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February 12 The umbrella body for Europes major leagues is the latest stakeholder to denounce the resurrection of the Super League concept that has made worldwide headlines but which is not actually so super, reportedly being void of any English Premier League clubs.
In a statement, the European Leagues said they were very surprised by the announcement from A22, the company established to promote the Super League concept, that there had been an open consultation process.
A22 says it has been engaged in comprehensive dialogue with stakeholders across Europe on the future of club football.
But the European Leagues, representing the interests of 40 domestic leagues from 34 countries and 1,092 clubs, said it had never met with A22 and were not consulted.
The Leagues fully support the current European club football model which is based on a open pyramidal structure with promotion and relegation from grassroots to professional at domestic level, and where qualification for the UEFA Clubs Competitions is based on the annual performance in the domestic competitions.
Bernd Reichart, chief executive of A22, claimed Thursday that the foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing.
But the European Leagues responded: This model is far from being broken and does not need to be fixed.
A22 claims the tournament will now be open with no permanent members, plus promotion and relegation across divisions and a merit system to gain access.
The revamped version would see 60 to 80 teams competing in a multi-divisional structure but smacks of a deliberate approach to attack the wealth of the English top flight whose clubs have dubbed the proposals as reverse Brexit.
One insider told The Sun newspaper: We are talking about a closed league that is trying to justify itself by pitting Europe against England.
To have a credible Super League that will grip supporters attention, it goes without saying that the participation of English clubs would be essential. But asked whether the project needs to include Premier League teams Reichart told Sky: This project is not dependent on one specific territory to join.
The European Clubs Association has already claimed the move is deliberately distorted and misleading attempt to destabilise footballs real stakeholders.
In the real world, this rehashed idea has already been proposed, discussed and comprehensively rejected by all.
From 2024, more clubs from more countries will participate in European mens club competitions every season, growing the passion of European football and greatly increasing the amount of revenue being shared.
Significant progress can be seen across other aspects of the game from womens football, youth and academy development, finance and regulation to sustainability and social impact. This is what real change looks like. We have moved on, when will A22?
Seasoned observers believe the timing of the new-look Super League format is significant.
In December, UEFA and FIFA received significant backing in their bid to block any breakaway league from the European Court of Justice, whose advocate general said the current UEFA rules were compatible with EU competition law.
A final ruling will be made by a 15-member Grand Chamber in the spring when backers of the revamped format will hope for a more sympathetic response. The likelihood, however, is that they are clutching at straws.
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