UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes that a “legislative bomb” in the form of a new law could be dropped “now” to stop the European Super League (ESL), the Daily Mail reports, citing the politician’s conversation with officials.
The PM’s spokesperson later confirmed to the media: “No action is off the table.”
“The government is exploring every possibility, including legislative options, to ensure these proposals are stopped,” the spokesperson unveiled. “The Prime Minister confirmed the Government will not stand by while a small handful of owners create a closed shop.”
Johnson said on Monday that his government was looking “at everything that we can do with the football authorities” to make sure the ESL does not go ahead.
The proposal would see 20 European teams joining the breakaway competition as a rival to UEFA’s Champions League in a bid to generate more profits amid COVID-induced financial struggles.
The newly established league would see 15 members participating in the tournament for the next 23 years without fear of being relegated – something that undermines the whole point of competition, critics say.
The league, which so far has the backing of 12 clubs, including six British ones – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham – has been decried by football fans as “disgusting” and the “ultimate betrayal” to football.
As a response, UEFA voted to ban players who participate in the ESL from taking part in international and European championships. Following the backlash, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool have reportedly started “getting cold feet” and rethinking their Super League bid.
Man City manager, Pep Guardiola, has criticised the ESL as “not fair.” In the eyes of the Spaniard, it's “not sport if it doesn’t matter if you lose.”
“Sport is not a sport when the relationship between effort and success, and reward, does not exist,” Guardiola raged. “It's not fair if a team fights to get to the top and success is only guaranteed for some clubs.”
The decorated manager concluded that he would love for the Super League president of the committee “to go out around the world and explain how we got this decision.”