European Super League: What does it mean for the Champions League and Europa League?

Champions League trophy

On Sunday evening, the football world was plunged into chaos by the announcement of the European Super League (ESL).

The ESL has been set up by 12 founding clubs - Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Three further sides are set to join the breakaway league to make a total of 15 founding clubs. Five more teams would then be added each year after going through a qualification process, meaning that 20 sides are set to take part in the competition. 

The newly-formed league will be backed by the American bank JP Morgan, who have already pledged $5m to support the project. Each founding club is set to receive €3.5m for taking part.

The ESL has been widely condemned, and has left senior figures at UEFA and the Premier League amongst others dismayed by the current situation.

UEFA president Aleksandr Ceferin has slammed the ESL, and confirmed that the governing body will aim to ban players involved in it from playing in future World Cups and European Championships.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also tweeted his opposition to the proposed league.

What does this mean for the Champions League and Europa League?

The Champions League and Europa League (formerly known as the UEFA Cup), have been major competitions enjoyed by fans all around the globe for decades.

However, if the ESL goes ahead, it would put the future of these events at severe risk. There has been a planned revamp of the Champions League for some time now, which would see the number of teams involved increasing from 32 to 36.

Indeed, the reforms were approved by UEFA less than 24 hours after the announcement of the ESL. 

These alterations were set to help some of the sides who are now part of the ESL by offering them the safety net of four qualification spots based on their performances in previous European competitions if they failed to qualify automatically via their league position. 

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Who's this cheeky chappy?

This has clearly not appeased those clubs, though, as they have opted to go their own way to set up a separate European tournament.

Despite the prospect of the ESL edging nearer, Ceferin is adamant that the Champions League will continue moving forwards.

Speaking about the competition proceeding without the ESL clubs, Ceferin said: "Yes, of course. In Europe there are many good clubs. We will do it with or without them."

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