European Super League: Other 14 Premier League clubs divided on 'Big Six' punishments

Senior club official says Premier League Rule L9 - which says any member Premier League club needs prior written approval by the Board to enter a new competition - has "patently been broken" by the rebel six; another club executive says deductions or fines would hurt the wrong people

Leeds United v Liverpool - Premier League - Elland Road
Leeds United players wearing 'Football Is For The Fans' shirts during the warm-up prior to kick-off during the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds. Picture date: Monday April 19, 2021.
Image: Players from Leeds United, one of the other 14 Premier League clubs, wore 'Football Is For The Fans' T-shirts during the warm-up prior to kick-off against Liverpool on Monday

The other 14 Premier League clubs are divided on whether the 'Big Six' should face sanctions after they abandoned their plans to join a European Super League, Sky Sports News has been told.

One senior club official has said they want to pursue the possibility of punishments because they feel there is a clear breach of Premier League rules, and a precedent must be set to act as a deterrent to possible future breakaways.

Premier League Rule L9 says any member club needs prior written approval by the Board to enter a new competition, and this official says that rule has "patently been broken" by the rebels signing an agreement to join the proposed Super League.

An executive at another Premier League club has told Sky Sports News any sanction imposed on the 'Big Six', such as points deductions or fines would hurt the wrong people - the players, managers, and, crucially, the fans of those clubs.

European Super League reaction
A selection of scarves pictured in London of the English soccer Premier League teams Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who announced in a joint statement they are to join a new European Super League. Picture date: Monday April 19, 2021. 3:01
Clubs being kicked out of domestic competitions was a legally viable threat, according to Dr Katarina Pijetlovic, an expert in sports law at Manchester Metropolitan University

Instead, they advocate the Premier League rules being tightened for the future, but they say the 'Big Six' should be welcomed back into the fold quickly, because "there has to be a measure of realism" here, with those six clubs so crucial to the "overall commercial and sporting success" of the league.

There is likely to be another meeting of the 14 Premier League clubs - possibly even later on Wednesday - to discuss what should happen next.

Tuesday's timeline - how the Super League collapsed

  • 8:30am - Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol tells Good Morning Sports Fans that he understands the Super League could collapse
  • 10am - FIFA president Gianni Infantino reiterates the governing body's 'strong disapproval' of the plans
  • 10:45am - SSN understands cracks begin to emerge among the Premier League sides committed to the Super League
  • 12pm - Senior figure at one of the breakaway Premier League clubs insists they 'will not back down'
  • 12:30pm - Prime Minister Boris Johnson says 'no action is off the table' in stopping the Super League
  • 1:30pm - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola criticises the Super League, saying 'it is not sport'
  • 2:15pm - 14 Premier League clubs 'vigorously reject' Super League plans
  • 5:30pm - Chelsea fans begin protesting outside Stamford Bridge
  • 6:30pm - Chelsea's performance and technical advisor, Petr Cech, urges fans to let team into stadium; kick-off against Brighton delayed
  • 7pm - News breaks that Chelsea are preparing to withdraw from the Super League
  • 7:30pm - Manchester City follow Chelsea in withdrawing from Super League
  • 8pm - Manchester United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, steps down
  • 9pm - Liverpool players come out against the Super League on social media
  • 11pm - Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham withdraw from the Super League
  • 1am (Wed) - Chelsea officially confirm they are also withdrawing from the Super League
  • 1am (Wed) - Super League says it will 'reconsider' proposals

'The desire is to punish individuals, not the clubs'

Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

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When it comes to punishing the six Premier League clubs who signed up to the Super League, this is the consensus among the other 14 clubs.

The first task is to establish if the six clubs broke any Premier League rules by signing a letter of intent to join a non-recognised league.

The desire is to punish individuals and not clubs because points deductions and transfer embargoes would end up hurting the fans of the six clubs as well.

PA - European Super League - 'big six' clubs 2:05
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol says the feeling among the 14 Premier League clubs is that they wish to punish the breakaway owners, not the fans of those clubs

The 14 are particularly angry and disappointed with the executives from the breakaway clubs who had been sitting on key Premier League committees.

Certain executives will be banned from attending Premier League meetings in the future and that would make their positions at their clubs untenable.

The 14 clubs no longer trust these executives and cannot work with them going forward.

Going forward, the key, as far as the 14 are concerned, is to change the Premier League's rules so this does not happen again.

Executives from the breakaway clubs who sit on key Premier League committees include Bruce Buck of Chelsea and Ed Woodward of Manchester United.

Government legislation on the way in football

'Football could be governed by an independent body', Kaveh Solhekol reacts to the withdrawal of all six English clubs from the proposed European Super League

Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

"The reputational damage done to the game in this country has been huge and I would also say that as far as the clubs are concerned they have lost their voice, lost some of their power, lost some of their influence here and also abroad, in UEFA and in the European Club Association and also in FIFA.

"In the short term, I think the price to pay will be that the 14 other Premier League clubs have said 'some of you people behind this are not welcome at the Premier League anymore. You are not welcome at our meetings anymore, you are not people we can work with anymore.'

"So, some of these senior executives at these Premier League clubs will be very worried about their own personal futures.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden says the collapse of a European Super League is a victory for the fans

"In the long-term, I think you are going to see the government legislate because this has shown that the way football runs in this country is not governed properly and I think the government will now act.

"I think in the future we could very well see an independent regulator in charge of running football in this country."

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