Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says he is “sickened” by the club’s part in plans for a new European Super Leagues.
Plans for a new breakaway competition, led by Liverpool and Manchester United as well as Real Madrid and Juventus, were formally announced on Sunday night.
The proposal would see 12 clubs - with three more set to join imminently - begin as ‘founder members’ of what critics believe will be a closed competition at the very top of the game.
Condemnation of the plans has been almost universal with supporters, politicians and football figures, including Carragher’s fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, particularly vocal.
And Carragher, who spent his entire career with the Reds, is deeply disappointed about his former club’s part in it.
“It sickens me that my club’s reputation is being damaged by the arrogance of an ownership group that wants to remove such peril, creating a culture where we no longer need to fight to earn our success,” he wrote in the Telegraph. “That is the antithesis of everything I understand football – especially in my city – to stand for.
“To be tainted by association with the European super league is bad enough, but Liverpool’s apparent leading role in threatening football’s competitive ideals – the very ideals which allowed the club to emerge from England’s second division to become six-time European champions – is a betrayal of a heritage they are seeking to cash in on.”
After the plans emerged on Sunday afternoon condemnation was almost instant throughout the game, before the clubs released statements just before midnight.
In announcing the news, Manchester United owner Joel Glazer, also vice-chairman of the Super League, said: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan are the other six clubs, with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain missing from the list.
A joint statement from the clubs read: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new midweek competition, the Super League, governed by its founding clubs.
“AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs.
“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”
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