European Super League: What is it, who's joining; why is FIFA, UEFA against it

Here's everything you need to know about the breakaway Super League and why it has left the football community divided.

The Super League intends to launch a 20-team competition with 15 founding members but only 12 have currently signed up.   -  REUTERS

Twelve of Europe's top football clubs have announced the formation of a breakaway Super League.

The breakaway has been heavily criticised by football authorities, fan organisations and politicians across Europe.

Here is what the tournament would look like:

READ: Five English clubs signs up to breakaway league - report

WHICH CLUBS ARE INVOLVED?

The Premier League's Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have announced plans to join the competition along with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus.

It is anticipated three more clubs will join the breakaway group as founding members of the new midweek tournament, which organisers said would begin "as soon as practicable".

READ: Reaction to major European clubs planning for breakaway Super League

WHAT IS THE PROPOSED FORMAT?

The league will have 20 teams, with 15 founding members to be joined by five clubs who qualify annually based on their domestic achievements.

The 20 teams would be split into the two groups of 10, with each side in a group playing each other home and away in midweek fixtures.

READ: UEFA threatens to ban breakaway clubs from all competitions

The top three clubs from each group would progress for the quarter-finals, with the final two spot earned after a playoff between the teams finishing fourth and fifth in their groups.

From quarter-final stage onwards there would be a two-legged knockout ties home and away -- similar to the current knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League -- with a single fixture final at a neutral venue.

WOULD THE LEAGUE BE A 'CLOSED SHOP'?

One of the biggest points of criticism around the proposal is that only five clubs in the 20-strong competition would enter based on "sporting achievements". The 15 founding members would have their participation guaranteed.

READ: Super League clubs tell FIFA legal action already started

HOW WOULD THE LEAGUE BE FINANCED?

U.S. investment bank JP Morgan confirmed on Monday to Reuters that it is financing the new league.

In their own announcement, the breakaway clubs said the founding members would share 3.5 billion euros "solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic".

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