The Football Association confirm to start an investigation over the ‘BIG 6’ for ESL participation
The Football Association and Premier League have launched inquiries into the events that led up to the formation of the European Super League, to establish the ‘truth of what happened’.
And the governing bodies have committed to new rules and regulations designed to stop a similar power grab from ever happening again
The Premier League, supported by the FA, has committed to an owners’ charter, which will force those in charge of clubs to agree to a set of ‘core principles’ with ‘significant sanctions’ for anyone who fails to uphold them.
The two organisations say they are also working with government to develop new laws to ‘protect football’s open pyramid’ and they say they will work with fan groups and others to defend the future prospects of English football.
In a coordinated move apparently prompted by the fan protests ahead of the Manchester United – Liverpool fixture on Sunday, the FA and England’s top flight issued statements today, condemning the actions of the Big Six breakaway clubs, detailing the next steps in the controversy and calling for restraint from supporters.
Neither body has yet committed itself to punishing the errant clubs involved in the Super League project, which fans and pundits have called for but lawyers have suggested looks increasingly unlikely.
‘Last week, we started an official inquiry into the formation of the European Super League and the involvement of the six English clubs, ‘the FA said in its statement.
‘We wrote to all of the clubs to formally request all relevant information and evidence regarding their participation.
‘Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriate steps to take. Clearly what happened was unacceptable and could have caused great harm to clubs at every level of English football.
‘The fans have played a vital and impactful role in helping to stop the European Super League from happening, and we understand their frustrations. However, we cannot condone the violent and criminal behaviour that took place before the scheduled Manchester United vs Liverpool match, which The FA is now investigating.’
The FA could consider bringing charges against Manchester United under rule E20, which states that clubs are responsible for their supporters and may be punished for any improper, violent, threatening, abusive, indecent behaviour, including the throwing of missiles.
Sportsmail understands that if found guilty United could be slapped with a fine or other sanction, including ground closure.
In its statement, the top tier said: ‘The actions of a few clubs cannot be allowed to create such division and disruption. We are determined to establish the truth of what happened and hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions. We and The FA are pursuing these objectives quickly and appropriately, consulting with fans and Government.’
The Premier League said it was committed to enshrining ‘the core principles of the professional game: an open pyramid, progression through sporting merit and the highest standards of sporting integrity’ within its structure, including:
And the top flight called on supporters to make their points in the right way.
‘The Premier League recognises the strength of feeling and the right of fans to know what is happening.
‘We are committed to maintaining close dialogue with supporters and their representatives, as we work with The FA and Government to identify solutions, but ask that all protests are peaceful.
‘The actions of a minority of those present at Old Trafford on Sunday have no justification and will be investigated by the Premier League and The FA as well as by the Greater Manchester Police.’
The Premier League could also consider taking action against United for the events on Sunday.
In the Premier League Handbook, rule K14 states that the home club must make sure that the players and match officials can enter and leave the stadium safely and that there is safe environment in which to play the match.
Breaching this rule could result in a wide-range of punishments, including a points deduction.