Shares rise, outrage kicks off as Europe’s biggest soccer teams plot breakaway ‘Super League’

April 20, 2021

A coalition of the world’s richest soccer clubs has announced plans to form a breakaway European Super League—one of the biggest financial and logistical shake-ups to the sport in decades. The move has sparked outrage among fans, reprisals from domestic leagues, and threats of legal action, Forbes reports.

The long-rumored league—made up of 12 English, Spanish, and Italian soccer clubs, which are set to be joined by three more clubs—is expected to kick off in August.

Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid CF and the group’s first chairman, said the league will “help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world,” as befitting a sport with 4 billion fans. 

European officials strongly condemned the proposals, with the sport’s governing bodies across the continent condemning the “self-interest[ed]” and “cynical project.”

Domestic leagues have threatened to bar participating clubs from competing and FIFA, the sport’s global governing bodywarned players in January that they may be blocked from the World Cup if the breakaway league goes ahead.

Even world leaders have criticized the move, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron both vowing to block the league in its current form and describing it as damaging to the sport and fans, Forbes reports.

The clubs involved are: England’s Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham; Spain’s Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid; and Italy’s Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Shares of the rebel clubs have jumped following the announcement. Juventus is up 16% and Manchester United nearly 10% (premarket) at the time of writing. Even clubs not affiliated with the league are seeing a boost.

Research contact: @Forbes

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