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Major European football clubs agree to join new league

Posted April. 20, 2021 07:49,   

Updated April. 20, 2021 07:49


Major European football clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur of Premier League, have confirmed their participation in the European Super League (ESL) beginning in 2022. This has raised the possibility of Son Heung-min not being able to play for the South Korean national men’s football team.

According to the ESL on Monday, 12 European clubs agreed to establish a new midweek competition. Among the 12 clubs, Premier League clubs include Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, and Manchester United and other European clubs, such as AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus FC, Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Real Madrid.

On top of the 12 clubs, which have already confirmed to join the new league, three more clubs will participate to become ESL founders. The 15 clubs will be joined by five other clubs, which qualify on an annual basis based on their league standings during the previous season. The games will be played in midweek, starting in August regardless of the regular season of their domestic leagues.

The purpose of establishing the ESL is money. According to the foreign media, such as The New York Times, JP Morgan is providing £4.6 billion financings to the league. Founding clubs will earn a minimum of £130 million from the competition each year and pocket £212 million if they become the champion. The winner of the 2019-20 Champions League final pocketed €19 million. The ESL said founding members will receive €3.5 billion to spend on infrastructure investment. This is the amount of money clubs will be finding it hard to decline since many of them are suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FIFA as well as the European Football Associations (UEFA) and football associations of European countries have strongly condemned the proposal to establish the ESL. “We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels in order to prevent this happening,” the UEFA said in a joint statement with league secretariats. FIFA and six continental confederations warned that clubs joining the Super League could be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic or international level and players could be denied the chances to play for their national teams. If Tottenham join the ESL, Son Heung-min could be banned from playing for the South Korean national team.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com