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game changer 'Pure greed' - Roy Keane and Gary Neville vent their anger at European breakaway league plan

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Sky Sports pundit and Manchester United legend Gary Neville (John Walton/PA)

Sky Sports pundit and Manchester United legend Gary Neville (John Walton/PA)

Sky Sports pundit and Manchester United legend Gary Neville (John Walton/PA)

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has launched a scathing attack on the six English clubs that have signed up to a join a European breakaway competition, as he urged football authorities to dock points from them in this Premier League season.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City have signed up to the breakaway plan, according to reports.

Yet Neville believes the eagerness to announce the plans at a time when so many clubs are struggling to contend with the fall out from the coronavirus pandemic should be condemned by all in the game.

"In the wake of Covid, it's an absolute scandal," said Gary Neville, speaking on Sky Sports. "United and the rest of the big six clubs who have signed up for it should be ashamed of themselves.

"They should deduct all top six teams point. To do it in the season - it's a joke. The motivation is greed. Deduct them all points, put them at the bottom of the league and punish them. This a criminal act against the fans. Deduct points, take their money away, punish them.

"I'm disgusted by Liverpool and Manchester United the most. They should be ashamed. I'm a United fan and have been for 40 years of my life and I'm disgusted by.

"Liverpool claim to be the people's club, You'll Never Walk Alone... the owners of these clubs don't care about football in this country. They have no loyalty this country and these leagues.

"It's embarrassing. It's never going to happen. If they announce they have signed an agreement for this, punish them. Massive fines, points deduction. Punish them.

"Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal should know better. The history and tradition of those three clubs, I value it. That has gone. If they sign that letter of intent, they are as bad as the rest of them."

Neville also suggested the presence of Arsenal in the list of teams threatening a breaking was a joke as he added: "European football league. Are Arsenal in that? They've just drawn with Fulham. And Manchester United are drawing with Burnley. They are an absolute shambles of a football club and they want a divine right to be in this league? An absolute joke."

An irate Neville then pointed an accusing finger at United and Liverpool, as he suggested they should be "ashamed" for their role in the plan.

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Neville’s former United team-mate Roy Keane added: “I think it comes down to money and greed. Obviously we’ve not heard anything from FIFA yet, but it doesn’t sound good. Let’s hope it is stopped in its tracks. It’s just pure greed.

"We have seen owners come into the English game buying clubs and this comes down to greed. They don't care about the football supporter who works hard and supports his club. This comes down to green and money."

Meanwhile, the Premier League has said it "condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit" following reports that six of its clubs were supporting a European Super League.

"The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid," the league said in a statement.

The developments occurred on the eve of a new-look 36-team Champions League being discussed by UEFA on Monday.

"Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best," the statement continued.

"We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream."

"The Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world.

"Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.

"We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game."

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