Supporters’ groups have joined forces to tell their clubs they do not support proposals to create a European super league, hatched by the European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA.
The plans would starve lower league clubs of funding, destroy domestic cup competitions, and prevent newly successful clubs from competing in Europe.
Qualification to Europe would be partly based on heritage, undermining sporting integrity as entry is guaranteed regardless of domestic performances.
Only nine clubs in England are members of the ECA and supporters’ groups from each have contacted their clubs outlining serious objections to the plans.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSF, said:
“These proposals are totally counter to the principles of sporting achievement, and the knock-on effects would be disastrous throughout the game.
“The plans could force lower league clubs to the edge of the abyss, destroy domestic cup competitions, and pull up the drawbridge on teams with no European pedigree.
“It doesn’t matter how big or small your club is – these proposals would be massively damaging throughout the football pyramid. We’ll do everything in our powers to oppose them.”
ECA and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli is reportedly responsible for the plans which would create a new format for club competitions from 2024-2025 onwards.
The number of European fixtures would increase dramatically with each club playing 14 games between September and December. Currently they play six.
Many games would take place on a weekend, pushing domestic league fixtures midweek and signalling the end of the League Cup. The FA Cup would primarily become a midweek competition.
Weekend slots generate the most TV revenue so the ECA and UEFA money grab would mean more going directly to Champions League clubs with dramatic consequences for the EFL.
Last season Championship clubs received £72.6m, League One clubs £16.3m, and League Two clubs £10.9m of Premier League TV income but this could dry up if the European super league elite horde more of that wealth.
Supporters’ groups across Europe will be at the forefront of the campaign to oppose the ECA’s plans and future campaign activities are planned for fans at all levels.
Letters have been / will be sent by supporter group from the ECA clubs: Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association, Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Blue Union (Everton), Leicester City Supporters’ Trust, Manchester City Supporters’ Club, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust, Spirit of Shankly (Liverpool), and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust.
You can see the full list of clubs who are ECA members here.
At a meeting of Premier League fan groups convened by the Football Supporters’ Federation in May 2019 there was unanimous opposition to the concept of a super league AND unanimous support for these six principles:
- Promotion and relegation based on sporting performance – from the bottom of the pyramid to qualification for Europe
- No to closed leagues or franchise football – qualify on results, not through history or heritage
- Weekends are for domestic leagues – protect fan culture, home and away. No live broadcasts on Saturdays at 3:00pm
- We want competitive leagues – no to even more concentration of wealth and on-going domination by a fixed few top clubs
- Domestic football comes first – protect the pyramid and cup competitions
- Share the wealth – the money from elite football should be shared across the whole game