cabinet minister slammed the “money men” behind the Super League today and said the UK Government would consider legislation or sanctions.
The Education Secretary told Sky News: “We are going to be putting all our support behind the Football Association and Uefa in terms of their steps that they may need to take.
“But if they’re not successful in doing that, the Culture Secretary has been absolutely clear that we won’t hesitate to take further steps in order to ensure that this European Super League won’t go ahead.”
Pressed on what actions the Government would take if the breakaway clubs do not back down, he replied: “The Government of course can intervene and the Government has made it clear that we would be willing to intervene if a solution isn’t able to be found between the FA and Uefa.”
Mr Williamson added: “The Government reserves its position to take any action that’s required, including the need to take legislation, the need to take sanctions in order to ensure we protect football interests in this country.”
The Education Secretary said the Prime Minister will be listening to fans and those passionate about football during today’s meeting.
He also said the PM would be outlining his “clear view” that the Super League “must be stopped” because it is “not fair”.
The Secretary of State added: “This seems to be dreamed up by money men as against something for football fans, and that’s why the Prime Minister is so opposed to it.”
Writing in today’s Sun, Mr Johnson told fans: “It is your game – and you can rest assured that I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a straight red.”
The Prime Minister added: “But you don’t need to be an expert to horrified at the prospect of the so-called ‘Super League’ being cooked up by a small number of clubs.”
In a statement to the House of Commons, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden yesterday condemned the “tone deaf” proposals that would mean Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur become “founding members” of a £8.6 billion breakaway competition.
Legislation could include using competition law and withholding government assistance for staging matches. Measures could also include removing work permits for overseas players or withdrawing services such as policing.
Mr Dowden has also appointed former Tory sports minister Tracey Crouch MP to oversee a fan-led review of governance.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer called for legislation to block the new league and take control away from foreign owners and speculators.
Asked what sort of legislation he would like to see, Sir Keir told the Independent: “I think that controls of the ownership, the scale of the ownership, the size of the ownership, and also a much greater say for fans in the future of their clubs. I think it might have to be [prising control], or at least limiting the extent of the ownership stake, and also dealing with the speculation element of it.”