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European Super League: Revamped proposal launched for European competition

Following a top court ruling that clubs could not be prevented from joining a breakaway league, new plans for the contentious European Super League were unveiled.

A league structure with 64 men’s clubs and 32 women’s clubs is what is being proposed.

Plans call for an ESL model that would compete with the present Uefa competitions.

Manchester United released a statement after the announcement, stating that they are still “fully committed” to participating in Uefa competitions.

United withdrew from the initial European Super League because the proposals were widely criticized, despite being one of the founding clubs.

The club stated that their stance has “not changed” and that they are still committed to “positive cooperation on the continued development of the European game with Uefa, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA [European Clubs Association].”

The ESL and its supporters filed a lawsuit, arguing that by threatening to impose sanctions on those who joined the breakaway league, Uefa and Fifa were violating competition law.

While ruling against the governing bodies on Thursday, the European Court of Justice stated that this did not imply that a breakaway league would “necessarily be approved.”.

However, the decision has made it possible for clubs to consider organizing and running European football events, as well as for fresh suggestions to be made.

The current proposal, which came from A22, the original European Super League’s backers, describes a yearly promotion and relegation system that excludes permanent members.

There would also be a new digital streaming platform where fans could watch live matches for free.

The ECA released a statement saying, “To be absolutely clear, the judgment in no way whatsoever supports or endorses any form of Super League project.” No clubs or prize money have been revealed.

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“Football is a social contract, not a legal contract; all the recognized stakeholders of European and world football, spanning confederations, clubs, leagues, players, and fans, stand more united than ever against the attempts by a few individuals pursing personal agendas to undermine the very foundations and basic principles of European football.”

The Football Supporters Association declared after the ECJ’s decision that “an ill-conceived breakaway super league has no place.”

“Clubs, players, and supporters have all expressed their desire to end the walking dead horror that is the European Zombie League; they do not want a rigged tournament.

“No English side will be joining, even though the body may still twitch in European courts.

“Success must be earned on the pitch, not stitched up in boardrooms.”

The revelation that 12 teams, including English teams Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham, had signed up for the breakaway tournament marked the beginning of the ESL saga in April 2021.

The proposals collapsed within 72 hours due to considerable outrage and condemnation from fans, European domestic leagues, and even the government.

Revamped European Super League format – how would new competition work?

The top clubs in both men’s and women’s football on the continent would be competing in the new league, according to the A22 proposal.

The men’s competition would have 32 clubs in the Blue League, the bottom tier, with promotion and relegation occurring between each tier. The top two leagues, the Star League and the Gold League, would each have 16 teams.

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The top eight clubs in each league advance to the knockout stages, where the finals are played in neutral locations and the quarterfinals and semifinals are split into two legs.

The top-performing clubs from domestic leagues in Europe would take the place of the bottom 20 teams in the Blue League, which would be completely demoted from the competition.

The two clubs that place worst in the Star and Gold leagues would be demoted, while the two teams that advance to the finals in the Gold and Blue leagues would be promoted up a tier.

Since games would take place in the middle of the week, the new tournament could coexist with domestic leagues throughout Europe.

The women’s competition that is being planned would follow a similar format.

“We still maintain the same stance. We are steadfastly dedicated to competing in UEFA events and fostering constructive relationships through the ECA with UEFA, the Premier League, and other clubs to advance the European game.”

Who would be interested in a breakaway league?

Nine of the twelve clubs that had committed to the initiative withdrew in 2021, and Juventus withdrew their participation earlier this year, which led to the original European Super League’s collapse.

Following the announcement of proposals for a redesigned European Super League, Spanish teams Real Madrid and Barcelona remained committed to the basic idea of a new European competition. Barca president Joan Laporta stated that “the time has come for clubs to have greater control over their destiny.”.

“The national leagues will become more balanced and competitive with improved European competition and more resources from the clubs,” he stated in a social media video.

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“We think that there is currently a historic chance to try to highlight some of the major issues that are currently endangering the long-term survival of the great majority of clubs.

Barcelona will work to advance ideas that will make the present European championships better, with a completely meritocratic and open structure. This will make football more inexpensive and appealing for fans worldwide, as well as more sustainable for the club and amateur football. The overall goal of this idea is to make football better.”

It was hailed as a “great day for the history of football” by Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid.

But in addition to the two Spanish behemoths, Manchester United is not the only European team and league opposed to the ESL.

Bayern Munich declared that “the door for the Super League at FC Bayern remains closed” and endorsed European competitions run by the European Football Association (UEFA).

“Explicitly supporting the European sports model and rejecting competitions outside those competitions organized by the federations and the leagues,” declared the German Football League, the organization in charge of the Bundesliga.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel de France declared that it “unequivocally supports” Uefa competitions.

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