European Super League: ECA opposes 12-team breakaway competition

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

The European Club Association (ECA) has joined UEFA in condemning proposals for a new European Super League.

Widespread reports emerged on Sunday of an agreement in place between 12 European clubs to form a breakaway competition.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are the clubs involved, although confirmation is still pending.

Reigning European champions Bayern Munich, along with last season's Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain, were not included.

UEFA, Europe's top leagues and football associations confirmed their opposition to the proposal, which drew a mass of criticism from pundits and fans alike.

With UEFA set to announce changes to the format of the Champions League from 2024 onwards on Monday, the ECA reiterated its commitment to those proposed alterations, and insisted it would stand against a Super League.

An emergency meeting of the ECA was held on Sunday. According to reports, none of the 12 teams making up the proposed breakaway competition responded to invitations to attend, though PSG and Bayern were represented. 

"In light of today's reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, the ECA as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe, reiterates its stated commitment to working on developing the UEFA Club Competitions (UCCs) model with UEFA for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a 'closed super league model' to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed by the ECA," a statement read.

The ECA statement went on to outline the body's intention to "work with UEFA on a renewed structure for European Club Football as a whole post 2024", before concluding that "the ECA Executive Board will be convening over the coming days to take appropriate decisions in light of any further developments".

Related items

  • Mbappe 'already forgotten' after Madrid's Champions League triumph, claims Perez Mbappe 'already forgotten' after Madrid's Champions League triumph, claims Perez

    Florentino Perez claimed he had "already forgotten" Real Madrid's failed pursuit of Kylian Mbappe after watching his side beat Liverpool in the Champions League final.

    Mbappe was widely expected to join Madrid when his Paris Saint-Germain contract expired this year.

    But the World Cup winner had a change of heart last week and instead committed to a new three-year deal in Paris.

    Rather than have Mbappe come to Madrid, Madrid came to him on Saturday, visiting the French capital for another Champions League final and another triumph, winning their 14th European crown and making it eight successive victories when reaching the competition's final.

    Vinicius Junior netted the only goal in a 1-0 win, showing the sort of firepower Madrid still possess even without Mbappe.

    And president Perez vowed the LaLiga and European champions will continue to chase the world's best players after their transfer disappointment.

    "Mbappe is already forgotten," he told Movistar. "We have had a perfect season and we will continue to work to get the best players."

    Madrid already have one of the best around in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who made a record nine Champions League final saves to keep Mohamed Salah and Liverpool at bay.

    "Thibaut has had a spectacular season," Perez said of the Belgian. "He is the best goalkeeper in the world, and that's why we brought him to Real Madrid."

     

  • Klopp says hurting Liverpool 'will come again' as Real Madrid celebrate in Paris Klopp says hurting Liverpool 'will come again' as Real Madrid celebrate in Paris

    Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool's players were hurting after their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, but declared the Reds "will come again" after the narrow reverse in Paris.

    Klopp added next year's final in Istanbul was already a target, advising supporters: "Book the hotel!"

    A 1-0 loss to Madrid at the Stade de France meant Liverpool were left with FA Cup and EFL Cup triumphs to show for a season in which they threatened an unprecedented quadruple.

    Manchester City denied them the Premier League title on the competition's dramatic final day last Sunday, and it was Champions League specialists Madrid who toppled them on Saturday to claim their 14th European crown, with Vinicius Junior netting a second-half winner.

    "Everyone in the dressing room, nobody feels it was a great season at the moment," Klopp told BT Sport after the loss. "We probably need a few minutes for that, maybe hours."

    He said two decisions had gone against Liverpool by "the smallest margin possible", but did not specify which incidents he was referring to.

    "We played a good game, not the perfect game," Klopp added. "We had a lot of shots but not the clearest, only three or so where [Thibaut] Courtois made top saves.

    "Then we conceded a goal... Vinicius was there and that was it."

    Klopp said Liverpool tried "absolutely everything" after he had told his players to "be more brave in the second half."

    Vinicius struck just before the hour mark, and Liverpool huffed and puffed but were not at their best as Madrid repelled the threat of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, with Courtois outstanding as the last line of defence.

    The Belgian made nine saves in the match, the most on record by a goalkeeper in a single Champions League final (since 2003-04).

    Klopp added he was alone among the Liverpool contingent in being able to put the game swiftly into perspective.

    "It's not hard. I have that already, but I'm the only one in the dressing room," he said.

    "I know it's not the success you want to have, but I have the strong feeling we will come again. That's how it is, because the boys are competitive.

    "We have an outstanding group together and will have again an outstanding group next year. Then we go again. We obviously have to try a bit more often than others but no problem.

    "Where's it next year? Istanbul? Yeah, book the hotel."

  • Vinicius and Courtois star as Madrid down Liverpool: The best Opta facts from Champions League final Vinicius and Courtois star as Madrid down Liverpool: The best Opta facts from Champions League final

    Vinicius Junior and Thibaut Courtois were the heroes as Real Madrid downed Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League final in Paris, securing a record-extending 14th European crown for Los Blancos.

    Vinicius' second-half winner proved decisive as Liverpool failed to find a way past the outstanding Courtois despite piling on the pressure, as Madrid repeated their 2018 final win over the Reds.

    While Jurgen Klopp's team have now missed out on both the Premier League and Champions League trophies after leading an incredible four-front fight for silverware this season, Carlo Ancelotti has led Madrid to a terrific LaLiga and Champions League double, reaching a personal landmark along the way.

    Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the best Opta facts from the fiercely contested final.

    After kick-off was twice delayed at the Stade de France, Liverpool made a fast start to the contest but found Courtois in imperious form as they eventually fell to their third Champions League final defeat – only Juventus (five) have lost more, while Jurgen Klopp has lost more finals in the competition than any other manager (three).

    It was not for want of trying, however: Liverpool had as many shots on target in the first half (five) as they did in their previous two Champions League final appearances combined (two in 2018 and three in 2019).

    The Reds ended the match having racked up 24 shots, the most on record (since 2003-04) from a team who failed to score in a Champions League final. 

    Meanwhile, Courtois' nine saves in the match made up the highest tally in a single Champions League final (since 2003-04), surpassing Liverpool's Allison (in 2019) and Manchester United's Edwin Van der Sar (in 2011), both with eight.

    Courtois also made 59 saves throughout Madrid's run in the competition this term, setting a new single-season record after Petr Cech made 58 for Chelsea in their triumphant 2011-12 campaign (since 2003-04).

    But it was Vinicius who proved the match-winner, escaping Trent Alexander-Arnold's attentions to tap home from Federico Valverde's cross in the 59th minute.

    Vinicius' goal made him the first South American to register 10 goal involvements in a single Champions League campaign (four goals, six assists) while aged 21 or under since Lionel Messi recorded 14 for Barcelona in 2008-09 (nine goals, five assists).

    Furthermore, at 21 years and 320 days old, the Brazilian became the second-youngest player to net for Los Blancos in a European Cup or Champions League final, after Marco Asensio against Juventus in 2017 (21 years, 133 days), and the first Brazilian to score the winner in the competition's final since Juliano Belletti for Barcelona in 2006, also in Paris (against Arsenal).

    Madrid's victory means they have won the European Cup or Champions League twice as many times (14) as the next-most successful club in the competition's history (Milan with seven), and Los Blancos have also won in each of their last eight final appearances, defeating Liverpool in their past two.

    Finally, Ancelotti became the most successful coach in the competition's history with his fourth title (also 2002-03 and 2006-07 with Milan and 2013-14 with Madrid), as he moved clear of Madrid predecessor Zinedine Zidane and Liverpool great Bob Paisley (both three).

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.