The English Football League have condemned the highly controversial proposals to create a European Super League.
On Sunday evening, it was announced that six of the Premier League’s top clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City, had agreed to be part of the newly-created midweek competition which would also include AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
Another eight teams are set to join the competition too, although they are yet to be announced, with the move receiving widespread criticism from virtually everyone in the footballing world.
Luton chief executive Gary Sweet labelled the plans a 'despicable violation' and also declared the six English clubs should be excluded by the Football Association for their bid to breakaway from the domestic game.
A statement from the EFL yesterday said: "The EFL stands with the Premier League, The FA, PFA, LMA, the FSA and colleagues across European professional football in condemnation of proposals which attack the foundation of open and fair competition upon which our game is built.
"A strong pyramid based on promotion, relegation and ultimately European qualification, is fundamental to our game’s continued success.
"The EFL opposes any reform that doesn’t support competition integrity or offer clubs the prospect of one day competing at the highest end of the game.
"Collective reform efforts should be focused on creating conditions that foster long-term sustainability at all levels of the domestic football and remove the current, almost impossible financial pressures created as a result in the huge difference of revenues allocated to the Premier League in comparison to the Championship and Leagues One and Two.
"The EFL has long stated that the economics and governance of the English pyramid should be re-set and we remain committed to working with the Premier League, The FA and the game’s stakeholders to deliver that vision, so that English professional football can thrive in communities across the country for generations to come.
"At its heart, football is a game for supporters and the widespread rejection of these proposals must be acknowledged.
"EFL Clubs are an integral part of the towns and cities from which they take their name and, in many, deliver the biggest single form of communal activity in their local area.
"The EFL’s collective response to the pandemic in the face of significant challenges highlights just how vital they are to the life of the nation and anything that fundamentally weakens that system must be resisted.
"Having pioneered the world’s original League format in 1888, it is ironic that proposals which would serve to destroy the value of sporting merit were announced on the weekend of the League’s 133rd anniversary.
"Across EFL competitions, any club can triumph over another and fans of all clubs regardless of size and status, must always be afforded the hope that successes on the pitch will be rewarded.
"The Championship is one of Europe’s most prominent divisions and the gateway to England’s top tier.
"The introduction of a predominantly closed European competition at the elite end kills a part of the game and the League system we established over a century ago.
"Similarly, the rejection of these proposals, does not represent an endorsement for UEFA’s own proposed reforms, which themselves represent a significant challenge to English football’s domestic programme.
"Under both proposals, the EFL has concerns about the future of the League Cup which provides vital income to EFL clubs, is the breeding ground for stars of the future and provides the top and bottom of the English pyramid the opportunity to win the first major trophy of the season.
"The EFL will continue to work with colleagues across the game at home and abroad, to defend our national game, protect our members and ensure that fans continue to have a healthy, vibrant and enduring pyramid system that they can continue to be proud of."