European Super League - James Milner reaction: ‘I don’t like it, hopefully it doesn’t happen’
Milner has become the first ‘Big Six’ player to speak out publicly about the controversial ESL, which stunned the football world when it broke on Sunday. Liverpool will join Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham in the new competition, which could start as early as August and effectively gazump the Champions League.
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Liverpool midfielder James Milner has criticised the European Super League, saying "I don’t like and hopefully it doesn’t happen".
Milner was speaking after the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Leeds United, a match that was overshadowed by talk of a breakaway competition involving the Premier League’s ‘big six’.
Leeds wore T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Earn It’ and the Champions League logo – a clear dig at the Super League, which will see 15 founding members play the competition each season without a qualification process.
Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United warms up while wearing a protest t-shirt reading "Champions League, Earn it."
Image credit: Getty Images
"I can only say my opinion and I don't like it and hopefully it doesn't happen," Milner, who said the players first heard of the news when it broke on Sunday, told Sky Sports.
When pressed about why he doesn’t like it, he continued: "Probably the same reasons as everyone else has been talking about over the last day. Obviously it’s been difficult for us. I can only imagine what has been said about it and probably agree with most of it."
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Liverpool were given a hostile reception on their arrival at Elland Road, while a plane banner flew over carrying the message #SayNoToSuperLeague.
Milner added to BBC Sport: "It [the current system] has worked well for a long time. What has made it special, what we have done over the last few years, is we have earned the right to win the Champions League and earned the right to win the Premier League.