12 of the biggest clubs in the football world announced on Sunday that they plan to bring in a breakaway mid-way league. The clubs involved refer to themselves as the ‘founding clubs’ and also the entities that would govern the operations of the league.
The clubs involved are- AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Tottenham Hotspur. 3 more unidentified clubs are anticipated to be joining the likes of the current 12 founding clubs.
The league would comprise 20 clubs, 15 founding members, and 5 teams on rotation each year which would be selected through annual qualifiers. The tournament would have 2 groups of 10 clubs each and the top 4 clubs from each group would go on to play the quarterfinals. All games would be played mid-week which means that the clubs can stay a part of their domestic leagues.
The American bank JP Morgan has committed about $5 billion to the project. The founding clubs stated that 'The Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.'
Governing bodies all over the world including FIFA and UEFA are condemning this act. Football fans and former players are also not liking the idea and terming it as the ‘Death of the beautiful game’ ‘illegitimate and anti-competitive and corrupt by design’. Official fan clubs of the teams have also been disappointed and felt betrayed.
Even the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson took no time to criticize the 6 premier league clubs on their ‘damaging plans’
UEFA released an official statement wherein they announced that they do not appreciate the idea and would take all possible measures to prevent the formation of the breakaway tournament as it is against the spirit of the sport.
FIFA also voiced its concern and issued an official statement which stated "FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favor of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA”
The football world is in chaos and the coming few days would decide the fate not only for these clubs but also the millions of fans who consider football as a religion and as a significant part of their life.
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