AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have been announced as the founding clubs in the new European Super League.
No start date has been announced as of yet for the Super League, which has been condemned by UEFA, the European soccer governing body.
The Super League also announced that it is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season. Of those aforementioned 12 clubs, six are from the English Premier League, and three apiece from the Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga.
According to the Super League, this is the anticipated competition format:
♦ 20 participating clubs with 15 founding clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
♦ Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
♦ An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarterfinals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged playoff for the remaining quarterfinal positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.
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“By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid,” said Joel Glazer, co-owner of Manchester United and vice chairman of the Super League.
On Sunday, UEFA issued a scathing condemnation of plans for the breakaway European Super League.
“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we — UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations — 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,” UEFA said in a statement.
FIFA, the world’s governing body for soccer, expressed disapproval of the Super League.
“FIFA can only express its disapproval to a ‘closed European breakaway league’ outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles,” FIFA wrote in a statement Sunday. “FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play.”
Contributing: The Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: European Super League: 12 founding clubs announced for competition
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