Plans for revamped European Super League announced

4 months ago 109
Fans protest against ESL plansPlans for a breakaway Super League were widely condemned when they were announced in April 2021

Revamped plans for a controversial European Super League have been announced after a top court ruled that banning clubs from joining a breakaway league was unlawful.

The proposal is a league system with 64 men's clubs across three leagues with participation based on sporting merit and no permanent members.

The women's competition would include 32 clubs across two leagues.

No clubs or prize money have yet been announced in the proposal.

A case was brought by the ESL and its backers claiming Uefa and Fifa were breaking competition law by threatening to sanction those who joined the breakaway league.

On Thursday Europe's highest court found against the governing bodies but said that did not mean a breakaway league would "necessarily be approved".

But the ruling has opened the door for new proposals to be put forward and for clubs to look to organise and manage European football competitions.

Put forward by A22 - backers of the original ESL - the new proposal outlines an annual promotion and relegation system.

Fans would also be able to watch live matches for free on a new digital streaming platform.

In a statement following the ECJ's ruling, the Football Supporters Association said: "There is no place for an ill-conceived breakaway super league.

"Supporters, players and clubs have already made clear they don't want a stitched-up competition - we all want to see the trigger pulled on the walking dead monstrosity that is the European Zombie League.

"While the corpse might continue to twitch in the European courts, no English side will be joining.

"The incoming independent regulator will block any club from competing in domestic competition if they join a breakaway super league.

"Success must be earned on the pitch, not stitched-up in boardrooms."

The ESL saga began in April 2021 when news broke that 12 teams - including English teams Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - had signed up to the breakaway competition.

There was widespread fury and condemnation from fans, European domestic leagues and even government, leading to the collapse of the plans within 72 hours.

Revamped European Super League proposal - how would new competition work?

The proposal from A22 says the new competition would include the continent's top clubs in men's and women's football.

In the men's competition, the top tiers - the Star League and the Gold League - would each consist of 16 teams while the Blue League, the bottom tier, would consist of 32 clubs with promotion and relegation between each tier.

The teams that finish in the top eight of each league go into the knockout stages, with quarter-finals and semi-finals played over two legs and the finals held at neutral venues.

The bottom 20 teams in the Blue league would be relegated from the competition entirely and replaced by the top-performing clubs from European domestic leagues.

The two teams that make the final of the Gold and Blue leagues would be promoted up a tier, while the two teams that finish bottom of the Star and Gold leagues would be relegated down a tier.

Matches would be played in midweek, allowing the new competition to be run in tandem with European domestic leagues.

The proposed women's competition would be run on a similar model.

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