Boris Johnson thought the European Super League was a “great idea” and promised No. 10 would not intervene to stop English clubs joining, a Downing Street insider has claimed.
In a Mirror exclusive, those sources claimed the prime minister’s chief of staff, Dan Rosenfield, told him about the proposal after a No 10 meeting with Manchester United’s Ed Woodward, to which Johnson gave his approval.
The government insider said: “Boris doesn’t know much about football so he said it was a great idea.
“So Dan told the clubs No 10 wouldn’t stand in their way.
“Then it all kicked off…”
Downing Street denies the proposals were brought up during high-level discussions days before the European Super League was announced. Instead, No 10 says the prime minister first learnt of the plan when it was confirmed by the clubs.
But a second source, close to the football clubs, also claimed the prime minister appeared to have given Rosenfield the impression he was happy for the scheme to go ahead.
They said: “Ed came back to the clubs to say they had got the green light from No 10. Dan would not have [gone] all the way without checking Boris’s view.”
The plan for the so-called ‘big six’ English clubs to join a Super League with clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus dramatically unravelled just 48 hours after it was confirmed.
As the scale of football fans’ fury became clear, government ministers – including Johnson – roundly condemned the move.
This comes amid claims Johnson’s chief of staff is planning to leave No 10 following the chaos.
Government sources suggested that the former banker had been in talks with US investment giant Blackrock.
A No 10 spokesman said: “This is completely untrue.
“The PM’s chief of staff is serving the PM and there’s no change to that.”
However, sources claimed that Rosenfield had felt “unhappy and undermined” ever since he joined Downing Street in December.
They allege that the prime minister told him he could appoint his deputy, then gave the job to Baroness Simone Finn, a friend of Carrie Symonds.