Following a meeting of the 14 Premier League sides and league officials not involved in a proposal of a breakaway European Super League, the governing body for England’s top flight says it is considering actions to hold the breakaway clubs to account.
Given the importance and competitiveness of Premier League stands to suffer if the plans led by Manchester United and Liverpool in England—and with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham also signing on—go ahead, it’s hardly a surprise.
“The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal,” read the league’s statement. “The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.
“The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those Shareholders involved to account under its rules.”
The proposed Super League plan would do away with European qualification via league position and block off sides with aspirations of European involvement like Leicester City or West Ham United—both of whom are currently in the Champions League places.
Over the long term, that would also lead to a situation where games in the second half of the season wouldn’t matter for clubs not directly in the title race, leading to a devalued competition in much the same way the domestic cups have over time been devalued by the expansion of the Champions League and Europa League.
It’s a proposal that would have real long-term financial consequences for the league—and as such they certainly aren’t acting out of altruism—as it risks relegating the Premier League to second tier competition status.
As such, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility the league could seek to punish the involved sides heavily if they insist on pushing ahead with their plans, given that if a Super League succeeds it would do lasting long-term damage to the Premier League.
“The League will continue to work with key stakeholders,” the statement continued, “including fan groups, Government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.
“The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue. The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people.”