Juve President Agnelli Outlines Super League Vision as English Clubs All Withdraw

Published April 21st, 2021 - 09:57 GMT
The Allianz Stadium chief has defended the proposal despite widespread opposition from key figures in the game and supporters around the globe (Photo: The Super League)
The Allianz Stadium chief has defended the proposal despite widespread opposition from key figures in the game and supporters around the globe (Photo: The Super League)

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has outlined his vision for the Super League amid the withdrawal of all six English clubs involved in the breakaway plans.

The proposed formation of a new continental competition containing the world's richest clubs has been met with a huge backlash over the past few days.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham have already declared their collective intention to pull out, but six clubs from Italy and Spain remain on board, including Juve, whose president has defended the controversial initiative.

What's been said?

Speaking before England's 'Big Six' pulled out, Agnelli told Corriere dello Sport and La Repubblica: "We want to stay close to our fans. Our will is to create a competition that can bring benefits to the entire football pyramid, substantially increasing what is distributed to other clubs.

"A competition, I emphasize, which remains open and provides five places available to the other clubs. The nutrition of the youth sectors is maintained. The biggest problem with the football industry is stability.

"40 per cent of 15-24-year-olds have no interest in football. We need a competition capable of opposing what they reproduce on digital platforms, transforming the virtual into real.

“Football is no longer a game but an industrial sector and stability is needed. Even at home. In Europe, the game that is worth the most is not the Champions League final but the play-offs of the English first division to access the Premier League: 150 million. This is not stability.

"We need strict economic and financial rules such as those established in the Super League."

Premier League clubs perform U-turn

The Premier League's traditional 'Big Six' had initially signed up to the Super League alongside Juve, Milan, Inter, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with a view to potentially being involved in the inaugural season of the competition.

However, key figures in the game and supporters across England quickly made their voices heard, with a mass protest staged among Chelsea fans outside Stamford Bridge before their 0-0 draw with Brighton on Tuesday.

The Blues submitted official paperwork confirming their withdrawal from the Super League, with the other five Premier League clubs following suit and leaving the whole operation in serious doubt.

How have the Super League responded?

Super League officials are so far refusing to back down after losing six of their 12 original founding clubs, and have vowed to "reshape" their proposal with a view to creating a competition that can provide top clubs with more financial security.

"The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change," a statement from the organization reads.

"We are proposing a new European competition because the existing system does not work. Our proposal is aimed at allowing the sport to evolve while generating resources and stability for the full football pyramid, including helping overcome the financial difficulties experienced by the entire football community as a result of the pandemic. It would also provide materially enhanced solidarity payments to all football stakeholders.

"Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions.

"Given current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering fans the best experience possible while enhancing solidarity payments for the entire football community."

By James Westwood

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