A group of leading European clubs have announced the foundation of The Super League, a new midweek competition set to revolutionise the game.
After a day of rumours, the new competition was finally unveiled late on Sunday evening with the Premier League big six (Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham) among the founding members.
"Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole," a statement posted by several journalist including Rob Harris read.
"The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis."
Three more Founding Clubs are yet to be confirmed for the 20 team league in which five spots will be handed out via qualification each year. Games will be played in midweek, with clubs hoping to continue to play in their domestic divisions as normal.
The 20 teams will be divided into two groups of ten, playing home and away with the top three qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams in fourth and fifth will then compete in playoffs for the two remaining spots.
All the clubs involved will benefit financially with each receiving a share of $3.5 billion simply for taking part.
"The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a bng-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues," the statement continued.
"These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs.
"In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic."
The plans have been criticised across football and according to Fabrizio Romano, UEFA plan to fight back by banning any players who take part in the competition from all of its and FIFA's competitions at domestic and international level.