Kevin De Bruyne has signed a new contract that will keep him at Manchester City until 2025, the club has confirmed.
The Belgian midfielder, who was last year’s Premier League Player of the Season , has signed a new four-year deal which will keep him at City until his 34th birthday.
De Bruyne still had two years remaining on his current contract, but City wanted to tie him down to a longer deal after becoming one of the best players in the world and playing such a major part in Pep Guardiola’s plans.
EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE: Could This Be The End Of UEFA Champions League (See Details)
A group of Europe’s 12 biggest clubs has confirmed their plans to launch a European Super League.
Reports had broken on Sunday of their plans, which have been met by a spectacular backlash from much of the footballing world.
Now it has been confirmed that a handful of teams, including Premier League sides Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool, are planning a rogue competition.
What have they said?
A statement released late on Sunday said: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.
“AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.
“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.
“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.
“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid. In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”
Who are the powerbrokers?
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has been confirmed as the president on the new league.
“We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires,” he claimed.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli is the vice president of the Super League. With Sunday’s announcement, Agnelli has resigned as president of the ECA.
He added: “Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”
What will the format be?
According to the statement, the competition will work thus:
“20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
“Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
“An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.”
What did FIFA have to say?
“In view of several media requests and as already stated several times, FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA,” the organisation said in a statement.
See The First Club To Be Relegated In EPL This Season
Sheffield United were relegated to the Championship after Willian Jose’s first goal for Wolves secured victory.
The visitors knew, following Newcastle’s win over West Ham earlier on Saturday, that they had to avoid defeat at Molineux to delay their inevitable demotion for a few days.
But it was Wolves who edged a poor game of few chances, when they broke downfield after Enda Stevens’ shot had been blocked. Adama Traore created room close to the goalline and delivered a low cross into the six-yard box, which Jose swept home.
It broke the Brazilian’s Wolves duck in his 11th game for the club, having signed on loan from Real Sociedad in January.
The Blades tried to respond and Stevens brought an excellent save from Rui Patricio with a powerful shot from an angle.
However, there was no preventing a relegation that has seemed certain since an abysmal start to the season brought just one point from their opening 13 games.
And at the final whistle, a number of Blades players dropped to their haunches.
Sheffield United’s relegation came on the same day that Norwich’s immediate return to the Premier League was confirmed.
Interim Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom believes the club should follow the Canaries’ example and keep as much of the squad together as possible.
“It has to be the goal to come straight back,” he said.
“This incredible journey started in League One. Look at Norwich, Watford, Bournemouth, who are doing well after they got relegated last season. Keeping the group together has to be a priority.”
Top Epl clubs Agree To Join the European Super League (See Details)
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham have agreed to join a breakaway European Super League.
The new format has been put forward as a rival to the UEFA Champions League, but not as a replacement to domestic leagues.
The six Premier League clubs will be joined by AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid. Three more clubs could join for the inaugural season which will commence “as soon as practicable”.
A statement read: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.
“AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.
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