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64 clubs, 3 divisions: Super League’s new plan after ruling

The European Super League’s backer, A22 Sports, set out its updated proposals for a Champions League replacement on Thursday after a European court found that UEFA’s rules restricting the creation of new competitions were “unlawful.”

A22 Sports chief executive Bernd Reichart outlined plans for a three-league, 64-club men’s competition and a two-league, 32-club women’s competition. It would replace the UEFA Champions League and Women’s Champions League.

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Thus far, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Barcelona president Joan Laporta have made statements publicly supporting the A22 plans, while the players’ union, FIFPRO, as well as UEFA, FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA) have positioned themselves once again against a new Europe-wide club competition.

The Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Ligue 1 as well as clubs such as Manchester United and Bayern Munich reiterated they would also not support a Super League.

“The ruling does not endorse the so-called ‘European Super League’ and the Premier League continues to reject any such concept,” the Premier League said in a statement.

In a statement on Thursday, Manchester United said: “Our position has not changed. We remain fully committed to participation in UEFA competitions, and to positive cooperation with UEFA, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA on the continued development of the European game.”

Bayern Munich echoed Manchester United on Thursday, saying in a statement that “such a competition would be an attack on the importance of the national leagues and the structure of European football.”

A22 proposed the launch of a new sports streaming platform to broadcast the Super League, saying that all matches would be available free to fans, with income generated by advertising, premium subscriptions and sponsorship.

The men’s Super League would consist of two leagues — the “Star” and “Gold” leagues — consisting of 16 clubs each, and a third “Blue League” made up of 32 clubs, A22 said.

There would be promotion and relegation between the leagues, with access to the Blue League based on domestic league performance.

Clubs would play in groups of eight, home and away, with a minimum of 14 matches per year, played midweek. At the end of each season, a knockout stage of eight clubs would decide the champions of each league.

The German Football League (DFL), which is in charge of the Bundesliga, said it “explicitly supports the European sports model and rejects competitions outside those competitions organised by the federations and the leagues.”

France’s Ligue 1 said it “unequivocally supports” competitions organised by UEFA.

About the ruling and the new format proposal from A22 Sports, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said on Thursday: “Football is not for sale.”

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi made it clear the club backs UEFA.

“Paris Saint-Germain rejects wholly and completely any so-called Super League project, which has been the case since day one and will always remain the case,” he said.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) reiterated its intention to protect the national championships, “for the defence of the broaderand more general principle of sporting merit and the respect of international calendars.”

In the women’s Super League, there would be two leagues, the “Star” and “Gold” leagues, with 16 clubs in each, playing in groups of eight, in a similar format.

A22 said income would be guaranteed for the first three years, and “solidarity payments” would represent 8% of the Super League’s income, with a minimum payment of €400 million ($439m).

The proposal was the result of “extensive dialogue” with fans, players, clubs and leagues over the past two years, the group said.


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