European Super League: What managers of ‘Big Six’ clubs have said about proposed breakaway competition

Plans for a European Super League involving some of football’s richest clubs have been met by widespread dismay from fans and former players.

English football’s so-called "Big Six" are among 12 clubs who have agreed to form a breakaway competition to rival the Champions League, with the project backed by US banking giant JP Morgan.

A total of 20 teams are expected to join before the inaugural season, with 15 "founding clubs" guaranteed a place in the league without the threat of relegation.

Here, Sky News looks at what the managers of the English clubs involved – Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea – have said about the plans, which have been mooted for several years before Sunday’s bombshell announcement.

They include comments from Jose Mourinho before he was sacked by Spurs on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager reportedly voiced his opposition to plans for a European Super League in 2019.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp told German sports magazine Kicker: "I hope this Super League will never happen.

"With the way the Champions League is now running, football has a great product, even with the Europa League.

"For me, the Champions League is the Super League, in which you do not always end up playing against the same teams.

"Of course, it is [financially] important, but why should we create a system where Liverpool faces Real Madrid for 10 straight years?

"Who wants to see that every year?"

However Klopp had previously joked he would be keen on the idea of a European Super League, saying it would mean "a lot less games and much more money."

Asked for his thoughts on the proposition in 2018, he said: "I have no real opinion. It sounds nice, really nice, because it would mean a lot less games and much more money.

"I’m completely fine with league football and how it is at the moment. At least it’s an idea that won’t happen immediately, I’m not sure if somebody has spoken about it to be honest.

"All the other wonderful ideas of UEFA and FIFA they do it immediately – they don’t ask – you see then, ‘oh now we have 20 more games – all of us – and no more money.’"

Pep Guardiola

The Manchester City boss warned "we cannot kill the lower divisions or the Premier League" when he was asked about plans for a European Super League earlier this year.

Speaking in January, Guardiola said: "I have the feeling we cannot lose the local leagues, what it means for the FA Cup, the leagues.

"What we should do is make every single league in Europe stronger than what it is, less teams, better championships, better League One, better League Two, better Premier League with less teams in every competition. Go to the quality over quantity.

"To make a super Premier League, you have to reduce the teams, but we cannot kill the lower divisions or the Premier League itself."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The Manchester United manager claimed he only learnt of the latest developments surrounding the European Super League on Sunday.

Speaking after his side’s 3-1 victory over Burnley, he told Sky Sports: "I’ve seen this morning the news and speculation.

I can’t really say too much, my focus has been on this game.

"I got the news today as well."

He added: "I don’t really know all the ins and outs – I need to find out and the club will issue a comment probably."

Mikel Arteta

The Arsenal manager claimed he was unaware that the club had agreed to be part of the European Super League as he faced questions after their 1-1 draw with Fulham on Sunday.

A reporter asked: "Are you saying you’re not aware of it at all? You haven’t heard anything from the club?"

Arteta replied: "No."

He went on to say: "Once I know every detail and I have all the information then I can evaluate and give you my opinion."

Jose Mourinho

Before he was sacked as Spurs manager on Monday, just hours after the club announced its plan to join the European Super League, Mourinho had been tight-lipped about his thoughts on the breakaway competition.

Asked for his views during a press conference in October last year, Mourinho said: "I leave it for Mr Levy," referring to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Thomas Tuchel

The Chelsea manager is yet to comment on the European Super League but is due to take part in a press conference at 1.30pm today, where he is likely to be asked for his views.

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