UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has branded Manchester United's Ed Woodward and Juventus' Andrea Agnelli as 'snakes' and 'liars', following news about their involvement in plans for a breakaway Super League.
Woodward and Angelli have been at the core of controversial plans to form a new closed-shop European competition which will soon rival the Champions League. The Super League was formally announced on Sunday, shortly after it emerged that Agnelli would quit his role with the European Club Association (ECA).
Appetite for a Super League has been sparse, and UEFA released a statement on Sunday in conjunction with football confederations in England, Spain and Italy. It outlined a universal desire to stop a 'cynical project', which they say is designed to serve only a few elite clubs at the expense of everyone else.
The European Super League.— 90min (@90min_Football) April 19, 2021
Civil War. pic.twitter.com/zhce34IKCA
The Premier League's 'big six', as well as three clubs each in Spain and Italy have been confirmed for the new competition. But Bayern Munich have rejected it, while FC Porto have already announced they will play no part.
All of this comes on at the same time as UEFA set out plans for a reformed Champions League - and UEFA chief Ceferin has made his discontent known in no uncertain terms.
Firstly, he reiterated UEFA's previous stance that no players who take part will be able to compete at future European Championships or World Cups.
He said, via Sky Sports: "We're still assessing the situation with our legal team. It's a bit too early.
"We will take all the sanctions that we can and we will inform you as soon as we have a clear answer. My opinion is that, as soon as possible, the players have to be banned from all our competitions.
"I cannot stress more strongly UEFA and the footballing world are united against the disgraceful, self-serving proposals we have seen, fuelled purely by greed.
"It's a nonsense of a project. This idea is a spit in the face for all footballer lovers and our society. We will not allow them to take this away from us.
"The players who will play in teams that might play in the closed league will be banned from playing in World Cup and Euros. They could not represent national team in any matches."
UEFA’s Alexander Ceferin confirms: “The players that will play in the Super League will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros. Ceferin. They will not be allowed play for their national teams”. ??? #SuperLeague— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 19, 2021
He then went on to unload on Woodward and Agnelli in particular, singling them out for vociferous criticism.
Ceferin said: "If I start with Ed Woodward, he called me last Thursday evening saying he’s very satisfied with and fully supports the reforms and the only thing he want to talk about was FFP, when obviously he had already signed something else.
"Andrea Agnelli is the biggest disappointment of all, I’ve never seen a person that would lie so many times, so persistently as he did. It’s unbelievable.
"We didn't know we had snakes so close to us, now we know.
"Super League is only about money, money of the dozen, I don't want to call them dirty dozen, but UEFA is about developing football, and about financing what should be financed, that our football, our culture survives, and some people don't understand it.
"Not only the football world, but society and governments are united. It's part of our culture. We are all united against this nonsense of a project."
UEFA president Ceferin lays into Ed Woodward + Agnelli: “If I start with Ed Woodward, he called me last Thu evening saying he’s very satisfied with and fully supports the reforms + the only thing he want to talk about was FFP, when obviously he had already signed something else.— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) April 19, 2021
It has already been confirmed that Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will replace Agnelli on the board of the ECA, which spells the end to any hopes of Bayern joining the super league.