The football world has been thrown into unprecedented turmoil after some of the world's biggest clubs agreed to start a breakaway 'European Super League', which has sparked outrage.
The 12 foundation clubs are Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham; La Liga heavyweights Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid; and Serie A trio AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.
'GOOD HEAVENS': Absurd upset leaves football world stunned
No French or German clubs are yet to sign.
The move has sent the football world into utter turmoil with UEFA announcing clubs would be banned from playing in their respective domestic leagues if it goes ahead.
“The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams,” UEFA said in a statement.
Reports suggested this would also include players taking part in the FIFA World Cup.
The Premier League announced any team in the competition would not be recognised in domestic competition.
Reports also suggested the Champions League and Europa League have been temporarily suspended after a number of clubs in the semi-final were involved in the breakaway league.
The reports hadn't been confirmed.
Manchester United legend, Gary Neville, let rip at the clubs that joined - which included his former club - after the announcement.
“I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool the most,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“They’re breaking away to a competition they can’t be relegated from? It’s an absolute disgrace. We have to wrestle back power in this country from the clubs at the top of this league – and that includes my club.
“It’s pure greed, they’re impostors. The owners of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City have nothing to do with football in this country.
"Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham aren’t even in the Champions League. Have they even got the right to be in there? They’re an absolute joke. Time has come now to have independent regulators to stop these clubs from having the power base. Enough is enough.”
Football legend, turned pundit, Gary Lineker also hit out at the audacious move.
Super League foundations
The league plans to launch "as soon as practicable" and the founding clubs will be given 3.5 billion euros ($A5.4b) "to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic" a statement from the Super League said.
The Super League organisers anticipate three more teams to join as founding members with five more to qualify annually for a 20-team competition.
The format of the competition would be two groups of 10 playing home and away fixtures with the top three in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals.
A play-off involving fourth and fifth placed teams will complete the final eight, before home-and-away knockout rounds until a single fixture final at a neutral venue.
A women's Super League competition is also planned to be launched after the men's league is up and running, the statement said.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is the founding chairman of the Super League, with Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli the vice-chairmen.
"We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world," Perez said.
"Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires."
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