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Premier League will emerge stronger from Super League fiasco, says chief executive Richard Masters

·3-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has admitted relations between the six clubs involved in the Super League and the rest of the top flight are strained but believes the summer break will help to clear the air.

The Premier League are continuing to investigate the circumstances which led to Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Man City and Liverpool joining six other European clubs in forming a breakaway League last month.

The top flight has already announced a new owners’ charter to prevent future breakaway attempts and are expected to follow Uefa in hitting the conspirators with heavy financial penalties.

Speaking after the Premier League announced a roll-over of its current £4.7billion broadcast deal for another three years, Masters admitted it could take time for trust to repaired.

“Relations are still strained and they will take some time for them to be restored. Hence the need for a process that concludes the matter,” he said.

“I don’t think [the threat of a breakaway] can always be there. It happened three weeks ago, the threat was laid bare and it was over within 48 hours. I think want fans and stakeholders want to know is that the regime is strong enough to withstand it.”

He added: "Since the European Super League we have only had one shareholders' meeting and clearly some time has to pass under the bridge.

"I think some good can come out of this in the sense that the collective will end up being stronger and the Premier League organisation will end up being stronger because of it but I think that goes for a lot of things that have happened this year – the stresses and strains we have been under.

"As a group, the clubs and the executive and the board, we have been living in each other’s pockets for the entire season, meeting 30 times as opposed to five; discussing issues all the time to deal with the problems that the pandemic creates.

"A summer away from each other might be a good thing and then we can return to some semblance of normality as soon as possible.

Getty Images
Getty Images

“But I think we need to put the European Super League behind us which means talking to the clubs involved and finding out what happened before we can move forward and that process is obviously ongoing."

Asked if clubs would be punished, Masters added: "Because of the process which is ongoing, don’t ask me to prejudge the outcome of what that might be but obviously we need to do it efficiently – efficiently; justly and appropriately is my way of putting it."

Masters also predicted a return to "normality" next season, with full crowds from the start of the campaign on August 14 and a return to just 200 live televised matches and the 3pm Saturday broadcast blackout.

"No one knows of course but I feel really optimistic that [grounds] will be full on August 14," he said.

"All the mood music and the messages coming out of government are positive. Maybe the fan experience will be slightly different but I'm optimistic and that's our objective."

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