Chelsea stars in ‘state of shock’ over European Super League plans ahead of Brighton clash
James Corden rails against European Super League
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Chelsea’s players were surprised and saddened to learn of the club’s involvement in the controversial new European Super League, according to reports. The Blues, along with Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs, have been heavily criticised by fans, players and politicians alike after it was revealed on Sunday that they would be joining the competition as founding members.
The Super League, intended to serve as a direct competitor to the UEFA Champions League, will see 15 of Europe’s most influential teams ring-fenced into the tournament as collective owners, with just five places able to be earned on merit via qualification.
Three of the 15 founding clubs are yet to be confirmed, although it has been suggested that RB Leipzig of Germany and Portuguese champions Porto could soon be included.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain will not be involved and have all strongly condemned the plans, which are threatening to dramatically alter the landscape of domestic, European, and international football as we know it.
Chelsea, who are owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, informed their playing squad of the decision to join the Super League ahead of Tuesday evening’s Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge.
Club chairman Bruce Buck called an emergency meeting in order to explain the situation, but failed to convince Blues stars that the plans would be in their best interests, according to The Sun.
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The report claims that players were left ‘in a state of shock and confusion’ after the Super League was discussed, with many harbouring concerns over the wider implications of the competition.
FIFA and UEFA have threatened to ban players and clubs involved from all other domestic, continental and international competitions.
This means that the game’s biggest stars could be denied the chance to retain their Premier League status or feature at World Cups and European Championships.
The meeting took place as the Chelsea squad were undergoing their final preparations for Tuesday’s match against the Seagulls, with the Blues able to sneak into the Premier League’s top four with victory.
A fan protest is expected to take place outside Stamford Bridge ahead of kick-off with regards to the club’s desire to join the Super League.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has suggested that his players could be distracted by the ongoing situation over the coming weeks as the club enters a defining period in their season.
The west London outfit are still in the running to win both the Champions League and the FA Cup, and will also face a tough battle to retain their top-four status.
“It’s best that we do not get involved in sports politics,” Tuchel told reporters. “This is above our heads clearly, and this is not the role we have to fulfil to make this club successful.
“But we have a big subject and everybody’s talking. Maybe it’s impossible for the players not to be influenced by it.
“There are many emotional reactions out there, which I can understand, but I honestly don’t know enough to judge it.
“I was not involved and my players were not involved in these decision makings. Maybe it’s better to step back and not to give our opinions or lose our heads about this.
“We have to fight for the goals we have this season.”
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