The usually fun-filled footballing weekend was disrupted on Sunday with the news of a breakaway European Super League.
Since then, there has been a crossfire of statements from the different parties, directly and indirectly, concerned about this new breakaway project.
While we wait for a clearer view of what the European Super League offers, here are five of the things football fans around the world need to know for now.
English teams will dominate maiden Super League season
While 15 teams are being targeted for the inaugural season of the Super League, 12 have already confirmed their participation with half of them coming from the Premier League.
The ‘Big Six’ from England are Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurs, Liverpool, and Manchester United.
The other teams from the other Leagues are, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter, Juventus, and Liverpool,
Why cynics are already predicting a boring league, the organisers of the Super League have detailed their format for a potentially thrilling project.
“[There will be] 20 participating clubs, with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season,” it said.
“[There will be] midweek fixtures, with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
“[There will be] an August start with clubs participating in two groups of 10, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.
Not an all-men affair
As indicated by the organisers, the new Super League would not just be an all-men affair as a workable plan is also being considered for the women also.
The organisers said: “As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.”
The need to have an experienced hand to steer the affairs of the Super League in its infant stage cannot be overemphasised. This perhaps explains why Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez was named as the first chairman of the competition.
The hunt for the three teams that will complete the roster for 15 founding members of the Super League is on.
Even though some of the potential candidates have already spoken against the project, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain could be the latecomers to join the European Super League.