Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has struck a huge blow to the founding clubs in the European Super League by vowing his team will remain playing in UEFA competitions.
The French champions and Bayern Munich, who contested last year’s Champions League final, were two of the biggest teams not to commit to the breakaway continental tournament.
Six teams from the Premier League along with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Milan were revealed on Sunday to be the 12 founding clubs of the new lucrative competition to which they would have guaranteed access every season.
The proposals have attracted widespread condemnation, with even Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola — whose sides are involved – making clear they disagreed with the concept.
UEFA has unveiled its own new format for the Champions League, expanding the group stage and increasing the number of teams from 32 to 36 from 2024.
It is this structure which Al-Khelaifi believes in and he insists PSG will continue to operate under, dashing hopes that the Ligue 1 heavyweights may ultimately join the ESL.
Al-Khelaifi issued a statement on Tuesday after he was re-elected to the UEFA Executive Committee as a European Club Association (ECA) representative.
“Paris Saint-Germain holds the fine belief that football is a game for everyone,” he said.
“I have been consistent on this since the very beginning. As a football club, we are a family and a community, whose fabric is our fans — I believe we shouldn’t forget this. There is a clear need to advance the existing UEFA competition model, presented by UEFA yesterday and concluding 24 months’ of extensive and collaborative consultation across the whole European football landscape.
“We believe that any proposal without the support of UEFA — an organisation that has been working to progress the interests of European football for nearly 70 years — does not resolve the issues currently facing the football community, but is instead driven by self-interest.
“Paris Saint-Germain will continue to work with UEFA, the European Club Association and all stakeholders of the football family based on the principles of good faith, dignity and respect for all.”