Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has criticised the plan to create a European Super League by insisting the competition “is not a sport.”
City are one of 12 clubs who have signed up to the new tournament, alongside Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.
Under the plans, the founding members would retain their places regardless of success on the pitch. And while Guardiola admits he needs more details about the proposals, he hit out at the concept during a news conference Tuesday.
“It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist,” said Guardiola, who revealed he was made aware of the plan “a few hours” before the statement was published Sunday night.
“It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it doesn’t matter if you lose. I said many times, I want the best competition. It is not fair when one team fight, fight, fight at the top and cannot be qualified because it is just for a few teams.”
Florentino Perez says Super League teams won’t be expelled from the Champions League or domestic competitions.
Fellow Premier League top-six bosses Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel have also been quizzed about the proposals, and Guardiola says he is “uncomfortable” with managers facing questions on plans that have been devised in board rooms.
The 14 Premier League clubs not among the top six met with The FA on Tuesday to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal.
In a statement, they said: “The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.The League will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, Government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.”
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the chairman of the ESL group, publicly addressed the ESL in an interview given in Spain on Monday, and Guardiola has called on City CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak and owner Sheikh Mansour to do the same.
“I think Ole, Jurgen, Thomas, Mikel [Arteta] and Ryan [Mason], we speak six times a week in a press conference, we can talk everything,” said Guardiola.
“We spoke about virus and COVID and NHS and furlough. I am saying what really I feel but we are not the right people to answer these questions because presidents can talk more clearly about what is the idea for the future and where football is going to go.
“Once we have all the information, I can give you my opinion. It is a statement — no more than that. I would love the president to go all around the world and say what is the reason we took this decision. I support this club and I am part of the club but also I have my own opinion. For all of us six [managers] it is uncomfortable, we don’t have all the information.”