Man Utd emerge as ‘ringleaders’ of European Super League

Joe Williams
Joel Glazer Ed Woodward Man Utd
Joel Glazer Ed Woodward Man Utd

Man Utd and Real Madrid have emerged as the ‘ringleaders’ of the controversial breakaway European Super League, according to reports.

Plans were confirmed late last night by the 12 clubs who have agreed to become founding members, with three more expected to also sign up.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham are the English clubs involved, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus making up the other sides already confirmed.

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Current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will chair the Super League, while Man Utd co-chairman Joel Glazer will be vice-chairman of the league, which the founding members would be guaranteed qualification for.

And BBC Sport journalist Dan Roan has been told by a ‘well-placed source’ that both Real Madrid and Man Utd were the ‘ringleaders’.

It is said that Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd – who are owned by Americans – ‘really mean this’ as they are ‘sold on the NFL model of closed league with star clubs and players driving value’.

While the other clubs ‘see it more as leverage over UEFA’ as they are ‘unhappy new Champions League format means money shared among more clubs’.

In announcing the news, Glazer said: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”

A joint statement from the clubs read: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new midweek competition, the Super League, governed by its founding clubs.

“AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs.

“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”

The timing of this statement is incendiary coming ahead of an anticipated announcement from UEFA confirming changes to the Champions League format on Monday.