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big six Premier League schedule meeting without six rebel clubs as punishment is considered

Day of chaos in football as verbal arrows are thrown amid Super League proposals


Manchester United have signed up for the Super League (PA)

Manchester United have signed up for the Super League (PA)

Manchester United have signed up for the Super League (PA)

The Premier League will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning with 14 of their members and the six clubs that have confirmed they are part of the breakaway Super League have not been invited.

It will be a first opportunity for those clubs to formally discuss next steps, amid suggestions that breakaway sides could be excluded from their domestic competitions.

There are suggestions that the rebel clubs will not be permitted to play in their proposed Super League and continue to play in the English Premier League, with punishments also being considered after the announcement that has rocked football to its core.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and six other European sides have agreed to create a rival competition to the Champions League.

The controversial plans have sparked widespread criticism, including from fan groups, who are united in their opposition and feel the move is based on financial gain and "represents the death of everything that football should be about".

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated his opposition to the plans and there have been suggestions that Super League clubs may not be permitted work permits to sign players if they are operating outside of the established football structures.

While there are numerous hurdles and legal battles ahead as the Super League plan is formalised, the level of anger towards the proposals suggest the rebel clubs face a huge battle to put their proposals into action.

Ironically, the timing of the announcement of the proposed Super League came a day before UEFA announced the final details of what they hope will be a new-look Champions League from the 2024/25 season.

Taking the total number of teams from 32 to 36 in the UEFA Champions League, the biggest change will see a transformation from the traditional group stage to a single league stage including all participating teams. Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of 10 league stage games against 10 different opponents (five home games, five away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home and away basis.

The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.

Similar format changes will also be applied to the UEFA Europa League (8 matches in the league stage) and UEFA Europa Conference League (6 matches in the league stage). Subject to further discussions and agreements, these two competitions may also be expanded to a total of 36 teams each in the league stage.

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UEFA also confirmed they play to run their two competitions with or without the six rebel clubs, with UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin scathing of the Super League plan and especially Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.


Aleksander Ceferin was critical of Manchester United’s Ed Woodward (Martin Rickett/PA)

Aleksander Ceferin was critical of Manchester United’s Ed Woodward (Martin Rickett/PA)

Aleksander Ceferin was critical of Manchester United’s Ed Woodward (Martin Rickett/PA)

"He's probably one of the biggest disappointments, or the biggest disappointment of all," said Ceferin.

"I don't want to be too personal. But the fact is that I've never seen a person that would lie so many times, so persistently that he did was unbelievable.

"I spoke with him also on Saturday afternoon. He said, 'These are all only rumours. Don't worry, nothing is going on'. And then he said, 'I'll call you in one hour'. And he turned off the phone."

He also issued a strong statement against the Super League plan as he added: "UEFA and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful self-serving proposal we have seen in the last 24 hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fuelled purely by greed.

"The players who will play in the teams that might be playing in the closed league will be banned from playing the World Cup, and so they will not be able to represent the national teams at any matches.

"In my opinion, this idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers, and our society as well. So we will not allow them to take it away from us."

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Online Editors