The 12 rebel clubs planning to form a European Super League (ESL) are “ready for dialogue” with domestic leagues and UEFA, sources have told ESPN.
With widespread hostility and opposition to the ESL proposal announced on Sunday from within football and also from political leaders such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron, the leading figures within the breakaway cabal accept that there is a need for high-level talks in order to lay out their plans.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin described the group as a “dirty dozen” during an explosive press conference on Monday in which he also said that the proposals, involving Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United and others, were a “spit in the face of football lovers.”
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the chairman of the ESL group, responded by saying football must “change and adapt,” while dismissing Ceferin’s threat of the rebel clubs being banned from UEFA competitions.
A meeting of the 14 Premier League clubs not involved in the proposals — Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are signed up to the ESL plan — was held on Tuesday in an effort to agree on a strategy to combat the initiative.
But as anger towards the breakaway plan remains intense, as borne out by fans burning a Liverpool shirt prior to Monday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road, the key ESL figures believe talks can tone down the temperature and lead to a greater understanding of the proposals.
Under the ESL plan, an annual solidarity payment of €160 million would be paid to the Premier League clubs to ensure the money generated by the new competition would trickle down to the domestic game.
ESL leaders are determined to spell out their vision to remain in domestic leagues while playing only in midweek in a Super League.
Opposition to the proposals remains strong, however, with national leagues and associations united in their determination to block anyway breakaway competition.