In an extraordinary development for English football, The Times are reporting that five English clubs have signed up to a breakaway European Super League.
The newspaper reports that Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham have signed up to the breakaway plan that challenges UEFA plan to reform the Champions League.
Manchester City, it is reported, are the only member of the so-called 'Big Six' not to do so.
The extraordinary move was reported the day before UEFA plan to announce their plans for the competition on Monday.
Martyn Ziegler has it that the Super League proposals include:
- The 15 founders sharing an initial €3.5billion (£3.1billion) euro “infrastructure grant” ranging from £310million to £89million per club which can be spent on stadiums and training facilities.
- Income from TV and sponsorship would favour the founding clubs: 32.5% of the pot would be shared equally between the 15 clubs, and another 32.5% between all Super League clubs including the five qualifiers
- The format involves two groups of 10 clubs playing home and away, with the top four from each group going through to two-legged quarter-finals, semi-finals and a one-legged final.
- Matches would be midweek and clubs would still play in domestic leagues
- Clubs would have rights to show four matches a season on their own the digital platforms across the world
- A ‘Financial Sustainability Group’ would monitor clubs’ spending
- 20% of the money would be merit money 'distributed in the same manner as the current English Premier League merit-based system' according to where clubs finish in the competition or group if they don’t make the knock-out stage
- The remaining 15% would a “commercial share based on club awareness”
- A cap of 55% of revenues permitted to be spent on salaries and transfers (net)
At the time of writing, none of the clubs involved have issued a public statement on the matter.