On Sunday night plans were announced for a money-spinning European Super League involving 12 of the continent’s top football clubs.

The news has not gone down well in some quarters.

What is it exactly?

As it says on the tin, it’s a new league involving a dozen of Europe’s elite clubs – six from England and three each from Italy and Spain – who will play each other in midweek games in much the same way as they do currently in the Champions League. The clubs are: Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan. In a statement the nascent Super League envisaged a further three clubs soon joining that line-up, so there’s hope yet for (insert name of favourite team here). There are also plans for a women’s version.

Doesn’t sound like much of a shake up ...

The devil’s in the detail. One big difference is that the 12 founding clubs (and, presumably, the three additions) will remain in the Super League in perpetuity, effectively making it a closed shop. To that elite club of 15, five temporary members will be added per season depending on how well they have performed in their domestic leagues. The terms of this “qualifying mechanism”, as it has been described, have not yet been laid out in detail. But don’t expect to see Scottish clubs gracing it any time soon.

So it’s all about money?

Bingo. The Super League statement brazenly stresses how much more lucre the clubs will earn under the terms of the new format than they do currently. Founding clubs will receive a payment of £3 billion “solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.” For hundreds of football clubs who can only dream of European football and who have been driven to the brink of extinction by the pandemic it all makes unpleasant reading. Needless to say football governing bodies UEFA and FIFA aren’t happy either.

What are the fans saying?

A statement about the Super League from Football Supporters Europe doesn’t mince its words: “It is driven exclusively by greed. The only ones who stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs, and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues despite their in-built advantage.” On that last point, take note: Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are currently lying in ninth, seventh and sixth places respectively and look unlikely to quality for next season’s Champions League. Oh, and Spurs have just sacked their manager.

Sounds like a political hot potato ...

Right again. The Conservative government at Westminster, no fan of closed shops generally, have wheeled out the big guns – as well as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. He made a statement to Parliament yesterday and his ‘gaffer’ Boris Johnson (it’s a technical term for manager) has vowed to fight the Super League on the beaches. Or on the Kop. Or, more likely given the Prime Minister’s rock bottom reputation on Merseyside, on the telephone from the safety of Downing Street. Meanwhile across La Manche, President Macron will read the riot act to any French clubs considering joining (hello, Paris St Germain). Germany’s big two, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, stated yesterday that they will not be joining.

Do we believe them?

Watch this space. Money talks so loudly it can always cover the sound of a screeching U-turn.