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Controversial European Super League relaunches with new multi-division plan

Chelsea fans protesting against the Super League in 2021 (Getty Images)

A new-look, open European Super League could contain up to 80 teams in a multi-divisional format, the competition’s chief executive has said.

The competition would be based on sporting performance only with no permanent members, A22 chief executive Bernd Reichart told German newspaper Die Welt.

Teams would be guaranteed a minimum of 14 matches per season, Reichart wrote.

A22, a company formed to sponsor and assist with the creation of the Super League, has consulted with nearly 50 European clubs since October last year and developed 10 principles based on that consultation which underpin its plans for a new-look league.

Reichart wrote: “The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing.

“It’s time for a change. It is the clubs that bear the entrepreneurial risk in football. But when important decisions are at stake, they are too often forced to sit idly by on the sidelines as the sporting and financial foundations crumble around them.

“Our talks have also made it clear that clubs often find it impossible to speak out publicly against a system that uses the threat of sanctions to thwart opposition.

“Our dialogue was open, honest, constructive and resulted in clear ideas about what changes are needed and how they could be implemented. There is a lot to do and we will continue our dialogue.”

A22 has challenged UEFA and FIFA’s right to block the formation of the Super League and sanction the competing clubs in the courts, arguing the governing bodies are abusing a dominant position under EU competition law.

The European Court of Justice is due to give its final ruling in the case later this year, but a non-binding opinion delivered by the Advocate General in the case in December said rules allowing UEFA and FIFA to block the formation of new competitions was compatible with EU law.

Reichart said the new-look Super League would be an open competition, with qualification achieved via performance at national level and with all its teams competing in their domestic leagues.

Those national leagues would remain “the foundation” of the game, Reichart said, and argued that the new Super League would generate new revenues to support the entire pyramid.

Club spending must be based solely on the funds generated and not on competitively distorting capital injections

A22 chief executive Bernd Reichart

The guarantee of a minimum of 14 matches, Reichart says, would provide “stablility and predictability” of revenue.

Reichart sets out plans for cost control measures, saying clubs should spend only a fixed percentage of their annual football-related revenue on player salaries and net transfers.

“Club spending must be based solely on the funds generated and not on competitively distorting capital injections,” he wrote.