Revealed: Chelsea joined European Super League 'not to be left behind'

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Chelsea's reasoning for agreeing to be one of the 12 founding clubs for the European Super League has been revealed. 

Plans were confirmed on Sunday evening over a new European Super League competition which will consist of 20 teams, that could start as early as August.

As well as Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are the other five English involved in the new competition. 

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The other six clubs include Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan. 

Click here for what Chelsea had to say on the announcement. 

But it has been revealed by the Athletic that Chelsea and Manchester City were reluctant to get involved in the breakaway league, which was spearheaded by Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. 

Their report claims 'the possible participation of Chelsea and City has been described by sources as more out of a desire not to be left behind, than a fervent desire to lead the charge'. 

The announcement has spread anger across the footballing world, with supporters groups including Chelsea as well as the Government, Premier League and other football organisations condemning the new competition, which will be financially backed by JP Morgan. 

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What is the format?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, 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

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