World Association of Professional Football Leagues
23. April 2021

Domestic leagues unanimously reject the super league concept but also request better representation in the football governance

Following the recent events on the European breakaway league, the board of the World Leagues Forum (WLF), the association which represents professional football leagues on a world level met today.

Press Release

Source: Unsplash/Sandro Schuh
Image: Unsplash/Sandro Schuh

This board includes the following leagues: Premier League (England), Ligue de Football Professionnel (France), DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (Germany), Lega Serie A (Italy), Russian Premier League (Russia), LaLiga (Spain), Premier League Soccer (South Africa), LigaPro (Ecuador), Major League Soccer (USA), Liga MX (Mexico), J.League (Japan) and Professional Saudi League (Saudi Arabia).

The WLF issues the following statement:

“The World Leagues Forum not only rejects the concept of the super league, but also requests better representation of the leagues in football governance. This is the consequence of the lessons which can be drawn from this week’s events:

One: The European super league project reflected the money-driven vision a small group of already super rich clubs. This vision has been rejected by everyone in football and outside football. But most importantly, it has been rejected by the fans. It has shown that sport values such as sporting merit and solidarity must always prevail.

Two: Any international competition where some clubs would have a permanent right to play without qualifying from domestic leagues is a terrible idea. Not only it disregards the values of sport, but it neglects the importance of domestic competitions from an historical, from an economic, and from a fan perspective.

Three: International governing bodies have focused over the last twenty years on super elite competitions. The outcome has been the exponential growth of a few clubs against the interest and balance of domestic competitions, where most clubs are playing. This focus must change and now be on developing domestic competitions.

Four: Thousands of clubs are playing in domestic leagues every week-end. To defend the interests of these many clubs, the World Leagues Forum have been working with its members and advocating their concerns to international governing bodies. But to develop a sound and balanced governance, future decisions that affect domestic leagues shall not be made without their approval.

The World Leagues Forum asks all football bodies, clubs, players and stakeholders to reflect on these learnings in order to shape, together, tomorrow’s football.”

Media contact:
WLF: Jerome Perlemuter, General Secretary, World Leagues Forum

About WLF:
About WLF: The World Leagues Forum is the world association of professional leagues with more than 40 members. Its purpose is to help improve governance structures within world football, represent the leagues and their member clubs to sport and political institutions, and foster cooperation between leagues.