Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin says the rest of football could 'disappear' after the announcement of the European Super League on Sunday.
The Blues are one of 12 European clubs, alongside the rest of the Premier League 'Big Six', three Spanish teams and three Italian teams who are founders of the breakaway competition.
The proposals have been condemned throughout footballing circles and ex-Chelsea man Nevin - who played for the club for five years and is now a pundit on the BBC - admits it has been long in the pipeline for the continent's biggest clubs.
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin (left) says football could disappear after the European Super League announcement (pic right, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich)
Chelsea are one of 12 founders of the breakaway competition which has been condemned
'We have been expecting this for some time... I think it was obvious then that the big clubs had been talking about it,' he told BBC Breakfast.
'It would be massive and it would make a huge change to world football, and certainly, European football would be changed forever.
'It is making sure all the power and the money goes to a small number of clubs. That is how the Premier League started as well, they had to maximise the money coming in from television deals.
'What you don’t want to to do, is make sure the rest of the game disappears, which it could with a proposal like this.
'As a business idea, I understand it, but I don’t particularly like it. It would make the rest of us feel like second-class citizens. There is no doubt it is worrying times but we have to wait until the proposals get out.
'Most of the money is now in the Premier League, which is where most of the best players are. If this goes ahead, eventually, footballers will follow the money.'
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich supports the proposals for the breakaway competition.
The decision threatens to split English football, with the Premier League on Sunday night indicating in a letter to clubs that it would not sanction any such competition, giving Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham no choice but to back down or break away.
Champions League winner Florent Malouda admitted he could not believe what was going on
UEFA, who are due to announce their own proposals for a revamped Champions League on Monday, reacted with fury to the news which had broken earlier on Sunday
Ex-Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, who won the 2012 Champions League with the club, also vented his fury at the proposals.
'Can't believe this is really happening, specially in those challenging times. I support and trust UEFA to take the right decisions to protect the game we love #Boycottsuperleague'
SUPER LEAGUE FULL STATEMENT AND COMPETITION FORMAT
Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today [Sunday] come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs.
It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable. Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.
The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.
In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.
• 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
• Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
• An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, 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.
As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.
The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues. These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion (£8.7bn) during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs.
In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework. In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion (£3bn) solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic. Florentino Pérez, President of Real Madrid and the first Chairman of the Super League said: 'We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.'
Backing the new European league, Andrea Agnelli, Chairman of Juventus and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said: 'Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.'
Joel Glazer, Co-Chairman of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said: 'By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.'