‘Big Six’ among nine ex-Super League clubs who commit to UEFA

Nine of the original Super League clubs – including the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ – have declared their commitment to UEFA and its competitions at continental and domestic level.

However, the three who have not renounced the Super League – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – are set to face “appropriate action” under UEFA’s disciplinary action.

The 12 clubs announced themselves as founder members of the breakaway league on April 18, but within 72 hours it had fallen apart with the English clubs withdrawing after fan protests and Government pressure.










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Kaveh Solhekol reports the latest as the ‘Big Six’ English clubs involved in failed plans for a European Super League have declared their commitment to UEFA – however Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are yet to do so.

The clubs will make a combined 15m euro (just over £13m) goodwill contribution to benefit children’s and grassroots football across Europe.

They will also have five per cent of UEFA competition revenues withheld for one season. This money will be redistributed.

They face fines of 100m euros (almost £87m) each if they seek to join an unauthorised competition in the future, and a fine of half that if they breach any other terms of the declaration, UEFA said in a statement.

They will also rejoin the influential lobbying group the European Club Association.

A spokesperson for Manchester United confirmed the Glazer family would personally cover their club’s share of the goodwill money requested and the withheld funds.

It is expected that the amount the Glazers would be liable for is between five and 10 million euros.



Avram Glazer refuses to answer questions over Manchester United








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Manchester United owner Avram Glazer refused to apologise to fans over the disastrous attempt to form a breakaway European Super League, when approached by Sky News

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “I said at the UEFA Congress two weeks ago that it takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.

“In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.

“The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA. They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK.

“These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football. The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called ‘Super League’ and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.”

On those clubs – Real, Barca and Juve – the tone was strikingly different in UEFA’s statement.

“UEFA has reserved all rights to take whatever action it deems appropriate against those clubs that have so far refused to renounce the so-called ‘Super League’,” the statement concluded.

“The matter will promptly be referred to the competent UEFA disciplinary bodies.”

The Football Association said in a statement: “We welcome today’s announcement from UEFA confirming that they have resolved matters with all of the English clubs involved in the proposed European Super League. We’re delighted that these clubs have committed to UEFA’s club competitions going forward.

“The FA has an ongoing inquiry into the involvement of the six English clubs and we have formally requested all relevant information and evidence regarding their participation. Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriate steps to take.”

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Chelsea set up CL showdown with City after Real win

Chelsea set up an all-English Champions League final with Manchester City after beating Real Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the semi-final second leg, going through 3-1 on aggregate.

Timo Werner put Chelsea ahead (28), nodding into the empty net from under the crossbar after Kai Havertz’s chip had hit the woodwork, before Real rode their luck as the hosts missed four big chances to double their lead in the opening 20 minutes of the second period.

Chelsea finally got their second to kill off the tie with five minutes remaining as Mason Mount stuck home substitute Christian Pulisic’s centre at close range, capping off a fine display and marking an extraordinary turnaround at the club since Thomas Tuchel joined in January.

Timo Werner heads Chelsea in front against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg
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Timo Werner heads Chelsea in front against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg

Chelsea will now play in their third Champions League final (2008 and 2012) in Istanbul on Saturday May 29, and have set up just the third all-English Champions League final after 2008 (Man Utd-Chelsea) and 2019 (Liverpool-Tottenham) as Manchester City look to complete a Treble.

Full report to follow

When is the Champions League final?

This year’s final will take place in Istanbul on Saturday May 29.

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium famously staged the 2005 Champions League showdown, when Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties.

UEFA has not yet confirmed the kick-off time, but say detailed information regarding the capacity for the match, travel and ticketing details will be communicated publicly by the end of the week.

What’s next for Chelsea in bid for top four?

Chelsea now go to Man City on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm, knowing a City victory will wrap up the Premier League title for Pep Guardiola’s side.

They then host Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday evening, also live on Sky Sports Premier League at 8.15pm.


Saturday 8th May 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD


Wednesday 12th May 7:30pm


Kick off 8:15pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

And what’s next for Real in La Liga title race?

Real Madrid host Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday night at 8pm, currently sitting two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with four games of the season remaining.

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Zidane: Hazard and Ramos ready for Chelsea fight

Zinedine Zidane has insisted that Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos and all his Real Madrid stars are ready to “fight to the death” to beat Chelsea to the Champions League final.

Zidane’s Real side will take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg, in a bid to reach their first final in three years.

Captain Ramos is back in the Real squad after a month of calf trouble, while ex-Chelsea talisman Hazard has finally shaken off a frustrating sequence of injuries.

Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos has tested positive for coronavirus
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Sergio Ramos was forced to watch the first leg from the stands

Zidane dismissed any fears over Spain stalwart Ramos’ fitness, before tipping Hazard to find top form on his old stomping ground.

“I’m not going to be taking a risk, Sergio is with us and that means that he is ready to play; that’s it,” said Zidane.

“I’m not going to tell you now about whether Sergio will play or any other player.

“He’s here with us and that means that he is fine, that’s the most important thing for us, to have our leader with us, to have our captain with us. As I said before all of the players that are here with us are ready. All of them.

“We’re in the Champions League semi-finals, we are all going to fight to the death out there on the pitch. All the players are ready to play, and then of course I have to pick a team.

“All the players are ready to play, don’t worry.”



Hazard Greatest PL Goals








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Ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Real Madrid, we take a look back at some of our favourite goals Eden Hazard scored in the Premier League during his time at the Blues

Asked if now would be the perfect time for Hazard to hit his peak after an injury-plagued two years at Real, Zidane continued: “It’s a great time for it, it’s a great time for him, and I think he’s prepared, and that’s very good for us.

“We’re going to need Eden.

“We know what a good player he is, and he’s definitely going to be helping the team.

“Eden is here with us, he’s ready, he’s prepared.

“We know the quality that he has. He’s going to bring his natural game and he’s going to show what he wants to do out there. I’m pleased with that.”

Zidane’s Real have battled through barren spells of form, injury concerns and Covid-19 issues in a piecemeal campaign – but also a season that could yet yield a league and Champions League double.

27 October 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, M'nchengladbach: Football: Champions League, Group stage, Group B, 2nd matchday, Borussia M'nchengladbach - Real Madrid at the stadium in Borussia-Park. Coach Zinedine Zidane (l) of Madrid is standing on the edge of the field. Photo by: Marius Becker/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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Zinedine Zidane has praised the resilience of his squad after a tough season

The former France playmaker hailed his team for driving Madrid towards the season’s business end with hopes still high for a glittering finale.

“As we’ve said we’ve had challenges, we’ve had tough moments during the season,” said Zidane.

“But you really have to tip your hat to the team, because they have great character.

“They have personality, and when things get tough they always step up; they’ve shown that.

“They are the best players around in my eyes, and they’ve always shown that.

“Of course there have been challenges, but we are where we want to be, and above all where we deserve to be.”

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Chelsea vs Real preview: Rudgier, Valverde fit

Team news, stats, kick-off time ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Team news

Mateo Kovacic remains sidelined for Chelsea, having picked up an injury ahead of the quarter-final win over Porto, but the rest of the squad will be fit.

Antonio Rudiger is available after missing out on Saturday’s 2-0 win at Fulham with a facial injury and is set to wear a protective mask if he plays.

Chelsea drew 1-1 with Real Madrid in the first leg last week, with Christian Pulisic nabbing a vital away goal for the Blues.



Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel








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The Daily Mirror’s Darren Lewis believes Chelsea are capable of getting past Real Madrid and securing their place in the Champions League final

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has recovered from Covid and after testing negative, has travelled to London with the rest of the squad.

However, Zinedine Zidane will be without Raphael Varane, who picked up an abductor injury at the weekend. Dani Carvajal is sidelined with a hamstring injury he suffered during the first leg last week.



MARCELO








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Real Madrid defender Marcelo is free to fly with the squad to London for their Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea after completing his democratic duties in Madrid, says Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero

However, Real could replace Varane with captain Sergio Ramos after he returned to training at the end of last week. The 35-year-old defender has not featured since playing for Spain at the end of March.

Marcelo will also be able to join his team-mates, despite being chosen to work at a Madrid polling station as part of local elections. Reports in Spain on Tuesday morning said the Brazilian turned up around 8am at the Liceo Europeo in La Moraleja to fulfil his duties as an assistant but was excused and allowed to return home after being substituted by one of the main electoral council members.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Fulham in the Premier League

Follow live text commentary of Chelsea vs Real Madrid via our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.

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  • Chelsea will face Real Madrid for the fifth time in European competition, while they are unbeaten against them in the previous four (W2 D2). This will be the first time across the five meetings that Chelsea have hosted the Spanish side.
  • Real Madrid are winless in their last four away games against English sides in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L2), scoring only two goals across the four games. Their last such victory was against Liverpool back in October 2014, winning 3-0 in the group stage.
  • Chelsea have progressed from five of their last seven knockout ties in the UEFA Champions League when avoiding defeat away from home in the first leg. However, one of these two eliminations came in their last semi-final appearance in the competition, versus Atlético de Madrid in 2013-14 (0-0 in first leg, 1-3 in second leg).
  • Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is looking to secure his fourth progression in four UEFA Champions League semi-final ties, which would equal the record for most semi-final tie progressions by a manager in competition history (4 – along with Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti and Marcello Lippi).
  • Chelsea are aiming to reach their third UEFA Champions League final, which would take them just one behind Manchester United and Liverpool (both four) for most final appearances in the competition by an English team.
  • Real Madrid could seal their place in a 17th European Cup/UEFA Champions League final, with their current total of 16 already being the most of any team. Progression here would set up Zinedine Zidane’s fourth UEFA Champions League final in charge of Real Madrid, as many as the club had managed in the competition before he took charge (four).
  • Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has only lost four of his 18 home games as a manager in the UEFA Champions League (W12 D2), with his sides scoring 48 goals across these fixtures – an average of 2.7 per game.
  • Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has scored 71 goals in the UEFA Champions League and could become the outright fourth top scorer in the competition’s history if he scores in this game, overtaking Raúl (71).
  • Chelsea’s Mason Mount (22y 115d) could become the second-youngest English player to score in a UEFA Champions League semi-final, after Wayne Rooney in 2007 (21y 182d v Milan). The last English player to score for Chelsea in a semi-final in this competition was Frank Lampard in 2008, netting versus Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

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Valverde returns for Real’s CL semi-final at Chelsea

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has recovered from Covid-19 after posting a negative test result on Tuesday and has been called up for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Brazilian left-back Marcelo will also be able to travel with the squad to London on Tuesday morning, despite being chosen to work at a Madrid polling station as part of local elections.

Reports in Spain on Tuesday morning said the Brazilian turned up around 8am at the Liceo Europeo in La Moraleja to fulfil his duties as an assistant but was excused and allowed to return home after being substituted by one of the main electoral council members.

Raphael Varane, meanwhile, will miss Real’s Champions League semi-final second leg at Chelsea.

The 28-year-old centre-back sustained an injury to his right abductor during Real’s 2-0 win over Osasuna on Saturday.

Real will also be without Dani Carvajal due to the hamstring injury he suffered during the first leg last week, with the right-back set to miss the rest of the season.

Captain Sergio Ramos is named in the squad after he returned to training at the end of last week. The 35-year-old defender has not featured since playing for Spain at the end of March.

Sergio Ramos is available for Real Madrid ahead of their clash with Chelsea
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Sergio Ramos has not featured since playing for Spain at the end of March

Real drew 1-1 with Chelsea in the first leg in Madrid, meaning they must better that score in west London on Wednesday if they are to reach their first final since 2018.

Raiola: I think Real Madrid can afford Haaland

Mino Raiola says Real Madrid will be able to afford to sign Erling Haaland this summer, despite the Spanish champions’ financial issues.

Real reported a debt of €354.3m (£307m) in the financial year to last June with finances having been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Erling Haaland has scored 49 goals in his first 52 games for Borussia Dortmung
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Erling Haaland has 37 goals in 38 games for Borussia Dortmund this season

While Haaland has a reported £66m release clause in his contract that comes into effect next summer, Raiola and his father, Alf Inge Haaland, held talks with Barcelona and Real earlier this year.

The striker would be expected to fetch over £100m for Borussia Dortmund if they sold him this summer and, when asked whether Real could afford to buy him, Raiola said: “I don’t know if they can afford him, because I’ve haven’t studied their books. But I think they can.

“I think they all can. The question is different: can Madrid afford not to buy Haaland? And Barca?”

“He [Haaland] needs to tell me when everything is clear and I can create a menu for him, and put the things on his plate: we’ve got this, that and the other.

“And at the moment we can’t. What we know as of today is that Dortmund spoke extremely solemnly to us and said, ‘we are not selling him’. That’s the situation, definitely.

“That’s what they’ve said. Now let’s see if that desire is still there through to the 1st of September.”

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