London: The 12 European clubs planning to start a breakaway Super League have told the leaders of FIFA and UEFA that they have begun legal action aimed at fending off threats to block the competition.
The letter was sent by the group of English, Spanish and Italian clubs to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UEFA counterpart Aleksander Ceferin saying the Super League has already been underwritten by funding of 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) from a financial institution.
Currently, teams have to qualify each year for the Champions League through their domestic leagues, but the Super League would lock in 15 places every season for the founding members.
The seismic move to shake up the sport is partly engineered by the American owners of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, who also run franchises in closed U.S. leagues — a model they are trying to replicate in Europe.
UEFA warned the Super League clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, that legal action would be taken against them and said they would be barred from existing domestic competitions like the Spanish league, the Premier League and international competitions.