Gary Neville has branded the punishment handed to the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ over their involvement in the failed European Super League (ESL) plot an “absolute embarrassment”.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham have reached a total settlement sum of £22million by the Premier League after their attempts to form the breakaway division.
Sky Sports pundit Neville was particularly vocal about the plans when the ESL became public knowledge back in April, labelling it a “disgrace”, and has been angered again by the latest news as he vented his frustration in a tweet.
The settlement means each club will pay little over £3million each by way of punishment, while all six teams have agreed to harsher penalties if they try a similar scheme in future.
A joint statement by the Premier League and the FA read: “The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have today acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake, and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game.
“They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and The FA.
“As a gesture of goodwill, the clubs have collectively agreed to make a contribution of £22million, which will go towards the good of the game, including new investment in support for fans, grassroots football and community programmes.
“Furthermore, the clubs have agreed to support rule changes so that any similar actions in the future would lead to a 30-point deduction.
“Each of the six clubs, in that event, would also be subject to an additional £25million fine.
“The Premier League and The FA have worked closely together throughout this process and this agreement brings both investigations into the matter to a conclusion.”
While the stipulation regarding further punishment effectively makes any hopes of a Super League forming in the near future unlikely, fans and the other 14 Premier League clubs are likely to feel aggrieved at the somewhat lenient approach by the division’s authorities.
Neville will be particularly disappointed by the outcome, having initially called for the clubs to be docked points and fined.
The ex-Man Utd defender since called for each club to give up half of their TV money for next season – a huge amount compared to what their actual fines are – but those calls have not been answered.
UEFA are still yet to determine how they wish to act on the matter, though, which could result in a harsher punishment from the European Governing Body.
However, the decision by the English clubs to pull themselves out of the ESL will be looked on favourably by UEFA, while the only three remaining teams yet to formally withdraw from the proposed competition – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – are expected to receive the harshest penalties.
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