Great Britain

European Super League SLAMMED by Sir Alex Ferguson, Ed Woodward LEAVES Uefa role, Neville blast in full, Varane talks

MANCHESTER UNITED have been blasted as CRIMINAL by former star Gary Neville over joining European Super League.

Meanwhile the Red Devils have reportedly been handed a boost in their pursuit of Erling Haaland and are also reportedly chasing Rafael Varane.

Stay up to date with our blog, below, for all the latest from Old Trafford...

  • PREMIER LEAGUE SET MEETING

    The Premier League are going to hold a meeting with 14 clubs on Tuesday morning.

    That means the “big six”, which is Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, who are involved in the proposed European Super League project as "founding clubs" won’t be included.

    The representatives involved will discuss the ongoing situation and the next steps.

    The scheduled meeting will be chaired by Premier League CEO Richard Masters

  • CEFERIN LASHES OUT AT WOODWARD

    UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has strongly criticised Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli following the European Super League proposition.

    Ceferin said: “I was a criminal lawyer for 24 years but I’ve never, ever, seen people like that.

    “If I start with Ed Woodward, he called me last Thursday, saying that he’s very satisfied with reforms and he fully supports them. Obviously, he already signed something else.

    “Andrea Agnelli is the biggest disappointment of all. I’ve never seen a person lie so many times as he did, it was unbelievable”

  • MUST TAKE ACTION

    The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust reacted to the club’s involvement in the European Super League project.

    United have been granted the title of “founding club” along with five other Premier League sides, which are Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham.

    The Trust, though, are completely opposed to the proposed competition as they described it as “unacceptable” and a “betrayal”.

    Here’s the statement they released:

  • BRUNO FERNANDES REACTS

    Manchester United superstar Bruno Fernandes has endorsed a post by fellow countryman and Wolves star Daniel Podence that appears to criticise the European Super League.

    Podence shared an image on Instagram that shows him celebrating a Champions League goal with his former club Olympiacos last season.

    The Portugal international shared the photo with the following caption: "The Ball. The Song. The Dream. The Zidane’s volley… Kaka’s Solo… Liverpool In Athens… Ole in Barcelona… Cris and Seedorf … There some things we just can’t really pay for it."

    Fernandes shared that post as a story on his own Instagram account with some "clapping" emojis and a caption that read: "Dreams can't be buy"

  • TUCHEL REACTS

    Chelsea are among the teams that hold the title of “founding club” of the proposed European Super League.

    Blues manager Thomas Tuchel addressed his club’s involvement in the ESL by saying he “trusts” the hierarchy to make the right decisions.

    Tuchel told ESPN’s James Olley: “I trust my club to make the right decisions. It is too early to judge everything and it is not my part.

    “On my badge, it says everybody has to play their role and my role is coach”

  • BIG SIX BOMBSHELL

    Sky Sports News have shared some major backstage info regarding the European Super League.

    The report includes a statement by a board member at one of the six Premier League clubs that are breaking away.

    They said: “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.”

    They added that the owners were expecting a backlash: “To be honest, they are not that worried about PR” as “the wider good of the game is a secondary concern.”

    The unnamed board member also said the owners would be secretly pleased with their players being banned from the Euros and World Cup as “they don’t like giving their playing assets away to countries for very little financial reward.”.

    And finally, they stated: “This is not a civil war, it’s a nuclear war”

  • ANOTHER ESL SNUB

    Porto president Pinto da Costa confirmed he rejected an offer to join the European Super League, which includes Manchester United.

    This comes after rumours suggested the Portuguese giants could be one of the additional three “Founding Clubs”.

    The Dragons are now the fourth club to reject the ESL after Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris St-Germain.

    Da Costa said: “There were informal contacts from some clubs, but we didn’t pay much attention for two reasons. The first is that the European Union does not allow a closed circuit of events like in the NBA, for example.

    “As the Portuguese Football Federation is against this, and as part of UEFA, we cannot participate in anything that is against the principles and rules of the European Union and UEFA.

    “If that goes forward, something that I have a lot of doubts about, UEFA will not end and it is certain that they will continue to have evidence. It must be recognized that the events organized by UEFA are the official events.

    “We are not concerned with being or not, we are in the Champions League and we hope to continue to be for many years”

  • MORE FROM NEVILLE!

    Manchester United legend Gary Neville is not done with his scathing criticism of the European Super League and his former club.

    Neville blasted against the new initiative at Sky Sports on Sunday and even suggested the harshest of punishments for United and the rest of the "founding clubs".

    This time the footballer-turned-pundit took a swipe at the Red Devils ahead of Sunday's Premier League encounter at Leeds.

    Neville said: "Leeds players should walk to the side of the pitch and just let them keep scoring ! They don’t want competition…."

  • CATASTROPHICALLY DESTABILISING

    The League Managers Association (LMA) believes the European Super League, which now includes Manchester United, would have a "catastrophically destabilising" effect on the sport

    A statement from the LMA read: "We believe that any such league would be catastrophically destabilising to the entire European football pyramid, with deep and far-reaching consequences.

    "Closing off the top of the pyramid of European club football would immediately extinguish many of the ambitions and dreams that drive managers, coaches, players and fans.

    "Club owners are custodians of the clubs they lead and they have a duty and responsibility to the integrity of the game that should always take precedence over self-interest and financial gain. Now more than ever, as the game looks to face the challenges of re-emerging from the COVID pandemic, it needs to be unified, working to the principles of cooperation and solidarity.

    "We will support the game’s stakeholders in taking any appropriate measures required and we urge those leading the clubs responsible for the European Super League proposals to fundamentally reconsider their position and act in the best interests of the whole game."

  • DARK DAY

    Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee Chair Julian Knight described the ongoing European Super League developments, which include Manchester United, as a "dark day for football".

    Knight said: "This is a dark day for football – a deal done behind closed doors apparently with no regard for supporters.

    "Though this idea was mooted several months ago, what’s shocking is the speed at which this breakaway league has been announced.

    "What’s needed is a fan-led review of football with real teeth and here we have more evidence to strengthen the case for it.

    "Football needs a reset, but this is not the way to do it. The interests of community clubs must be put at the heart of any future plans.

    "We, the Committee, will be discussing this when we meet tomorrow in a private session"

  • ANDER-STAND THIS

    Former Manchester United star Ander Herrera took to Twitter condemning the European Super League project.

    Herrera broke his silence and claimed that this is a case of " the rich stealing what the people created".

    Reports suggest that the star midfielder's current club Paris St-Germain were invited to be part of the format but turned them down.

    It is also claimed that the PSG hierarchy believe that it would be disrespectful to join a top competition that would be exclusive for the richest clubs

  • MOURINHO REPLACEMENT

    Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is no longer in charge of Tottenham.

    Spurs are now searching for Mourinho's permanent replacement following the Portuguese coach's shock exit.

    Until then, former club player Ryan Mason is going to take over first team training.

    Here's who Betfair think are the likeliest candidates to take over at Tottenham:

  • HAALAND SITUATION

    Manchester United are among the clubs interested in signing Borussia Dortmund megastar Erling Haaland in the summer.

    However, the fees required by Dortmund as well as Haaland's agent Mino Raiola are astronomical.

    Therefore, it is important to remind there is a clause in the star striker's contract that will allow him to leave for a major cut-price of €75m (£65m) in the summer of 2022.

    That would work as a major boost for United along with the other interested parties

  • TOTTENHAM STATEMENT

    Tottenham have confirmed that former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been relieved of his duties.

    Mourinho will be departing from Spurs along with his coaching staff Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra.

    Chairman Daniel Levy said: “Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a Club. Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.

    “On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged.

    “He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution”

  • VARANE SITUATION

    Manchester United are in very advanced talks with Real Madrid amid their bid to sign Raphael Varane in the summer.

    That is according to El Chiringuito TV, who claim United are in pole position for Varane's signature.

    The defender is entering his final year at Real and Los Blancos have accepted that they may have to sell him at the end of the season if they want to make a profit out of him.

    Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly looking for someone to partner up with Harry Maguire at centre-back

  • WHAT SOLSKJAER SAID

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remained coy about the European Super League plans when quizzed before the announcement on Sunday.

    Solskjaer said after United’s 3-1 win over Burnley: “I am dealing with the news this afternoon, the speculation.

    “I don’t think it is for me to comment on now. We just have to wait and see what happens.

    “As I have said, I have seen the speculation or news this afternoon. I can’t comment. It is an issue for the clubs to comment on.

    “I’ve seen this morning the news about the speculation, so I can’t really say too much. My focus has been on this game.

    “I haven’t looked into [the details], I’ve just been focusing on this game. I need to sit down and see what it is. I’ve not seen any, I don’t know all the ins and outs, I need to find out and then the clubs can issue a comment”

  • MOURINHO SACKED!

    In what has already been a mad day in football, former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho appears to have been sacked as Tottenham manager.

    That is according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, who reports that Spurs have parted ways with Mourinho after a turbulent season.

    The north Londoners are seventh in the Premier League table and look set to miss out on the top four for the second year in a row.

    This comes after Tottenham decided to break away and join the controversial European Super League format

  • FERDINAND SPEAKS OUT

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand joined an ever-growing list of high-profile figures condemning the European Super League project calling it a "war on football".

    Ferdinand told BT Sport: “This is, for me, a war on football. It’s a disgrace, it’s embarrassing and goes against everything football is about.

    “It’s a closed shop for these bigwigs and it’s completely and utterly only about one thing and that’s money. The rich getting richer and the others not even being considered.

    “How they’ve got the audacity to do it in the climate we’re in at the moment… the pandemic around the world. People are struggling all over the world, and this lot…colluding with this idea that they’ve hatched – and to break it like this.

    “The element of being anti-competitive goes against everything football is about. It screams [that] these people have no idea what football’s about. It’s purely a business transaction. The people who make this game special are not being considered”

  • NOT KEANE

    Legendary Manchester United captain Roy Keane is also against the European Super League format and claims it comes down to "greed".

    Keane told Sky Sports: "I think it comes down to money, greed.

    "Let’s hope it’s stopped in its tracks because I think it’s just pure greed.

    “We talk about big clubs, Bayern Munich are one of the biggest clubs in the world. At least they’ve made a stance, which is a good start”

  • MAN UTD OFF ECA

    We got some major European Super League updates!

    Manchester United have officially stood down from the European Club Association (ECA) and club executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has stepped down from his UEFA roles.

    Reports from Sky in Italy have also confirmed Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have also left the ECA.

    Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has resigned as ECA chairman and left his post as a member of the UEFA Executive Committee to take up the Super League vice-president role.

  • SIR-TAINLY AGAINST

    Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has voiced his disapproval of the European Super League as he described it as an end to 70 years of European football history.

    Ferguson told Reuters: “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football.

    "Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest.

    “Everton are spending £500million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League. Fans all over love the competition as it is.

    “In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights"

  • SUPER LEAGUE FORMAT

    As per the proposals announced on Sunday, the European Super League will contain 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to join annually based on achievements in the prior season.

    It will involve midweek fixtures with their plan that all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues - kind of like the existing Champions League and Europa League format.

    An August start with clubs participating in two groups of 10, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals.

    Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions.

    A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue

  • THOSE AGAINST

    The European Super League has been condemned by a number of football legends, fans and sports journalists.

    UEFA released a joint statement with England's Football Association, the Premier League, Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A.

    Together they announced they will "remain united" in trying to stop the breakaway, with the use of both judicial and sporting measures if necessary.

    The European Clubs' Association (ECA), which represents Europe's clubs, held an emergency meeting on Sunday and said it would be "strongly opposed" to a "closed super league model".

    FIFA stated that players taking part in the Super League would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level, which means they would even be prevented from representing their national teams.

Football news:

Guardiola on Man City before the Champions League final: I didn't talk about Chelsea for a second. We're thinking of Brighton
Cristiano Ronaldo: Someone can have one or two great seasons. The really strong ones are the ones who are good year after year
Real Madrid is the most expensive football brand in the world. Barcelona-second, Manchester United-third (Brand Finance)
Draxler has extended his contract with PSG until 2024
Tottenham value Kane at 150 million pounds and do not want to let him go to the Premier League club
Real Madrid are unlikely to extend their contract with Ramos if Varane stays at the club
The Government of the Russian Federation has allocated more than 1 billion rubles for the preparation and holding of International competitions