Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are among the 12 clubs that have agreed to join the European Super League (ESL).

The move that rocked European football on Sunday will see the six Premier League clubs join AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid to form an elite league that will rival the UEFA Champions League.

The ESL hierarchy revealed in a statement that the founding clubs have agreed to host a new midweek tournament while all the teams continue to play in their respective domestic leagues.

The 12 founding members are expected to add a further three teams as permanent members while also allowing five teams to qualify for the tournament every season based on their achievements in other domestic competitions.

The announcement of the new European Super League seems to have drawn criticism from the rest of the football community with many calling it a money spinning idea that will only ensure the "rich get richer."

The domestic governing bodies in England, Spain and Italy along with UEFA and FIFA have been unanimous in condemning the "cynical" idea that they are certain will destroy the sole objective of open competition and sporting merit, which is the basis of every league across the continent.

The criticism for ESL has not been limited to the official football bodies, it has extended to former footballers and managers dismissing the idea. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also joined the chorus by claiming the move will be "very damaging for football."

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

"Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action," PM Johnson said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country," he added. "The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps."

United's legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also disappointed to hear of the formation of a new Super League. He believes it moves away from "70 years of football history." He went on to praise special Champions League nights, while also talking about how smaller teams aspire to be able to play in Europe's elite club competition.

Manchester United
Manchester United face Granada in the Europa League quarter-finals after getting the better of AC Milan in the last round

"Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football. Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners' Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest," Ferguson said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"Everton are spending £500 million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League. Fans all over love the competition as it is," the former Red Devils boss added. "In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights."

Gary Neville, an eight-time Premier League champion with United was incensed by the announcement and called on the authorities to immediately sanction the six English clubs and deduct points with immediate effect.

The former United footballer was not alone as he was joined by former teammate Rio Ferdinand, who also labelled the 12 founding clubs selfish for making the announcement while the rest of the world struggles in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

The ESL admitted that they will be holding meetings with the football governing bodies in the coming days to communicate their vision about the league's plans to ensure the future of European football is secure.

Florentino Perez
Real Madrid president Perez has been named as the first boss of the Super League