UEFA offered ‘significant’ money to ‘Big Six’ to leave ESL
UEFA reportedly offered the Premier League clubs who signed up for the Super League ‘significant’ money to withdraw from the breakaway competition.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea announced their intention to join the Super League on Sunday night, but have already withdrawn from the competition.
The outrage of the fans, pundits, players, managers, other clubs and stakeholders is thought to have been a major factor in their decision to back out and John W Henry claims the project would never have gone ahead without the support of the Liverpool fans.
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But according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via Caughtoffside) there was another key factor in the U-turn from the Premier League six.
The report claims it wasn’t quite the righteous win for football we had hoped, with the six not reversing their decision due to ‘threats’ but because they were ‘offered a lot of money’. But of course.
With the future of the Champions League and Europa League threatened, UEFA dug into their pockets for a solution.
Mundo Deportivo adds that the Spanish trio of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are seen as the ‘main enemy’ of UEFA and the money was not offered to those clubs.
The Spanish giants reportedly don’t see the Premier League club’s withdrawal as a ‘definitive’ end to the project and believe it could come back to life.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez played a major role in getting the Super League started, along with Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who remains convinced of the “beauty of the project”, but admits defeat.
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Asked whether the plan could still go ahead on Wednesday, Agnelli said: “To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.”
“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project.
“But admittedly, I don’t think that the project is now still up and running.”
John Barnes has warned that the European Super League exit is not a victory for the fans, but a victory for the “status quo of football exploitation”.
He said: “This has been a power struggle. Let’s not be fooled, the fans have got nothing to do with this.
“This is a power struggle between elite groups – UEFA, FIFA, Sky – everybody who runs football now, and a new group wanting to come in and take over and it’s right to exploit football and exploit the masses.
“So now that the fans have won, are the ticket prices going to be less? Infact, are they going to be able to get tickets? Are the share prices going to go down?
“I don’t know how they [the fans] have won. They may feel they have won, but the winner is the status quo, which has been that football has been exploited for years.”