European Super League chief promises to treble solidarity payments made to national associations

European Super League chief promises to treble solidarity payments made to national associations
The 12 breakaway clubs have unveiled more details of their plans (Picture: Getty Images)

The European Super League’s secretary general, Anas Laghari, has given his first interview about the controversial competition, sharing more details of the 12 renegade clubs’ plans and claiming solidarity payments to national associations will be trebled to around £344million annually.

On Sunday evening, the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ along with six more giants of Italian and Spanish football announced they had formed a breakaway competition to rival the Champions League, with none of the founding members able to be relegated.

The news was greeted with outrage from fans, governing bodies, pundits and politicians, with the Premier League and FA threatening to block Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham from taking part in domestic competitions.

European Super League chief promises to treble solidarity payments made to national associations
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs have signed up to the Super League (Picture: Getty)

Uefa has also pledged to block any players from Super League clubs from playing international football, while the UK government vowed to do everything in its power to stop the breakaway plans from coming to fruition.

But now Super League chief Laghari has rejected claims the new competition is a greedy money grab and says solidarity payments to national associations – which go towards grassroots football – will actually treble under their plans and is adamant the new league will be of benefit to the wider football world.

‘We have a solidarity committee that will supervise the distribution of funds and guarantee transparency,’ Laghari told French newspaper Le Parisien.

‘We are talking about €400million (£344m), which is huge. Today, Uefa distributes €130m (£111m) among 54 federations. We are ready with Uefa to distribute more money, but so this money arrives on the [grassroots] fields of Europe.’

Laghari also offered a further explanation as to the motivation of the 12 breakaway clubs for joining the Super League, saying: ‘The younger generations are less interested in football, they concentrate on video game consoles or something else and only connect with the big matches – but these big games rarely happen.’

He continued: ‘[The coronavirus pandemic] has accelerated the problems and the urgency of finding a solution. Football is a business that does not make money.

‘There is a real frustration with this unstable system based on a club’s results in the Champions League. A manager makes a three-year plan but he can have difference of several hundred million euros depending on his results.’

European Super League chief promises to treble solidarity payments made to national associations
News of the Super League has provoked outrage among fans of football (Picture: Getty)

Despite Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin waging war with the ‘dirty dozen’ of rebel clubs, Laghari hopes to be able to work with Europe’s governing body – but, if not, the Super League can be ready to launch by October.

‘We are ready to sit down around the table, we only ask for dialogue,’ says the Super League’s secretary general.

But if that is not forthcoming, then ‘everything could also start in five months’ time’.

On the decision to prevent founding members from being relegated, Laghari added: ‘There will be a quarter of the teams renewed each year. In Ligue 1, there are only three relegations each year – is that also a closed league?’

The Super League chief also claims that neither Paris Saint-Germain nor any of the Bundesliga’s biggest clubs have privately rejected the possibility of joining, saying: ‘No-one has refused an invitation at this stage.’

MORE : Ed Woodward holds meeting with ‘angry’ Manchester United players over European Super League plans

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