Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘gave European Super League proposal thumbs up’
Boris Johnson initially gave the go-ahead for a breakaway European Super League before reversing his position following a backlash, according to new reports.
Sources claimed the Prime Minister chief of staff Dan Rosenfield told him about the project after a meeting with Man Utd executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
A Government insider told the Daily Mirror: “Boris doesn’t know much about football so he said it was a great idea. So Dan told the clubs No 10 wouldn’t stand in their way. Then it all kicked off…”
Number 10 have repeatedly denied that the proposals were discussed at a high-level meeting just days before ESL plans were revealed on April 18.
They maintain that the PM, who briefly met Woodward on April 14, had no knowledge of the Super League until it was announced by clubs four days later.
The claims are at odds with Johnson’s response to the ESL, with the Prime Minister’s claiming he would drop a “legislative bomb” to derail the project.
On April 20, he told a press conference: “The first step is clearly to back the football authorities in this country – the FA, the Football Association, the Premier League – in the steps that they are taking to counteract this initiative.
“But be in no doubt that we don't support it. I think it is not in the interests of fans, it is not in the interest of football.
“How can it be right to a situation in which you create a kind of cartel that stops clubs competing against each other?
“Playing against each other properly with all hope and excitement that gives to fans up and down the country.
“I think it offends against the basic principles of competition. If necessary, in order to protect that principle of competition, we will seek a legislative solution.
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“But we hope that the [football authorities] can find a way forward themselves.”
The European Super League project fell apart within days of its conception after the Premier League’s ‘big six’ – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea – all withdrew their support.
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