Premier League moves to stop repeat of Super League breakaway

Authorities have introduced new rules including an Owners’ Charter

Chelsea fans stage a demonstration against the European Super league the day after it was announced. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA

Chelsea fans stage a demonstration against the European Super league the day after it was announced. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA

 

The Premier League has laid out the first stage of its response to the failed plans for a European Super League, insisting the six breakaway clubs will be “held accountable” for their actions and promising a change in regulations to “ensure the principles of the Premier League and of open competition are respected”.

Working alongside the Football Association and other stakeholders in the game, new rules will be developed to “protect our game”, the League has said, including a new “Owners’ Charter”. It comes at the same time as the FA launches an official inquiry into the abortive Super League, with the governing body making ‘formal’ requests of the big six clubs to hand over “information and evidence” regarding their participation in the scheme.

The proposed new competition lived and died over 48 hours, but its influence may be longer lasting as both the Premier League and FA suggested the possibility of tough actions in response to the idea.

“The actions of a few clubs cannot be allowed to create such division and disruption,” a Premier League statement read. “We are determined to establish the truth of what happened and hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions. We and The FA are pursuing these objectives quickly and appropriately, consulting with fans and government.”

The FA revealed it had been in discussion with government over the possibility of legislation to prevent another breakaway, which could follow the results of their inquiry. “Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriates teps to take,” a statement said. “Clearly what happened was unacceptable and could have caused great harm to clubs at every level of English football.”

As well as supporting the FA in a push for legislation the Premier League said it would itself implement further rules and regulations to protect the “principles of the Premier League and open competition”. Furthermore it would implement “a new Owners’ Charter that all club owners will be required to sign up to committing them to the core principles of the Premier League”.

A breach of either set of rules, the League said, would be “subject to significant sanctions.”

Both bodies also pledged to listen to the voices of supporters in any changes that are brought about. But the Premier League statement also urged fans protesting against their clubs’ involvement to remain peaceful after United’s game against Liverpool was postponed on Sunday due to some invading the Old Trafford pitch.

“Opposition to the proposed Super League united the whole of football, with the fans’ voice clearly heard. The Premier League recognises the strength of feeling and the right of fans to know what is happening. We are committed to maintaining close dialogue with supporters and their representatives, as we work with The FA and government to identify solutions, but ask that all protests are peaceful.”

It is understood that Uefa has yet to decide on potential sanctions could be imposed on the 12 clubs who signed up for the Super League after its president, Aleksander Ceferin, warned they would “suffer the consequences” of “their mistake”. – Guardian

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