PCP Capital Partners' Mehrdad Ghodoussi slams European Super League proposals as consortium await Newcastle United takeover decision

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Potential Newcastle United takeover investor Mehrdad Ghodoussi has slammed European Super League proposals claiming founding clubs are crossing a line that ‘should not be crossed’.

Twelve European clubs, including six from the Premier League, have put forward a controversial breakaway proposal which would see the new competition replacing the likes of the Champions League, run by governing body UEFA.

The new mid-week competition, the Super League, containing AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, has been condemned by UEFA, FIFA, the Premier League and other national leagues and governing bodies, players, fans and the UK government.

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And PCP Capital Partners director Ghodoussi has added his voice to the growing swell against the announcement.

From his Twitter account @ghodoussi, he said: “There’s no question that money plays a hugely important role in sports and football, as it does with anything. However, there is a line that should not be crossed when you begin to endanger the essence of the game and it’s competitive nature. #SuperLeagueOut #PremierLeague.”

Ghodoussi, with wife Amanda Staveley, is waiting for the results of Newcastle United’s arbitration with the Premier League on the application of the owners’ and directors’ test re directors in the £300m+ deal involving Reuben Brothers and majority shareholders-in-waiting the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

While Newcastle United have not released an official line on the ESL proposals, it’s understood they’re also strongly opposed to the idea.

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The Premier League released the following statement about the news: “The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.

PCP Capital Partners director Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley.PCP Capital Partners director Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley.
PCP Capital Partners director Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley.

"Fans of any club in England, and across Europe, can dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.”

Digital, Culture, Media & Sport committee chair Julian Knight said: "This is a dark day for football – a deal done behind closed doors apparently with no regard for supporters."

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While Boris Johnson went further, claiming the government will do all it can to make sure the plans do NOT go ahead.

“We are going to look at everything that we can do with the football authorities to make sure that this doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed,” he said.

“I don’t think that it’s good news for fans, I don’t think it’s good news for football in this country.”

In a statement released late on Sunday, Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United and vice-chairman of the Super League, said: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”

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