Boris Johnson will meet officials today after vowing ‘do everything’ to stop European Super League | Daily Mail Online
Plans for a breakaway European Super League were left in tatters tonight as clubs began to walk away from the hated competition after a ferocious fan backlash.Manchester City were the first of English football’s so-called ‘Big Six’ teams to announce they had asked to withdraw.Reports said Chelsea would follow suit along with European giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.At Manchester United – who are not one of the sides rumoured to be getting cold feet – executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced he was resigning.And Liverpool players issued identical statements saying: ‘We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen.’ City, Chelsea, United, Arsenal, Atletico, Barcelona, Liverpool, Spurs, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid had sparked outrage among much of the footballing world when they released a joint statement on Sunday backing the £4.6billion proposals.But, less than 72 hours after the announcement was made, the plans crumbled through this evening.
Manchester City’s statement read: ‘Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League.’ Reports said a similar statement from Chelsea would follow on Wednesday.News of the sudden change-of-heart came as hundreds of Chelsea fans tonight rallied against the club’s involvement in the breakaway plans in a rowdy protest outside Stamford Bridge.Fans blocked the Chelsea team coach’s entry to the stadium, ahead of their Premier League clash against Brighton, sparking club legend and current technical director Petr Cech to get among supporters in a bid to appease them.But it was only once news broke that the club could now withdraw from the tournament did fans relent – loudly cheering the decision and the club’s name.
Earlier, in a sign of uncertainty from within the City camp, boss Pep Guardiola criticised the plans, while United striker Marcus Rashford also took aim at the proposals, sharing the quote ‘football is nothing without fans’.The row that threatens the most seismic change to English football in decades, came as: Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has stepped down amid the row over the European Super League.
Woodward is a key figure in the fiercely controversial plans for the new breakaway league, with his links to US investment bank JP Morgan helping to secure the £4.3billion in financing.But after Manchester City and Chelsea’s shock decision to pull out of the ESL, the plans began to crumble.Woodward, who has been at the club for eight years, is now set to leave at the end of 2021.It is understood that Woodward was planning to go at the end of the year, but the announcement has been brought forward.
The crumbling resolve of the architects today came as Boris Johnson threatened to drop a ‘legislative bomb’ to stop it, telling the FA, Premier League, the PFA and fans and the Government will change the law to stop a small handful of billionaire owners creating a ‘closed shop’ destroying England’s 132-year-old football pyramid.The new league has no relegation and founding clubs have agreed to play in it for the next 23 years – but rebels including Man City and Chelsea are already said to be ‘getting cold feet’ in the wake of vitriol from players and supporters.Liverpool are also growing ‘increasingly doubtful’ about the project after the wave of fan anger and protests outside Anfield, according to Bild.Adding fuel to the rumours of unrest, Pep Guardiola said: ‘Sport is not a sport when the relationship between effort and success, and reward, does not exist.
It is not a sport if you can’t lose.It’s not fair if a team fights to get to the top and success is only guaranteed for some clubs’.He added: ‘I would love the [Super League] president of the committee to go out around the world and explain how we got this decision’.MailOnline can also reveal Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League amid unrest amongst players sucker-punched by the plans.
This afternoon Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford shared a picture of Old Trafford and a quote by legendary manager Sir Matt Busby: ‘Football is nothing without fans’, in a thinly-veiled criticism of the proposals spearheaded by the club’s owner Joel Glazer.Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out.But bookies say Klopp is now favourite to be the next Premier League boss to resign or be sacked after he was blindsided by the decision and then forced to face the cameras last night, where he told fans he would ‘try to sort it out’.His comments never made it on to the club’s website, leading to claims of censorship.
Boris Johnson has told the football authorities that he is prepared to introduce new legislation to prevent the formation of a European Super League.At a meeting with the FA and the Premier League, the Prime Minister voiced his ‘unwavering support’ for their efforts to block the so-called Big Six clubs of the English game going ahead with the new breakaway competition.Mr Johnson told the virtual meeting that the Government should ‘drop a legislative bomb’ to prevent the proposal going ahead as planned, sources said.The PM did not set out what would happen, but these are the moves he is said to be considering: One unnamed UK chief executive told Sky: ‘This is not what we signed up for’ and alleging ringleaders Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid bullied them into it.
Another source told Politico that Man United and Liverpool had ‘lied’ to get them to join and had ‘f***ed up’ ever since.’Big 6′ players, who have been threatened with a ban from this summer’s European Championships, are also said to be angry because they weren’t consulted with messages said to be flying on team WhatsApp groups about how they could sink the proposals.It is understood that Boris Johnson told officials today that whilst he was a staunch free marketeer, he believed the breakaway competition was ‘anti-competitive’, that a ‘legislative bomb’ such as a new law should be dropped to stop it and that it ‘should be done now’.And the Prime Minister tonight underlined his opposition to the proposed European Super League, saying that it was wrong that historic clubs were being turned into ‘international brands and commodities’.The Prime Minister told a Downing Street news conference: ‘Be in no doubt that we don’t support it …the creation of this European Super League.’I think it’s not in the interests of fans, it’s not in the interests of football, how can it be right to have a situation in which you create a kind of cartel that stops clubs competing against each other, playing against each other properly, with all the hope and excitement that gives to the fans up and down the country? ‘Football was invented and codified in this county.It is one of the great glories of this country’s cultural heritage.
These clubs, these names, originate from famous towns and cities in our country.’I don’t think that it is right that they should be somehow dislocated from their home towns, home cities.’ Mr Johnson reiterated that the Government stood ready to legislate if there was no other way to stop the plan.He said: ‘That remains something that we will bring to the forefront if we have to.’What we want to do first of all is back the FA, back the Premier League, and hope that we can thwart this proposal before it goes very much further.’ Boris Johnson has told the football authorities that he is prepared to introduce new laws to prevent the formation of a European Super League.At a meeting with the FA and the Premier League, the Prime Minister said the Government should ‘drop a legislative bomb’ to prevent the proposal going ahead as planned, sources said.’No action is off the table and we are exploring every possibility to ensure these proposals are stopped,’ the Prime Minister said after the meeting.The plans for a breakaway Super League involving England’s so-called ‘Big Six’ clubs have been ‘unanimously and vigorously’ rejected by the other 14 members of the top flight.A statement released by the Premier League after its meeting read: ‘The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.
‘The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those shareholders (clubs) involved to account under its rules.’ Downing Street has not ruled out stopping players of clubs involved in the breakaway European Super League getting work visas or withdrawing police funding for match days.
No 10 added the PM ‘expressed his solidarity with football fans and agreed they must always be at the heart of any decisions about the future of the game.He reiterated his unwavering support for the football authorities and confirmed they have the government’s full backing to take whatever action necessary to put a stop to these plans.’.While the government would prefer the breakaway to be stopped via existing football regulations, it can be disclosed that it has told the Premier League it will do ‘whatever it takes’ including possible competition law intervention and the introduction of ‘sports-specific legislation’.A host of measures are being discussed along with government intervention.Sportsmail understands that among them are ‘immediate disciplinary proceedings’ against the six, who are both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.Prince William, President of the FA, has warned the proposals could ‘damage the game we love’.Even Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has come out against it, telling clubs like Liverpool, founded by the church, they should think about the communities they serve.
The ‘Dirty Dozen’ of Europe’s top clubs who have signed up have already agreed to be part of the midweek competition for at least 23 seasons with the sweetener of up to £300million each when it starts in as early as August.One insider close to the deal said today that with the financial support of JP Morgan the new league ‘is happening’.’There are signed agreements – 23-year contracts.This is categorically not a bargaining chip.
I can see why people might come to the conclusion but I am happy to correct it.This is proper, it’s happening’, the source told The Times.Leading lawyers have also said competition law is probably on their side.The ‘greedy’ American owners of England’s top clubs behind the maligned new European Super League may have started talks three-and-a-half years ago at a New York lunch with Manchester United’s former JP Morgan banker boss at its centre, MailOnline can reveal today.
By Mike Keegan Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League .The Liverpool skipper, whose own club is one of the six English sides that has signed up for the competition, is set to lead the players’ response to the plans that have rocked football.Henderson, 30, has long been seen as a trusted, respected figure among the top-flight’s footballers.The summit will be significant as it will include representatives from clubs who are part of the breakaway plans and those who are not.England international Henderson led the players response to the NHS crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.The former Sunderland man oversaw the creation of a fund, which was aimed at making millions for the service in the light of what many perceived to be unjust criticism by health secretary Matt Hancock.Liverpool owner John Henry and Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis met with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club-owning Glazer brothers Avram and Joel for discussions in one of New York’s most popular restaurants, Locanda Verde, in the trendy Tribeca district in October 2017.These are the men who have sat in silence while the football world reacts in horror at their plans to upend the competitive spirit of the sport once and for all bankrolled by £4.3billion in loans from Mr Woodward’s former employer JP Morgan.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin turned on club leaders he called ‘snakes’ and ‘liars,’ singling out Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli and Manchester United vice chairman Ed Woodward for betraying him by reneging on a pledge to stick with the Champions League.Mr Ceferin, who is godfather of Mr Agnelli’s daughter, said: ‘They don’t know s*** about solidarity.They spit in the face of football lovers.We didn’t know we had snakes working close to us, but now we know’.Today at Uefa’s annual congress, he piled more pressure on to wavering English clubs, telling them: ‘Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake.
What matters is that there is still time to change your mind.Everyone makes mistakes.Come to your senses, not out of love for football, because I imagine some of you don’t have much of that, but out of respect for those who bleed themselves dry so that they can go to the stadium to support the team and want the dream to be kept alive.For those, you (must) change your mind’.As outraged fans of the breakaway teams threatened to overthrow the mainly-foreign billionaire owners of their clubs, and rival supporters set fire to their kits outside football grounds, the Prime Minister weighed in having vowed to ‘do everything’ to stop it.The Prime Minister had previously described the new midweek competition, which includes six leading English clubs among the founders, as ‘ludicrous’ but there are still concerns that he can do nothing to prevent it.Asked if the PM was planning to speak to his Spanish and Italian counterparts, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: ‘We would inform you of any conversations that happen with counterparts in the normal way.
‘We are keen to speak to everyone involved in this, from other countries to, like I said, the Premier League and others.’ And amid reports of some of the ESL clubs wobbling, the spokesman said: ‘I think we are fairly unequivocal that we don’t want this to go ahead in the current form so we would welcome any club that wants to step back from this approach.’But I think that as far as I am aware speculation at this stage.’ Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out.Chelsea and Manchester City appear to hold the greatest hopes of derailing the controversial European Super League, with club bosses believed to be ‘losing their nerve’ amid mounting pressure from fans and Government.Six teams from the Premier League, including Chelsea and Man City, signed up to the breakaway competition over the weekend as part of 12 founding teams.
Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt suggested overnight, following a wave of criticism from supporters and senior Government figures, that two English teams were ‘wavering’ in their commitment to the breakaway.Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be the least committed of the six English teams and pressure is continuing to increase for them to make a statement of intent by walking away.Complications could arise, however, after Real Madrid president, and the chairman of the European Super League, Florentino Perez insists the 12 clubs who signed up have agreed to a ‘binding’ contract that prevents them from reneging on their decision.Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, said Boris Johnson made clear at the meeting he would be prepared to protect the authorities from legal action if they moved against the breakaway six.He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: ‘There was a discussion about what powers the football authorities have in order to prevent this, what sanctions they can take, which will include exclusion from taking part in domestic competition for those clubs who have broken away.’The Prime Minister then suggested that if any legislative change might be required in order to shore up the powers of the league and the FA to enforcing those sanctions, then that could be forthcoming.’ He added: ‘My understanding is that the rule books of the FA and the Premier League quite clearly give those bodies the power to exclude clubs from their competitions.’They would anticipate, however, that those clubs would then challenge that legally under competition law.’The mood music from the Government was they would do what was required to make sure that the measures to exclude those clubs from competitions would not fall foul of competition law and that they would amend the law if necessary.’ Banners were put up outside the stadiums of the Big 6, accusing them of ‘killing football’ and saying the beautiful game had been ‘created by the poor and stolen by the rich’.
The clubs involved are said to have signed 23-year contracts tying them in until at least 2046.Insiders say fissures are said to be beginning to show with two of the six English clubs said to be wavering.Gary Neville predicted that Manchester City could be the closest to ‘cracking’, but that his former club Manchester United will hold on because their American billionaire owner Joel Glazer is one of the architects.He labelled the Glazer family ‘scavengers’ – and said they should be ‘booted out’ from the club.
Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Michael Owen has urged those behind the proposed European Super League to ‘let the people have their game back’.Owen wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s an ill-thought through idea that can not and will not work.’Protecting the football pyramid is paramount and any proposal as radical as this requires all clubs and their fans to support it.This support should have been sought at the outset.
‘It wasn’t and as such it’s doomed to fail.Bin it now and let the people have their game back.’ UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has publicly urged the Premier League’s Big Six to perform a dramatic U-turn and walk away from the much-maligned European Super League that has created a civil war within football.Ceferin launched a scathing attack on the plans on Monday – blasting those ‘snakes’ and ‘liars’ for making it happen – and just one day on he continued to make his resentful feelings known in his address to the 45th UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.And the UEFA president also directly appealed to the Premier League’s ‘greedy’ and ‘arrogant’ Big Six to backtrack on their controversial decision to join the Super League.
‘At this point I would like to address the owners of some English clubs,’ Ceferin said during his powerful address on Tuesday.’Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake.Some will say it is greed, others disdain, arrogance, flippancy, complete ignorance of England’s football culture.But actually it doesn’t matter.
‘What matters is there is still time to change your mind, everyone makes mistakes.English fans deserve to have you correct your mistake, they deserve respect.’ There was also open opposition from Liverpool’s managers and players about the plans after the club drew 1-1 with Leeds United last night.Leeds added fuel to the fire by wearing T-shirts emblazoned with ‘For the Fans’ before kick off.Supporters also blocked the team coach as it arrived in West Yorkshire.
Manager Jurgen Klopp and his captain on the night James Milner both came out against the Super League.But there comments were not on the club’s website, leading to claims of censorship.Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League .
The Liverpool skipper, whose own club is one of the six English sides that has signed up for the competition, is set to lead the players’ response to the plans that have rocked football.
Henderson, 30, has long been seen as a trusted, respected figure among the top-flight’s footballers.There were also reports from German publication BILD on Tuesday that Liverpool were feeling ‘increasingly doubtful’ about the Super League project because of the amount of anger from fans at the proposals.Uefa’s executive committee member Jesper Moller said last night that they are looking at whether Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea could be banned from this season’s Champions League semi-finals by the end of the week.UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin was addressing the 45th UEFA Congress in Montreux, and was preceded on the stage by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.He did not explicitly threaten to ban players at European Super League clubs from future World Cups, but did say to the clubs involved: ‘If some elect to go their own way then they must live with the consequences of their choice.They are responsible for their choice.
‘Concretely, this means either you’re in or you’re out.You cannot be half in or half out.’ Ex-England captain and now owner of Major League Soccer franchise, David Beckham, has warned that fans will be the ones to suffer if plans go ahead.’I’m someone who loves football.It has been my life for as long as I can remember.I loved it from when I was a young child as a fan, and I’m still a fan now.As a player and now as an owner I know that our sport is nothing without the fans.We need football to be for everyone.
We need football to be fair and we need competitions based on merit.Unless we protect these values the game we love is in danger…’ he wrote on Instagram.Alan Shearer has predicted that some of the clubs involved in the breakaway Super League would be considering their positions as a result of the condemnation which has followed Sunday night’s announcement – but said they must be banned from competition if they don’t back down.
He said: ‘They have thrown a Hand Grenade.Let’s throw one back and ban them.
When you look at the reaction over the last 36 hours, common sense would tell you that these clubs will have to go away and think, ‘Have we really done the right thing here?’.’ He added: ‘Where are these owners? Why don’t they come out and face the media and tell us why they’ve done it, why they want a closed shop that no-one else can get into?’.There was also open opposition from Liverpool’s managers and players about the plans after the club drew 1-1 with Leeds United last night.Leeds added fuel to the fire by wearing T-shirts emblazoned with ‘For the Fans’ before kick off.James Corden has slammed the controversial European Super League proposals in an impassioned six minute tirade on American television.The British TV host opened his popular US late night show, The Late Late Show, with an emotional speech decrying plans which critics say will cause irrecoverable damage to the sport.Corden, a West Ham fan, joined the dissenters on Monday night and became emotional while outlining his opposition.
He joked no-one in his American audience cares about the goings on in European football, but said the ‘monumental’ announcement had outraged him.
Corden said: ‘I’m heartbroken by it, genuinely heartbroken by it.I’m heartbroken because the owners of these teams have displayed the worst kind of greed I’ve ever seen in sport.’ London-born Corden said British football teams are historic institutions with working class roots and are not the same as franchises in US sport.He compared the Super League, which would allow its founder members access on an historical basis rather than merit, to an imagined scenario where A-list actresses Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan and Viola Davis carve up Oscar nominations for themselves.And Corden condemned the owners of the clubs – including Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona – for taking the game away from fans.He said: ‘It’s hard to express how much these communities rely on football, not just financially, which is considerable, but football is like a focal point of a town’s hopes and dreams, that’s what it is, you know? ‘And these dreams, they’ve just been shattered not just in Britain, all across Europe.And the reason these dreams have been shattered and discarded is so that a group of billionaires can buy themselves a bigger boat, or a second boat.’Football is a working class game where anyone can beat anyone on their day, and it’s that that makes it incredible, it’s that that’s made it the global force it is today.’ James Milner, who was captain last night, told Sky Sports: ‘I can only say my personal opinion, I don’t like it and hopefully it doesn’t happen.
I can only imagine what has been said about it and I probably agree with most of it.Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had earlier said his own negative opinion of a European Super League had not changed.Klopp, speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his side’s game at Elland Road, stuck by his words from 2019 when he said he ‘hoped this Super League will never happen’.’It didn’t change.My opinion didn’t change,’ the German said.’It is a tough one, people are not happy with that.I can understand that.I have no issues with the Champions League, I like the competitive factor of football.
I like the fact that West Ham might play in the Champions League next year.I don’t want them to because we want to do that, but I like that they have the chance.’ Liverpool’s city neighbours Everton, which has won more league titles than Man City, Chelsea and Spurs, has called out ‘preposterous arrogance’ of the clubs trying to form the Super League.Their board of the club said in a statement: ‘The self-proclaimed Super Six appear intent on disenfranchising supporters across the game – including their own – by putting the very structure that underpins the game we love under threat.’The backlash is understandable and deserved – and has to be listened to.This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan’.Meanwhile, Manchester United’s superstar midfielder Bruno Fernandes last night became the first player from the breakaway clubs to publicly rally against the proposals, by sharing a social media post saying ‘Dreams can’t be bought’.Other players at the club are said to have made their feelings known to executive vice chairman Ed Woodward as he delivered an emergency Zoom briefing at the club’s Carrington training ground yesterday.It comes as a ‘nuclear war’ broke out in football over the proposals, which would see the six clubs become part of a group of a dozen elite European teams to compete in a tournament rivalling the current Champions League.
The founding members of the proposed European Super League would be guaranteed a spot without qualification – a move which would all but end hopes of any club outside England’s top six playing in Europe’s most elite competition.Arsenal fans were yesterday seen hanging signs calling for their owner to quit the club following the announcement, while Leeds United fans were seen burning a Liverpool shirt outside Elland Road – where the two sides played in the Premier League last night.Earlier Prince William, who is the current president of the FA, spoke out against the European Super League project, saying it risked ‘damaging the game we love’.In a statement released through the Kensington Palace Twitter account, the Duke of Cambridge, who is due to speak to FA chiefs about the issue later this week, said: ‘Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core.
‘I share the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.’ Jurgen Klopp slammed Gary Neville as the pair were involved in an extraordinary war of words after Liverpool ‘s 1-1 draw with Leeds .The Merseyside club are one of six Premier League sides that have agreed to take part in the European Super League.After Liverpool conceded a late goal in the draw with Leeds, Klopp was asked to give his views on the breakaway competition.The German manager, who is against the plans, defended his team and hit out at Neville over comments he made referring to Liverpool’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ anthem.
He told Sky: ‘Gary Neville speaks about You’ll Never Walk Alone.That already should be forbidden to be honest.’Because we have a lot of right to sing that anthem, that’s our anthem and not his and he doesn’t understand it anyway so I really don’t want these kind of things because it’s not fair.’I understand all the talk and I don’t like it as well.
But I don’t talk about other clubs like this, you can be emotional but I wish Gary Neville would be in a hotseat somewhere and not everywhere where the most money is.’He was at Manchester United, Sky all these kinds of things.Don’t forget we have nothing to do with it.We’re in the same situation as you all we got information and we still have to play football.’ After Klopp’s interview, Neville defended his quotes from Sunday afternoon and suggestion that his comments were not fair on Liverpool.He said: ‘Why is it not fair? I have insulted Liverpool loads of times over the years, yesterday was nothing to do with insulting Liverpool.
Players too made their feelings clear, with Leeds United stars wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the logo ‘football is for the fans’ before their Premier League clash with Liverpool.
In a candid interview after the 1-1 draw, Liverpool midfielder James Milner broke ranks with his club’s plan to join the European Super League by saying: ‘I don’t like it and I hope it doesn’t happen.’ The club’s Premier League and Champions League winning manager Jurgen Klopp also hinted he was against the proposals, telling Sky Sports before the game: ‘People are not happy with it, I can understand it.’I like the competitive aspect of football.
I like that West Ham might play in the Champions League.I don’t want them to, because we want to, but I like they have the chance.’ Last night the row heated-up even further amid reports that football chiefs were looking into the possibility of banning players from rebel clubs from playing for their national teams in tournaments such as the European Championships and the World Cup.And reports suggested bosses at Uefa were considering punishing rebel clubs Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City by throwing them out of this season’s Champions League – despite them making up three of the four semi-finalists.However the breakaway clubs last night appeared to be standing firm, with reports suggesting they have already signed 23-year deals to compete in the new European Super League tournament, starting from the 2023-24 season.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted: ‘Season after season, year after year, football fans demonstrate unwavering loyalty and passion by sticking by their clubs.’But their loyalty is being abused by a small number of individuals who wield an incredible amount of power and influence.These owners should remember that they are only temporary custodians of their clubs; they forget fans at their peril.’They have decided to put money before fans – so I have been left with no choice but to formally trigger the launch of our fan-led review of football.The review will be chaired by (Tracey Crouch), and will be a root-and-branch examination of football in this country.’It will cover the financial sustainability of the men’s and women’s game; governance and regulation; and the merits of an independent regulator.
‘We are the people’s Government.We are unequivocally on the side of fans – and their voices have to be heard when it comes to the future of our national game.’ As the row raged on, United star Bruno Fernandes, 26, yesterday led the criticism from his team’s camp.
The attacking midfielder shared an Instagram post by his Portuguese teammate Daniel Podence, who plays for Wolves, celebrating a goal for Olympiacos in the Champions League – a competition that would essentially be killed off by the new tournament.Podence also wrote an ode to Europe’s top club competition, referring to Manchester United and Liverpool’s recent historic wins and other great moments, with the caption: ‘There are some things we just can’t really pay for’.And in an act of defiance that may upset the American billionaire owners of Man United, the Glazers, who are among the architects of the new league, Bruno shared the post with clapping emojis and the phrase: ‘Dreams can’t be bought’.By Mike Keegan for SportsMail Ed Woodward held an emergency briefing with ‘seriously unimpressed’ Manchester United players at Carrington on Monday morning.Sportsmail understands that some members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad were angered after they found out about the breakaway European Super League – and their own employer’s central role in it – via the media on Sunday.
Insiders have disclosed that some also felt Solskjaer was thrown under the bus when left to face questions from Sky after the story had broken during their 3-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday.They made their feelings known and the executive vice chairman delivered a briefing via Zoom to explain the club’s position at their training base.Sources say the reception among many of the squad was ‘lukewarm at best’.
Woodward, who recently moved to London from Manchester, is said to have told the squad they were acting in the club’s best interests.’Some of the players were seriously unimpressed,’ a source explained.
‘Not only that they were left to find out by the media about what had happened but that their manager was left to face the press when the owners had concocted this.’Woodward attempted to appease them but the response was lukewarm at best.
It hasn’t gone down well with many of them.’ The same post was also shared by Manchester City’s full back João Cancelo, who is also Portuguese, in a sign that there is also some anger among players at Pep Guardiola’s club, who are also signed up, as it was revealed that Uefa is working out how it can ban all players at the 12 clubs signed up from this summer’s European Championships and its president Aleksander Ceferin called the owners and their staff lying ‘snakes’.Speaking after an emergency meeting, Mr Ceferin said: ‘Uefa and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful self-serving proposal we have seen in the last 24 hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fuelled purely by greed.’The players who will play in the teams that might be playing in the closed league will be banned from playing the World Cup, and so they will not be able to represent the national teams at any matches.’Our sport has become greatest based on sporting merit and we cannot allow that to change, we will not ever.’ In another twist in the jaw-dropping saga, the Government last night also threatened to step in – with ministers vowing to do ‘whatever it takes to protect the national game’.
Writing in the Sun, Boris Johnson said: ‘A year of empty stadiums has reminded us all that football without fans is an altogether more anaemic spectacle.’It is your game – and you can rest assured that I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a straight red.’ The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been urged to investigate whether the breakaway European Super League would breach laws to uphold fairness.Labour’s shadow minister for sport Alison McGovern blasted the proposal as ‘nothing short of an attempt to stitch up competition’ for a few elite clubs.She has written a letter to the CMA asking whether it will investigate the widely-criticised plans, commission a study to identify how the league would impact upon competition in the market and to advise Parliament on drafting legislation to make the sport more accountable to supporters.The party has also urged football fans to sign a petition pressuring the regulator into action over the move backed by the ‘Big Six’ of English Premier League clubs.The Competition and Markets Authority has said it will be ‘carefully considering’ the proposals to create a breakaway European Super League.A CMA spokesperson said: ‘The proposals for a European football super league have attracted high levels of public interest.’It is a complex area and we will be carefully considering any competition aspects of these proposals.’ The 12 rebel clubs pushing for a European Super League will immediately received hundreds of millions of pounds to spend on player and stadiums thanks to loans already agreed with JP Morgan.
If it goes ahead the founders, at least half from America with involvement in the NFL, the clubs will be able to strike a new global TV deal that could eclipse the £3.6bn on secured by the Premier League.They will also be able to shrink the pool of teams getting cash from the Champions League from over 100 clubs to just 20, with founding clubs sharing at least the first two-thirds of the new cash.When the league begins, clubs will immediately receive between £100million and £300million to spend on players, stadia and training facilities Under the terms of the proposed deal, it has emerged: New European Super League president Florentino Perez insists the controversial breakaway league is necessary to save clubs in financial terms and is determined it will go ahead – whether Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich continue to refuse to join or not.The Real Madrid president was announced on Sunday in a similar role to his current post as the first chief of the new league, which involves Premier League ‘Big Six’ Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham replacing their European commitments with UEFA, such as the Champions League.Perez’s Madrid were joined by LaLiga rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid while Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have also signed up, but German giants Bayern Munich and French counterparts PSG have insisted they will not be following suit.But speaking on El Chiringuito in Spain, the 74-year-old claimed the Super League was a necessary measure for all clubs including his own to combat the loss of income brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.And he insisted that it was ‘bulls***’ that it could be cancelled if other big sides refuse to eventually join, claiming football would be ‘dead’ in three years’ time under current competitions and models.
‘Many important clubs in Spain, Italy and the UK want to find a solution to a very bad financial situation,’ Perez said.’The only way is to play more competitive games.If instead of playing the Champions League, the Super League helps the clubs to recover the lost earnings.Here at Real Madrid we’ve lost a lot of money, we are all going through a very bad situation.When there is no profit, the only way is to play more competitive games during the week.The Super League will save clubs financially.’PSG were not invited, as of today.
We haven’t even spoken to German clubs.We are now 12 clubs, we want to become 15 clubs.
If PSG and Bayern Munich refuse, the Super League competition will not be cancelled.This is bulls***.’Football must evolve like everything in life.Football has to adapt to the times we live in now.
Football is losing interest from fans, TV rights are decreasing.We wanted to do the Super League, the pandemic has given us urgency, and right now we are all ruined in football.’Even in the Premier League, if the top clubs are economically stronger, all the other clubs will also become stronger.It is a consequence.
We want a dialogue with UEFA as we proposed in the Super League, we want to save football.’This Super League is not for the rich, but it’s to save football.If this continues, football will disappear and by 2024 we would already be dead.This is the only way to save everyone: big, medium and small clubs.’ STAN KROENKE – ARSENAL The 73-year-old American billionaire is heavily involved in sport as owner of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment with Premier League side Arsenal among the biggest guns in his portfolio.
His company has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and he took complete control three years ago.Kroenke also owns elite-level American teams LA Rams (American Football), the Denver Nuggest (basketball), Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey) and the Colorado Rapids (football).Kroenke was able to navigate his way around NFL rules preventing ownership of teams in other markets by having the Avalanche and Nuggets in his wife’s name.Ann Walton is the daughter of Walton co-founder James Bud Walton.
He also has the Colorado Mammoth team in the National Lacrosse League and, since 2017 has been involved in epsorts, owning teams in leagues for the video games Overwatch and Call of Duty.Despite his involvement in sports watched by millions Kroenke prefers to avoid the spotlight and has the nickname ‘Silent Stan.’ He is estimated to be worth around $10billion.JOHN W HENRY – LIVERPOOL John W Henry’s Fenway Sports group have owned Liverpool since 2010.They also own the Boston Red Sox (baseball), as well as having stakes in Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR) and Minor League baseball team the Salem Red Sox.
Henry, worth an estimated $3billion who is married to his wife Linda Pizutti (pictured together), made his money from trading company JW Henry and Co before buying the Red Sox with his partner Tom Werner – the Liverpool chairman.Under their control in 2004 the Red Sox won a first World Series in 86 years.They also ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a championship when they lifted the Premier League last season.But they will now face serious questions from the Anfield supporters following last night’s news.
ROMAN ABRAMOVICH – CHELSEA Abramovich and his billions arrived at Chelsea in 2003 and turned them into a Premier League giant.Since he took ownership of the club and invested heavily in big-name managers and players, they have won 16 major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.Believed to be worth around $15billion, according to Forbes, Abramovich also owns stakes in steel company Evraz and Norilsk Nickel – a Russian mning company.A political figure in his homeland, he was governor of the Chukotka region and donated more than $2million to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure.The 53-year-old is known to have close relationships with former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and current president Vladimir Putin.JOEL GLAZER – MAN UNITED Florida-based Glazer is part of the family who have controlled Manchester United since 2005.
They also have NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.United have not won the Premier League since 2013 but during Glazer’s tenure have lifted 12 major prizes and, according to Deloitte, in 2021 are the world’s fourth richest club behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Barcelona with revenue of $580m.The Galzers’ money comes from their sporting empires and real estate across the US.They bought the Buccaneers for $192m in 1995 and it is now worth $3.1billion.Likewise they took charge of United, according to Forbes, for $1.4bn with the club reported to be worth more than $3bn.
JOE LEWIS – SPURS The 84-year-old Lewis is worth around £4billion, according to last year’s Times Rich List.
Born in London he entered the family catering business at 15 but in the 1980s moved into currency trading.He is the major investor in Tavistock Group which owns more than 200 companies in 15 countries.The group formerly owned stakes in Scottish football team Rangers and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.Lewis lives in the Bahamas as a tax exile.He is reported to have an art collection worth an estimated $1billion.SHEIKH MANSOUR – MANCHESTER CITY The money arrived at Manchester City in 2008 and with Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, pulling the purse strings, they never looked back.
Cash was quickly pumped into every area – academy, training ground, playing staff, coaching – and City quickly caught up with, and overtook their neighbours.They have won four Premier Leagues in that time, look set for a fifth this season and are in the semi-final of the Champions League.The Abu Dhabi group is the majority owner of the City Football Group which boasts Man City as their flagship team.They also have stakes in teams in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China, Belgium and France.Crossbench peer Lord Jim O’Neill has said that clubs joining the proposed Super League should probably be kicked out of the current European competitions.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday that the Government should also think about introducing legislation for fan-based ownership of clubs.
When asked if he thought just the Government needed to take action, he said: ‘I’m talking about Uefa too – there were rumours late last night that Uefa is going to meet again and give them (the clubs) a deadline til Friday to change their view, otherwise kick the remaining teams out of this year’s Champions League and Uefa Cup, which includes my Manchester United, and they probably should.’And the Government should threaten all sorts of really powerful things, including something that relates to what I’ve been so enthusiastic about from a Manchester United-perspective for the past decade and that is to think about something like a German-style legislative move to fan-based ownership.
Enough of this ridiculous nonsense of people who don’t really care about football.’ The Government had earlier announced the launch of a top-to-bottom review of football in the UK.Ministers say the investigation, to be headed up by former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, will be a ‘root and branch’ reform of the governance and finances of football.
This includes the possibility of an independent regulator for football – a move long called for by United legend Gary Neville – and a move to a German model where fans groups are the majority share holders.The announcement of the review came as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the Government will be offering its ‘full support’ to the Premier League, Football Association and Uefa.’Be in no doubt if they can’t act, we will.We will put everything on the table to prevent this from happening, he told the Commons.
And in a pointed threat to the clubs involved, he added: ‘We will do whatever it takes to protect our national game.’ One option being urged upon ministers is to impose a ban or further on incoming foreign transfers – a move which could seriously impact on the success of big teams.There is a feeling among English football’s key stakeholders that Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham shouldn’t be allowed to access foreign talent under new post-Brexit recruitment rules if the controversial new division is started.But, despite the risk of sanctions, it appears the European Super League project has already green-lit, with teams having reportedly signed the contracts.According to the Times, a source close to the project said: ‘There are signed agreements — 23-year contracts.
‘This is categorically not a bargaining chip.
‘I can see why people might come to the conclusion but I am happy to correct it.This is proper, it’s happening.’ Meanwhile, the league has reportedly already signed up former Number 10 Press Secretary Katie Perrior to help with the PR strategy.Ms Perrior, who worked under Theresa May, is the founder ofiNHouse Communications, which has the contract to conduct PR for the Super League, according to the Times.The unrest in the Premier League came as expert lawyers told MailOnline that the rebel clubs still have a good chance of winning any blockbuster legal battle as football fans and former players turned on the ‘greedy’ mainly-foreign billionaire club owners.Supporters have accused the mainly-foreign owners of ‘treachery’ and threatened to never watch them again after the £4.3billion plan bankrolled by JP Morgan emerged yesterday.Manchester United’s chief executive Ed Woodward was an investment banker there before moving into football having helped the Glazers buy the club.Supporters of Liverpool, owned by American John W Henry, have put up banners outside Anfield including one announcing the death of the club while Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) threatened to overthrow owner Joe Lewis and Chairman Daniel Levy.
Manchester City’s Official Supporters Club felt the plans demonstrated ‘zero regard for the game’s traditions’.One board member at one of the six Premier League clubs involved told Sky Sports News: ‘This is not a civil war, it’s a nuclear war.’There are several board members at the six clubs who are opposed to joining the new league but they feel they do not have the power to stop it’.He said that for the owners of the clubs, all of whom are based abroad, ‘are not that worried about (bad) PR’ and ‘the wider good of the game is a secondary concern’.
‘T hey don’t like giving their playing assets away to countries for very little financial reward’, the source said.And while the backlash was a plenty from fans, players and ex-players alike, the move was seen in a positive light by stock brokers, with shares in the 12 clubs involved rocketing yesterday.Shares of Juventus soared by 20 per cent on the Milan stock exchange yesterday following the announcement, and the value of Manchester United shares also jumped 10 per cent on the New York stock exchange.
And one football finance expert predicted the clubs involved could triple their income from European football by defecting to the new super league format.Clubs currently net around £100million in TV revenue and gate receipts from the Champions League.But football finance expert Kieran Maguire told the Express that he believes the figure could be more like £300million for those in the European Super League – on top of a guaranteed £200million initial ‘welcome bonus’.He told the paper ‘The clubs believe they can sell the rights directly to the consumer.’It would be great news for something like MUTV where the only offerings are the Under-23s matches or news of Paul Pogba’s latest hair cut.’ However, the plans could yet backfire on the breakaway group, as the rebel clubs were threatened with expulsion from the Premier League and European competitions with their stars also potentially banned from playing for their countries.The UK Government is also said to be drawing up ‘very robust’ plans to fight back, including the Home Office withdrawing policing support from matches.They could also lead a legal charge to the High Court amid claims the move could be illegal under UK competition law, but legal experts have told MailOnline that the law is likely to be on the rebels’ side.
Mark Orth, of MEOlaw based in Munich, believes the rebels will succeed if the row goes to court based on competition law and precedents set in previous cases in European courts.He said: ‘I am of the opinion they have a strong case.
They have a good chance of winning.’There are good prospects for the start of the Super League and the clubs that take part’.Speaking in Gloucester yesterday, the PM said football clubs were more than ‘great global brands’, they needed to have a link with their fans and communities, with supporters already threatening to tear up season tickets and protest outside stadiums in huge numbers if the ‘money-grabbing’ owners pursue it.There could also be attempts to sanction the owners.The US sports moguls behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal: Joel Glazer, John W Henry and Stan Kroenke respectively, are key players in the plans.They have been backed by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City and Spurs, owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis, who lives in the Bahamas.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is the chairman of the new organisation, while Mr Glazer is a vice-chairman with Juventus’ Italian chairman Andrea Agnelli.The American billionaires pushing for the European Super League have been accused of trying to impose a NFL-style model.Critics have said giving even more money to the big clubs, with billions set aside for players.It means that the 20 largely biggest clubs in Europe will have even more money than rivals to grab talent away from poorer clubs outside the Super League.Members will have a distinct advantage over the 100 or so clubs that used to be in the Champions League, which may not survive.But the Super League will be without a salary cap and drafting system, meaning the bigger clubs with the most money would likely keep winning every time.
Tory MP Damian Collins, former Chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said the announcement is a ‘ploy’ to get more cash when the new Champions League deal is agreed this year because the cash is set to be shared among more clubs.He said: ‘It looks completely cynical – a negotiating ploy to get more money.This is from American club owners who have brought ideas from the NFL’.Mr Johnson admitted that clubs involved could be compelled to pay back state-backed coronavirus loans and furlough money.
The most extreme change mooted is to transform the ownership rules for clubs to mirror the German model where investors can only own 49 per cent of a club and fans own the remaining 51 per cent.This ensures supporters always have the deciding vote at meetings.Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have not signed up to the Super League due to supporter power on their boards.The already super-rich club owners behind the proposed European Super League have rushed to court to try to force through their plans financed by £4.3 billion ($6bn) in loans from US banking giant JP Morgan despite English fans and football legends crying ‘betrayal’ and declaring war ‘for the soul of football’.
Under the plans the founder clubs will immediately share a £3.5billion pool of cash of up to £310million per club – and up to half of the payment can be ploughed into new players and salaries with the rest spent on the stadium and training facilities.They would also make billions more by striking a fresh global TV deal with sources close to the founders telling the BBC that they will focus on ‘fans of the future’ abroad rather than ‘legacy fans’ in the UK.As well as the TV cash, the advertising money would be shared amongst the 20 clubs proposed to take part, rather than the 79 clubs who take part in the Champions League each year.Meanwhile, players at the club are said to hit back at the proposals during an emergency meeting with Ed Woodward yesterday.
Woodward, who recently moved to London from Manchester, is said to have told the squad they were acting in the club’s best interests.’Some of the players were seriously unimpressed,’ a source explained.’Not only that they were left to find out by the media about what had happened but that their manager was left to face the press when the owners had concocted this.’Woodward attempted to appease them but the response was lukewarm at best.
It hasn’t gone down well with many of them.’ ‘If this European super league advances, those dreams are over, the illusions of the fans of the teams that are not giants of being able to win on the field competing in the best competitions will end.’I love football and I cannot remain silent about this, I believe in an improved Champions League, but not in the rich stealing what the people created, which is nothing other than the most beautiful sport on the planet.’ The Premier League held an emergency board meeting after the plan emerged on Sunday and has written to all its 20 clubs.The letter from chief executive Richard Masters demanded the rebels ‘walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done’.The Times says Masters told the six rebel clubs that continuing with this breakaway, would be a direct breach of Premier League rules.Sanctions could include expulsion or points deduction.In a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA’s Aleksander Ceferin seen by the PA news agency, the European Super League Company calls for cooperation but also reveals it has already taken legal action to try to head off the threat of clubs and players being banned from other competitions.The letter reads: ‘We are concerned that FIFA and UEFA may respond to this invitation letter by seeking to take punitive measures to exclude any participating club or player from their respective competitions.’We hope that is not your response to this letter and that, like us, your organisations will recognise the immediate benefits of the competition established by SLCo.
‘We also seek your cooperation and support on how the competition can be brought within the football ecosystem and work with us to achieve that objective.’Your formal statement does, however, compel us to take protective steps to secure ourselves against such an adverse reaction, which would not only jeopardise the funding commitment under the grant but, significantly, would be unlawful.’For this reason, SLCo has filed a motion before the relevant courts in order to ensure the seamless establishment and operation of the competition in accordance with applicable laws.’ The football club owners and chief executives behind the plot to join a new Super League and change the game forever may have first begun talks over three-and-a-half years ago.Liverpool owner John Henry and Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis met with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club-owning Glazer brothers Avram and Joel for discussions in one of New York’s most popular restaurants in broad daylight in October 2017.
They are the men who have sat in silence while the football world reacts in horror at their plans to upend the competitive spirit of the sport once and for all.
At the time, Sportsmail reported how television rights could well have been on the agenda of their meeting.Those three sides had been agitating for a greater slice of the pie.Instead of splitting the income equally between 20 Premier League teams, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United wanted a model similar to Spain, where Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid – coincidentally also founder members of the Super League – get a bigger payout than the rest of the LaLiga teams.They had dinner together in Italian restaurant Locanda Verde in the trendy Tribeca district and at the time seemed the most unlikely of companions, given the fierce rivalry between their three clubs.Fast forward nearly four years and the football fans in Britain and beyond have reacted in uniform horror at the Super League proposals – the fear of what will happen to the game transcending any rivalry on the pitch.These owners, however, have come together and Joel Glazer was quoted by rival clubs explaining how the Super League was moving forward.
Messrs Henry, Glazer and Woodward don’t have too many other friends to turn to but they clearly have each other.
Gazidis, meanwhile, has since departed Arsenal and is now an executive at AC Milan in Italy, who are also a Super League founder member.Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out.Chelsea and Manchester City appear to be the greatest hopes of derailing the controversial European Super League , with club bosses believed to be ‘losing their nerve’ amid mounting pressure from fans and Government.Neville tweeted: ‘(Manchester United owner) Joel Glazer won’t turn easily! Jurgen Klopp and the senior players could turn FSG.Man City most likely to crack.This isn’t for them! The other 3 will follow the lead of others.’ Arsenal and Tottenham are the other two clubs involved.
Neville’s sentiments follow on from comments he made on Sky Sports ‘ Monday Night Football show where he shared his belief that Manchester City’s owners would not risk their ‘legacy’ by joining a breakaway competition.’Why will the Abu Dhabi people build a network of football? What they have done is unbelievable to the east of Manchester,’ Neville said on Monday night.
‘They created a legacy around there, arguably for marketing purposes.Why are they doing this? They don’t need money, they have got Pep [Guardiola], the most amazing manager.City must fold.’ Six teams from the Premier League , including Chelsea and Man City, signed up to the breakaway competition over the weekend as part of 12 founding teams in a move that rocked sport.Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with representatives from the Football Association, the Premier League and football fan groups this morning to discuss action against the proposed European Super League.
Johnson, alongside Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, reiterated his unwavering support for the football authorities and confirmed they have the government’s full backing to take whatever action necessary to put a stop to these plans.The Prime Minister continued to express his full support to prevent a closed shop and said that they are exploring all options, including the introduction of laws to stop it going through.Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt suggested overnight, following a wave of criticism from supporters and senior Government figures, that two English teams were ‘wavering’ in their commitment to the breakaway.Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be the least committed of the six English teams and pressure is continuing to increase for them to make a statement of intent by walking away.
Neville’s colleague, Jamie Carragher, insisted just one of the ‘Big Six’ dropping out would cause the Super League to collapse.Speaking after Liverpool midfielder James Milner and manager Klopp came out against the idea following a 1-1 draw with Leeds, Carragher said: ‘We need the same response from everyone, we cannot afford this to die away, we need to ramp this up.
We should take our hats off that they [Milner and Klopp] have been bold enough to say this.’More and more clubs have to do this.
As soon as one drops out, the rest will fall.I am so much more confident it can be stopped that I was at 2pm or 3pm, listening to Klopp and looking at social media.’If one goes, the rest will fall like a pack of cards, I have a spring in my step.
A lot of it was hinging on Klopp’s interview, as soon as we saw it, it gives you confidence.’ Tweeting a follow-up on Tuesday morning, Carragher added: ‘I’m convinced if we all get together & forget our tribalism we can stop this.Keep banging the drum.’ Complications could arise, however, after Real Madrid president, and the chairman of the European Super League, Florentino Perez insisted the 12 clubs who signed up have agreed to a ‘binding’ contract that prevents them from reneging on their decision.’The contract of the Super League is binding.Nobody can leave, we will work all together,’ Perez told Spanish television show El Chiringuito on Monday night.
‘All the clubs signed the contracts last Saturday, there’s no problem,’ he added, when asked about potential for backtrack amid the criticism.
Manchester City fans made the feelings known on Monday night as they produced banners outside the Etihad Stadium to protest their involvement in the new competition.’RIP MCFC’, one read, while another called on owner Sheikh Mansour to ‘sort it out’ and pull them out of the Super League.Musician Liam Gallagher, who is a vocal and prominent Man City fan, tweeted: ‘C’mon MCFC do the rite thing f*** it off we’re better than this as we were.’ Chelsea fans are expected to produce a similar show of unity with banners of their own outside Stamford Bridge tonight ahead of their Premier League match against Brighton.The issue of the potential for Europe’s elite to produce a closed-shop competition without relegation for the founding members was discussed by UK Government.In the House of Commons on Monday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that in the first instance it would be for the football authorities to prevent the English clubs from going ahead with the Super League.
But, amid condemnation of the proposal from across the political spectrum, he said that if they were unable to do so, the Government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the national game.Dowden said they were examining every option ‘from governance to competition law to mechanisms that allow football to take place’.The Prime Minister promised football fans furious at the proposals that he will do everything possible to give what he described as the ‘ludicrous’ European Super League a ‘straight red’.
Premier League champions Liverpool appear to be ignoring both criticism aimed at them and any mention of their role in the highly controversial European Super League.The Reds and the rest of the so-called Big Six of the Premier League have faced a furious backlash after the unveiling of proposals for a breakaway tournament on Sunday.There were protests outside grounds around the country on Monday at the scheme put forward by Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea , Arsenal and Tottenham together with six leading Spanish and Italian clubs.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hit out at the plans by his owners both before and after Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Leeds , yet there is no mention of his comments on the subject on the club’s official website.The German, who was critical of plans to break away in 2019 and has maintained that opinion, responded to questions on the subject in interviews but his usual press conference transcript is notably missing his answers given to questions on the European Super League.Speaking before kick-off at Elland Road, Klopp said: ‘My opinions didn’t change.I heard first time about it yesterday (Sunday) and when you try and prepare for a very difficult game like Leeds United and then so far we got some information, not a lot to be honest – most of the things you can read.’It’s a tough one people are not happy with that, I can understand that but I can’t say a lot about it to be honest.
‘We were not involved in any processes, me nor the players we didn’t know about it.We’ll have to wait and see how it develops.’I’m 53 years old since I was first a professional, the Champions League was there.As a manager it was my aim to coach a team there.
‘I like the Champions League, the competitive factor of football.I like the fact that West Ham might play Champions League next year.I don’t want them to because we want to do that.But they have a chance like that.
‘What can I say: Liverpool is much more than some decisions and the most important things in football is the supporters and the teams and we have to make sure nothing comes between them.’ In his post-match press conference, Klopp added: ‘I have six years at the club.I know our owners, they are reasonable people, serious people.’They care about us, but they never have to explain this type of decision like or ask permission or whatever.’I speak a lot to them, but was not involved in the process, not at all.
I got information yesterday (Sunday).Nobody knows what will happen.
I don’t know anything about that.’The team has nothing to do with it and I have, not really, anything to do with it, but people treat us like that.The Leeds supporters came here today, before the game they were shouting at us in the city this afternoon.’We have nothing to do with this.We are employees of the club and I feel responsible for a lot of things at this club.
‘When I am involved in things and I take the criticism easily, but my boys – I don’t think they have to take it as well.’We are not involved in this.So it’s a tough one at the moment.
I will try to help and sort it somehow.’ James Milner, Liverpool’s stand-in captain on Monday night, added: ‘There are a lot of questions.I can only say my personal opinion, I don’t like it and I hope it doesn’t happen.’ Yet the transcript of Klopp’s interview on Liverpool’s website shows his responses to three questions, two focused on the Leeds draw and the other looking forward to Saturday’s clash with Newcastle.
According to The Athletic , Klopp is ‘furious’ at the situation owners Fenway Sports Group have put him in and the lack of communication between the boardroom and manager’s office before the proposals were made public.The timing of the announcement has also angered the German, with Monday night’s game at Leeds a crucial fixture in Liverpool’s bid to finish in a Champions League spot.Klopp revealed he had held a meeting with his team on Monday morning but, with little extra information available to them at the time, urged his players to ignore the noise and focus on the task at hand.The German is desperately wanting urgent talks with FSG in the coming days but said on Monday night that his future at Anfield is secure.He said: ‘I don’t run away when there are problems, I never did that.
‘When times get even tougher that makes me more determined to stay here.I feel responsible for the team, for the club and for the relationship we have with our fans.’ It comes after Liverpool news website This is Anfield reported that a staff meeting due to be held on Tuesday to discuss the proposals was cancelled not long after full-time of the Leeds game on Monday night.An email sent by chief executive Billy Hogan on Monday read: ‘We know that this announcement has provoked strong feelings within the game and elsewhere but we believe this decision is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool Football Club.’Importantly, this is the beginning of the journey and we can now start an engagement process with you, supporters and key stakeholders to help shape this process in the right way.’There is still much more information to come in due course.
‘I will keep you updated as we progress on this journey and discuss further on our Town Hall tomorrow.’ By Danyal Hussain and Martin Robinson for MailOnline The billionaire owners of England’s biggest football clubs have joined up with some of their European counterparts to create a new Super League that has sent shockwaves through the sport.The US sports moguls behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal: Joel Glazer, John W Henry and Stan Kroenke respectively, are key players in the plans.They have been backed by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City and Spurs, owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis, who lives in the Bahamas.The European Super League plans also involve Spanish sides Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona and Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan.American investment bank JP Morgan, which included Jeffrey Epstein and Bernie Madoff as its clients, will give the clubs £4.3 billion in loans to get the competition started.Sponsors and investors are thought to have already been lined up by the bank to bring money into the league.
Money seems to be the key driver of the new competition, with the club owners hailing from a range of ultra-wealthy backgrounds.John W Henry, owner of Liverpool John W Henry, the 71-year-old owner of Liverpool, has an estimated wealth of $2.7bn.Alongside Liverpool, the American financier and investor also owns baseball side Boston Red Sox and the Boston Globe newspaper.His company, John W.
Henry & Company, an investment management firm which he founded, also has stakes in Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR) and Minor League baseball team the Salem Red Sox.Born to bean farmer parents in Quincy, Illinois, Henry started his venture into the world of finance by selling soybean assets known as ‘futures’.
He has been married twice – to first wife Peggy Sue between 1993 and 2008.The tycoon’s second wife is Linda Pizzuti, who is 30 years younger than him.His courtship of her was leaked by publications in Boston in 2009, the year they got married.
Henry is a father of three, and has two daughters with his first wife, as well as a son with Pizzuti.While learning his trade he tested a new type of trading technique which proved a success.He is now worth an estimated $3billion.
Henry made his money from hedge funds and his trading company before buying the Red Sox with his partner Tom Werner – the Liverpool chairman.
Under their control in 2004 the Red Sox won a first World Series in 86 years.They also ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a championship when they lifted the Premier League last season.As of February 2021, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.8billion.
In 2016, he splashed out an eye-watering £68million on a new 215-foot super-yacht which can reportedly accommodate 12 overnight guest in a master suite, three double cabins and two twins, and up to 17 crew in separate quarters.Among the yacht’s most noteworthy features are an ornate fireplace in the main saloon, an infinity pool located aft of the main deck, an elevator, a spa center, a gym and a helipad located on the bow.
Henry put his Florida mansion up for sale in 2018 for $25million before knocking off $10million a year later.
Dubbed the ‘House of Peace’, he bought the six-acre plot in 1991 for $850,000 (£646,000) so stands to make an astonishing profit despite his price-cut.It is unclear if the mansion has been sold since.The property, based in the Le Lac neighbourhood in Boca Raton and has seven bedrooms and 14.5 bathrooms across 27,832 square feet.On the main level, there’s a foyer with a sweeping staircase and a two-story living room.Elsewhere, there is a home cinema, a sports bar, a library with cherry wood walls, a gym, a loft with card tables, an underground wine cellar and a recording studio.
There is also a swimming pool with cabana seating, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven, a clay tennis court and a pair of motor courts.Henry was briefly portrayed in the 2011 film Moneyball, which follows Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his quest to build a winning team in 2002.Beane turns down an offer from Henry to become the new GM of the Red Sox but the team goes on to win the 2004 World Series by implementing many of his ideas.In one email sent to her after watching a Boston Celtics NBA match, he wrote: ‘A brief encounter-and-a-half with you gave a cool spin to this little blue planet from my vantage point.
‘I barely know you.
I don’t have any illusions about capturing your heart.It’s the small things that ultimately matter.The subtle things.I am honest.I don’t play games.
‘And I see no reason not to say that I’ve been smitten by you and you’ve done me a great service.You’ve very innocently made my world brighter, better, lighter and warmer.’ Pizzuti, the daughter of two Italian migrants, has a Masters degree in real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she graduated from at the age of 26.She served as the managing director of the Boston Globe for seven years before being appointed chief executive officer of Boston Globe Media Partners last year.Henry has been married three times, firstly to Mai Henry, though little is known about their relationship.He was married to his second wife Peggy Sue Henry for 15 years, between 1993 and 2008.The pair have two daughters together.
Henry and his current wife Puzzti have one son together.
Stan Kroenke, owner of Arsenal Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke has been involved with the Gunners since 2007 and took complete control three years ago.The billionaire, 73, also owns NFL team LA Rams, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Rapids from the MLS.He also has the Colorado Mammoth team in the National Lacrosse League and, since 2017 has been involved in esports, owning teams in leagues for the video games Overwatch and Call of Duty.
From comparatively humble beginnings, his father was the owner of Mora Lumber Company in Mora, Missouri.Stan is said to have worked sweeping floors for his father from a young age, before helping with the bookkeeping aged 10.However, it was his marriage which propelled him to riches.Ann Walton, who he married in 1974, is the daughter of Walmart co-founder James Bud Walton and was heir to his vast fortune.
The couple have four children, including son Josh, 40, who is president of the Denver Nuggets basketball team.
Daughter Whitney, 43, is a film producer and philanthropist.Kroenke has another son, named Brett, as well as a daughter named Katie.He founded the Kroenke Group in 1983, a real estate development firm that specialised in building shopping centres – many near Walmart stores.When his father-in-law Bud Walton died in 1995, Kroenke inherited a stake in Walmart Stores Inc, which was worth $4.8billion as of September 2015.Kroenke is thought to be worth £7billion.
The couple have at least two children together, Josh and Whitney Ann.His son Josh is president and governor of the Denver Nuggets basketball franchise, President and Governor of the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey franchise, and Alternate Governor for the Colorado Rapids soccer franchise.
The company also co-owns Elitch Gardens Theme Park.In 2013, he was appointed by his father to the board of Arsenal as a non-executive director.Daughter Whitney is a film producer, and philanthropist.Kronke’s career in sports team management has not been without controversy.
He got around NFL rules preventing the ownership of other sports teams by having the Avalanche and Nuggets in his wife’s name – much to the anger of his rival owners.News of the Super League enraged fans of Arsenal – but it is not the first time Kroenke has drawn the anger of the supporters of his teams.In 2015, he moved his Rams American Football team from St Louis, where it had been based since 1994, to California.The relocation drew anger from fans and even led to a lawsuit against the team and Kroenke from the city of St Louis.His relationship with Arsenal fans has also been a stormy one, with supporters of the North London club accusing him of ignoring the club by not investing money into it.Frequent protests have been carried out against him and fans have accused him of lacking ambition for a team once considered the best in the country.
Despite his involvement in sports watched by millions Kroenke prefers to avoid the spotlight and has the nickname ‘Silent Stan.’ Away from sport, Kroenke is a major landowner, with nearly 1.4 million acres of ranches across the U.S.and Canada.Kroenke also owns around 30 million square feet of real estate, with much of it in the form of shopping plazas near Walmart stores.
In 2016, he bought a ranch of 520,000 acres in Texas, worth £520 million, which helped make him one of the top ten landowners in the US.In 2017, he was slammed for launching an outdoor sports TV channel in the UK, which scheduled regular bloodsports and hunting programs, including the killing of elephants, lions, and other endangered African species.Joel Glazer and the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United Florida-based Joel Glazer, 50, is part of the family who have controlled Manchester United since 2005, when it was bought by the now late businessman Martin Glazer.
The family also own the NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – the recent Super Bowl Champions.United have not won the Premier League since 2013 but during Glazer’s tenure have lifted 12 major prizes and, according to Deloitte, in 2021 are the world’s fourth richest club behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich with revenue of $580m.The Glazers’ money comes from their sporting empires and real estate across the US.They bought the Buccaneers for $192m in 1995 and it is now worth $3.1billion.Joel is married to Angela, and the couple are parents to a son and daughter named Dylan and Zoey.The team, led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady, beat the New England Patriots in the most recent Super Bowl.
Likewise they took charge of United, according to Forbes, for $1.4bn with the club reported to be worth more than $3bn.The family owns First Allied Corporation, an American real-estate holding company that owns and rents out shopping malls across the United States.
The company owns over 6.7 million square feet of shopping center space across 20 states, including California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, New York and New Jersey.After Malcolm Glazer died in May 2014, his vast $4billion fortune was shared among his children, including Joel – who is now the executive co-chairman and director.Joel studied Interdisciplinary Studies at the American University in Washington D.C before taking the reigns of his father’s company.
He has a wife, Angela Glazer, as well as two daughters, Dylan and Zoey Glazer.
Siblings Bryan, Kevin, Darcie and Edward are all on the board of directors.Earlier this year it was reported that Avram Glazer had put his shares worth more than £70million up for sale and he is no longer listed as a board member.The Glazer family takeover was controversial with supporters who hit out at the debt the club would be forced to take on as part of the deal.The majority of the capital used by the Glazers to purchase Manchester United came in the form of loans, the majority of which were secured against the club’s assets, incurring interest payments of over £60 million per annum.The remainder came in the form of payment in kind loans, which were later sold to hedge funds.Net debt at the club is at over £450 million while the Glazer family have taken hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends over the years.
Furious fans launched FC United of Manchester in 2005, which entered the North West Counties Football League and played in the sixth tier National League North from 2015 to 2019.Since 2005, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has been working on a way of returning ownership of the club to supporters.The Glazers have seen frequent protests against their ownership of the club and in 2010, a group of wealthy Manchester United fans, dubbed the ‘Red Knights’, discussed a billion-pound takeover bid.However, the bid fell through when the Red Knights refused to meet the Glazers’ valuation of the club.
At his death in May 2014 at 85, Malcolm Glazer lived in a Palm Beach oceanfront house on the stretch of South Ocean Boulevard known to locals as Billionaires Row.With ties to Rochester, New York, the Glazers bought the house in 1989, and Linda Glazer still uses it as her primary residence, property records show.
Roman Abramovich, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was seen as the original billionaire football owner when he arrived at Chelsea in 2003 and transformed the team from outside challengers to a Premier League giant.Since he took ownership of the club and invested heavily in big-name managers and players, they have won 16 major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.Believed to be worth around $15billion, according to Forbes, Abramovich also owns stakes in steel company Evraz and Norilsk Nickel – a Russian mining company.A political figure in his homeland, he was governor of the Chukotka region and donated more than $2million to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure.The 53-year-old Russian-Israeli businessman is known to have close relationships with former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and current president Vladimir Putin.In fact, it is believed that Abramovich was the first person to recommend Putin for president.According to Forbes, Abramovich’s net worth was $12.9billion in 2019, which makes him the richest person in Israel, 10th-richest in Russia, and the 113th richest in the world.His British property empire is worth more than £200million and includes a 15-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens that is believed to be now worth £125 million.
The portfolio includes a flat in Cheyne Terrace, Chelsea, which was purchased for £8.75million in 2017 and includes a high-tech temperature-controlled wine cellar.It is close to three other properties that overlook the Thames, bought for £25million, that he had once intended to knock together and turn into a £100million super-home.However Abramovich, who made his money selling assets acquired from the state following the fall of the Soviet Union, scrapped the plan and sold up after he relented to local uproar.Abramovich became an Israeli citizen in 2018 after his British visa expired and reportedly owns most of the properties through a holding company called Fordstam And land registry records show that since the expiration of his visa he transferred 11 properties to the business.The empire also includes a £22million three-storey penthouse, bought in 2018, at the Chelsea Waterfront which was completed after his visa expired and the purchase was made in his name.
Meanwhile the Kensington mansion, which cost a staggering £90million, is part of what is known as ‘billionaire’s row’.The desirable postcode is also home to steel magnate Lakshmi Mitta and billionaire business magnate Wang Jianlin.Abramovich has become the world’s greatest spender on luxury yachts, and maintains a fleet of yachts dubbed ‘Abramovich’s Navy’.His 162.5m yacht, named ‘Eclipse’, is one of the many stunning gems within his fortune.It can accomodate 36 guests in 18 cabins and boasts a cinema, conference facilities, children’s playroom, beauty salon, dance floor, two swimming pools, sauna and even a missile defence system.
Abramovich has begun building a ‘megamansion’ in New York, having purchased four Upper East Side townhouses in Manhattan for $74 million.The combined property will be 19,400 square feet, and it is estimated that renovation costs will be an additional $100 million.Russia’s most prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, 44, has called for the freezing of the Chelsea football club owner’s assets over his poisoning and arrest.Abramovich has been married and divorced three times.In December 1987, following a brief stint in the Soviet Army, he married Olga Yurevna Lysova.
They divorced in 1990.
In October 1991, he married a former Russian Aeroflot stewardess, Irina Malandina.They have five children, Ilya, Arina, Sofia, Arkadiy and Anna.Abramovich married Dasha Zhukova, daughter of a prominent Russian oligarch, Alexander Zhukov in 2008, and they have two children, a son, Aaron Alexander, and a daughter, Leah Lou.In August 2017, the couple announced that they would separate and their divorce was finalised in 2018 Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City The money arrived at Manchester City in 2008 and with Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, pulling the purse strings, they never looked back.
Cash was quickly pumped into every area – academy, training ground, playing staff, coaching – and City quickly caught up with, and overtook their neighbours and rivals Manchester United.They have won four Premier Leagues in that time, look set for a fifth this season and are in the semi-final of the Champions League.The Abu Dhabi group is the majority owner of the City Football Group which boasts Man City as their flagship team.They also have stakes in teams in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China, Belgium and France.Sheikh Mansour, 50, is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, minister of presidential affairs and member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi.
He is the half brother of the current President of UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.Mansour also owns stakes in a number of business ventures, including Virgin Galactic and Sky News Arabia.Mansour is the owner of the yacht Topaz, which is worth around £400 million.He gave control of Manchester City over to Khaldoon Al Mubarak, 46, one of the royal family’s most trusted advisers.Khaldoon’s father was the former UAE diplomat and ambassador to France, Khalifa Ahmed Abdulaziz Al-Mubarak, who was assassinated in Paris in 1984.
Manchester City has faced widespread condemnation for its Abu Dhabi backing.Though the club has denied being funded by the UAE government directly, Sheikh Mansour retains control of the club.A 2017-18 report Amnesty condemned the UAE for unfair trials, lack of freedom of expression, a failure to investigate allegations of torture, discrimination against women and the abuse of migrant workers.JOE LEWIS, OWNER OF TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, 84, is worth around £4billion, according to last year’s Times Rich List.Born in London he entered the family catering business at 15 but in the 1980s moved into currency trading.
He is the major investor in Tavistock Group which owns more than 200 companies in 15 countries.The group formerly owned stakes in Scottish football team Rangers and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.Lewis lives in the Bahamas as a tax exile.Lewis is also the largest shareholder in the British pub group Mitchells & Butlers.He has a variety of other investments, including luxury club resorts, restaurants, hotels and an Australian agriculture firm.
Lewis also owns the Lake Nona development near Orlando, one of the fastest growing communities in the USA.The Tottenham owner’s art collection is estimated to be worth $1 billion and includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Lucian Freud, and sculptor Henry Moore.Lewis bought Francis Bacon’s Triptych 1974–1977 in 2008 for £26.3 million, then a record for postwar artwork bought in Europe.In November 2018 Lewis sold his ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’ by David Hockney in Christie’s salesroom for $90.3 million.JP Morgan, US firm bankrolling the super league JP Morgan was among the group of big American investment banks blamed for triggering the financial crisis just over a decade ago – and was eventually ordered to pay a then-record $13 billion fine – about £10 billion – in 2013 for misleading investors in the years leading up to the meltdown.Coincidentally, 2013 was also the year the bank finally parted company with one of its most notorious clients, paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Bank insiders have claimed that concerns were raised about Epstein – a friend of Prince Andrew – after the financier was charged with sex crimes and pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008.Yet he remained a JP Morgan client for another five years.
One theory of why the disgraced American – who died in jail last year – was kept on in the face of increasingly lurid allegations was his value to JP Morgan.
Epstein is said to have arranged business introductions for one of his contacts at the bank, Jes Staley, the head of private banking who would later become chief executive of Barclays bank in Britain.The Mail on Sunday revealed in 2015 that Epstein lobbied for Staley to secure the top job at Barclays after 34 years at JP Morgan.Staley has said he had no knowledge of Epstein’s illegal activities and Barclays has denied its directors were approached by Epstein.Among JP Morgan’s other notable former clients is Bernie Madoff – the fraudster behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.According to court documents made public in 2011, senior JP Morgan executives had started to doubt the legitimacy of Madoff’s investment activities but continued to do business with him.JP Morgan eventually paid a $2.5 billion fine for failing for two decades to report Madoff’s suspicious dealings.He was jailed for stealing from wealthy investors – including a number of celebrities – over more than 20 years.
Losses from the scheme are said to have hit $17 billion.JP Morgan admitted it could have done a better job of handling concerns about Madoff’s activities but said no employee knowingly assisted with the fraud.At the helm of the bank through the good times and the bad has been highly regarded chief executive Jamie Dimon.Since taking the top job in 2005 he has become known as The King of Wall Street, raking in $298.8 million in pay and perks.The 63-year-old became the best-paid banking chief for a fifth year in a row by scooping more than £24 million.He is credited with steering JP Morgan through the financial crisis to become the most profitable bank in the US today.Nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ at private school in New York – ostensibly for his prowess on the sports field – he has an MBA from Harvard, where he met his wife, Judy.They married in 1983 and have three grown-up daughters – Julia, Laura and Kara.
It’s fair to say Dimon hasn’t struggled to find ways to spend the wealth he has accrued since his university days.As well as a home on Park Avenue, one of New York’s most prestigious addresses, he and Judy escape in the summer months to their 34-acre country home about an hour’s drive north from central Manhattan.The 9,600 sq ft 1930s mansion nestles in woodland near the town of Bedford, where other wealthy homeowners include former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor Michael Douglas.Dimon bought the summer retreat in 2007 for a reported $17 million.
His style of management is said to be fierce.It has been claimed he likes to punch the air when he raises his voice to berate staff and carries a crumpled piece of paper containing the names of ‘the people who owe me stuff’.
His tight grip on JP Morgan has not stopped the bank coughing up more than $31 billion in regulatory fines since the 2008 crisis for offences ranging from manipulating energy markets to accusations of racial discrimination.In January 2017, JP Morgan agreed a $55 million settlement over allegations that it charged black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers higher rates than its white customers.It denied the accusations, made by the US Justice Department, but agreed to settle.JP Morgan has also issued a grovelling apology and paid millions of dollars in reparations for historic links to the slave trade.In 2005, it admitted that two Louisiana banks that were later absorbed into the company once held 13,000 slaves as collateral and owned 1,250 slaves.JP Morgan’s London office reported a $2billion trading loss in 2012 that was traced to big bets taken by a group of traders led by Bruno Iksil, known as the London Whale.Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid Unlike many of their European rivals, reigning LaLiga champions Real Madrid are still fan-owned with around 90,000 fan investors, known as Socios, owning stakes.
Current president Florentino Perez made his fortune in civil engineering and construction and will be the first chairman of the European Super League.A former politician, Perez’s background has been the vice-president of Grupo ACS since the company was formed in 1997, and is also the majority owner with 12.8 per cent of the shares in his name.Perez actually failed in his first attempt to take control of operations in Madrid, failing with a presidential bid in 1995 as he lost to Ramon Mendoza, who would soon depart.
Come 2000, Perez sought to take advantage of Real’s poor financial standing and promised a series of world class signings – including Barcelona’s Luis Figo – during his campaign.He scooped 94.2 per cent of the vote and then delivered on his promise by acquiring Figo from their greatest rival for a then world record fee.Real are worth $3.6 billion according to Forbes, with Perez’s worth standing at $2 billion (£1.53m) Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus Juventus have been majority-owned, almost continuously, by the Agnelli family since 1923.The family own around two thirds of the Turin team, with US fund manager Lindsell Train owning around 11 per cent and the rest owned by other investors in the stock market-listed business.
In February, Juventus said it had suffered a loss of 113.7million euros (£98million) and expected to lose more money in the second half of the season amid coronavirus restrictions.The club’s share price jumped by more than 14 per cent on Monday morning as investors welcomed news of the Super League.The Agnelli family are descendants of Italian royalty and own the Fiat conglomerate with several car brands including Ferrari under their control.The family has sometimes been described in the English-speaking world as ‘the Kennedys of Italy’ for their role in the country’s contemporary history and their activity of patronage in modern art and in sports.
As of 2020, the extended Agnelli family comprised about two hundred members.Most members of the family are stakeholders in privately owned Giovanni Agnelli B.V., which in turn has a controlling stake in the publicly listed holding company Exor.In 2019.Exor recorded revenues of $144 billion, making it the 28th largest group in the world by revenue.
It has a history of investments running over a century, which notably include global reinsurer PartnerRe and the international newspaper The Economist, as well as their football and motor assets.Elliot Management, hedge fund owners of AC Milan Elliott Management, a $42billion hedge fund, has complete control of AC Milan after taking over the club in 2018 and has invested more than $600million.Elliott has said it will invest another $1.2billion to finance a new stadium to replace the San Siro in a build which has placed further pressure on club finances.
The firm has invested in eBay, AT&T, SoftBank, SAP and Twitter since 2019.Elliott, founded by billionaire Paul Singer, was famous for buying and selling small companies and its track record gave Singer a reputation among CEOs and board members as the world’s most feared investor.Former AthenaHealth CEO Jonathan Bush, whose company was targeted by Elliott in 2017, described doing research on Elliott as ‘googling this thing on your arm and it says, ‘You’re going to die.’ The New Yorker called Singer a ‘doomsday investor,’ highlighting a series of unflattering tactics taken by his company.
In 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default, such as Argentina and Peru through his NML Capital Limited.He did the same to the Republic of the Congo through Kensington International Inc.
Singer’s practice of purchasing debt from companies and sovereign states and pursuing full payment through the courts has led to criticism.However, he described his tactic as ‘a fight against charlatans who refuse to play by the market’s rules’, and supporters of the practice have said it ‘help keep kleptocratic governments in check.’ In 2020 Singer ranked 222 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, 538 among the world’s billionaires, and the 19th highest earning hedge fund manager.Suning, the Chinese firm that owns Inter Milan City rivals Inter are in a far more uncertain position amid reports that Chinese owner Suning is in talks with private equity investors over a sale of the club.In February, Suning confirmed that reigning Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC, which it also owns, would fold amid financial trouble.Last month, it was reported that US fund Fortress was in talks over a takeover for Inter but no deal has yet been confirmed.Confirmation that Inter would be included in any Super League could bump up the valuation of the Serie A club.
Suning is one of the largest non-government retailers in China.The company has more than 1600 stores covering over 700 cities of China and Japan and its e-commerce platform, Suning.com ranks among top three Chinese B2C companies.
The company works in categories that include physical merchandise, such as home appliances, 3C products, books, general merchandise, household commodities, cosmetics and baby care products, content products and service merchandise.It was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2004.Barcelona, fan owned Barcelona are anoth.