Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, had all signed up to the ESL along with three clubs each from Spain and Italy, before withdrawing from it within 48 hours following intense backlash from supporters, football’s governing bodies and the UK government.
Manchester United’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool on Sunday was postponed after fans protesting against the ownership of the Glazer family gained entry to Old Trafford. Further protests are expected at the home grounds of other ESL clubs before the end of the season.
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On Monday, an FA spokesperson said: “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.
“Clearly what happened was unacceptable and could have caused great harm to clubs at every level of English football.”
In response to the scenes in Manchester over the weekend, the FA spokesperson added: “The fans have played a vital and impactful role in helping to stop the European Super League from happening, and we understand their frustrations.
“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 also released a statement vowing to “hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions” while outlining measures to prevent the possibility of another breakaway league in the future.
Among the measures proposed are a new charter to be signed by club owners committing to the “core principles of the Premier League” and government-backed legislation to protect the football pyramid in England.
“The actions of a few clubs cannot be allowed to create such division and disruption,” the Premier League said. “We are determined to establish the truth of what happened and hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions.
The Premier League’s proposals
- 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
- Breaches of these rules and the Charter will be subject to significant sanctions
- 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
“We and The FA are pursuing these objectives quickly and appropriately, consulting with fans and Government.”
The Premier League also condemned the minority of fans who broke the law during the protest outside Old Trafford on Sunday saying that they had “no justification” for their actions and asked supporters to ensure that “all protests are peaceful”.
Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation into Sunday’s protest after two officers were injured following altercations with supporters. One of the police officers reportedly suffered a “significant slash wound to the face” after being struck by a bottle.
Manchester United faced scrutiny for failing to keep dissenting supporters out of Old Trafford but the club has condemned reports that members of staff were responsible for allowing fans in.
“Reports in mainstream and social media that protesters were able to access the stadium and pitch via a gate opened by club staff are completely incorrect,” a club statement read.
“After breaking through barriers and security on the forecourt, some protestors climbed the gates at the end of the Munich tunnel, then forced access to a side door in the stand, before opening an external door that let others through to the concourse area and the pitch.
“A second breach occurred when a protestor smashed the door of a disability access lift, enabling a group to enter the stand.
“The majority of our fans have and will condemn criminal damage, along with any violence towards club staff, police or other fans, and these now become a police matter.
“The club has no desire to see peaceful protestors punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or member identified, per the published sanctions policy.”
A new date for the Manchester United vs Liverpool game is yet to be announced.
Additional reporting from Reuters
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