The Soccer world is in a total upheaval after the announcement that 12 of the biggest teams in the World: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid, have joined forces to form the European Super League which is set to kick off in 2023.
The announcement was received with universal backlash by many fans and pundits all over the world. The perception is that the teams participating in the Super League are looking strictly to increase their revenue and are going outside their respective federations and UEFA to do so. Many federations have already issued statements objecting to the formation of the league and some federations will pursue actions that could ban the teams from participating in domestic leagues and FIFA/UEFA competitions.
FIFAPro, the players union for all professional soccer players, has issued a statement where they oppose any sanctions to players. who are employees of the clubs involved, citing as unacceptable any violation to the players rights or using them as negotiation tools between the clubs and their federations.
FIFAPro statement about European Super League
In the statement FIFAPro took on the stance that the players are victims in the whole scandal: "Players continue to be used as assets and leverage in these negotiations. This is unacceptable for FIFPRO, our 64 national player associations and the 60,000 players we represent. We will vigorously oppose measures by either side that would impede the right of players, such as exclusion from their national teams.In the best interest of players, and the whole industry, we are committed to working with all stakeholders towards decisions that supports all levels of the game and repair its existing flaws."
The press release comes after UEFA in conjunction with the federations involved in the original press release by the Super League stated that they would use all measures to ensure that European soccer’s playing pyramid will not be altered and that the clubs and even the players could face bans.
The European Super League has been a talking point amongst the top clubs in Europe for years, during the last few seasons UEFA has negotiated with the top clubs in the world to try to divide the profits as evenly as possible. As recently as only a few weeks ago the big clubs agreed to the new payment structure and changes to the UEFA Champions League.
The backlash from fans and pundits has been huge, with Liverpool fans announcing the removal of their flags from the stadium and pundits calling the clubs involved greedy and with no regard for the tradition of European soccer.
German clubs such as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund so far have declined entry into the Super League and at the moment PSG has also not commented if they would join.
As for the players they are at the moment in limbo as various claims as to what could happen to them have left many national teams in jeopardy when considering the caliber of player that plays in these clubs. Nonetheless FIFAPro will do everything they can to protect the players and their rights.