European Super League: Six English clubs to pay £22m after a failed breakaway

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The six Premier League clubs involved within the European Super League (ESL) have agreed to form a combined “goodwill” payment of £22m.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham wanted to make a breakaway league.

Should they attempt an identical project again, the clubs are going to be fined £25m each and have 30 points deducted.

Meanwhile, Uefa has temporarily paused disciplinary proceedings against Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid.

They are the sole three clubs from the 12 that signed up that are yet to simply accept any punishment or renounce the ESL.

European football’s administration had opened disciplinary proceedings against them in May.

‘They have wholeheartedly apologized’
In a joint statement, the Football Association and Premier League said English clubs had “collectively agreed” to form payment of £22m as “a gesture of goodwill”.

The money “will go towards the great of the game”, which incorporates “new investment in support for fans” and can help fund grassroots and community projects.

“The six clubs involved in proposals to make an EU Super League have acknowledged once more that their actions were an error, and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and therefore the way forward for the English game,” the 2 bodies said during a statement.

“They have wholeheartedly apologized to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League, and therefore the FA.

“The Premier League and therefore the FA have worked closely together throughout this process, and this agreement brings both investigations into the interest a conclusion.”

BBC Sport understands Manchester United’s owners the Glazer family, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group, Arsenal’s majority shareholders Kroenke Sports Enterprises, and Tottenham’s owners can pay the fine instead of their clubs.

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville, who has been a vocal critic of football’s governance and therefore the ESL, tweeted the punishment was “an absolute embarrassment”.

How football’s volatile 48 hours unfolded
Nine of the ESL clubs – the six Premier League sides, plus AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Atletico Madrid – were fined an identical amount by European administration Uefa last month.

They agreed to pay 15m euros (£13.4m) between them and have 5% of their Uefa competition revenues held for one season, starting in 2023-24.

In May, Uefa said the opposite three clubs involved – Real, Barca, and Juve – would face “appropriate action” having did not distance themselves from the ESL.

BBC Sport was told the clubs were risking being far away from the Champions League if the case went against them, but that now looks unlikely.

The three clubs believe an order issued by a Madrid court in April that forestalls Uefa taking action against them is valid in Switzerland, where the administration is predicated.

This has now been passed to the ECU Court of Justice for a ruling, which has led to the initial case being stopped.

Uefa said it had been “confident” in its case and would “continue to defend its position altogether the relevant jurisdictions”.

‘ESL legacy should be restructured of the game’
Football Supporters’ Association chair Malcolm Clarke says the £22m payment shouldn’t be the top of the matter if the Premier League wants to make sure an identical breakaway proposal won’t return within the future.

“It cannot guarantee that clubs won’t try similar again within the decades ahead,” he said.

“The European Super League’s legacy should be a complete restructure of the sport – an independent regulator, genuine power to fans, and wealth redistribution.”

The negative reaction to the ESL has sparked an enormous debate about how football is run.

The government has already announced a fan-led review into football governance and therefore the prospect of an independent regulator in English football is about for a parliamentary debate after a petition, launched by a variety of ex-footballers, gained quite 100,000 signatures.

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