MANCHESTER: England’s Football Association has launched a formal inquiry into the role played by Premier League clubs in the attempt to create a breakaway European Super League.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal signed up to a new 12-team Super League led by Real Madrid‘s president Florentino Perez.
But after 48 hours of intense protests and criticism, which continues to reverberate through English football, the Premier League clubs withdrew from the project last week.
“Last week, we started an official inquiry into the formation of the European Super League and the involvement of the six English clubs,” an FA spokesperson said on Monday.
“We wrote to all of the clubs to formally request all relevant information and evidence regarding their participation. Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriate steps to take. Clearly what happened was unacceptable and could have caused great harm to clubs at every level of English football,” the spokesperson added.
Manchester United fans on Sunday clashed with police and invaded the pitch before their scheduled Premier League match against Liverpool which was postponed as a result.
There have also been protests at Chelsea and Arsenal games since the Super League plan was announced.
“The fans have played a vital and impactful role in helping to stop the European Super League from happening, and we understand their frustrations. However, we cannot condone the violent and criminal behaviour that took place before the scheduled Manchester United vs Liverpool match, which The FA is now investigating,” the spokesperson said.
“Throughout this period, we have been in ongoing discussions with the Government, the Premier League and UEFA. In particular, we have been discussing legislation with the Government that would allow us to prevent any similar threat in the future so that we can protect the English football pyramid.”
The Super League argued it would increase revenues to the top clubs and allow them to distribute more money to the rest of the game.
However, the sport’s governing bodies, other teams and fan organisations say it would increase the power and wealth of the elite clubs and the closed structure of the league goes against European football’s long-standing model.
Unlike Europe’s elite Champions League competition, where teams have to qualify through their domestic leagues, the founding Super League teams would guarantee themselves a place in the new competition every year.