A host of clubs have clarified their stance on a European Super League following Sunday night’s announcement.
Whilst there is room for three more founding clubs in the competition, a number of Champions League regulars have already spoken out against the new tournament.
Benfica, Valencia and Borussia Monchengladbach have all criticised the idea of a Super League, whilst former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, now CEO at Ajax, is reported to be staying loyal to UEFA, although the Dutch club have stopped short of fully condemning the plans.
These clubs were not necessarily guaranteed a place in a new Super League, but some European giants, who otherwise may have been able to sign up to the tournament, have also spoken out.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said that his club are in agreement with the ECA’s views on the Super League following a meeting on Sunday.
Instead, the German club have backed UEFA’s Champions League reforms, in line with the ECA’s stance.
Watzke also said that Bayern Munich are in agreement with Dortmund over the issue.
Outgoing Bayern boss Hansi Flick has spoken out against the plans, saying he cannot see how the Super League would be beneficial to European football.
Whilst Bayern are yet to speak out officially on the topic, chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge is reportedly set to replace Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli on UEFA’s executive committee, which represents a blow to those hoping to lure the German giants away from the Champions League.
There had been speculation that Portuguese side Porto could be one of the three additional ‘founding members’, but president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa says they will not be taking part.
“We cannot participate in anything that’s against the rules,” he said. “We are in the Champions League and we hope to continue to be there for many years.”
PSG are reportedly staying loyal to UEFA and, in particular, its president Aleksander Ceferin, with the French club keen to avoid tarnishing its reputation with the 53-year-old, who has been left outraged by the breakaway.
The Champions League semi-finalists are reportedly against the idea of restricting European competition to a select number of clubs.
PSG’s Qatari ownership are no doubt keen to remain onside with FIFA ahead of the World Cup next year.
Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is also the chairman of beIN Sports, which has the Champions League broadcasting rights, meaning a devalued UEFA competition would impact his business.
PSG midfielder and former Manchester United star Ander Herrera became one of the first major footballers to speak out against the tournament.
Yet, in an interesting twist, Al-Khelaifi has reportedly declined to take over the presidency of the ECA.
Another German club to have been linked with the tournament is RB Leipzig, who enjoyed an impressive run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
Yet CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has condemned the competition.
“We are advocates of sporting competition,” he said. “And sporting competition in professional football means fighting to achieve a position in the domestic table that allows the team to take part in international competition.
“For us, changing this is absolutely out of the question. We reject any plans to establish a Super League.”
Zenit St Petersburg
Reports in Russia have claimed that Zenit were approached to become a founding member, but they opted to turn it down.
This is reportedly due to the fact they are sponsored by Gazprom, a company that has sponsored the Champions League for several years.