European Super League: What are the fixtures for the breakaway tournament?

Manchester United owner Joel Glazer

On Sunday, news broke that 12 of the biggest clubs in Europe had decided to form the European Super League (ESL).

Despite the proposal being criticised throughout the day, the official announcement was made late in the evening, confirming the intention to set up the ESL. 

The 12 founding clubs came from three separate countries, with all of the 'big six' in England - Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham - along with three Spanish sides in Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid joining Serie A teams Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan in agreeing to be involved in the competition.

UEFA have threatened to ban players who take part in the ESL from competing in future World Cups and European Championships.

Chelsea and Man City look set to pull out of the European Super League - hear the story in full on The Football Terrace...

And it seems that strong stance has had an effect, with Chelsea and Manchester City both withdrawing from the controversial breakaway league. 

Nonetheless, as things stand it would appear the European Super League is still just about alive.

A start date for the tournament is yet to be confirmed, with the initial statement on Sunday claiming that it will begin "as soon as practicable."

When it does get underway, there will be 15 founding clubs in place, and five teams will be able to qualify for the competition annually, meaning that 20 sides are set to compete in the ESL each year.

The founding clubs - which seemingly no longer includes Chelsea and City - are set to have their places in the tournament unchallenged, as they cannot be relegated

Read more: European Super League: Everything you need to know about the breakaway league

What are the fixtures for the European Super League?

Although the final fixtures will not be confirmed until all 20 clubs have been announced, the format of the tournament has already been planned.

Each season, the competition will start in August, with matches played in midweek. This has been put in place to allow the sides to then return to play in their domestic leagues on the weekend. 

The 20 sides will be split into two groups of 10, and will then face the nine other clubs in their group in home and away fixtures during the year. This means that each team will be guaranteed a minimum of 18 games in the ESL every season.

At the end of the group stage, the top three sides from each group will automatically proceed to the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the teams who finish fourth and fifth in their groups will play one another in a two-legged play-off tie to determine the final two clubs to make the last eight.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played across two legs, home and away, with the final then being contested in a one-off match in May to decide the winner of the competition. The showpiece event will be held at a neutral venue.

In total, a side could end up playing as many as 25 matches in the competition in a single campaign.

News Now - Sport News