UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has revealed he “lost it a bit” with an unnamed English club in a conversation about the controversial European Super League proposals in 2021.
Ceferin also suggested that Manchester United and Liverpool were the Premier League clubs spearheading the ill-fated plans.
Next month will mark two years since 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs made a joint announcement that they would be forming a breakaway Super League, prompting a furious backlash across the continent.
Just days later the six Premier League clubs involved – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham – confirmed they were withdrawing.
Ceferin revealed that Chelsea and Man City were both reluctant to break away from UEFA and sign up to the Super League “from the beginning”.
Eventually, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid also dropped out, leaving Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus red-faced.
Speaking to Gary Neville’s The Overlap, Ceferin said: “As much as I know, unfortunately your [Neville’s] club’s [United’s] owners were very much involved and Liverpool as well.
“I think that those two were from the English side the most involved [in the Super League]. The last to join were Chelsea and Manchester City. I’m not sure about Tottenham and Arsenal.
Arsenal fans protest against the European Super League and Owner Stan Kroenke
Image credit: Getty Images
“When I arrived in Switzerland, I got a phone call from one of the English clubs saying that we’ll have to join this project. They didn’t like it but didn’t want to be the only ones out. Two clubs were hesitating in England very much, they said they wanted to stay friends with us, our friends from within.
“Both Chelsea and Manchester City were hesitant from the beginning, and it was one of these teams that called me.
“I had a phone call from one of the English clubs, I will not say which. I lost it a bit and said, ‘You go to hell. From tomorrow, you are my enemies. I don’t want to speak to you anymore’. It was tough.”
Competition organisers have come up with new proposals, suggesting a multi-division competition featuring 60 to 80 teams, based on sporting performance with no permanent members, and a minimum of 14 games per club each season.
The announcement was made by A22, a company set up to work in tandem with the creation of the Super League, who claim nearly 50 clubs across the continent have been consulted over the proposals.
However, Ceferin believes the breakaway competition stands little chance of getting off the ground without the support of English teams.
“Without English clubs the Champions League is not the same, and no Super League would exist,’ he continued.
“German clubs are in the same position as English clubs, but we didn’t have riots in Germany because no German clubs joined the Super League.
“If Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund joined, you would see people on the streets, the same way as you saw them in England. France is against. In Spain, out of 20 clubs in the La Liga, 18 are against.
“When they moaned that they want their Super League – play your Super League. You are three, you can play your Super League. Nobody cares. Nobody wants them, football doesn’t want them.”
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