How Leeds United could qualify for the Champions League this year if European Super League breakaway goes ahead
Leeds United could be in the Champions League next season - if the European Super League breakaway plans went ahead now
Six English clubs have agreed to join a new breakaway European Super League, it has been announced.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have linked up with six European clubs – three from Spain and three from Italy – to create a rival competition to the Champions League.
It is anticipated three more clubs will join the breakaway group as founding members with the new competition, which will begin “as soon as practicable” to eventually feature 20 teams.
But UEFA has said it will do everything in its power to stop the new league - and UEFA along with FIFA will BAN the clubs from entering any competitions including the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, Premier League, La Liga, and their players could be barred from international matches too.
How could the Super League put Leeds United in the Champions League?
The breakaway clubs say they will form the inaugural Super League 'as soon as practicable'.
The proposals have been announced just days before UEFA planned to reveal changes to the Champions League format, including to scrap the initial group stages and replace it with a league, with seedings to determine fixtures.
But if the breakaway clubs continued with their plans, the ban could in theory be effective immediately, which would see the English clubs barred from next year's European competition.
Based on the current Premier League standings, if you remove the clubs planning to break away, the top four would read: 1 Leicester City 2 West Ham 3 Everton 4 Leeds United.
In that way, Leeds United could be in a Champions League qualification spot for next year, should these series of events take place.
Having said that, it isn't the way Leeds fans would like it to happen.
Many Whites supporters took to social media to air their dismay at the 'rotten' plans.
Leeds fan and football account The Square Ball said: "The Super League itself sounds s*** too. There’s nothing at stake. No jeopardy. It’s just money. You’ll have loads of it and play each other every year, and know it’ll be the same next year. And then what?"
What UEFA said
UEFA, along with the Football Associations of England, Spain and Italy, plus the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A, said they would use all available means to stop the “cynical project”.
A joint statement, issued before the later Super League announcement, read: “If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
“As previously announced by FIFA and the six federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.
“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced.
“This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”
In a solo statement, the FA added the plan was “damaging to English and European football at all levels” and would “attack the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are fundamental to competitive sport”. The Premier League also warned it would have a “deeply damaging impact”.