The proposed new European Super League “would have an enormously damaging impact on the very fabric of our sport at all levels”, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) said on Monday.
The SPFL spoke out after plans were unveiled for a controversial breakaway European Super League involving some of the biggest football teams across the continent.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City have announced they have signed up to the plan, joining teams from Italy and Spain.
Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, said Scottish football’s league body stands alongside UEFA, the European leagues, the English Premier League and “the overwhelming majority of the game’s stakeholders in vehemently opposing the proposed European Super League”.
He said: “These proposals, or any like them, would have an enormously damaging impact on the very fabric of our sport at all levels. It is no surprise they have been so swiftly and overwhelmingly condemned by fans the world over.
“We believe that any such ‘competition’ would dramatically undermine the global appeal of football and would be financially catastrophic for all but a very tiny minority.”
The European Super League plans also involve Spanish sides Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona and Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan.
The proposal has support from investment bank JP Morgan, which will provide debt financing for the competition.
It is understood that it will underwrite around six billion US dollars (£4.3bn) in loans for teams involved.
The Scottish Football Association (SFA) joined in the condemnation of the proposed league. A spokesperson said the SFA stood together with UEFA and “with all who wish to uphold the values and very fabric of football”.
They added: “The widespread condemnation of the so-called European Super League – among fans, players, clubs and football bodies across the world – has galvanised a sport which has already shown great fortitude in enduring the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and which has provided entertainment to millions who have been forced to remain at home during the restrictions caused by the pandemic.”
The plans would see the breakaway teams create a competition to rival the Champions League, but it would not feature relegation or promotion – leading to the accusations of a closed shop for the richest clubs.
Teams would play each other in midweek while still competing in their domestic leagues.
Uefa, the football associations of England, Spain and Italy, plus the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A have also spoken out against the move.
Doncaster added: “The proposals we have seen, assembled by a small, self-selected group of very wealthy clubs, appear to be a cynical and very worrying attempt to thwart the core principle of sporting merit which rightly underpins European football. They represent a clear and present danger to the sport we all love.
“Now, more than ever, given what we have all been through over the past year, governments, together with the game’s governing bodies and leagues, need to work together to do what is right and protect the very essence of the game.
“The SPFL stands ready to support all efforts to fight for the principles of solidarity, sporting competition and fairness which lie at the very heart of the game.”
Meanwhile, several SPFL member clubs posted photographs on their social media accounts on Monday in an apparent rebuke aimed at the proposed new league and to highlight the importance of fans to the game in Scotland.