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Everton accuses breakaway clubs of 'preposterous arrogance'

Everton described the move by six Premier League clubs to join a breakaway Super League as “preposterous arrogance” on Tuesday and urged them to reconsider their decision for the good of the game.

Everton’s nine first division league titles is the fourth most in the history of English soccer, and the club from Merseyside was considered part of the country’s elite in the 1980s and early 1990s.

It is not among the current “Big Six” in England — Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham — who have become founding members of a proposed Super League that is threatening to rip up the structures of the European game.

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (AP PhotoJon Super, Pool)

In a strong statement from the club’s board of directors, Everton said it is “saddened and disappointed” to see the six clubs act in their own interests during a pandemic and tarnish the reputation of the Premier League.

“At this time of national and international crisis — and a defining period for our game — clubs should be working together collaboratively with the ideals of our game and its supporters uppermost,” the statement read. “Instead, these clubs have been secretly conspiring to break away from a football pyramid that has served them so well.”

Everton said the six clubs “appear intent on disenfranchising supporters across the game — including their own” by their actions and reminded their owners of the positions they hold as custodians of the English and wider game.

Everton's manager Carlo Ancelotti gives instructions to his players during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter PowellPool via AP)

“The backlash is understandable and deserved — and has to be listened to,” Everton said. “This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan.”

Everton’s majority owner, British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, has spent heavily in recent years in an effort to push the team, which is managed by Carlo Ancelotti, into the group stage of the Champions League for the first time. The club is hoping to move into a new stadium by the start of the 2024-25 season.

Everton’s reaction comes on the day the Premier League holds a meeting of the 14 clubs not involved in the proposed Super League to discuss how to respond to the breakaway league.

The Premier League has already condemned the proposals as an attack on the "principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.”

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