Boris Johnson vows to block European Super League for English clubs
Boris Johnson has this morning slammed the new European Super League proposal and has vowed to block English football teams from competing in the new breakaway league.
Johnson told reporters today that the proposal, which includes England’s six richest clubs, was “not good news for fans” after last night’s announcement sparked global outrage and brought global football to a halt.
Politico reported today that the government was looking at blocking the move by introducing regulations that would ban majority corporate ownership of football clubs, similar to rules in place in Germany.
The Prime Minister said he would do everything he can to ensure the European Super League “doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed”.
“These clubs are not just great global brands – of course they’re great global brands – they’re also clubs that have originated historically from their towns, from their cities, from their local communities, they should have a link with those fans, and with the fan base in their community,” Johnson said.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among the clubs that are set to join the new venture, which has received roughly $6bn (£4.3bn) in backing from JP Morgan.
In addition to the six largest English clubs, the new league will also involve AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
The project is being launched as a new rival to the Uefa Champions League, which currently dominates European football.
The Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, Uefa and Fifa have said that clubs and players involved will be banned from all their respective competitions if the Super League goes ahead.
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The Prime Minister initially released a statement last night condemning the move.
“Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action,” he said.
“They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country.
“The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”
Culture and sports secretary Oliver Dowden will give a statement to parliament at 3.30pm to lay out the government’s full reaction to the European Super League.
There is cross-party support for intervention to stop the league going ahead, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer slamming the proposals.
The German football ownership model under review by the government ensures all clubs must be owned by at least 51 per cent of fans.
This means that corporations can never have full voting rights over the future direction of the club.
One Whitehall official last night told Politico that he would be “the Roy Keane of Whitehall”, a reference to the former Manchester United bruiser, vowing to block the proposal.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also hit out at the European Super League last night.
“I urge the clubs involved with the misguided proposal of the European Super League to think again,” he said.
“If the clubs do press ahead they must know they could face intervention to protect the game we all love.”