EPL moots plans to stem breakaway bids

LONDON • The English Premier League said on Monday it was drawing up a new owners' charter designed to avoid future attempts to join a breakaway European Super League (ESL), as British police launched an investigation into the protests that caused the postponement of the game between Manchester United and Liverpool a day earlier.

Fans invaded Old Trafford and ran onto the pitch as part of a demonstration against United's owners, the US-based Glazer family. Anger towards the Glazers has been reignited by United's part in the ESL project, which collapsed last month after a backlash from fans, players, governments and governing bodies.

The ESL sought to guarantee top-level European football for 15 founding members every season without the need to qualify.

There have been calls for all six English clubs involved - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, United, Manchester City and Tottenham - to face points penalties.

The Premier League said on Monday it was "determined" to "hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions".

It also announced plans for a new charter, with all club owners signing up to a rule "committing them to the core principles" of the league, with breaches punishable by "significant" sanctions.

"These measures are designed to stop the threat of breakaway leagues in the future," it added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I don't think it's a good idea to have demonstrations, but I do understand people's strength of feeling.

"And I think that it's a good thing that we have been able to do things that make it pretty clear that the European Super League is not going to be appreciated."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'EPL moots plans to stem breakaway bids'. Subscribe