PREMIER LEAGUE clubs have ridiculed rebooted “reverse Brexit” plans for a European Super League WITHOUT English teams.
Now the three rebels are using Madrid-based sports marketing firm A22 to rehash another version of the plan that would see up to 80 clubs leave Uefa to form a new competition.
But that would NOT include any Premier League clubs, with A22 using the success of English football as a justification for the new tournament.
Top-flight club bosses were scathing about the plans, while Spain’s LaLiga boss Javier Tebas posted a cartoon portraying the whole scheme as a fairytale, blasting: “Super League is the wolf who disguises himself as a granny.”
The European Court of Justice is expected to confirm within weeks that Uefa DOES have the right to ban rebel clubs and players if they try to form a new elite competition.
But A22 chief Bernd Reichart insisted: “The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing. It’s time for a change. It is the clubs that bear the entrepreneurial risk in football.
“But when important decisions are at stake, they are too often forced to sit idly by on the sidelines as the sporting and financial foundations crumble around them.”
However, the company backed a 12-club ESL proposal in 2021 that failed to materialise following furious protests against it.
And Prem club bosses last night accused the Super Leaguers of wanting to boot English teams OUT of Europe. One insider revealed: “This is a reverse Brexit.
“We are talking about a closed league that is trying to justify itself by pitting Europe against England.
“At the same time, they claim they want to emulate the Prem’s success. To say people are bemused is an understatement.”
A22 argued in meetings with 50-plus European clubs that the Prem’s wealth has already created an elite, pointing to the fact relegated Norwich earned more in domestic TV revenues last season than champions Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
But Tebas blasted: “Super League is the wolf who disguises himself as a granny to try to fool European football. But his nose and his teeth are very big.
“Four divisions in Europe? Of course, the first is just for them.”
The European Club Association, representing the 245 biggest teams in Europe, said: “We note the latest dispatch from A22’s alternative reality.
“However, in the real world, this rehashed idea has already been proposed, discussed and comprehensively rejected by all.
“This is just another deliberately distorted and misleading attempt to destabilise football’s real stakeholders in their efforts to move things forward in the best interests of the European club game.”
So when you thought it was safe to come out from behind the sofa — the Super League could be back.
But what’s it all about this time?
TELL US ABOUT THE LATEST PLAN
Super League bosses envisage between 60 and 80 clubs competing in three or four divisions every season.
It seems there is a version of promotion and relegation on offer with three up and three down.
Each club would play “a minimum of 14 matches” and the competition would be “based solely on sporting merit”.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT, THEN?
The original breakaway proposals in 2021 saw a 20-club elite, with 15 “founder members” including the Premier League Big Six.
One of the biggest criticisms was it created a self-selected, closed shop of wealthy and powerful clubs, providing a glass ceiling barrier to the rest of Europe.
Many think this is just a rebranded version of the same thing.
SO WHO IS DRIVING IT?
Real Madrid and Barcelona, through a Madrid-based company called A22, together with troubled Italian giants Juventus.
A22, who will not confirm the source of their funding, claim they have Europe-wide support.
They would, wouldn’t they?
AND THEIR PITCH?
Basically, that all the problems of European football are due to the power of the Premier League.
So this is a way of fighting back.
BUT IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY?
Yes. Although A22 cannot provide any details, other than a promise to split £350million per year to clubs left out of the new set-up.
The first plan saw the founders share £3bn up front and earn £130m minimum each season.
WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE TO THE DRAFT?
Universally damning, from the Prem and LaLiga — which depicted Super League as the Big Bad Wolf to the European game’s Little Red Riding Hood — as well as fan groups and the European Club Association.
ISN’T THE SUPER LEAGUE DEAD ALREADY?
Not yet. But it is on life support with the European Court of Justice expected to pronounce the final sentence of execution soon.
This looks like a desperate attempt to breathe life into a failed concept.
WILL IT WORK?
Who knows? Uefa is bullish it will have the power to sanction rebels.
Prem clubs, who can be hit by huge fines if they join any future breakaway, will be banned from joining by proposed new Government legislation.
Without English clubs, it is hard to see where the TV revenue comes from.