national teams in tournaments such as the European Championships and the World Cup.

And reports suggested bosses at Uefa were considering punishing rebel clubs Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City by throwing them out of this season’s Champions League – despite them making up three of the four semi-finalists.

However the breakaway clubs last night appeared to be standing firm, with reports suggesting they have already signed 23-year deals to compete in the new European Super League tournament, starting from the 2023-24 season. 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted: ‘Season after season, year after year, football fans demonstrate unwavering loyalty and passion by sticking by their clubs.

‘But their loyalty is being abused by a small number of individuals who wield an incredible amount of power and influence. These owners should remember that they are only temporary custodians of their clubs; they forget fans at their peril.

‘They have decided to put money before fans – so I have been left with no choice but to formally trigger the launch of our fan-led review of football. The review will be chaired by (Tracey Crouch), and will be a root-and-branch examination of football in this country.

‘It will cover the financial sustainability of the men’s and women’s game; governance and regulation; and the merits of an independent regulator.

‘We are the people’s Government. We are unequivocally on the side of fans – and their voices have to be heard when it comes to the future of our national game.’

As the row raged on, United star Bruno Fernandes, 26, yesterday led the criticism from his team’s camp. 

The attacking midfielder shared an Instagram post by his Portuguese teammate Daniel Podence, who plays for Wolves, celebrating a goal for Olympiacos in the Champions League – a competition that would essentially be killed off by the new tournament. 

Podence also wrote an ode to Europe’s top club competition, referring to Manchester United and Liverpool’s recent historic wins and other great moments, with the caption: ‘There are some things we just can’t really pay for’. 

And in an act of defiance that may upset the American billionaire owners of Man United, the Glazers, who are among the architects of the new league, Bruno shared the post with clapping emojis and the phrase: ‘Dreams can’t be bought’. 

Manchester United chief holds emergency meeting with ‘seriously unimpressed’ players over European Super League plans 

By Mike Keegan for SportsMail 

Ed Woodward held an emergency briefing with ‘seriously unimpressed’ Manchester United players at Carrington on Monday morning.

Sportsmail understands that some members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad were angered after they found out about the breakaway European Super League – and their own employer’s central role in it – via the media on Sunday.

Insiders have disclosed that some also felt Solskjaer was thrown under the bus when left to face questions from Sky after the story had broken during their 3-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday.

They made their feelings known and the executive vice chairman delivered a briefing via Zoom to explain the club’s position at their training base.

Sources say the reception among many of the squad was ‘lukewarm at best’. Woodward, who recently moved to London from Manchester, is said to have told the squad they were acting in the club’s best interests.

‘Some of the players were seriously unimpressed,’ a source explained. ‘Not only that they were left to find out by the media about what had happened but that their manager was left to face the press when the owners had concocted this.

‘Woodward attempted to appease them but the response was lukewarm at best. It hasn’t gone down well with many of them.’  

<!—->

Advertisement

The same post was also shared by Manchester City’s full back João Cancelo, who is also Portuguese, in a sign that there is also some anger among players at Pep Guardiola’s club, who are also signed up, as it was revealed that Uefa is working out how it can ban all players at the 12 clubs signed up from this summer’s European Championships and its president Aleksander Ceferin called the owners and their staff lying ‘snakes’. 

Speaking after an emergency meeting, Mr Ceferin said: ‘Uefa and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful self-serving proposal we have seen in the last 24 hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fuelled purely by greed.

‘The players who will play in the teams that might be playing in the closed league will be banned from playing the World Cup, and so they will not be able to represent the national teams at any matches. 

‘Our sport has become greatest based on sporting merit and we cannot allow that to change, we will not ever.’

In another twist in the jaw-dropping saga, the Government last night also threatened to step in – with ministers vowing to do ‘whatever it takes to protect the national game’. 

Writing in the Sun, Boris Johnson said: ‘A year of empty stadiums has reminded us all that football without fans is an altogether more anaemic spectacle.

‘It is your game – and you can rest assured that I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a straight red.’

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been urged to investigate whether the breakaway European Super League would breach laws to uphold fairness.

Labour’s shadow minister for sport Alison McGovern blasted the proposal as ‘nothing short of an attempt to stitch up competition’ for a few elite clubs.

She has written a letter to the CMA asking whether it will investigate the widely-criticised plans, commission a study to identify how the league would impact upon competition in the market and to advise Parliament on drafting legislation to make the sport more accountable to supporters.

The party has also urged football fans to sign a petition pressuring the regulator into action over the move backed by the ‘Big Six’ of English Premier League clubs.

The Competition and Markets Authority has said it will be ‘carefully considering’ the proposals to create a breakaway European Super League.

A CMA spokesperson said: ‘The proposals for a European football super league have attracted high levels of public interest.

‘It is a complex area and we will be carefully considering any competition aspects of these proposals.’ 

Megastar Bruno Fernandes (pictured during their recent game against Tottenham) today became the first player from the breakaway clubs to publicly speak out against the proposals, saying: 'Dreams can't be bought'

Megastar Bruno Fernandes (pictured during their recent game against Tottenham) today became the first player from the breakaway clubs to publicly speak out against the proposals, saying: 'Dreams can't be bought'

Manchester United megastar Bruno Fernandes became the first 'Big 6' player to speak out against the proposed European Super League , saying: 'Dreams can't be bought' based on a post from his international colleague

Manchester United megastar Bruno Fernandes became the first 'Big 6' player to speak out against the proposed European Super League , saying: 'Dreams can't be bought' based on a post from his international colleague

Megastar Bruno Fernandes (pictured during their recent game against Tottenham, left) today became the first player from the breakaway clubs to publicly speak out against the proposals, saying: ‘Dreams can’t be bought’ (right)

How Super League clubs want to make billions from new TV and advertising deals after getting up to £300m each from £4.3bn in loans put up by US banking giant JP Morgan

The 12 rebel clubs pushing for a European Super League will immediately received hundreds of millions of pounds to spend on player and stadiums thanks to loans already agreed with JP Morgan.

If it goes ahead the founders, at least half from America with involvement in the NFL, the clubs will be able to strike a new global TV deal that could eclipse the £3.6bn on secured by the Premier League.

They will also be able to shrink the pool of teams getting cash from the Champions League from over 100 clubs to just 20, with founding clubs sharing at least the first two-thirds of the new cash.

When the league begins, clubs will immediately receive between £100million and £300million to spend on players, stadia and training facilities 

Under the terms of the proposed deal, it has emerged:   

  • The 15 founder clubs sharing an initial £3.1billion ‘infrastructure grant’, where clubs will get up to £310million ‘to replace lost stadium-related revenues due to Covid-19’. They will be able to spend half on players, with the rest going on the stadium and training ground.
  • New income from TV and sponsorship deals, expected to run into billions in new revenue, would be distributed between 20 clubs in the league. It appears a huge proportion of this cash would go to the founding clubs.
  • Clubs would have the ability to sell a number of matches a season exclusively on their own the digital platforms across the world 
  • 20% of the money would then be handed out  based on where they finish in the league
  • The final 15% is called a ‘commercial share’ payment, again likely to favour the founders.

 

<!—->

Advertisement

New European Super League president Florentino Perez insists the controversial breakaway league is necessary to save clubs in financial terms and is determined it will go ahead – whether Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich continue to refuse to join or not.

The Real Madrid president was announced on Sunday in a similar role to his current post as the first chief of the new league, which involves Premier League ‘Big Six’ Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham replacing their European commitments with UEFA, such as the Champions League.

Perez’s Madrid were joined by LaLiga rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid while Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have also signed up, but German giants Bayern Munich and French counterparts PSG have insisted they will not be following suit.

But speaking on El Chiringuito in Spain, the 74-year-old claimed the Super League was a necessary measure for all clubs including his own to combat the loss of income brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

And he insisted that it was ‘bulls***’ that it could be cancelled if other big sides refuse to eventually join, claiming football would be ‘dead’ in three years’ time under current competitions and models.

‘Many important clubs in Spain, Italy and the UK want to find a solution to a very bad financial situation,’ Perez said.

‘The only way is to play more competitive games. If instead of playing the Champions League, the Super League helps the clubs to recover the lost earnings.

Here at Real Madrid we’ve lost a lot of money, we are all going through a very bad situation. When there is no profit, the only way is to play more competitive games during the week. The Super League will save clubs financially.

‘PSG were not invited, as of today. We haven’t even spoken to German clubs. We are now 12 clubs, we want to become 15 clubs. If PSG and Bayern Munich refuse, the Super League competition will not be cancelled. This is bulls***.

‘Football must evolve like everything in life. Football has to adapt to the times we live in now. Football is losing interest from fans, TV rights are decreasing. We wanted to do the Super League, the pandemic has given us urgency, and right now we are all ruined in football.

‘Even in the Premier League, if the top clubs are economically stronger, all the other clubs will also become stronger. It is a consequence. We want a dialogue with UEFA as we proposed in the Super League, we want to save football.

‘This Super League is not for the rich, but it’s to save football. If this continues, football will disappear and by 2024 we would already be dead. This is the only way to save everyone: big, medium and small clubs.’

The mainly foreign billionaires vying to tear apart English football with their new European Super League proposal

STAN KROENKE – ARSENAL

The 73-year-old American billionaire is heavily involved in sport as owner of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment with Premier League side Arsenal among the biggest guns in his portfolio.

His company has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and he took complete control three years ago.

Kroenke also owns elite-level American teams LA Rams (American Football), the Denver Nuggest (basketball), Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey) and the Colorado Rapids (football).

Kroenke was able to navigate his way around NFL rules preventing ownership of teams in other markets by having the Avalanche and Nuggets in his wife’s name. Ann Walton is the daughter of Walton co-founder James Bud Walton.

He also has the Colorado Mammoth team in the National Lacrosse League and, since 2017 has been involved in epsorts, owning teams in leagues for the video games Overwatch and Call of Duty.

Despite his involvement in sports watched by millions Kroenke prefers to avoid the spotlight and has the nickname ‘Silent Stan.’ He is estimated to be worth around $10billion.

JOHN W HENRY – LIVERPOOL 

John W Henry’s Fenway Sports group have owned Liverpool since 2010.

They also own the Boston Red Sox (baseball), as well as having stakes in Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR) and Minor League baseball team the Salem Red Sox.

Henry, worth an estimated $3billion who is married to his wife Linda Pizutti (pictured together), made his money from trading company JW Henry and Co before buying the Red Sox with his partner Tom Werner – the Liverpool chairman.

Under their control in 2004 the Red Sox won a first World Series in 86 years.

They also ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a championship when they lifted the Premier League last season.

But they will now face serious questions from the Anfield supporters following last night’s news.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH – CHELSEA

Abramovich and his billions arrived at Chelsea in 2003 and turned them into a Premier League giant.

Since he took ownership of the club and invested heavily in big-name managers and players, they have won 16 major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Believed to be worth around $15billion, according to Forbes, Abramovich also owns stakes in steel company Evraz and Norilsk Nickel – a Russian mning company.

A political figure in his homeland, he was governor of the Chukotka region and donated more than $2million to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

The 53-year-old is known to have close relationships with former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and current president Vladimir Putin.

JOEL GLAZER – MAN UNITED

Florida-based Glazer is part of the family who have controlled Manchester United since 2005. They also have NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

United have not won the Premier League since 2013 but during Glazer’s tenure have lifted 12 major prizes and, according to Deloitte, in 2021 are the world’s fourth richest club behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Barcelona with revenue of $580m.

The Galzers’ money comes from their sporting empires and real estate across the US.

They bought the Buccaneers for $192m in 1995 and it is now worth $3.1billion.

Likewise they took charge of United, according to Forbes, for $1.4bn with the club reported to be worth more than $3bn.

JOE LEWIS – SPURS

The 84-year-old Lewis is worth around £4billion, according to last year’s Times Rich List.

Born in London he entered the family catering business at 15 but in the 1980s moved into currency trading.

He is the major investor in Tavistock Group which owns more than 200 companies in 15 countries.

The group formerly owned stakes in Scottish football team Rangers and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.

Lewis lives in the Bahamas as a tax exile. He is reported to have an art collection worth an estimated $1billion.

SHEIKH MANSOUR – MANCHESTER CITY

The money arrived at Manchester City in 2008 and with Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, pulling the purse strings, they never looked back.

Cash was quickly pumped into every area – academy, training ground, playing staff, coaching – and City quickly caught up with, and overtook their neighbours.

They have won four Premier Leagues in that time, look set for a fifth this season and are in the semi-final of the Champions League.

The Abu Dhabi group is the majority owner of the City Football Group which boasts Man City as their flagship team.

They also have stakes in teams in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China, Belgium and France.

 

<!—->

Advertisement

Crossbench peer Lord Jim O’Neill has said that clubs joining the proposed Super League should probably be kicked out of the current European competitions.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday that the Government should also think about introducing legislation for fan-based ownership of clubs.

When asked if he thought just the Government needed to take action, he said: ‘I’m talking about Uefa too – there were rumours late last night that Uefa is going to meet again and give them (the clubs) a deadline til Friday to change their view, otherwise kick the remaining teams out of this year’s Champions League and Uefa Cup, which includes my Manchester United, and they probably should.

‘And the Government should threaten all sorts of really powerful things, including something that relates to what I’ve been so enthusiastic about from a Manchester United-perspective for the past decade and that is to think about something like a German-style legislative move to fan-based ownership. Enough of this ridiculous nonsense of people who don’t really care about football.’

The Government had earlier announced the launch of a top-to-bottom review of football in the UK. 

Ministers say the investigation, to be headed up by former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, will be a ‘root and branch’ reform of the governance and finances of football.

This includes the possibility of an independent regulator for football – a move long called for by United legend Gary Neville – and a move to a German model where fans groups are the majority share holders.

The announcement of the review came as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the Government will be offering its ‘full support’ to the Premier League, Football Association and Uefa.

‘Be in no doubt if they can’t act, we will. We will put everything on the table to prevent this from happening, he told the Commons.

And in a pointed threat to the clubs involved, he added: ‘We will do whatever it takes to protect our national game.’ 

One option being urged upon ministers is to impose a ban or further on incoming foreign transfers – a move which could seriously impact on the success of big teams.

There is a feeling among English football’s key stakeholders that Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham shouldn’t be allowed to access foreign talent under new post-Brexit recruitment rules if the controversial new division is started.

But, despite the risk of sanctions, it appears the European Super League project has already green-lit, with teams having reportedly signed the contracts.

According to the Times, a source close to the project said: ‘There are signed agreements — 23-year contracts.

‘This is categorically not a bargaining chip. 

‘I can see why people might come to the conclusion but I am happy to correct it. This is proper, it’s happening.’

Meanwhile, the league has reportedly already signed up former Number 10 Press Secretary Katie Perrior to help with the PR strategy.

Ms Perrior, who worked under Theresa May, is the founder ofiNHouse Communications, which has the contract to conduct PR for the Super League, according to the Times.

The unrest in the Premier League came as expert lawyers told MailOnline that the rebel clubs still have a good chance of winning any blockbuster legal battle as football fans and former players turned on the ‘greedy’ mainly-foreign billionaire club owners. 

Supporters have accused the mainly-foreign owners of ‘treachery’ and threatened to never watch them again after the £4.3billion plan bankrolled by JP Morgan emerged yesterday. 

Manchester United’s chief executive Ed Woodward was an investment banker there before moving into football having helped the Glazers buy the club.

Supporters of Liverpool, owned by American John W Henry, have put up banners outside Anfield including one announcing the death of the club while Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) threatened to overthrow owner Joe Lewis and Chairman Daniel Levy. Manchester City’s Official Supporters Club felt the plans demonstrated ‘zero regard for the game’s traditions’. 

One board member at one of the six Premier League clubs involved told Sky Sports News: ‘This is not a civil war, it’s a nuclear war. 

‘There are several board members at the six clubs who are opposed to joining the new league but they feel they do not have the power to stop it’.

He said that for the owners of the clubs, all of whom are based abroad, ‘are not that worried about (bad) PR’ and ‘the wider good of the game is a secondary concern’. 

‘They don’t like giving their playing assets away to countries for very little financial reward’, the source said.

And while the backlash was a plenty from fans, players and ex-players alike, the move was seen in a positive light by stock brokers, with shares in the 12 clubs involved rocketing yesterday.

Shares of Juventus soared by 20 per cent on the Milan stock exchange yesterday following the announcement, and the value of Manchester United shares also jumped 10 per cent on the New York stock exchange. 

And one football finance expert predicted the clubs involved could triple their income from European football by defecting to the new super league format. 

Clubs currently net around £100million in TV revenue and gate receipts from the Champions League.

But football finance expert Kieran Maguire told the Express that he believes the figure could be more like £300million for those in the European Super League – on top of a guaranteed £200million initial ‘welcome bonus’.

He told the paper ‘The clubs believe they can sell the rights directly to the consumer.

‘It would be great news for something like MUTV where the only offerings are the Under-23s matches or news of Paul Pogba’s latest hair cut.’

However, the plans could yet backfire on the breakaway group, as the rebel clubs were threatened with expulsion from the Premier League and European competitions with their stars also potentially banned from playing for their countries. 

The UK Government is also said to be drawing up ‘very robust’ plans to fight back, including the Home Office withdrawing policing support from matches.

They could also lead a legal charge to the High Court amid claims the move could be illegal under UK competition law, but legal experts have told MailOnline that the law is likely to be on the rebels’ side. 

Mark Orth, of MEOlaw based in Munich, believes the rebels will succeed if the row goes to court based on competition law and precedents set in previous cases in European courts.

He said: ‘I am of the opinion they have a strong case. They have a good chance of winning. 

‘There are good prospects for the start of the Super League and the clubs that take part’.  

Speaking in Gloucester yesterday, the PM said football clubs were more than ‘great global brands’, they needed to have a link with their fans and communities, with supporters already threatening to tear up season tickets and protest outside stadiums in huge numbers if the ‘money-grabbing’ owners pursue it. 

There could also be attempts to sanction the owners. The US sports moguls behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal: Joel Glazer, John W Henry and Stan Kroenke respectively, are key players in the plans. They have been backed by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City and Spurs, owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis, who lives in the Bahamas. 

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is the chairman of the new organisation, while Mr Glazer is a vice-chairman with Juventus’ Italian chairman Andrea Agnelli. 

How US team owners try to impose NFL model on new Super League but without the salary cap or draft to make it fairer

The American billionaires pushing for the European Super League have been accused of trying to impose a NFL-style model.

Critics have said giving even more money to the big clubs, with billions set aside for players.

It means that the 20 largely biggest clubs in Europe will have even more money than rivals to grab talent away from poorer clubs outside the Super League.

Members will have a distinct advantage over the 100 or so clubs that used to be in the Champions League, which may not survive. 

But the Super League will be without a salary cap and drafting system, meaning the bigger clubs with the most money would likely keep winning every time.

Tory MP Damian Collins, former Chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said the announcement is a ‘ploy’ to get more cash when the new Champions League deal is agreed this year because the cash is set to be shared among more clubs. He said: ‘It looks completely cynical – a negotiating ploy to get more money. This is from American club owners who have brought ideas from the NFL’. 

<!—->

Advertisement

Mr Johnson admitted that clubs involved could be compelled to pay back state-backed coronavirus loans and furlough money.

The most extreme change mooted is to transform the ownership rules for clubs to mirror the German model where investors can only own 49 per cent of a club and fans own the remaining 51 per cent. This ensures supporters always have the deciding vote at meetings. Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have not signed up to the Super League due to supporter power on their boards.  

The already super-rich club owners behind the proposed European Super League have rushed to court to try to force through their plans financed by £4.3 billion ($6bn) in loans from US banking giant JP Morgan despite English fans and football legends crying ‘betrayal’ and declaring war ‘for the soul of football’. 

Under the plans the founder clubs will immediately share a £3.5billion pool of cash of up to £310million per club – and up to half of the payment can be ploughed into new players and salaries with the rest spent on the stadium and training facilities.

They would also make billions more by striking a fresh global TV deal with sources close to the founders telling the BBC that they will focus on ‘fans of the future’ abroad rather than ‘legacy fans’ in the UK. As well as the TV cash, the advertising money would be shared amongst the 20 clubs proposed to take part, rather than the 79 clubs who take part in the Champions League each year.      

Meanwhile, players at the club are said to hit back at the proposals during an emergency meeting with Ed Woodward yesterday. 

Woodward, who recently moved to London from Manchester, is said to have told the squad they were acting in the club’s best interests.

‘Some of the players were seriously unimpressed,’ a source explained. ‘Not only that they were left to find out by the media about what had happened but that their manager was left to face the press when the owners had concocted this. 

‘Woodward attempted to appease them but the response was lukewarm at best. It hasn’t gone down well with many of them.’ 

‘If this European super league advances, those dreams are over, the illusions of the fans of the teams that are not giants of being able to win on the field competing in the best competitions will end.

‘I love football and I cannot remain silent about this, I believe in an improved Champions League, but not in the rich stealing what the people created, which is nothing other than the most beautiful sport on the planet.’ 

The Premier League held an emergency board meeting after the plan emerged on Sunday and has written to all its 20 clubs. The letter from chief executive Richard Masters demanded the rebels ‘walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done’. The Times says Masters told the six rebel clubs that continuing with this breakaway, would be a direct breach of Premier League rules. Sanctions could include expulsion or points deduction.   

In a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA’s Aleksander Ceferin seen by the PA news agency, the European Super League Company calls for cooperation but also reveals it has already taken legal action to try to head off the threat of clubs and players being banned from other competitions.

The letter reads: ‘We are concerned that FIFA and UEFA may respond to this invitation letter by seeking to take punitive measures to exclude any participating club or player from their respective competitions.

‘We hope that is not your response to this letter and that, like us, your organisations will recognise the immediate benefits of the competition established by SLCo.

‘We also seek your cooperation and support on how the competition can be brought within the football ecosystem and work with us to achieve that objective.

‘Your formal statement does, however, compel us to take protective steps to secure ourselves against such an adverse reaction, which would not only jeopardise the funding commitment under the grant but, significantly, would be unlawful.

‘For this reason, SLCo has filed a motion before the relevant courts in order to ensure the seamless establishment and operation of the competition in accordance with applicable laws.’

Was this the night the European Super League was born? Owners and chief execs from Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal held talks at a trendy New York Italian in 2017, all desperate for a bigger share of TV cash

The football club owners and chief executives behind the plot to join a new Super League and change the game forever may have first begun talks over three-and-a-half years ago.

Liverpool owner John Henry and Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis met with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club-owning Glazer brothers Avram and Joel for discussions in one of New York’s most popular restaurants in broad daylight in October 2017.

They are the men who have sat in silence while the football world reacts in horror at their plans to upend the competitive spirit of the sport once and for all.

At the time, Sportsmail reported how television rights could well have been on the agenda of their meeting. Those three sides had been agitating for a greater slice of the pie.

Instead of splitting the income equally between 20 Premier League teams, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United wanted a model similar to Spain, where Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid – coincidentally also founder members of the Super League – get a bigger payout than the rest of the LaLiga teams.

They had dinner together in Italian restaurant Locanda Verde in the trendy Tribeca district and at the time seemed the most unlikely of companions, given the fierce rivalry between their three clubs.

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

The plush Italian restaurant Locanda Verde is located in the trendy Tribeca district of the city and hosted the big names from three of English football's most successful and powerful clubs back in October 2017

The plush Italian restaurant Locanda Verde is located in the trendy Tribeca district of the city and hosted the big names from three of English football's most successful and powerful clubs back in October 2017

The plush Italian restaurant Locanda Verde is located in the trendy Tribeca district of the city and hosted the big names from three of English football’s most successful and powerful clubs back in October 2017

Fast forward nearly four years and the football fans in Britain and beyond have reacted in uniform horror at the Super League proposals – the fear of what will happen to the game transcending any rivalry on the pitch. 

These owners, however, have come together and Joel Glazer was quoted by rival clubs explaining how the Super League was moving forward. Messrs Henry, Glazer and Woodward don’t have too many other friends to turn to but they clearly have each other.

Gazidis, meanwhile, has since departed Arsenal and is now an executive at AC Milan in Italy, who are also a Super League founder member. 

Man City are ‘most likely to crack’ and QUIT the European Super League and Jurgen Klopp ‘can turn Liverpool’s owners’ against the plans, claims Gary Neville… as Chelsea also face huge pressure to pull out

Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out.

Chelsea and Manchester City appear to be the greatest hopes of derailing the controversial European Super League, with club bosses believed to be ‘losing their nerve’ amid mounting pressure from fans and Government.  

Neville tweeted: ‘(Manchester United owner) Joel Glazer won’t turn easily! Jurgen Klopp and the senior players could turn FSG. Man City most likely to crack. This isn’t for them! The other 3 will follow the lead of others.’

Arsenal and Tottenham are the other two clubs involved. 

Neville’s sentiments follow on from comments he made on Sky SportsMonday Night Football show where he shared his belief that Manchester City’s owners would not risk their ‘legacy’ by joining a breakaway competition. 

‘Why will the Abu Dhabi people build a network of football? What they have done is unbelievable to the east of Manchester,’ Neville said on Monday night. 

‘They created a legacy around there, arguably for marketing purposes. Why are they doing this? They don’t need money, they have got Pep [Guardiola], the most amazing manager. City must fold.’

Six teams from the Premier League, including Chelsea and Man City, signed up to the breakaway competition over the weekend as part of 12 founding teams in a move that rocked sport. 

Gary Neville feels Manchester City are 'most likely to crack' and back out of the Super League

Gary Neville feels Manchester City are 'most likely to crack' and back out of the Super League

Gary Neville feels Manchester City are ‘most likely to crack’ and back out of the Super League

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour (right) is building 'a legacy' and Neville is convinced that the club will not jeopardise that by going through with plans for the Super League

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour (right) is building 'a legacy' and Neville is convinced that the club will not jeopardise that by going through with plans for the Super League

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour (right) is building ‘a legacy’ and Neville is convinced that the club will not jeopardise that by going through with plans for the Super League 

Neville believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (second left), along with senior players, can force Reds' ownership group Fenway Sports Group into backing out of the Super League proposals

Neville believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (second left), along with senior players, can force Reds' ownership group Fenway Sports Group into backing out of the Super League proposals

Neville believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (second left), along with senior players, can force Reds’ ownership group Fenway Sports Group into backing out of the Super League proposals 

Manchester City fans protested their club's involvement in the 12-team breakaway competition

Manchester City fans protested their club's involvement in the 12-team breakaway competition

Manchester City fans protested their club’s involvement in the 12-team breakaway competition

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with representatives from the Football Association, the Premier League and football fan groups this morning to discuss action against the proposed European Super League.

Johnson, alongside Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, reiterated his unwavering support for the football authorities and confirmed they have the government’s full backing to take whatever action necessary to put a stop to these plans.

The Prime Minister continued to express his full support to prevent a closed shop and said that they are exploring all options, including the introduction of laws to stop it going through.   

Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt suggested overnight, following a wave of criticism from supporters and senior Government figures, that two English teams were ‘wavering’ in their commitment to the breakaway. 

Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be the least committed of the six English teams and pressure is continuing to increase for them to make a statement of intent by walking away. 

Neville’s colleague, Jamie Carragher, insisted just one of the ‘Big Six’ dropping out would cause the Super League to collapse.

Speaking after Liverpool midfielder James Milner and manager Klopp came out against the idea following a 1-1 draw with Leeds, Carragher said: ‘We need the same response from everyone, we cannot afford this to die away, we need to ramp this up. We should take our hats off that they [Milner and Klopp] have been bold enough to say this.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting with football authorities and fan groups on Tuesday morning in which he explained the Government will explore legislative ways to prevent the European Super League being pulled off to create a closed shop for owners

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting with football authorities and fan groups on Tuesday morning in which he explained the Government will explore legislative ways to prevent the European Super League being pulled off to create a closed shop for owners

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting with football authorities and fan groups on Tuesday morning in which he explained the Government will explore legislative ways to prevent the European Super League being pulled off to create a closed shop for owners

‘More and more clubs have to do this. As soon as one drops out, the rest will fall. I am so much more confident it can be stopped that I was at 2pm or 3pm, listening to Klopp and looking at social media. 

‘If one goes, the rest will fall like a pack of cards, I have a spring in my step. A lot of it was hinging on Klopp’s interview, as soon as we saw it, it gives you confidence.’ 

Tweeting a follow-up on Tuesday morning, Carragher added: ‘I’m convinced if we all get together & forget our tribalism we can stop this. Keep banging the drum.’ 

Complications could arise, however, after Real Madrid president, and the chairman of the European Super League, Florentino Perez insisted the 12 clubs who signed up have agreed to a ‘binding’ contract that prevents them from reneging on their decision.

‘The contract of the Super League is binding. Nobody can leave, we will work all together,’ Perez told Spanish television show El Chiringuito on Monday night.  

Florentino Perez has claimed the European Super League contracts are 'binding' for clubs

Florentino Perez has claimed the European Super League contracts are 'binding' for clubs

Florentino Perez has claimed the European Super League contracts are ‘binding’ for clubs

Sportsmail's Oliver Holt said overnight that two English teams 'are close to losing their nerve'

Sportsmail's Oliver Holt said overnight that two English teams 'are close to losing their nerve'

Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt said overnight that two English teams ‘are close to losing their nerve’

Sky Sports' Gary Neville feels Manchester City will be the first English side to walk away

Sky Sports' Gary Neville feels Manchester City will be the first English side to walk away

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville feels Manchester City will be the first English side to walk away

Chelsea fans are expected to make their feelings known by protesting their involvement in the Super League prior to the Blues' Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday night

Chelsea fans are expected to make their feelings known by protesting their involvement in the Super League prior to the Blues' Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday night

Chelsea fans are expected to make their feelings known by protesting their involvement in the Super League prior to the Blues’ Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday night

‘All the clubs signed the contracts last Saturday, there’s no problem,’ he added, when asked about potential for backtrack amid the criticism. 

Manchester City fans made the feelings known on Monday night as they produced banners outside the Etihad Stadium to protest their involvement in the new competition.

‘RIP MCFC’, one read, while another called on owner Sheikh Mansour to ‘sort it out’ and pull them out of the Super League.

Musician Liam Gallagher, who is a vocal and prominent Man City fan, tweeted: ‘C’mon MCFC do the rite thing f*** it off we’re better than this as we were.’

Chelsea fans are expected to produce a similar show of unity with banners of their own outside Stamford Bridge tonight ahead of their Premier League match against Brighton.  

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes one English team pulling out of their agreement for the European Super League would cause the breakaway league to 'collapse'

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes one English team pulling out of their agreement for the European Super League would cause the breakaway league to 'collapse'

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes one English team pulling out of their agreement for the European Super League would cause the breakaway league to ‘collapse’

The issue of the potential for Europe’s elite to produce a closed-shop competition without relegation for the founding members was discussed by UK Government.

In the House of Commons on Monday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that in the first instance it would be for the football authorities to prevent the English clubs from going ahead with the Super League.

But, amid condemnation of the proposal from across the political spectrum, he said that if they were unable to do so, the Government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the national game.

Dowden said they were examining every option ‘from governance to competition law to mechanisms that allow football to take place’.

The Prime Minister promised football fans furious at the proposals that he will do everything possible to give what he described as the ‘ludicrous’ European Super League a ‘straight red’. 

Portuguese newspaper A Bola ran a damning front page calling out 'The Dirty 12' - the clubs who have formed the breakaway European Super League

Portuguese newspaper A Bola ran a damning front page calling out 'The Dirty 12' - the clubs who have formed the breakaway European Super League

Diario AS in Spain showed off a football pitch split in two to show the damage a Super League is ripping through football

Diario AS in Spain showed off a football pitch split in two to show the damage a Super League is ripping through football

Europe’s newspapers reacted unanimously in anger at plans for a European Super League with Portuguese newspaper A Bola condemning ‘The Dirty 12’ who are breaking away; Diario AS in Spain showed off a football pitch split in two to show the damage of a Super League forming

 

Liverpool are CENSORING Super League criticism: Jurgen Klopp’s comments criticising the Dirty Dozen’s plot are EXCLUDED from club’s press conference transcript… and Reds CANCEL today’s ‘address to all staff’

Premier League champions Liverpool appear to be ignoring both criticism aimed at them and any mention of their role in the highly controversial European Super League.

The Reds and the rest of the so-called Big Six of the Premier League have faced a furious backlash after the unveiling of proposals for a breakaway tournament on Sunday. 

There were protests outside grounds around the country on Monday at the scheme put forward by Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham together with six leading Spanish and Italian clubs.

Jurgen Klopp is said to be 'furious' with Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group over their role in a controversial breakaway European Super League

Jurgen Klopp is said to be 'furious' with Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group over their role in a controversial breakaway European Super League

Jurgen Klopp is said to be ‘furious’ with Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group over their role in a controversial breakaway European Super League

On Monday night, Klopp stood by his critical comments from 2019 regarding a Super League

On Monday night, Klopp stood by his critical comments from 2019 regarding a Super League

On Monday night, Klopp stood by his critical comments from 2019 regarding a Super League

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hit out at the plans by his owners both before and after Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Leeds, yet there is no mention of his comments on the subject on the club’s official website.

The German, who was critical of plans to break away in 2019 and has maintained that opinion, responded to questions on the subject in interviews  but his usual press conference transcript is notably missing his answers given to questions on the European Super League.

Speaking before kick-off at Elland Road, Klopp said: ‘My opinions didn’t change. I heard first time about it yesterday (Sunday) and when you try and prepare for a very difficult game like Leeds United and then so far we got some information, not a lot to be honest – most of the things you can read.

‘It’s a tough one people are not happy with that, I can understand that but I can’t say a lot about it to be honest.

‘We were not involved in any processes, me nor the players we didn’t know about it. We’ll have to wait and see how it develops.

Klopp said before the game he was against the Super League wanted by Liverpool's owners

Klopp said before the game he was against the Super League wanted by Liverpool's owners

Klopp said before the game he was against the Super League wanted by Liverpool’s owners

‘I’m 53 years old since I was first a professional, the Champions League was there. As a manager it was my aim to coach a team there. 

‘I like the Champions League, the competitive factor of football. I like the fact that West Ham might play Champions League next year. I don’t want them to because we want to do that. But they have a chance like that. 

‘What can I say: Liverpool is much more than some decisions and the most important things in football is the supporters and the teams and we have to make sure nothing comes between them.’

In his post-match press conference, Klopp added: ‘I have six years at the club. I know our owners, they are reasonable people, serious people.

‘They care about us, but they never have to explain this type of decision like or ask permission or whatever.

He is also said to be 'furious' that his side's preparations for Leeds were affected by the plans

He is also said to be 'furious' that his side's preparations for Leeds were affected by the plans

He is also said to be ‘furious’ that his side’s preparations for Leeds were affected by the plans

‘I speak a lot to them, but was not involved in the process, not at all. I got information yesterday (Sunday). Nobody knows what will happen. I don’t know anything about that. 

‘The team has nothing to do with it and I have, not really, anything to do with it, but people treat us like that. The Leeds supporters came here today, before the game they were shouting at us in the city this afternoon.

‘We have nothing to do with this. We are employees of the club and I feel responsible for a lot of things at this club.

‘When I am involved in things and I take the criticism easily, but my boys – I don’t think they have to take it as well.

‘We are not involved in this. So it’s a tough one at the moment. I will try to help and sort it somehow.’   

Liverpool owner John Henry is one of the brains behind the controversial Super League plans

Liverpool owner John Henry is one of the brains behind the controversial Super League plans

Liverpool owner John Henry is one of the brains behind the controversial Super League plans

James Milner, Liverpool’s stand-in captain on Monday night, added: ‘There are a lot of questions. I can only say my personal opinion, I don’t like it and I hope it doesn’t happen.’  

Yet the transcript of Klopp’s interview on Liverpool’s website shows his responses to three questions, two focused on the Leeds draw and the other looking forward to Saturday’s clash with Newcastle.

According to The Athletic, Klopp is ‘furious’ at the situation owners Fenway Sports Group have put him in and the lack of communication between the boardroom and manager’s office before the proposals were made public. 

The timing of the announcement has also angered the German, with Monday night’s game at Leeds a crucial fixture in Liverpool’s bid to finish in a Champions League spot.

Klopp revealed he had held a meeting with his team on Monday morning but, with little extra information available to them at the time, urged his players to ignore the noise and focus on the task at hand. 

The German is desperately wanting urgent talks with FSG in the coming days but said on Monday night that his future at Anfield is secure.

Leeds and Liverpool fans protested against the proposals before their game on Monday

Leeds and Liverpool fans protested against the proposals before their game on Monday

Leeds and Liverpool fans protested against the proposals before their game on Monday

He said: ‘I don’t run away when there are problems, I never did that.

‘When times get even tougher that makes me more determined to stay here. I feel responsible for the team, for the club and for the relationship we have with our fans.’

It comes after Liverpool news website This is Anfield reported that a staff meeting due to be held on Tuesday to discuss the proposals was cancelled not long after full-time of the Leeds game on Monday night. 

An email sent by chief executive Billy Hogan on Monday read: ‘We know that this announcement has provoked strong feelings within the game and elsewhere but we believe this decision is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool Football Club.

‘Importantly, this is the beginning of the journey and we can now start an engagement process with you, supporters and key stakeholders to help shape this process in the right way.

‘There is still much more information to come in due course.

‘I will keep you updated as we progress on this journey and discuss further on our Town Hall tomorrow.’  

 

The ‘greedy billionaires’ trying to tear the heart out of the beautiful game: Backers of new European breakaway league include Arsenal owner who married Wal-Mart billionaire, Liverpool’s Mr Moneyball and Manchester United’s Superbowl winner

By Danyal Hussain and Martin Robinson for MailOnline

The billionaire owners of England’s biggest football clubs have joined up with some of their European counterparts to create a new Super League that has sent shockwaves through the sport. 

The US sports moguls behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal: Joel Glazer, John W Henry and Stan Kroenke respectively, are key players in the plans. They have been backed by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City and Spurs, owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis, who lives in the Bahamas.

The European Super League plans also involve Spanish sides Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona and Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan. 

American investment bank JP Morgan, which included Jeffrey Epstein and Bernie Madoff as its clients, will give the clubs £4.3 billion in loans to get the competition started. 

Sponsors and investors are thought to have already been lined up by the bank to bring money into the league. 

Money seems to be the key driver of the new competition, with the club owners hailing from a range of ultra-wealthy backgrounds.  

Owner of Liverpool FC John W Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti. Henry is one of the billionaire backers behind the European Super League

Owner of Liverpool FC John W Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti. Henry is one of the billionaire backers behind the European Super League

Owner of Liverpool FC John W Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti. Henry is one of the billionaire backers behind the European Super League

John W Henry, owner of Liverpool 

John W Henry, the 71-year-old owner of Liverpool, has an estimated wealth of $2.7bn. Alongside Liverpool, the American financier and investor also owns baseball side Boston Red Sox and the Boston Globe newspaper.

His company, John W. Henry & Company, an investment management firm which he founded, also has stakes in Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR) and Minor League baseball team the Salem Red Sox.

Born to bean farmer parents in Quincy, Illinois, Henry started his venture into the world of finance by selling soybean assets known as ‘futures’. He has been married twice – to first wife Peggy Sue between 1993 and 2008. 

The tycoon’s second wife is Linda Pizzuti, who is 30 years younger than him. His courtship of her was leaked by publications in Boston in 2009, the year they got married.

Henry is a father of three, and has two daughters with his first wife, as well as a son with Pizzuti.

While learning his trade he tested a new type of trading technique which proved a success.

He is now worth an estimated $3billion. Henry made his money from hedge funds and his trading company before buying the Red Sox with his partner Tom Werner – the Liverpool chairman.

Under their control in 2004 the Red Sox won a first World Series in 86 years. They also ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a championship when they lifted the Premier League last season.

As of February 2021, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.8billion. 

In 2016, he splashed out an eye-watering £68million on a new 215-foot super-yacht which can reportedly accommodate 12 overnight guest in a master suite, three double cabins and two twins, and up to 17 crew in separate quarters.

Among the yacht’s most noteworthy features are an ornate fireplace in the main saloon, an infinity pool located aft of the main deck, an elevator, a spa center, a gym and a helipad located on the bow. 

Tom Werner, chairman of Liverpool, poses with Jurgen Klopp and John W Henry, Principal owner, with wife Linda Pizzuti

Tom Werner, chairman of Liverpool, poses with Jurgen Klopp and John W Henry, Principal owner, with wife Linda Pizzuti

Tom Werner, chairman of Liverpool, poses with Jurgen Klopp and John W Henry, Principal owner, with wife Linda Pizzuti

Henry is married to Linda Pizzuti, who is 30 years younger than him. His courtship of her was leaked by publications in Boston in 2009, the year they got married

Henry is married to Linda Pizzuti, who is 30 years younger than him. His courtship of her was leaked by publications in Boston in 2009, the year they got married

Henry is married to Linda Pizzuti, who is 30 years younger than him. His courtship of her was leaked by publications in Boston in 2009, the year they got married

Henry put his Florida mansion up for sale in 2018 for $25million before knocking off $10million a year later. 

Dubbed the ‘House of Peace’, he bought the six-acre plot in 1991 for $850,000 (£646,000) so stands to make an astonishing profit despite his price-cut. It is unclear if the mansion has been sold since.

The property, based in the Le Lac neighbourhood in Boca Raton and has seven bedrooms and 14.5 bathrooms across 27,832 square feet.

On the main level, there’s a foyer with a sweeping staircase and a two-story living room. Elsewhere, there is a home cinema, a sports bar, a library with cherry wood walls, a gym, a loft with card tables, an underground wine cellar and a recording studio.

There is also a swimming pool with cabana seating, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven, a clay tennis court and a pair of motor courts.

Henry was briefly portrayed in the 2011 film Moneyball, which follows Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his quest to build a winning team in 2002.

Beane turns down an offer from Henry to become the new GM of the Red Sox but the team goes on to win the 2004 World Series by implementing many of his ideas.  

Henry put his stunning Florida mansion up for sale in 2018 for $25 million before knocking off $10million a year later

Henry put his stunning Florida mansion up for sale in 2018 for $25 million before knocking off $10million a year later

Henry put his stunning Florida mansion up for sale in 2018 for $25 million before knocking off $10million a year later

Dubbed the 'House of Peace', he bought the six-acre plot in 1991 for $850,000 (£646,000) so stands to make an astonishing profit despite his price-cut

Dubbed the 'House of Peace', he bought the six-acre plot in 1991 for $850,000 (£646,000) so stands to make an astonishing profit despite his price-cut

Dubbed the ‘House of Peace’, he bought the six-acre plot in 1991 for $850,000 (£646,000) so stands to make an astonishing profit despite his price-cut

It is unclear if the mansion has been sold since. The property, based in the Le Lac neighbourhood in Boca Raton and has seven bedrooms and 14.5 bathrooms across 27,832 square feet

It is unclear if the mansion has been sold since. The property, based in the Le Lac neighbourhood in Boca Raton and has seven bedrooms and 14.5 bathrooms across 27,832 square feet

It is unclear if the mansion has been sold since. The property, based in the Le Lac neighbourhood in Boca Raton and has seven bedrooms and 14.5 bathrooms across 27,832 square feet

In 2016, he splashed out an eye-watering £68 million on a new 215-foot super-yacht which can reportedly accommodate 12 overnight guest in a master suite, three double cabins and two twins, and up to 17 crew in separate quarters

In 2016, he splashed out an eye-watering £68 million on a new 215-foot super-yacht which can reportedly accommodate 12 overnight guest in a master suite, three double cabins and two twins, and up to 17 crew in separate quarters

In 2016, he splashed out an eye-watering £68 million on a new 215-foot super-yacht which can reportedly accommodate 12 overnight guest in a master suite, three double cabins and two twins, and up to 17 crew in separate quarters

In one email sent to her after watching a Boston Celtics NBA match, he wrote: ‘A brief encounter-and-a-half with you gave a cool spin to this little blue planet from my vantage point.

Henry was married to his second wife Peggy Sue Henry for 15 years, between 1993 and 2008. The pair have two daughters together

Henry was married to his second wife Peggy Sue Henry for 15 years, between 1993 and 2008. The pair have two daughters together

Henry was married to his second wife Peggy Sue Henry for 15 years, between 1993 and 2008. The pair have two daughters together

‘I barely know you. I don’t have any illusions about capturing your heart. It’s the small things that ultimately matter. The subtle things. I am honest. I don’t play games.

‘And I see no reason not to say that I’ve been smitten by you and you’ve done me a great service. You’ve very innocently made my world brighter, better, lighter and warmer.’ 

Pizzuti, the daughter of two Italian migrants, has a Masters degree in real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she graduated from at the age of 26.

She served as the managing director of the Boston Globe for seven years before being appointed chief executive officer of Boston Globe Media Partners last year.  

Henry has been married three times, firstly to Mai Henry, though little is known about their relationship.

He was married to his second wife Peggy Sue Henry for 15 years, between 1993 and 2008. The pair have two daughters together.  Henry and his current wife Puzzti have one son together. 

Stan Kroenke, owner of Arsenal 

Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and took complete control three years ago.

The billionaire, 73, also owns NFL team LA Rams, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Rapids from the MLS.

He also has the Colorado Mammoth team in the National Lacrosse League and, since 2017 has been involved in esports, owning teams in leagues for the video games Overwatch and Call of Duty. 

From comparatively humble beginnings, his father was the owner of Mora Lumber Company in Mora, Missouri. Stan is said to have worked sweeping floors for his father from a young age, before helping with the bookkeeping aged 10.

However, it was his marriage which propelled him to riches. Ann Walton, who he married in 1974, is the daughter of Walmart co-founder James Bud Walton and was heir to his vast fortune. 

The couple have four children, including son Josh, 40, who is president of the Denver Nuggets basketball team. Daughter Whitney, 43, is a film producer and philanthropist. Kroenke has another son, named Brett, as well as a daughter named Katie. 

He founded the Kroenke Group in 1983, a real estate development firm that specialised in building shopping centres – many near Walmart stores.

When his father-in-law Bud Walton died in 1995, Kroenke inherited a stake in Walmart Stores Inc, which was worth $4.8billion as of September 2015. Kroenke is thought to be worth £7billion.

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke (left) has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and took complete control three years ago

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke (left) has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and took complete control three years ago

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke (left) has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and took complete control three years ago

The couple have at least two children together, Josh and Whitney Ann. His son Josh is president and governor of the Denver Nuggets basketball franchise, President and Governor of the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey franchise, and Alternate Governor for the Colorado Rapids soccer franchise. The company also co-owns Elitch Gardens Theme Park.  

In 2013, he was appointed by his father to the board of Arsenal as a non-executive director.  Daughter Whitney is a film producer, and philanthropist. 

Kronke’s career in sports team management has not been without controversy. He got around NFL rules preventing the ownership of other sports teams by having the Avalanche and Nuggets in his wife’s name – much to the anger of his rival owners.  

News of the Super League enraged fans of Arsenal – but it is not the first time Kroenke has drawn the anger of the supporters of his teams. 

In 2015, he moved his Rams American Football team from St Louis, where it had been based since 1994, to California. The relocation drew anger from fans and even led to a lawsuit against the team and Kroenke from the city of St Louis.

Ann Walton Kroenke (second left) is the heiress to the Walmart empire and the wife of Arsenal football club owner Stan Kroenke

Ann Walton Kroenke (second left) is the heiress to the Walmart empire and the wife of Arsenal football club owner Stan Kroenke

Ann Walton Kroenke (second left) is the heiress to the Walmart empire and the wife of Arsenal football club owner Stan Kroenke

Kroenke's house in Columbia, Missouri. Away from sport, Kroenke is a major landowner, with nearly 1.4 million acres of ranches across the U.S. and Canada

Kroenke's house in Columbia, Missouri. Away from sport, Kroenke is a major landowner, with nearly 1.4 million acres of ranches across the U.S. and Canada

Kroenke’s house in Columbia, Missouri. Away from sport, Kroenke is a major landowner, with nearly 1.4 million acres of ranches across the U.S. and Canada

His relationship with Arsenal fans has also been a stormy one, with supporters of the North London club accusing him of ignoring the club by not investing money into it. Frequent protests have been carried out against him and fans have accused him of lacking ambition for a team once considered the best in the country. 

Despite his involvement in sports watched by millions Kroenke prefers to avoid the spotlight and has the nickname ‘Silent Stan.’  

Away from sport, Kroenke is a major landowner, with nearly 1.4 million acres of ranches across the U.S. and Canada.

Kroenke also owns around 30 million square feet of real estate, with much of it in the form of shopping plazas near Walmart stores.  

In 2016, he bought a ranch of 520,000 acres in Texas, worth £520 million, which helped make him one of the top ten landowners in the US. 

In 2017, he was slammed for launching an outdoor sports TV channel in the UK, which scheduled regular bloodsports and hunting programs, including the killing of elephants, lions, and other endangered African species.  

Joel Glazer and the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United 

Florida-based Joel Glazer, 50, is part of the family who have controlled Manchester United since 2005, when it was bought by the now late businessman Martin Glazer.

The family also own the NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – the recent Super Bowl Champions.

United have not won the Premier League since 2013 but during Glazer’s tenure have lifted 12 major prizes and, according to Deloitte, in 2021 are the world’s fourth richest club behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich with revenue of $580m.

The Glazers’ money comes from their sporting empires and real estate across the US. They bought the Buccaneers for $192m in 1995 and it is now worth $3.1billion. Joel is married to Angela, and the couple are parents to a son and daughter named Dylan and Zoey. 

The team, led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady, beat the New England Patriots in the most recent Super Bowl.

Likewise they took charge of United, according to Forbes, for $1.4bn with the club reported to be worth more than $3bn.

The family owns First Allied Corporation, an American real-estate holding company that owns and rents out shopping malls across the United States. The company owns over 6.7 million square feet of shopping center space across 20 states, including California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, New York and New Jersey.

Joel Glazer (left) with brothers Bryan (centre) and Avram (right), shortly after they took over Manchester United. Their father Malcolm Glazer died in 2014

Joel Glazer (left) with brothers Bryan (centre) and Avram (right), shortly after they took over Manchester United. Their father Malcolm Glazer died in 2014

Joel Glazer (left) with brothers Bryan (centre) and Avram (right), shortly after they took over Manchester United. Their father Malcolm Glazer died in 2014

Joel Glazer, Co-chairman of Manchester United, celebrates after Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL team his family owns, win the Super Bowl

Joel Glazer, Co-chairman of Manchester United, celebrates after Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL team his family owns, win the Super Bowl

Joel Glazer, Co-chairman of Manchester United, celebrates after Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL team his family owns, win the Super Bowl

Joel studied Interdisciplinary Studies at the American University in Washington D.C before taking the reigns of his father's company. He has a wife, Angela Glazer, as well as two daughters, Dylan and Zoey Glazer

Joel studied Interdisciplinary Studies at the American University in Washington D.C before taking the reigns of his father's company. He has a wife, Angela Glazer, as well as two daughters, Dylan and Zoey Glazer

Joel studied Interdisciplinary Studies at the American University in Washington D.C before taking the reigns of his father’s company. He has a wife, Angela Glazer, as well as two daughters, Dylan and Zoey Glazer

After Malcolm Glazer died in May 2014, his vast $4billion fortune was shared among his children, including Joel – who is now the executive co-chairman and director. 

Joel studied Interdisciplinary Studies at the American University in Washington D.C before taking the reigns of his father’s company. He has a wife, Angela Glazer, as well as two daughters, Dylan and Zoey Glazer. 

Siblings Bryan, Kevin, Darcie and Edward are all on the board of directors. Earlier this year it was reported that Avram Glazer had put his shares worth more than £70million up for sale and he is no longer listed as a board member. 

The Glazer family takeover was controversial with supporters who hit out at the debt the club would be forced to take on as part of the deal. 

The majority of the capital used by the Glazers to purchase Manchester United came in the form of loans, the majority of which were secured against the club’s assets, incurring interest payments of over £60 million per annum. 

The remainder came in the form of payment in kind loans, which were later sold to hedge funds. 

Net debt at the club is at over £450 million while the Glazer family have taken hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends over the years. 

Furious fans launched FC United of Manchester in 2005, which entered the North West Counties Football League and played in the sixth tier National League North from 2015 to 2019. 

Since 2005, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has been working on a way of returning ownership of the club to supporters.

The Glazers have seen frequent protests against their ownership of the club and in 2010, a group of wealthy Manchester United fans, dubbed the ‘Red Knights’, discussed a billion-pound takeover bid. 

However, the bid fell through when the Red Knights refused to meet the Glazers’ valuation of the club.

At his death in May 2014 at 85, Malcolm Glazer lived in a Palm Beach oceanfront house on the stretch of South Ocean Boulevard known to locals as Billionaires Row. 

With ties to Rochester, New York, the Glazers bought the house in 1989, and Linda Glazer still uses it as her primary residence, property records show. 

Roman Abramovich, Chelsea owner 

Roman Abramovich was seen as the original billionaire football owner when he arrived at Chelsea in 2003 and transformed the team from outside challengers to a Premier League giant. 

Since he took ownership of the club and invested heavily in big-name managers and players, they have won 16 major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Believed to be worth around $15billion, according to Forbes, Abramovich also owns stakes in steel company Evraz and Norilsk Nickel – a Russian mining company.

A political figure in his homeland, he was governor of the Chukotka region and donated more than $2million to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova attend the Preview of the Spring Exhibition Season at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art on March 9, 2017 in Moscow. She was the Chelsea owner's third wife

Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova attend the Preview of the Spring Exhibition Season at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art on March 9, 2017 in Moscow. She was the Chelsea owner's third wife

Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova attend the Preview of the Spring Exhibition Season at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art on March 9, 2017 in Moscow. She was the Chelsea owner’s third wife

In October 1991, he married a former Russian Aeroflot stewardess, Irina Malandina. They have five children, Ilya, Arina, Sofia, Arkadiy and Anna

In October 1991, he married a former Russian Aeroflot stewardess, Irina Malandina. They have five children, Ilya, Arina, Sofia, Arkadiy and Anna

In October 1991, he married a former Russian Aeroflot stewardess, Irina Malandina. They have five children, Ilya, Arina, Sofia, Arkadiy and Anna

Roman Abramovic and his then-girlfriend Daria Dasha Zhukova in Portofino in 2013. The two would later marry before getting divorced

Roman Abramovic and his then-girlfriend Daria Dasha Zhukova in Portofino in 2013. The two would later marry before getting divorced

Roman Abramovic and his then-girlfriend Daria Dasha Zhukova in Portofino in 2013. The two would later marry before getting divorced

The 53-year-old Russian-Israeli businessman is known to have close relationships with former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and current president Vladimir Putin.

In fact, it is believed that Abramovich was the first person to recommend Putin for president. 

According to Forbes, Abramovich’s net worth was $12.9billion in 2019, which makes him the richest person in Israel, 10th-richest in Russia, and the 113th richest in the world. 

His British property empire is worth more than £200million and includes a 15-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens that is believed to be now worth £125 million.

The portfolio includes a flat in Cheyne Terrace, Chelsea, which was purchased for £8.75million in 2017 and includes a high-tech temperature-controlled wine cellar. 

It is close to three other properties that overlook the Thames, bought for £25million, that he had once intended to knock together and turn into a £100million super-home.

However Abramovich, who made his money selling assets acquired from the state following the fall of the Soviet Union, scrapped the plan and sold up after he relented to local uproar.

Abramovich became an Israeli citizen in 2018 after his British visa expired and reportedly owns most of the properties through a holding company called Fordstam

And land registry records show that since the expiration of his visa he transferred 11 properties to the business.

The empire also includes a £22million three-storey penthouse, bought in 2018, at the Chelsea Waterfront which was completed after his visa expired and the purchase was made in his name.

Meanwhile the Kensington mansion, which cost a staggering £90million, is part of what is known as ‘billionaire’s row’.

The Russian billionaire, 54, reportedly boasts a British property empire that includes a 15-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens (pictured) that is believed to be now worth £125 million

The Russian billionaire, 54, reportedly boasts a British property empire that includes a 15-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens (pictured) that is believed to be now worth £125 million

The Russian billionaire, 54, reportedly boasts a British property empire that includes a 15-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens (pictured) that is believed to be now worth £125 million

The empire also includes a £22million three-storey penthouse at the Chelsea Waterfront (pictured) which was completed after his visa expired and was made in his name

The empire also includes a £22million three-storey penthouse at the Chelsea Waterfront (pictured) which was completed after his visa expired and was made in his name

The empire also includes a £22million three-storey penthouse at the Chelsea Waterfront (pictured) which was completed after his visa expired and was made in his name

The desirable postcode is also home to steel magnate Lakshmi Mitta and billionaire business magnate Wang Jianlin. 

Abramovich has become the world’s greatest spender on luxury yachts, and maintains a fleet of yachts dubbed ‘Abramovich’s Navy’.

His 162.5m yacht, named ‘Eclipse’, is one of the many stunning gems within his fortune. It can accomodate 36 guests in 18 cabins and boasts a cinema, conference facilities, children’s playroom, beauty salon, dance floor, two swimming pools, sauna and even a missile defence system.

Abramovich has begun building a ‘megamansion’ in New York, having purchased four Upper East Side townhouses in Manhattan for $74 million. The combined property will be 19,400 square feet, and it is estimated that renovation costs will be an additional $100 million.

Russia’s most prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, 44, has called for the freezing of the Chelsea football club owner’s assets over his poisoning and arrest. 

Abramovich has been married and divorced three times. In December 1987, following a brief stint in the Soviet Army, he married Olga Yurevna Lysova. They divorced in 1990. 

In October 1991, he married a former Russian Aeroflot stewardess, Irina Malandina. They have five children, Ilya, Arina, Sofia, Arkadiy and Anna. Abramovich married Dasha Zhukova, daughter of a prominent Russian oligarch, Alexander Zhukov in 2008, and they have two children, a son, Aaron Alexander, and a daughter, Leah Lou. 

In August 2017, the couple announced that they would separate and their divorce was finalised in 2018 

Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City 

The money arrived at Manchester City in 2008 and with Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, pulling the purse strings, they never looked back.

Cash was quickly pumped into every area – academy, training ground, playing staff, coaching – and City quickly caught up with, and overtook their neighbours and rivals Manchester United.

They have won four Premier Leagues in that time, look set for a fifth this season and are in the semi-final of the Champions League.

Manchester city owner Sheikh Mansour

Manchester city owner Sheikh Mansour

Manchester city owner Sheikh Mansour

Manchester city owner Sheikh Mansour

Manchester city owner Sheikh Mansour is thought to be another key player in the European Super League proposal

Sheikh Mansour built a lavish palace and compound on the highest spot of the Seychelles, La Misere, main island, on the site of a former US tracking station

Sheikh Mansour built a lavish palace and compound on the highest spot of the Seychelles, La Misere, main island, on the site of a former US tracking station

Sheikh Mansour built a lavish palace and compound on the highest spot of the Seychelles, La Misere, main island, on the site of a former US tracking station

Sheikh Mansour is thought to own Ascot Place, a Grade II-listed 18th century pile at Winkfield, Berks, on the edge of Windsor Great Park

Sheikh Mansour is thought to own Ascot Place, a Grade II-listed 18th century pile at Winkfield, Berks, on the edge of Windsor Great Park

Sheikh Mansour is thought to own Ascot Place, a Grade II-listed 18th century pile at Winkfield, Berks, on the edge of Windsor Great Park

The High Court heard that the Sheikh's assets have included about 140 properties in the most affluent areas of London, including Mayfair, Marylebone, Knightsbridge and Kensington (pictured is one of the properties he owns in Kensington)

The High Court heard that the Sheikh's assets have included about 140 properties in the most affluent areas of London, including Mayfair, Marylebone, Knightsbridge and Kensington (pictured is one of the properties he owns in Kensington)

The High Court heard that the Sheikh’s assets have included about 140 properties in the most affluent areas of London, including Mayfair, Marylebone, Knightsbridge and Kensington (pictured is one of the properties he owns in Kensington)

The Sheikh's royal yacht, though such is the scale of the Azzam that calling it a yacht barely does it justice. At 590ft it is the largest private ocean-going yacht in the world

The Sheikh's royal yacht, though such is the scale of the Azzam that calling it a yacht barely does it justice. At 590ft it is the largest private ocean-going yacht in the world

The Sheikh’s royal yacht, though such is the scale of the Azzam that calling it a yacht barely does it justice. At 590ft it is the largest private ocean-going yacht in the world

The Abu Dhabi group is the majority owner of the City Football Group which boasts Man City as their flagship team. They also have stakes in teams in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China, Belgium and France.

Sheikh Mansour, 50, is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, minister of presidential affairs and member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi. He is the half brother of the current President of UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Mansour also owns stakes in a number of business ventures, including Virgin Galactic and Sky News Arabia. Mansour is the owner of the yacht Topaz, which is worth around £400 million. 

He gave control of Manchester City over to Khaldoon Al Mubarak, 46, one of the royal family’s most trusted advisers. 

Khaldoon’s father was the former UAE diplomat and ambassador to France, Khalifa Ahmed Abdulaziz Al-Mubarak, who was assassinated in Paris in 1984. 

Manchester City has faced widespread condemnation for its Abu Dhabi backing. Though the club has denied being funded by the UAE government directly, Sheikh Mansour retains control of the club. 

A 2017-18 report Amnesty condemned the UAE for unfair trials, lack of freedom of expression, a failure to investigate allegations of torture, discrimination against women and the abuse of migrant workers. 

JOE LEWIS, OWNER OF TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 

Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, 84, is worth around £4billion, according to last year’s Times Rich List.

Born in London he entered the family catering business at 15 but in the 1980s moved into currency trading. He is the major investor in Tavistock Group which owns more than 200 companies in 15 countries.

The group formerly owned stakes in Scottish football team Rangers and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.

Lewis lives in the Bahamas as a tax exile. Lewis is also the largest shareholder in the British pub group Mitchells & Butlers.

He has a variety of other investments, including luxury club resorts, restaurants, hotels and an Australian agriculture firm.

Lewis also owns the Lake Nona development near Orlando, one of the fastest growing communities in the USA.

The Tottenham owner’s art collection is estimated to be worth $1 billion and includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Lucian Freud, and sculptor Henry Moore.

Lewis bought Francis Bacon’s Triptych 1974–1977 in 2008 for £26.3 million, then a record for postwar artwork bought in Europe.

In November 2018 Lewis sold his ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’ by David Hockney in Christie’s salesroom for $90.3 million. 

Tottenham owner Joe Lewis (left) watched his team play. He is worth around £4billion, according to last year's Times Rich List

Tottenham owner Joe Lewis (left) watched his team play. He is worth around £4billion, according to last year's Times Rich List

Tottenham owner Joe Lewis (left) watched his team play. He is worth around £4billion, according to last year’s Times Rich List

Aviva, a luxury yacht belonging to billionaire Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, is pictured moored by Butler's Wharf in London

Aviva, a luxury yacht belonging to billionaire Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, is pictured moored by Butler's Wharf in London

Aviva, a luxury yacht belonging to billionaire Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, is pictured moored by Butler’s Wharf in London

JP Morgan, US firm bankrolling the super league 

JP Morgan was among the group of big American investment banks blamed for triggering the financial crisis just over a decade ago – and was eventually ordered to pay a then-record $13 billion fine – about £10 billion – in 2013 for misleading investors in the years leading up to the meltdown.

Coincidentally, 2013 was also the year the bank finally parted company with one of its most notorious clients, paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Bank insiders have claimed that concerns were raised about Epstein – a friend of Prince Andrew – after the financier was charged with sex crimes and pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008. Yet he remained a JP Morgan client for another five years. 

One theory of why the disgraced American – who died in jail last year – was kept on in the face of increasingly lurid allegations was his value to JP Morgan.

Epstein is said to have arranged business introductions for one of his contacts at the bank, Jes Staley, the head of private banking who would later become chief executive of Barclays bank in Britain.

US Investment bank JP Morgan has loaned the clubs involved in the super league £4.3 billion to get it underway as soon as possible

US Investment bank JP Morgan has loaned the clubs involved in the super league £4.3 billion to get it underway as soon as possible

US Investment bank JP Morgan has loaned the clubs involved in the super league £4.3 billion to get it underway as soon as possible

The Mail on Sunday revealed in 2015 that Epstein lobbied for Staley to secure the top job at Barclays after 34 years at JP Morgan. 

Staley has said he had no knowledge of Epstein’s illegal activities and Barclays has denied its directors were approached by Epstein.

Among JP Morgan’s other notable former clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraudster behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

According to court documents made public in 2011, senior JP Morgan executives had started to doubt the legitimacy of Madoff’s investment activities but continued to do business with him.

JP Morgan eventually paid a $2.5 billion fine for failing for two decades to report Madoff’s suspicious dealings. He was jailed for stealing from wealthy investors – including a number of celebrities – over more than 20 years. Losses from the scheme are said to have hit $17 billion.

In 2013 the bank finally parted company with one of its most notorious clients, paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein (pictured)

In 2013 the bank finally parted company with one of its most notorious clients, paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein (pictured)

In 2013 the bank finally parted company with one of its most notorious clients, paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein (pictured)

JP Morgan admitted it could have done a better job of handling concerns about Madoff’s activities but said no employee knowingly assisted with the fraud.

At the helm of the bank through the good times and the bad has been highly regarded chief executive Jamie Dimon.

Since taking the top job in 2005 he has become known as The King of Wall Street, raking in $298.8 million in pay and perks.

The 63-year-old became the best-paid banking chief for a fifth year in a row by scooping more than £24 million.

He is credited with steering JP Morgan through the financial crisis to become the most profitable bank in the US today.

Nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ at private school in New York – ostensibly for his prowess on the sports field – he has an MBA from Harvard, where he met his wife, Judy.

They married in 1983 and have three grown-up daughters – Julia, Laura and Kara.

It’s fair to say Dimon hasn’t struggled to find ways to spend the wealth he has accrued since his university days. As well as a home on Park Avenue, one of New York’s most prestigious addresses, he and Judy escape in the summer months to their 34-acre country home about an hour’s drive north from central Manhattan.

The 9,600 sq ft 1930s mansion nestles in woodland near the town of Bedford, where other wealthy homeowners include former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor Michael Douglas. Dimon bought the summer retreat in 2007 for a reported $17 million.

His style of management is said to be fierce. It has been claimed he likes to punch the air when he raises his voice to berate staff and carries a crumpled piece of paper containing the names of ‘the people who owe me stuff’.

His tight grip on JP Morgan has not stopped the bank coughing up more than $31 billion in regulatory fines since the 2008 crisis for offences ranging from manipulating energy markets to accusations of racial discrimination.

Among JP Morgan’s other notable former clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraudster behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history

Among JP Morgan’s other notable former clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraudster behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history

Among JP Morgan’s other notable former clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraudster behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history

In January 2017, JP Morgan agreed a $55 million settlement over allegations that it charged black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers higher rates than its white customers.

It denied the accusations, made by the US Justice Department, but agreed to settle.

JP Morgan has also issued a grovelling apology and paid millions of dollars in reparations for historic links to the slave trade.

In 2005, it admitted that two Louisiana banks that were later absorbed into the company once held 13,000 slaves as collateral and owned 1,250 slaves.

JP Morgan’s London office reported a $2billion trading loss in 2012 that was traced to big bets taken by a group of traders led by Bruno Iksil, known as the London Whale. 

Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid 

Unlike many of their European rivals, reigning LaLiga champions Real Madrid are still fan-owned with around 90,000 fan investors, known as Socios, owning stakes.

Current president Florentino Perez made his fortune in civil engineering and construction and will be the first chairman of the European Super League. 

Current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez made his fortune in civil engineering and construction and will be the first chairman of the European Super League

Current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez made his fortune in civil engineering and construction and will be the first chairman of the European Super League

Current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez made his fortune in civil engineering and construction and will be the first chairman of the European Super League

A former politician, Perez’s background has been the vice-president of Grupo ACS since the company was formed in 1997, and is also the majority owner with 12.8 per cent of the shares in his name.

Perez actually failed in his first attempt to take control of operations in Madrid, failing with a presidential bid in 1995 as he lost to Ramon Mendoza, who would soon depart.

Come 2000, Perez sought to take advantage of Real’s poor financial standing and promised a series of world class signings – including Barcelona’s Luis Figo – during his campaign.

He scooped 94.2 per cent of the vote and then delivered on his promise by acquiring Figo from their greatest rival for a then world record fee. 

Real are worth $3.6 billion according to Forbes, with Perez’s worth standing at $2 billion (£1.53m) 

Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus 

Juventus have been majority-owned, almost continuously, by the Agnelli family since 1923. 

The family own around two thirds of the Turin team, with US fund manager Lindsell Train owning around 11 per cent and the rest owned by other investors in the stock market-listed business.

In February, Juventus said it had suffered a loss of 113.7million euros (£98million) and expected to lose more money in the second half of the season amid coronavirus restrictions.

The club’s share price jumped by more than 14 per cent on Monday morning as investors welcomed news of the Super League.

The Agnelli family are descendants of Italian royalty and own the Fiat conglomerate with several car brands including Ferrari under their control. 

Juventus have been majority-owned, almost continuously, by the Agnelli family since 1923. The family own around two thirds of the Turin team, with US fund manager Lindsell Train owning around 11 per cent

Juventus have been majority-owned, almost continuously, by the Agnelli family since 1923. The family own around two thirds of the Turin team, with US fund manager Lindsell Train owning around 11 per cent

Juventus have been majority-owned, almost continuously, by the Agnelli family since 1923. The family own around two thirds of the Turin team, with US fund manager Lindsell Train owning around 11 per cent

The family has sometimes been described in the English-speaking world as ‘the Kennedys of Italy’ for their role in the country’s contemporary history and their activity of patronage in modern art and in sports.

As of 2020, the extended Agnelli family comprised about two hundred members.

Most members of the family are stakeholders in privately owned Giovanni Agnelli B.V., which in turn has a controlling stake in the publicly listed holding company Exor.

In 2019. Exor recorded revenues of $144 billion, making it the 28th largest group in the world by revenue. 

It has a history of investments running over a century, which notably include global reinsurer PartnerRe and the international newspaper The Economist, as well as their football and motor assets. 

Elliot Management, hedge fund owners of AC Milan 

Elliott Management, a $42billion hedge fund, has complete control of AC Milan after taking over the club in 2018 and has invested more than $600million.

Elliott has said it will invest another $1.2billion to finance a new stadium to replace the San Siro in a build which has placed further pressure on club finances.    

The firm has invested in eBay, AT&T, SoftBank, SAP and Twitter since 2019.

Elliott, founded by billionaire Paul Singer, was famous for buying and selling small companies and its track record gave Singer a reputation among CEOs and board members as the world’s most feared investor.

 Former AthenaHealth CEO Jonathan Bush, whose company was targeted by Elliott in 2017, described doing research on Elliott as ‘googling this thing on your arm and it says, ‘You’re going to die.’ 

The New Yorker called Singer a ‘doomsday investor,’ highlighting a series of unflattering tactics taken by his company.

In 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default, such as Argentina and Peru through his NML Capital Limited.

He did the same to the Republic of the Congo through Kensington International Inc.

Singer’s practice of purchasing debt from companies and sovereign states and pursuing full payment through the courts has led to criticism.

However, he described his tactic as ‘a fight against charlatans who refuse to play by the market’s rules’, and supporters of the practice have said it ‘help keep kleptocratic governments in check.’

In 2020 Singer ranked 222 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, 538 among the world’s billionaires, and the 19th highest earning hedge fund manager. 

Suning, the Chinese firm that owns Inter Milan 

City rivals Inter are in a far more uncertain position amid reports that Chinese owner Suning is in talks with private equity investors over a sale of the club.

In February, Suning confirmed that reigning Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC, which it also owns, would fold amid financial trouble.

Last month, it was reported that US fund Fortress was in talks over a takeover for Inter but no deal has yet been confirmed.

Confirmation that Inter would be included in any Super League could bump up the valuation of the Serie A club.

Suning is one of the largest non-government retailers in China.

The company has more than 1600 stores covering over 700 cities of China and Japan and its e-commerce platform, Suning.com ranks among top three Chinese B2C companies. 

The company works in categories that include physical merchandise, such as home appliances, 3C products, books, general merchandise, household commodities, cosmetics and baby care products, content products and service merchandise.

It was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2004.

Barcelona, fan owned

Barcelona are another of LaLiga’s four member-owned clubs, having been set up under the model in 1899. Over 144,000 fans pay membership every year and have shareholder votes on major decisions.

Last month, Joan Laporta was elected for a second spell as club president. 

Miguel Angel Gil Marin, majority owner of Athletico Madrid 

Atletico Madrid are majority-owned by Spanish millionaire Miguel Angel Gil Marin, who first became chief executive at the club in 1993 after investment from his father.

Mr Gil Marin, who made his from horse and bull breeding, currently owns a stake of around 52 per cent.

Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer owns around a third of the club after buying out Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group in 2018. 

 

The JP Morgan connection: Manchester United chief exec Ed Woodward worked for US bank hoping to turn £4.3billion loans into European super league TV rights windfall

Manchester United’s controversial chief executive Ed Woodward has been revealed as one of the main drivers of the new European Super League

The club is one of six of England’s biggest who have pledged to join the much derided breakaway league, which has been accused of threatening the soul of the game.

The league is being financed by JP Morgan, which will give the clubs £4.3 billion in loans as start-up.

Woodward, who was appointed chief executive of Manchester United in 2013, previously worked at the US investment bank in the mergers and acquisitions department before helping the Glazer family in its controversial takeover of the club in 2005.

The family were so impressed by him that they recruited him and they, together with Woodward and his old banking firm, are driving the new super league that has been widely condemned by outraged fans, players and politicians.  

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin branded Woodward a ‘snake’ in an explosive press conference about the new Super League today. 

Ed Woodward (far right) with the Glazer family, Manchester United's controversial owners

Ed Woodward (far right) with the Glazer family, Manchester United's controversial owners

Ed Woodward (far right) with the Glazer family, Manchester United’s controversial owners

Woodward was recruited from JP Morgan, the US investment firm bankrolling the new super league

Woodward was recruited from JP Morgan, the US investment firm bankrolling the new super league

Woodward was recruited from JP Morgan, the US investment firm bankrolling the new super league

He added that he ‘didn’t expect snakes in the grass so close to us’ in a remarkable discussion of the plans. 

Ceferin said Woodward had already signed Manchester United up for the Super League when he gave his support to Champions League reforms in a phone call last week.

‘I have seen many things in my life. I was a criminal lawyer. I have never seen people like that,’ said Ceferin. ‘If I start with Ed Woodward, he called me last Thursday evening saying he’s very satisfied with and fully supports the reforms and the only thing he wants to talk about was Financial Fair Play, when obviously he had already signed something else.’ 

Woodward stepped down from UEFA this afternoon after news of the super league emerged. 

It is sure to raise more pressure on a figure who is extremely unpopular with Manchester United fans. 

Woodward rose to his current role after the retirements of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill and has overseen a controversial tenure in the years since. 

In November, Woodward told supporters at a fans’ forum: ‘We are at the centre of discussions about European club competitions. What I can assure you of is that we will keep match-going fans firmly in the centre of thoughts.’

However, despite this promise, Woodward failed to mention the new super league in a meeting with fans on Friday, just days before news of the plans broke. 

Woodward has been blamed for the club’s under-performance in recent years, with fans rounding on him as the face of the Glazer family. 

A  group of furious Manchester United supporters launched fireworks and a smoke bomb at the under-fire chief executive’s £2million Cheshire mansion last year. 

A mob of around 20 balaclava-clad supporters – some who are understood to be members of United’s notorious ‘Men In Black’ hooligan firm – launched an attack on Woodward’s luxurious Cheshire mansion near Knutsford, in which he lives with his wife, Isabelle, and two very young twin daughters.

He is the highest-earning director in the league and raked in £3.09million in 2019-20.

Joel Glazer (left), Avram Glazer (left) and Bryan Glazer (centre), shortly after they took over Manchester United

Joel Glazer (left), Avram Glazer (left) and Bryan Glazer (centre), shortly after they took over Manchester United

Joel Glazer (left), Avram Glazer (left) and Bryan Glazer (centre), shortly after they took over Manchester United

Supporters hold posters opposing Manchester United's US owners the Glazer family

Supporters hold posters opposing Manchester United's US owners the Glazer family

Supporters hold posters opposing Manchester United’s US owners the Glazer family

Woodward has often won praise for his commercial success with United.

Under his command, the club have endorsed a wide range of products around the world, including soft drinks in Nigeria, nutritional supplements in Japan and mattresses in Asia. 

It has also endorsed watches, hair grooming companies and betting firms in a policy copied by many top-flight clubs. 

However, despite the commercial success, the team has struggled to win on the pitch, having not won the Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. 

This has led to accusations from fans that Woodward and the Glazers put too much emphasis on the money side of the game, an argument strengthened by United’s ballooning debt under the current ownership. 

Net debt at the club is at over £450 million while the Glazer family have taken hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends over the years. 

The intervening years have strengthened anger at the Glazer takeover after supporters hit out at the debt the club was forced to take on as part of the deal. 

Woodward has been blamed for the club's under-performance in recent years, with fans rounding on him as the face of the Glazer family

Woodward has been blamed for the club's under-performance in recent years, with fans rounding on him as the face of the Glazer family

Woodward has been blamed for the club’s under-performance in recent years, with fans rounding on him as the face of the Glazer family

The majority of the capital used by the Glazers to purchase Manchester United came in the form of loans, the majority of which were secured against the club’s assets, incurring interest payments of over £60 million per annum. 

The remainder came in the form of payment in kind loans, which were later sold to hedge funds.   

Furious fans launched F.C. United of Manchester in 2005, which entered the North West Counties Football League and played in the sixth tier National League North from 2015 to 2019. 

Since 2005, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has been working on a way of returning ownership of the club to supporters.

The Glazers have seen frequent protests against their ownership of the club and in 2010, a group of wealthy Manchester United fans, dubbed the ‘Red Knights’, discussed a billion-pound takeover bid. 

However, the bid fell through when the Red Knights refused to meet the Glazers’ valuation of the club.

News of the super league, and Woodward’s starring role in the proposals, is sure to anger more Manchester United supporters.  

The Financial Times reported that JP Morgan will charge an interest rate of 2% to 3% on the money it has lent to clubs.

Tim Bridge, a director at Deloitte, which produces an annual report on the finances of football, said the funding deal was ‘one of the biggest ever’ and ‘a pretty seismic shift.’

JPMorgan is America’s biggest bank, with assets of over $3 trillion. 

Its business covers everything from retail banking under its Chase brand to investment banking and corporate lending.

BT Sport savage plans for a European Super League but Sky REFUSE to comment on whether they are in talks to screen it – with Disney, and Facebook all rumoured to be involved in early talks

BT Sport have strongly condemned plans for a European Super League because it will have a ‘damaging effect’ on football – but Sky have refused to comment on the bombshell proposals.

Audacious plans for a new breakaway competition including 20 teams – 15 with a guaranteed place – battling it out midweek would be in direct opposition to existing UEFA tournaments, like the Champions League.

The bombshell proposals have been met with a wave of protest from football authorities, politicians, governments and fans with UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, describing them as a ‘spit in the face’ for football and those clubs involved as ‘snakes’.

BT Sport has made a strong statement criticising plans for the European Super League

BT Sport has made a strong statement criticising plans for the European Super League

BT Sport has made a strong statement criticising plans for the European Super League

But while there is a £3.03 billion investment fund secured via JP Morgan, and a team of lawyers in place to pursue the fledgling league’s interests through the courts, no broadcaster has been publicly linked to the controversial scheme.

BT Sport have firmly ruled themselves out, DAZN initially appeared to be a partner but then distanced themselves from the project and Sportsmail understands Amazon is not, and has not been involved.

According to the Financial Times, the Super League’s organisers are seeking £3.4 billion per year in revenue to screen the matches and it has held early talks with Facebook, Disney and Comcast-owned Sky, it’s claimed.

Sky has refused to comment on questions on the subject from Sportsmail and we are awaiting a response from Disney.. 

The figure is based on a sales pitch that offers 200 games-a-year between Europe’s top teams.

In a post on Twitter, BT said: ‘BT recognises the concerns raised by many of football’s leading voices and fans, and believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect to the long-term health of football in this country.

‘As a sport broadcaster showing Premier League, UEFA club football and National League football as well as being lead partner for all the Home Nations football teams, we strongly believe that football makes a significant positive contribution to people’s lives at every level, and this needs to be protected.’

Sky Sports has refused to comment in response to questions about the Super League

Sky Sports has refused to comment in response to questions about the Super League

Sky Sports has refused to comment in response to questions about the Super League

Yesterday, a report in Italy’s Corriere dello Sport claimed that sports streaming service DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, had been working on the formation of the league.

The Italian paper claimed the streamer was willing to pay $3.5BN for the TV rights to the European Super League, if it goes ahead.

However, in a statement to the website Deadline, DAZN firmly rejected the report: ‘In relation to a report by Corriere dello Sport today, this and related reports are false. Neither DAZN nor Mr. Blavatnik are in any way involved or interested in entering into discussions regarding the establishment of a Super League and no conversations have taken place.’

There is also the possibility that the so-called 15 ‘founder members’ of the Super League would seek to take control over at least some of the media rights themselves, in order to screen their own games.

Industry insiders have speculated this could be one use of the infrastructure investment secured, which will be worth up to £310 million per club.

Negotiations over the management of the Champions League are believed to have have centred on this and other rights issues in recent weeks as Ceferin sought to secure agreement from the European Clubs Association over changes to the competition format.

Ceferin was negotiating with the then European Club Association chairman, Andrea Agnelli. Agnelli, who is also the Juventus chairman, is now the vice president of the Super League.

‘The clubs could get control, it makes sense, as much as any of it makes sense,’ said one industry source.

Premier League’s 14 outcast clubs will hold EMERGENCY talks on Tuesday after the Big Six announced plans to join a European Super League… with Everton and Aston Villa among the sides FUMING with top-flight rivals 

The Premier League’s furious 14 outcasts will hold emergency talks on Tuesday to discuss their next move following the announcement of plans to launch a European Super League.

Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all given notice of their intention to be founding members of the controversial new league, effectively leaving the future of the Premier League under huge uncertainty.

And Sportsmail can reveal that the remaining clubs are due to hold crisis talks tomorrow to formulate a plan of action. 

The Premier League’s furious 14 outcasts will hold emergency talks on Tuesday (pictured: Leicester owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha)

The Premier League’s furious 14 outcasts will hold emergency talks on Tuesday (pictured: Leicester owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha)

Sportsmail can reveal that the remaining clubs are due to hold crisis talks tomorrow (pictured, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright)

Sportsmail can reveal that the remaining clubs are due to hold crisis talks tomorrow (pictured, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright)

The Premier League’s furious 14 outcasts will hold emergency talks on Tuesday (pictured: Leicester owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, left, and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, right)

Sportsmail can reveal that the remaining clubs are due to hold crisis talks tomorrow (pictured: Premier League chief executive Richard Masters)

Sportsmail can reveal that the remaining clubs are due to hold crisis talks tomorrow (pictured: Premier League chief executive Richard Masters)

Sportsmail can reveal that the remaining clubs are due to hold crisis talks tomorrow (pictured: Premier League chief executive Richard Masters) 

The meeting will provide all clubs with an opportunity to have their say on the news that has rocked English football to its core over the past 24 hours.

There are said to be varying degrees of anger amongst the 14 clubs who have been left in the lurch by the ‘big six’.

Those towards the upper reaches of the league – the likes of Everton and Aston Villa – are said to be fuming at the developments.

Both clubs have the budget and aspiration to break into European football – but there are now concerns about their appetite to fulfil those ambitions if UEFA competitions are devalued.

One source said: ‘Why would those clubs banging the door down to get into Europe continue to invest in the squad? What would be the point?’

The West Ham (pic, owners David Gold and David Sullivan) board will be present in the meeting

The West Ham (pic, owners David Gold and David Sullivan) board will be present in the meeting

The West Ham (pic, owners David Gold and David Sullivan) board will be present in the meeting

Aston Villa (pic, chief executive Christian Purslow) are said to be fuming at the developments

Aston Villa (pic, chief executive Christian Purslow) are said to be fuming at the developments

Aston Villa (pic, chief executive Christian Purslow) are said to be fuming at the developments

The news will have less impact on those towards the lower reaches of the Premier League, whose sole aim is to stay in top-flight every season.

However, there is a huge fear among all 14 clubs that the level of broadcasting cash that is pumped into the game from networks such as Sky and BT Sport will plummet if the breakaway league comes to fruition.

Broadcasting rights deals are worth millions of pounds to clubs but there is huge concern that TV companies will not be prepared to pay the level of money they are paying at the moment if the current format is changed.  

 

<!—->

Advertisement

 

European football is at war after 12 clubs signed up to a breakaway Super League. So is it REALLY going to happen? How will it work? When will it start? Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know on a move that could change the game forever 

So, what exactly is the European Super League? 

Well, let’s start with the simple opening paragraph of the statement that confirmed the news on Sunday night and sent shockwaves through the sport and well beyond.

‘Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.’ 

Those ‘Founding Clubs’ are, as mentioned above, led by the biggest six clubs in English football: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Add to that arguably the two biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid and Barcelona, and a third from Spain – Atletico Madrid. Then there’s Italy’s three giants: Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

But what about the rest of Europe’s big clubs?

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are understood to have rejected the idea, although the plan is to expand the league to 15 founding members, with a further five annual qualifiers – but no relegation for the big founding clubs, even if they finished bottom of the table. 

It is a rapidly changing situation, however, and nothing is certain yet. 

But if other giant Continental clubs want to be involved then they’d better sign up quick, because one thing’s for sure: if your name’s not down you’re not coming in. 

Sounds a bit like a snooty nightclub…

Yes, and the burly bouncer guarding the guest list is Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. The European Super League is his brainchild.

But the new league also represents an American takeover of elite European football, with Manchester United (the Glazer family), Liverpool (Fenway Sports Group, led by John W Henry) and Arsenal (Stan Kroenke) all controlled by US billionaires and venture capitalists.

One source described it as ‘a US-led operation’, adding: ‘This is down mostly to the Americans at Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal who have believed for a long time that they should be making a lot more money.

Then you have Tottenham, who have just built a big new stadium and who would no doubt benefit from infrastructure payments. Chelsea and Man City, who have been reluctant, do not really need the money but there is the obvious fear of missing out.’

What’s the reason for starting a new Super League when all these clubs already play in well-established competitions? 

Quite simply: greed. Or, as our Chief Sports Writer Martin Samuel puts it: ‘A sickening, self-serving attempted justification of what is at heart nothing but an attempted coup.’

Perez has long been jealous of the broadcasting revenue generated by the Premier League, the world’s most-watched competition, and he wants more money than the Spanish League – LaLiga – can offer. 

Major US bank JP Morgan, a former employer of Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, are debt financing the new league which will see founding clubs receive £3.03billion, which is set against future broadcast revenue. 

The breakaway, plotted by Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez, had received big backlash

The breakaway, plotted by Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez, had received big backlash

The breakaway, plotted by Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez, had received big backlash

But if the Premier League is so successful, why do the English clubs want in?

Quite simply: greed. Not content with the enormous revenue they already generate, these clubs want to have their cake and eat it: to rake it in from the Premier League while also milking even more money from a midweek European competition.

But there’s already a midweek European competition – the Champions League. What will happen to that?

Stripped of its biggest clubs, club football’s current elite competition would wither and die.  

UEFA, who were due to announce their own proposals for a revamped Champions League on Monday, reacted with fury to the news which had broken earlier on Sunday. 

UEFA’s Champions League is under serious threat of a breakaway league of the top teams

A statement, issued jointly with the three governing bodies and leagues involved, said: ‘If this were to happen, we 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.

‘FIFA and the six Federations announced that 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.’

Does that mean that these clubs could be banned from playing in the Premier League if this goes ahead? 

Yes. The Premier League – along with all the other big domestic leagues in Europe, plus the game’s governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA – will fight tooth and nail to stop their biggest clubs so shamelessly deserting the rest. 

And there was a warning in UEFA’s statement to players of these clubs too: if you play in the European Super League then you will not be allowed to play in the World Cup or European Championship.

What have the Premier League said?

A letter sent by Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to all 20 member clubs, was also strong and laced with warning to the Big Six. 

‘We do not and cannot support such a concept,’ he wrote. ‘Premier League Rules contain a commitment amongst clubs to remain within the football pyramid and forbid any clubs from entering competitions beyond those listed in Rule L9, without Premier League Board permission. I cannot envisage any scenario where such permission would be granted.’

Do these clubs need permission from the Premier League to play in the European Super League?

Yes. The Premier League was founded in 1992 on the basis that all clubs have an equal vote on the governance of the league, and a right to equal share of the basic broadcasting revenues. The Big Six do not, to say the least, like this one bit. They feel that they are responsible for generating the vast proportion of global interest – and revenues – in the Premier League so deserve a way to generate even more cash. 

Sounds like these big clubs can forget joining a European Super League then? 

They will be lobbying hard to get their way, have no doubt about that. Somehow they are brazenly trying to convince the rest of the Premier League and English football that the European Super League would benefit everyone.

In a rare public comment, United co-chairman Joel Glazer claimed that the closed shop would provide ‘increased financial support for the wider football pyramid’. 

Just like with Project Big Picture – their failed attempt at bribing the Football League with cash to bail them out during the crippling coronavirus pandemic to let the big Six take almost complete control of English football, this new competition is motivated solely by selfishness and greed.

Manchester United's American owners (L-R) Joel and Avram Glazer have backed the plans

Manchester United's American owners (L-R) Joel and Avram Glazer have backed the plans

Manchester United’s American owners (L-R) Joel and Avram Glazer have backed the plans

Liverpool owner John W Henry will act as one of the European Super League's vice-chairman

Liverpool owner John W Henry will act as one of the European Super League's vice-chairman

Liverpool owner John W Henry will act as one of the European Super League’s vice-chairman

Stan Kroenke, the owner of Arsenal, will be one of the vice-chairmen on the cynical project

Stan Kroenke, the owner of Arsenal, will be one of the vice-chairmen on the cynical project

Stan Kroenke, the owner of Arsenal, will be one of the vice-chairmen on the cynical project 

Is that what the experts think too? 

Just listen to Gary Neville, a Manchester United club legend and lifelong fan of the club.

‘It’s been damned, and rightly so,’ said Neville on Sky Sports. ‘I’m a Manchester United fan and I have been for 40 years of my life but I’m absolutely disgusted. I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool most.

‘Deduct them all points tomorrow, put them at the bottom of the league and take the money off them. Seriously, you have got to stamp on this. It’s criminal. It’s a criminal act against the football fans in this country, make no mistake.

‘There isn’t a football fan in this country that won’t be and shouldn’t be seething listening to this conversation and these announcements.’

Wow, that’s strong stuff. But is Neville alone?

Not at all. Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest manager in Manchester United and English football history – and still an executive at United – said that a European Super League would be a move away from 70 years of football history and insisted that the Champion League should stay as it is.

‘Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football,’ he told Reuters.

‘Everton are spending £500million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League. Fans all over love the competition as it is.

‘In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights.’

Pointedly, he added: ‘I am not part of the decision making process.’

Manchester United legend Gary Neville described the plans as an 'absolute disgrace'

Manchester United legend Gary Neville described the plans as an 'absolute disgrace'

Sir Alex Ferguson said the proposals would be a move away from '70 years of football history

Sir Alex Ferguson said the proposals would be a move away from '70 years of football history

Manchester United legend Gary Neville (left) described the plans as an ‘absolute disgrace’, while Sir Alex Ferguson said the proposals would be a move away from ’70 years of history’

Who else has spoken out?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night condemned the six English clubs. 

‘Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action,’ said Mr Johnson on Twitter.

‘They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country.

‘The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.’ 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said any major decisions about a European league ‘should have the fans’ backing’.

‘With many fans, we are concerned that this plan could create a closed shop at the very top of our national game,’ he said.

‘Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that undermines this is deeply troubling and damaging for football.’

PM Boris Johnson last night condemned six English premier league clubs who announced plans to join a European Super League

Boris Johnson announced his opposition to the announcement on his Twitter feed

Boris Johnson announced his opposition to the announcement on his Twitter feed

He said the clubs involved should listen to their fans before 'taking any further steps'

He said the clubs involved should listen to their fans before 'taking any further steps'

Boris Johnson announced his opposition to the announcement on his Twitter feed last night

And what are the fans saying?

Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: ‘Shocked & stunned by this new Super League of the ‘biggest & best’ teams in Europe. How the hell have Arsenal managed to blag our way in?’

He later continued: ‘If you proceed with this arrogant elitist shameful Super League nonsense – then you can stick my 4 season tickets up your Arsenal.’ 

Labour leader and Arsenal fan Sir Keir Starmer said the clubs reportedly involved ‘should rethink immediately’ and added that a non-domestic league ‘ignores’ supporters.

‘This proposal risks shutting the door on fans for good, reducing them to mere spectators and consumers,’ he said on Twitter.

 

Fans’ groups, including those linked to Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea, have voiced their opposition to the clubs joining a super league.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) put out a statement calling for club owners Enic to ‘distance themselves from any rebel group’.

What has been the reaction on social media?

The condemnation has been visceral and near universal – no mean feat on platforms that manage to divide society on nearly every issue.

‘Football supporters don’t agree on everything, but I think we can all agree that this idea of a European Super League can absolutely f**k off,’ @AnfieldRd96 wrote on Twitter.

@txmejackala added: ‘The European Super League literally epitomises what is wrong with this sport. We are seeing a vast amount of billionaires come into the sport and they want nothing, but power and control.

‘They do not care about the fans, they see them as customers and they take them for mugs.’

The readers’ comments on Sportsmail’s story revealing the plans for the European Super League were also full of anger

‘As a season ticket holder for 40 years at Man city, if they join the misnamed ‘super’ league, I will consider my days of paying to attend days as done,’ one reader said.

Another wrote: ‘I am a Liverpool season ticket holder. I cannot speak for anyone else but his is NOT what I want. I do NOT want to watch the same teams every week. We will be barred form European competition. We will be barred from the FA and League Cup. If this goes wrong we will NOT be welcomed back. We will be a football club without a league to play in. NO! NO! NO!’

Many, however, simply scoffed at the suggestion that Tottenham were one of the biggest 12 clubs in Europe. Football fans, eh?

The world seems united in opposition to the European Super League… so is there any way the Big Six could get their way? 

The nuclear option at their disposal would be to quit the Premier League entirely. But given the billions that the league generates, that would make no sense to club owners only interested in money.

If they somehow pulled it off, when would it all start?

The ‘Founder members’ announced on Sunday night their intention to start ‘as soon as practicable’. They are targeting s start as early as the 2022/23 season.

But given the inevitable multiple legal challenges that the proposed league would face – from UEFA, the Premier League, TV broadcasters who have shelled out billions to show existing competitions – this seems the stuff of pure fantasy.  

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 81 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply