Premier League clubs – minus self-appointed Big Six - to meet TODAY as football considers its response

Football authorities will consider their next moves in the fight against the proposed European Super League today as the 12 clubs signed up press ahead with the plans.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 8:00 am

Tensions escalated on Monday night as fans gathered outside Elland Road to voice their anger during the build-up to Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Leeds – a match in which the Reds’ Champions League qualification hopes were dented but which would in future be a dead rubber if the ‘closed-shop’ plans go ahead.

As shirts were burned outside the stadium, inside Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp walked a tight rope as he reiterated his own belief that a Super League is a bad idea while insisting neither he nor his players had been consulted by the club’s owners.

“I have no issues with the Champions League, I like the competitive factor of football,” Klopp said.

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Six Premier League clubs have signed up to the ESL

“I like the fact that West Ham might play in the Champions League next year. I don’t want them to because we want to do that, but I like that they have the chance.”

Leeds were happy to stir things up, with players warming up in t-shirts bearing the Champions League logo and the slogan “Earn It”, and the storm caused by Sunday’s bombshell announcement is forecast to continue for some time to come.

Liverpool and the rest of England’s ‘Big Six’ signed up to the venture – Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea – will be excluded from an emergency Premier League meeting today to discuss a response to proposals which threaten the league’s competitive balance.

Further afield, eyes and ears will be on FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who is due to address the UEFA Congress where the launch of a revamped Champions League has been completely undermined.

The world governing body issued a statement late on Sunday which said FIFA “disapproved” of the Super League plans.

But UEFA – whose president Aleksander Ceferin has threatened to ban the breakaway clubs from European competition “as soon as possible” – will want to hear much stronger backing today.

Ceferin certainly did not hold back himself, calling Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli – one of the architects of the new league who quit as chairman of the European Clubs Association to oversee its introduction – a “liar” and the clubs involved “snakes”.