William and FA boss hold talks as European Super League row intensifies

Duke of Cambridge
Duke of Cambridge (PA Archive)
22:00pm, Tue 20 Apr 2021
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The Duke of Cambridge has held talks with the Football Association’s (FA) chief executive Mark Bullingham as opposition to the breakaway European Super League intensified.

William the FA’s president, spoke with Mr Bullingham on Tuesday afternoon via telephone and was likely to have been briefed on the latest developments in the controversial proposal.

The duke is a keen supporter of the Premier League club Aston Villa and on Monday tweeted how he shared “the concerns of fans” over the controversial proposals.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (PA Archive)

Earlier, Mr Bullingham had taken part in a virtual summit with Boris Johnson, other FA and Premier League officials and fans’ groups about the new breakaway competition.

Mr Johnson told the football authorities that he was prepared to legislate to prevent the formation of a European Super League, and later pledged his “unwavering support” for their efforts to stop the English game’s Big Six clubs setting up the project.

Writing on the official Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Twitter account, William said: “Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core.

“I share the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.”

Leeds United v Liverpool – Premier League – Elland Road (PA Wire)

Chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, Kevin Miles, said Mr Johnson made clear at the meeting he would be prepared to use legislation to protect the authorities from legal action if they moved against the breakaway six.

The plan has been roundly condemned by both the FA and the Premier League, while Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has warned players who take part could be banned from representing their countries in the World Cup and Euros.

However, the Super League chairman Florentino Perez – who is the president of Real Madrid – insisted the proposals were necessary to enable the sport to “evolve” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“When you don’t have income beyond television, the way to make it profitable is to make more attractive matches. That’s how we started working,” he told Spanish TV in his first public comments since the plan was announced at the weekend.

The 14 top-flight teams in England not involved “unanimously and vigorously” rejected the Super League during an emergency meeting with the FA and Premier League.

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