ESL clubs ‘shocked’ by FIFA stance after being ‘on board’ with plans

Lewis Oldham
ESL F365
Gianni Infantino FIFA

The 12 ESL clubs were initially under the impression that FIFA and Gianni Infantino were “on board” with the breakaway league, according to reports.

The plans for the ESL were announced last month. The Premier League ‘Big Six’ (Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham) were all involved. Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan were the other founding clubs.

The breakaway league fell apart the week of the announcement as it was universally criticised by fans, pundits, fellow teams and wider society.

Premier League winners and losers

A fresh report from The New York Times has revealed that discussions were held between FIFA and the ESL clubs before the announcement.

It is reported that the clubs and Infantino discussed the creation of a FIFA Club World Cup. This would have seen the said clubs take part in a FIFA-backed club equivalent to the World Cup.

The ESL clubs were also quick to ensure that the team’s players would not be punished for their involvement in the new tournament.

It is also stated that Infantino backed down after being pressured to do so by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

At the time, UEFA threatened that players would be banned from playing international football if the plans went ahead.

Elsewhere, Harry Kane has spoken openly with Gary Neville about his future at Tottenham:

“I’m sure that [Daniel Levy] will want to set out the plan of where he sees it but ultimately it’s going to be down to me and how I feel and what’s going to be the best for me and my career this moment in time.”

Kane added: “I don’t want to have come to the end of my career and have any regrets. So, I want to be the best that I can be. I’ve said before, I’d never say that I’d stay at Spurs for the rest of my career. I’d never say that I would leave Spurs.

“I still feel like I’ve still got almost another career to play. I’ve got another 7 or 8 years. I’m not rushing anything. I’m not desperate to do anything. I feel like for sure I’ve got so much more to give. I feel like I can be even better than what I’ve been. I can produce better numbers than what I’m producing at the moment.

“I’m not afraid to say that I want to be the best. I’m not afraid to say I want to try get on the level that Ronaldo and Messi got to. You know, that’s my ultimate goal. That’s my aim, to be winning trophies season in, season out. Scoring 50, 60, 70 goals season in, season out. That’s the standard I want to set myself.”