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Premier League’s Big Six could be fined millions for European Super League plot

The so-called ‘Big Six’ are set for talks with the Premier League next week which could lead to fines totalling tens of millions of pounds as punishment for their part in the failed European Super League breakaway.

Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs announced their intention to join the Super League last month.

In collaboration with Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, their owners planned to rival – and ultimately replace – the Champions League with what was effectively a closed shop guaranteeing its “founder clubs” a greater share of the profits.

The plans collapsed after barely 48 hours when, one-by-one, the English clubs withdrew from the competition. Faced with a massive backlash from fans, players, managers, pundits, politicians and stakeholders, their departure saw the two Milan clubs and Atletico follow suit soon after.

While Real, Barcelona and Juventus have refused to renounce the plan, Juve have conceded in a statement that “there are limited chances that the project be completed in the form originally conceived.” Speaking after the Premier League ’s ‘Big Six’ withdrew, Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli said: “I don’t think that project is now still up and running.”

The attempted European Super League breakaway has led to widespread fan protests

The nine clubs that withdrew from the competition have received limited sanctions from UEFA. They have agreed to make a combined €15m (£12.9m) goodwill contribution towards children’s and grassroots football across Europe, while they will also have five percent of UEFA competition revenues withheld for one season.

On top of that, they agreed to much larger fines if they seek to join a similar unauthorised competition in the future or otherwise break UEFA’s Club Commitments Declaration.

The six English clubs involved in the attempted Super League breakaway are now on the verge of discovering their punishment from the Premier League. According to Sky, they will hold talks in the coming days which could lead to anything from one-off fines to the ‘Big Six’ having to forfeit a proportion of next season’s broadcast income.

The Premier League must now decide how to sanction the ‘Big Six’
The Premier League must now decide how to sanction the ‘Big Six’

The Premier League made an initial proposal earlier this month which combined a £15m fine for each club with a substantial suspended points deduction. It’s unclear whether docking points from the ‘Big Six’ is still on the table, with the clubs fiercely opposed to the idea.

One alternative proposal is that each club should receive a £1m fine and give up a five percent share of next season’s broadcast revenue, similar to the punishment handed out by UEFA. If fines decided on that basis, they could work out at between £6m and £7.5m per club based on the expected broadcast income for the current campaign.

That could see total fines exceed £40m but, with negotiations ongoing, the final amount is liable to change. The exact details of the settlement could take some time to emerge.

That total could be higher if it includes a proportion of the extra fees clubs have earned this season on account of every game being televised, while it would increase further if it also encompasses the league’s central sponsorship income.

Overall, the fines imposed by the Premier League will probably be bigger in total than those levied by UEFA. The government is likely to welcome the punishments, though it is unclear how the fines will be redistributed.

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