The Premier League has taken action to prevent its clubs threatening to break away again in response to the failed European Super League plans.
Six top-flight teams, including Manchester United and Liverpool, announced on April 18th they were joining the newly-formed ESL, only for it to collapse amid intense pressure within 48 hours.
A new set of measures put in place by the Premier League on Monday includes additional rules and regulations and an owners’ charter that all club owners will be required to sign up to – committing them to the core principles of the competition.
Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 20, 2021
“The actions of a few clubs cannot be allowed to create such division and disruption,” a Premier League statement read.
“We are determined to establish the truth of what happened and hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions. We and The FA are pursuing these objectives quickly and appropriately, consulting with fans and [UK] government.”
The Premier League insisted events during the last two weeks had “challenged the foundations and resolve of English football”.
Fan protests in the days that followed the ESL announcement, on top of widespread criticism from the footballing world, resulted in most of the 12 European clubs – including all six Premier League sides – involved in the proposed breakaway pulling out.
A statement continued: “The Premier League, supported by The FA, is taking the following actions to protect our game, our clubs and their fans from further disruption and uncertainty.
“Additional rules and regulation to ensure the principles of the Premier League and open competition are protected, a new Owners’ Charter that all club owners will be required to sign up to, committing them to the core principles of the Premier League, (while) breaches of these rules and the Charter will be subject to significant sanctions.
“And we are enlisting the support of government to bring in appropriate legislation to protect football’s open pyramid, principles of sporting merit and the integrity of the football community.”
The Football Association revealed an official inquiry into the formation of the ESL and the involvement of the six English clubs – which also included Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham – got under way last week.
It also reiterated its desire to ensure any return threat of a breakaway division was thwarted.
A spokesperson for the governing body said: “Since we became aware of the European Super League our priority and focus has been on preventing it from happening, both now and in the future.
“Throughout this period, we have been in ongoing discussions with the Government, the Premier League and UEFA.
“In particular, we have been discussing legislation with government that would allow us to prevent any similar threat in the future so that we can protect the English football pyramid.
“Last week, we started an official inquiry into the formation of the European Super League and the involvement of the six English clubs.
“We wrote to all of the clubs to formally request all relevant information and evidence regarding their participation. Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriate steps to take.”
The fallout of the European Super League boiled over on Sunday when Manchester United supporters broke into Old Trafford to protest against the Glazer family, with their plans to join the competition one source of frustration towards the Red Devils’ ownership.
It resulted in the postponement of United’s home match with Liverpool while two police officers were injured.
“Fans have played a vital and impactful role in helping to stop the European Super League from happening, and we understand their frustrations,” the FA statement continued.
“However, we cannot condone the violent and criminal behaviour that took place before the scheduled Manchester United vs Liverpool match, which The FA is now investigating.”
The Premier League added: “We are committed to maintaining close dialogue with supporters and their representatives, as we work with The FA and Government to identify solutions, but ask that all protests are peaceful.
“The actions of a minority of those present at Old Trafford on Sunday have no justification and will be investigated by the Premier League and The FA as well as by the Greater Manchester Police.”