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Premier League may still sanction Arsenal, Man United, other Super league leavers

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An anti-European Super League banner is pictured outside the Emirates Stadium, home of English Premier League football club Arsenal, in north London on April 19, 2021. – Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs on Monday said they planned to launch a breakaway Super League, despite the threat of an international ban for them and their players. “AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs,” said a statement by the group. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

English football’s ‘Big Six’ clubs could still face Premier League sanctions despite backing out of the breakaway Super League, reports thetelegraphandargus.co.uk.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber called for “appropriate action” to be taken against the clubs involved yesterday, even though by then each had indicated their intention to withdraw.

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The PA news agency understands the league’s position has not altered since it issued a statement yesterday afternoon when all six were still signatories to the Super League.

At the time, it said: “The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those (clubs) involved to account under its rules.”

Section L9 of the league’s handbook states member clubs shall not enter or play in extra competitions without the prior written approval of the league’s board.

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Tuesday’s statement from the league followed an emergency meeting of its other 14 clubs in response to the crisis. By yesterday, the six had pulled out following a huge backlash from supporters, governing bodies, and other clubs, as well as their own players and managers.

Their withdrawals were marked in some cases by apologies – and in the case of Manchester United, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced he would leave the club by the end of the year.

On Sunday night, the six Premier League clubs, plus three each from Italy and Spain, announced they had signed up to be ‘founder members’ of the competition, which they along with three additional teams would be involved in without the threat of relegation.

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The English clubs’ actions have in some cases fuelled fresh sentiment against their owners and directors, and were described by Football Supporters’ Association vice-chair Tom Greatrex as a “spectacular miscalculation”.

The concessions that they gained in the 2024-25 Champions League format – more matches, extra places for teams based on historic performance – could be revisited by UEFA and its stakeholder partners.

The withdrawals by Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham came just 48 hours after the Super league’s unveiling.

The two Milan giants and Atletico Madrid followed all six English Premier League clubs in pulling out of the European Super League yesterday, dealing a fatal blow to the project.

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“From the Atletico squad we want to communicate our satisfaction over the final decision to withdraw the commitment to the Super League project taken by our club,” said Atletico captain Koke in a statement on behalf of the squad.

Real Madrid and Barcelona — the last of the initial group of 12 clubs to sign up — have yet to make any comment on their future plans but the project in its current form is dead in the water.

“It’s best not to say much now, no one knows what will happen,” said Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman. “There were teams that were in; now they say they don’t want to be in. What I want most is the best for this club.”

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AC Milan was one of the main drivers behind the plans, having missed out on the riches of the Champions League for the past seven seasons.

The seven-time European champions said the change was necessary due to the changing football landscape but admitted they “must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport”.

Italian champions Juventus said they remained “convinced of the soundness of the project’s sport, commercial and legal premises” but accepted it could not go ahead in its original form.

The Super League promised guaranteed entry for its founding clubs and billions of dollars in payments.

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