Report: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, More Discussing Super League

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2021

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, shakes has with Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo prior of the start of the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
Joan Monfort/Associated Press

Several of the biggest clubs in Europe have agreed to form a new super league after months of secret talks, according to Tariq Panja of the New York Times.

La Liga's Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly among the teams committed to the new league, plus Italian giants Juventus, Inter and AC Milan and five of the biggest clubs in England: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

UEFA released a joint statement along with the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and more to say that those involved would be banned from their domestic leagues and other European competitions:

The statement also noted that FIFA could ban players from representing their national teams.

The Premier League also issued a statement in response to the reports:

"The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit, which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid. Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European super league would destroy this dream.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper."

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According to Mark Ogden of ESPN, as many as 15 clubs are in talks to join the 20-team league, which would feature 15 permanent clubs that cannot be relegated.

Ogden noted there is a $6 billion (£4.3 billion) fund backing the project, which would begin in 2023-24.

The committed teams include many of the highest-valued clubs in the world:

Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly not yet agreed to join the super league but all have been invited.

The German champion would also be the only UEFA Champions League winner since 2005 not to be included.

The news comes as UEFA was set to announce an expansion of Champions League with a 36-team format.

Member-owned clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and the relevant German teams would require support through a vote before a decision is finalized.