BT Sport have strongly condemned plans for a European Super League because it will have a ‘damaging effect’ on football – but Sky have refused to comment on the bombshell proposals.
Audacious plans for a new breakaway competition including 20 teams – 15 with a guaranteed place – battling it out midweek would be in direct opposition to existing UEFA tournaments, like the Champions League.
The bombshell proposals have been met with a wave of protest from football authorities, politicians, governments and fans with UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, describing them as a ‘spit in the face’ for football and those clubs involved as ‘snakes’.
BT Sport has made a strong statement criticising plans for the European Super League
But while there is a £3.03 billion investment fund secured via JP Morgan, and a team of lawyers in place to pursue the fledgling league’s interests through the courts, no broadcaster has been publicly linked to the controversial scheme.
BT Sport have firmly ruled themselves out, DAZN initially appeared to be a partner but then distanced themselves from the project and Sportsmail understands Amazon is not, and has not been involved.
BT Sport screens UEFA competitions in the UK and Premier League matches
According to the Financial Times, the Super League’s organisers are seeking £3.4 billion per year in revenue to screen the matches and it has held early talks with Facebook, Disney and Comcast-owned Sky, it’s claimed.
Sky has refused to comment on questions on the subject from Sportsmail and we are awaiting a response from Disney..
The figure is based on a sales pitch that offers 200 games-a-year between Europe’s top teams.
In a post on Twitter, BT said: ‘BT recognises the concerns raised by many of football’s leading voices and fans, and believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect to the long-term health of football in this country.
Sky Sports has refused to comment in response to questions about the Super League
‘As a sport broadcaster showing Premier League, UEFA club football and National League football as well as being lead partner for all the Home Nations football teams, we strongly believe that football makes a significant positive contribution to people’s lives at every level, and this needs to be protected.’
Yesterday, a report in Italy’s Corriere dello Sport claimed that sports streaming service DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, had been working on the formation of the league.
The Italian paper claimed the streamer was willing to pay $3.5BN for the TV rights to the European Super League, if it goes ahead.
Sky Sports presenters, like Gary Neville have been outspoken on the European Super League
However, in a statement to the website Deadline, DAZN firmly rejected the report: ‘In relation to a report by Corriere dello Sport today, this and related reports are false. Neither DAZN nor Mr. Blavatnik are in any way involved or interested in entering into discussions regarding the establishment of a Super League and no conversations have taken place.’
There is also the possibility that the so-called 15 ‘founder members’ of the Super League would seek to take control over at least some of the media rights themselves, in order to screen their own games.
Liverpool and Tottenham are among six English teams to have agreed to the new project
Industry insiders have speculated this could be one use of the infrastructure investment secured, which will be worth up to £310 million per club.
Negotiations over the management of the Champions League are believed to have have centred on this and other rights issues in recent weeks as Ceferin sought to secure agreement from the European Clubs Association over changes to the competition format.
Ceferin was negotiating with the then European Club Association chairman, Andrea Agnelli. Agnelli, who is also the Juventus chairman, is now the vice president of the Super League.
‘The clubs could get control, it makes sense, as much as any of it makes sense,’ said one industry source.
Andrea Agnelli has been made the vice president of the European Super League