Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ hit with £22million fine for plotting European Super League

19 min read
Premier League's 'Big Six' hit with £22million fine for plotting European Super League

Simon Jordan has warned that there will be future breakaway attempts after Premier League clubs who signed up for the European Super League were fined a combined fee of £22million.

A financial settlement has been reached between England’s six Super League rebel clubs and the Premier League regarding the project which first arose back in April.

The European Super League was short-lived… to say the least

The clubs indicated their intention to remain in the Premier League, but their involvement in the Super League would have had a hugely negative competitive and commercial effect on the English top flight.

It’s expected that the money will go to grassroots football and not the 14 top-flight clubs who were not founding members of the Super League.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have also been told that they will be hit with individual £25m fines and a 30-point deduction should they agree to join a breakaway league in the future.

A Premier League statement on Wednesday afternoon 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 £22 million 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 £25 million 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.”

Simon Jordan was in typically good form on Wednesday


Simon Jordan was in typically good form on Wednesday

The Premier League previously conducted an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Super League’s foundation, and its chief executive Richard Masters said last month that the probe would be conducted ‘efficiently, justly and appropriately’.

It is reviewing its regulations and drafting a new Owners’ Charter to prevent a repeat.

But in Jordan’s eyes a repeat is inevitable, despite very strict and forceful penalties to any clubs who attempt to repeat their breakaway efforts.

“Of course it’s going to happen again. There’s nothing wrong with it apart from sporting meritocracy. It’s about revenue generation,” the former Crystal Palace owner said.

“Players’ salaries are not coming down and if you can’t get salaries down in this climate then you are never getting them done.

“It’s about revenue generation and making it fair… the Premier League is just as ugly because it doesn’t distribute properly does it?

“Ultimately 91 per cent of money in English football goes to 20 clubs… how is that right?”

So did Jordan believe the £22m fine was a justified punishment when taking everything into account?

Masters ensured a probe would be conducted ‘efficiently, justly and appropriately’

Getty Images

Masters ensured a probe would be conducted ‘efficiently, justly and appropriately’

He added: “Yes, it’s in keeping with what UEFA have done. There are more prohibited measures that will be taken if they try to do something similiar by the consequence of more punitive penalties.

“Look, the £22million can make up for what the Premier League doesn’t pay grassroots in the first place because it doesn’t pay it’s five per cent to grassroots.

“Like so many of the things we’ve got to look at the reason why these things happened rather than just necessarily how they happened ie the European Super League.

“Under-pining things like football, money, players’ salaries, the need to generate more money. The ugly side of it such as the lack of mediocracy and that sort of stuff.

“What worries me is certain organisations like UEFA and FIFA will suddenly get very protective in terms of their culture and start to change things that don’t need changing.

“I was worried that would happen and it’s beginning to happen in certain areas. But we can’t have sport without mediocracy, but we do have to look at the symptoms behind the disease.

“Football finances are broken and they’re getting worse. We’re sitting here flapping our gums about £150m transfers and £500,000-a-week players. We are in the middle of a situation with football where it’s never been financially challenged as it is now.

“It is what it is… £3.5m per club… it’s a ball ache for them really isn’t it? They don’t really want to pay that if they didn’t have to at the end of the day.

“What did they really do? They started a fight and they didn’t even get off the stool. It was laughable.”

The fans mobilised and defeated the European Super League plans inside 48 hours – but Jordan doesnt believe this is the end of the matter


The fans mobilised and defeated the European Super League plans inside 48 hours – but Jordan doesnt believe this is the end of the matter

He continued: “On one hand you’re arguing about sporting mediocracy and on other hand you’re talking about compromising sporting mediocracy for the ensuing season.

“If you’d have taken off points this season, what difference would it really have made to teams? It would have made a financial difference to teams because if they drop them down a place they’d have recieved

“You start the next season with a points deduction then it’s a comprised integrity argument. Everything is about money, so it’s no surprise that the consequence has been money.

“The quantum of it? It’s a players’ wages. The average player in the Premier League is on £70,000-a-week… so there’s a player’s wages that have had to be given up ultimately.

“What does a points deduction really achieve? What you wanted to do was to find out the reasons why these clubs did it and a lot of it is being pushed away.

“It’s all a bit laughable because if you’re going to do something, go strong or go home. They went out with a fart.”

Jordan expects the ‘Big Six’ to try a breakaway league again at some point

Jordan expects the ‘Big Six’ to try a breakaway league again at some point

A Football Association inquiry into the issue is ongoing, while it is understood to be working with Government on strengthening sports organisations’ powers in relation to the UK’s competition laws, after senior sources at the FA admitted it was ’50-50′ whether any legal attempt to block the breakaway would have succeeded as things stand.

The Premier League’s peace deal follows a similar one struck between nine of the original 12 Super League clubs and European football’s governing body UEFA.

It announced a ‘Club Commitment Declaration’ on May 7, effectively tying the clubs to existing domestic and international competitions on pain of tough financial sanctions if a future breakaway was ever attempted.

The clubs agreed to pay a combined 15 million euro (around £13m) goodwill contribution to benefit children’s football and the grassroots game, and the withholding of five per cent of any UEFA competition revenue due to them for one season, to be redistributed among other clubs.

The Glazer family and Fenway Sports Group agreed to cover these costs related to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

It is understood FSG will cover Liverpool’s share of the Premier League settlement too, which amounts to £3.7million, and that the Glazers will follow through on a pledge made by Joel Glazer at last week’s fans’ forum to cover United’s share.

The nine clubs face fines of 100m euro (£87m) each from UEFA in the event of any future breakaway attempt, the European governing body said last month.

The three clubs who have still not renounced the Super League – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – have had disciplinary proceedings opened against them by UEFA, with reports suggesting a Champions League ban is possible.

Those clubs have though mounted legal moves in their defence, claiming UEFA was in violation of European Union competition law in attempting to block the league and in threatening to sanction them.

Malcolm Clarke, the chair of the Football Supporters’ Association, said: “Whatever punishment the Premier League’s in-house process decides upon, it cannot guarantee that clubs won’t try similar again in the decades ahead.

“The European Super League’s legacy should be a total restructure of the game – an independent regulator, genuine power to fans, and wealth redistribution.”

Jordan has made it crystal clear what his feelings are towards UEFA and FIFA are in the past and reiterated his bold and forthright views in a parting shot on Wednesday’s White & Jordan show.

“UEFA are a disgraceful organisation and people are forgetting it,” Jordan explained. “There are a lot of problems with UEFA and the way they run the game and likewise FIFA.

“There’s a lot of corruption… the game is rife with it. So when they sit there and go ‘look at these 12 guys over there… they are the bad clubs’ like Tony Montana in scarface.

“There’s a lot of bad guys in football and there’s a lot of people that need to be brought to book.”

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