Soccer

Prem clubs face 30-point dock if ESL repeats

The six English clubs that signed up to the breakaway European Super League (ESL) earlier this year have agreed to pay a total of £22 million as part of a settlement with the Premier League, it was announced Wednesday.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham also agreed to accept fines of about £20m each and 30-point deductions if they join a similar unsanctioned competition in the future — a punishment that would have seen Arsenal and Spurs relegated during the 2019-20 campaign.

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A statement from the Premier League read: “The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have today acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake, and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game.

“They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and The FA. As a gesture of goodwill, the clubs have collectively agreed to make a contribution of £22m which will go towards the good of the game, including new investment in support for fans, grassroots football and community programmes.

“Furthermore, the clubs have agreed to support rule changes so that any similar actions in the future would lead to a 30 point deduction. Each of the six clubs, in that event, would also be subject to an additional £25m fine. The Premier League and The FA have worked closely together throughout this process and this agreement brings both investigations into the matter to a conclusion.”

The ESL was launched on April 18 with 12 clubs as founding members, but nine of them — six from England and AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid — have since backed out and reached a deal with UEFA.

The nine clubs who pulled out have been handed financial punishments by UEFA and have agreed to make a combined €15m goodwill contribution to benefit youth and grassroots football across Europe.

UEFA announced on Wednesday that it had put a hold on its disciplinary case against the remaining Super League rebel clubs — Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid — who were facing a ban from the Champions League.

The three clubs had won a ruling from a Spanish court in April that they could not be punished by Switzerland-based UEFA and FIFA. Their case was also notified by the judge in Madrid to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

“The UEFA Appeals Body has decided to stay the proceedings until further notice,” UEFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The scheme was intended as a direct threat to UEFA’s Champions League, but collapsed just days after the announcement due to widespread opposition from players, managers and supporters.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were left as the three remaining clubs wishing to push ahead with the plans. The company that the 12 founding clubs set up to administer the Super League still exists, but sources have told ESPN that Premier League clubs are planning to ask Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who also serves as the ESL’s president, to dissolve the company.

In May, ESPN reported that the three remaining clubs were facing a punishment that could include being banned from the Champions League for two seasons.

Earlier this month, La Liga president Javier Tebas — a vocal critic of the Super League — said that he believed the clubs could be excluded from Europe’s top club competition.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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