The last time most of the sports world saw Joel Glazer he was standing on the field at Raymond James Stadium basking in the glow of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl win over Kansas City. But in the last week, the Buccaneers owner has turned to the other team he has and his family own in their sports portfolio Manchester United where he has turned the soccer world upside down.
A press release entitled ‘LEADING EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CLUBS ANNOUNCE NEW SUPER LEAGUE COMPETITION’ was published at 11.10 pm on Sunday night, carrying quotes from Glazer, the United co-chairman, and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
The new Super League would be a midweek competition and the 12 clubs intend to commence it as ‘soon as practicable’. The soccer heavyweight’s behind the effort include Manchester United, AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Tottenham have committed to be the founding members.
As many as three to five more teams would be invited to be part of Glazer’s new league in what they defined as the “not to distant future.” Both Glazer and Perez offered written statements on why the move makes sense for the teams.
Glazer said: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
Perez promised: “We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
The newly proposed Super League would deal a blow to the very powerful UEFA Champion’s League that has a massive following worldwide. It could also cause a “civil war,” in Europe and it could also have World Cup implications if FIFA wants to ban players who play in the new Super League.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin wants to issue a ban at some point this week after meeting with his legal team, sources tell CBS Sports insider Fabrizio Romano. Perez said he believes the clubs and players involved cannot be banned by UEFA or FIFA.
“The players should remain calm because [not being able to play with national teams] will not happen,” Perez said. “Nobody should threaten anybody. We’ve offered to talk, to negotiate…They won’t kick out Real Madrid, City or anybody. I’m sure of that.”