Anger and disbelief from fans and football commentators comes after 12 clubs agreed to join the new ESL including six English sides: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.
A further six continental sides have declared their participation in the controversial scheme: AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid, with more expected to follow, although German giants Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich say they won’t.
According to the ESL, the participating clubs have agreed to establish a "new midweek competition" with sides continuing to "compete in their respective national leagues”. That however is by no means certain, given the backlash from the rest of the football community.
Strongest early reaction came from England and Manchester United legend Gary Neville: “I’m a Manchester United fan and have been for 40 years of my life but I’m disgusted, absolutely disgusted. Manchester United, 100 years, born out of workers from around here, and they’re breaking away into a league without competition that they can’t be relegated from?”
The creation of the ESL is a grubby money-making scheme with no real regard for football, players, clubs and fans.
The owners who have cobbled together this appalling proposal deserve the opprobrium that has been heaped on them. By all means reform the Champions League, but this ESL should not see the light of day.