UK minister vows to stop breakaway SL

·2-min read

Britain will do everything possible to block the Super League proposed by 12 top European soccer clubs, sports minister Oliver Dowden has said, adding he would review government support for clubs and would not rule out windfall taxes.

Dowden said he had met with the Premier League, the Football Association (FA) and the president of UEFA to discuss the plans that involve six English clubs including both Manchester United and City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quick to object to the plans on Sunday evening and Dowden said the government would act to block the project even if football authorities could not.

"Be in no doubt, if they can't act, we will," he told parliament on Monday.

"We will put everything on the table to prevent this from happening.

"We are examining every option from governance reform to competition law and mechanisms that allow football to take place.

"Put simply, we will be reviewing everything the government does to support these clubs to play ... We will do what ever it takes to protect our national game."

Asked whether the government measures under consideration included a windfall tax on breakaway clubs, Dowden said he was looking at all options.

Other measures could include reviewing policing support for games and visas for players.

Dowden said Britain has looked closely at the German model of majority fan-ownership of soccer clubs, and will examine the idea more closely in an upcoming fan-led review of governance of the sport.

"We've examined the German model very closely," he told parliament.

"It's very interesting to note that German teams are not participating in this."

Meanwhile, Italy's sports undersecretary said she was very worried about the consequences that could arise from the creation of the breakaway Super League, which includes Italian clubs AC Milan, Inter and Juventus.

"I am very worried about the consequences that an institutional clash could bring to the sports world," undersecretary Valentina Vezzali said in a statement.

"I hope that the sports authorities involved can quickly find a solution," she added.

The Super League proposal has prompted an outcry from furious fans, who have called the move greedy and fear it will damage the competitive spirit of the sport.