Its share price skyrocketed to £12.30 each after it announced its desire to join the proposed 12-strong club competition. This will significantly increase the Reds’ current valuation of £3.05bn, which sees them ranked as the fourth most valuable club in the world.
Fellow English clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have also signed up to the controversial project.
They would be joined by European giants AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid in a seismic move for European football.
All the clubs have agreed to establish a “new midweek competition” with teams continuing to “compete in their respective national leagues”.
But the news has been slammed by many, including the prime minister Boris Johnson.
The move has outraged football’s government bodies FIFA and UEFA – who have said they would not recognise the competition.
FIFA even suggested that any players involved in the breakaway league could be denied the chance to play at a World Cup.
Meanwhile Europe’s governing body repeated its warning that players would be banned from all domestic, European or world level competition if they took part.
It also backed FIFA’s claim that participants could be prevented from representing their country.
In a statement FIFA expressed its “disapproval” of the idea and called on “all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game”.
The ESL is designed to replace UEFA’s Champions League.
Reforms to the 36-team competition were due to be unveiled today in an attempt to stave off the formation of a rival league.
But following talks involving Wall Street bank JP Morgan over a new £4.6bn competition last October – it appears that Europe’s footballing elite would rather go it alone.
Critics say the plans are driven purely by money and would destroy domestic leagues.
But the teams involved do not think they go far enough.
They claim the global pandemic had “accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model”.
“In recent months, extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions,” they added.
“The founding clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”
The ESL has sent a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin issuing notice of legal proceedings in European courts designed to block any sanctions they may try to enforce over the formation of the ESL.
In a statement, the ESL said: “Going forward, the founding clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new league and for football as a whole.”