Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says a European Super League without promotion or relegation is “not sport” and has urged owners of the 12 clubs involved in the breakaway to clarify the decision.
The Premier League leaders – along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – have signed up to a new European Super League which would see the establishment of a ‘closed league’, without the threat of relegation for the 12 founding members.
Guardiola admitted he felt “uncomfortable” being asked about the competition because he did not yet know much more than the initial statement but was sceptical on the initial proposal.
Sky Sports News has invited the six Premier League clubs to explain their plans and the European Super League in more detail.
“No one has given any more details [to me] about what is going to happen or what is going to be created,” Guardiola said.
“Honestly, we (the managers) are not the right people to ask about it because only the president of this committee can talk more clearly about the idea for the future of football.
“That is why it is a little uncomfortable for us (the managers). We don’t have all the information. Once we have all the information, I can give my opinion.
“I can give my opinion of what I know today but I do not know any more – that is the reality.
“It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist. It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed, it is not a sport where it doesn’t matter when you lose.
“But at the moment it is only a statement, and no more than that. I would love the president of this committee to explain to the whole world why they took the decision.
“I don’t know why these specific teams have been selected and going to play this competition.
“I have said many times, I want the best and strongest competition possible, especially the Premier League
“And it’s not fair if one team fights to make it to the top and then cannot qualify because success is just guaranteed for a few clubs.”
European Super League – Financial details
- Founding Clubs have signed a 23-year commitment to the new Super League
- Legal advice to clubs is that it would be a breach of EU and UK competition law to deny a new entrant into the market
- Clubs believe signing off at least €10BN in Solidarity Payments demonstrates their commitment to the wider game
- Solidarity figure is higher than current distribution from UEFA and will equate to approximately 8% of their proposed revenue
- Share of €3.5BN for each Founding Club cannot be spent on new signings and must only be used to support infrastructure plans and offset COVID-19 impact
Pep questions make-up of ESL clubs
Guardiola admits he has not spoken to his players on the proposals and is instead just trying to focus on what could be a busy week for his club.
After the game against Aston Villa, City face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley before playing the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.
However, the Manchester City boss did question how the 12 clubs were determined as founding members of the proposed European Super League, suggesting decisions across the game are all motivated by self-interest.
“[The European Super League] is an embryo that is not yet breathing. That is the reality,” Guardiola said.
“We’re going to play the Champions League next week and try to reach the final and next season, we’re going to play European competitions because we deserve it and won it on the pitch.
“The players have to be focused on Aston Villa. Like all the managers have said before like Jurgen (Klopp), we did our job.
“Now the right people have to clarify, they have the obligation and duty as soon as possible to come out all around the world and clarify what the situation is and why they took their decisions.
“Why is Ajax Amsterdam who have four or five Champions League titles but will not be there? They have to clarify that for me, for all of us.
“Every club defends its position. Don’t be cynical. Everyone makes their own interests. When you talk about the Premier League and UEFA, they look after their interests.
“UEFA have also failed here because they should have communicated and been in touch earlier.
“They have to clarify because I don’t have all the information as to why some clubs are they and others not.”
In a special podcast, Jasper Taylor sums up a seismic 24 hours in football after Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham agreed to join a breakaway European Super League, along with six other teams.
The reaction has been swift, damning, passionate and emotional to say the least. Hear from Gary Neville, Kaveh Solhekol, Bryan Swanson and more…