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Every Reaction To The European Super League So Far

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Every Reaction To The European Super League So Far

UEFA want to kick out the five clubs who have "spat in the face of all football lovers" from next week's Champions League and Europa League semi-finals - as the world continues to react to the controversial European Super League.

The news of a new league has created a strong and, almost overwhelmingly angry, reaction across the continent.

The move will secure vast financial rewards for themselves at a time when takings have been hit by coronavirus restrictions.

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Never has football since a clash quite like this.

A member of the public poses for a photo in front of a sign posted by football fans opposing the European Super League outside Old Trafford in Manchester
A member of the public poses for a photo in front of a sign posted by football fans opposing the European Super League outside Old Trafford in Manchester

Understandably, the European giants have all been widely criticised by fans, former footballers, and politicians, many of whom claiming it would destroy the dreams of clubs at every level of the domestic game.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the new tournament, Florentino Perez, has defended it, saying those involved are doing it to "save football".

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Perez, who is also president of Real Madrid, told El Chiringuito TV: "We're doing this to save football, which is in a critical moment.

"The important clubs in England, Italy, and Spain must find a solution to a very bad situation that football is going through.

"The only way of making money from admissions is by making more competitive games that are more attractive, that fans around the world can see."

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During the interview, the 74-year-old ridiculously added: "We may need to make football matches shorter than 90 minutes."

Seriously, imagine being that deluded.

Could growing pressure see the entire project collapse? Here, SPORTbible takes a look at the reactions from around the footballing world...

Reaction in England

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The backlash in the UK has been fierce, with the Premier League, pundits and players condemning the manoeuvre, its effects on football's long-standing competitive pyramid and the owners' brazen disregard for the cultural, social and sporting history of the clubs they purport to represent.

The government have also responded forcefully, announcing a fan-led review into football governance.

Meanwhile, the 14 clubs who are not involved in the newly-announced league are meeting today to discuss the crisis.

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Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville hit out at the launch of the league on Sky Sports, labelling the English clubs involved a "disgrace" and called for them to face sanctions from the Premier League.

Speaking after Manchester United's 3-1 win over Burnley, before Sunday night's announcement, Neville accused the Premier League clubs involved of betraying their history and their supporters.

"The reaction to it is that it has been damned and rightly so," said Neville.

"I'm a Manchester United fan and have been for 40 years of my life, but I'm disgusted, absolutely disgusted."

And in a long rant on Monday Night Football the following day, Neville gave his thoughts on Manchester United's owners, labelling them as "scavengers".

Reaction in Spain

"Total war in European football - the Super League is born," reads a headline in Spanish daily El Pais.

El Mundo cites its sources close to the formation of the league saying big European clubs think the formula of the Champions League "exhausted itself" and the income margins narrowed.

"This is why the entities believe they have found a new chicken laying gold eggs and they plan to exploit it without any intermediaries other than themselves," they continued.

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, called the league "perhaps the worst announcement in football history" and added he believed it was "risky, harmful and with unprecedented consequences."

And Spanish football journalist Juan Castro said there's much surprise in Spain, as well as fury, being directed at Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez.

"For Perez, it is third time lucky," said Castro.

"The plan he has championed for years finally looks set to be getting off the ground - before similar plots had fallen flat following cold feet from executives."

Reaction in Italy

The Italian sport national newspapers lead the way when it comes to outrage.

"Juve, Inter and Milan: the bonfire of greed," says leading sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport in a scathing editorial.

It continues: "This paper has always been opposed to any project that favours the interests of the few by betraying individual merits and undermining the national tournaments which make up the social and cultural roots of football."

Tuttosport's headline is succinct, but perhaps best indicative of the mood among football fans in the nation, questioning: "Are you insane?"

And Il Fatto Quotidiano says "the Super League is the antithesis of football: they want to kill the passion for the game in the name of profit... and to turn fans into mere consumers."

Like several other outlets, the paper says the project is an attempt to reshape European football into an NBA-like tournament.

It added: "In which every match is an event, and the sport is the means rather than the end: a huge match every night, players who are paid tens of millions per season, extortionate tickets and audiences of billions of people.

"It's the furthest thing from the European idea of football - and of sport."

What has FIFA and UEFA said?

"There is a lot to throw away for a short term financial gain," were the word spoken by FIFA President Gianni Infantino - who blasted the European Super League plans.

In a stark warning, he affirmed that the clubs involved need to assume some responsibility and think about the fans who contributed to create what European football is.

Meanwhile, UEFA is threatening to ban players of clubs in the newly-proposed Super League from playing in Euro 2020, as well as the World Cup and Champions League.

It comes as its president, Aleksander Ceferin, hit out at those behind the breakaway competition in an explosive press conference, calling Manchester United executive Ed Woodward a "snake".

He also sensationally confirmed that the players involved will be banned from representing their countries at international tournaments.

Elsewhere, by the end of the week, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid could be expelled from the coveted Champions League.

The trio are among the semi-finalists in UEFA's flagship competition, but have signalled their intention to breakaway and form a new league.

"The clubs must go, and I expect that to happen on Friday," said Danish FA head Jesper Moller on Monday.

"Then we have to find out how to finish this season's Champions League tournament."

Topics: European Super League, UEFA, Premier League

Robert Mann
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