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Report: Top European Clubs Agree to Super League That Would Rival Champions League

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 4/18/2021 Andrew Gastelum
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Liverpool, Manchester United, Barça and Real Madrid are among the teams who have agreed to join a super league in 2022 that would rival the UEFA Champions League.

A group made up of the biggest soccer clubs in Spain, England and Italy has agreed to join a breakaway league that has the potential to change the landscape of world soccer, according to The New York Times

So far, 12 teams have reportedly endorsed or signed up for the super league, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid from Spain; Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham from England; and Juventus, A.C. Milan and Inter from Italy. 

The report suggested that each permanent member of the proposed breakaway league, which would begin in 2022, has been promised €350 million ($425 million) with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in discussions to help finance the league. But top Bundesliga clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have reportedly doubled down on their commitment to Champions League, for the time being, despite being courted by the proposed super league.

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An announcement by the breakaway clubs is expected before Monday when UEFA is set to ratify a new 36-team Champions League format that would begin in the 2024–25 season. Known as the "Swiss Model," the proposed new Champions League format would dissolve the current eight-group format into one large group, weighted by seeding, where each team would play 10 group games. 

But without the breakaway teams, the Champions League would face an existential crisis that could result in massive losses and demands for millions of dollars in refunds from broadcast companies and sponsors. 

UEFA and league officials reportedly spent the last few days discussing ways to sanction teams for joining the breakaway league, ideas that included potentially banning the defecting clubs from domestic leagues and from next season’s Champions League. Earlier this year, FIFA threatened to ban players who competed in an unsanctioned league from the World Cup. 

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