A group of England’s richest football clubs are preparing to sign up to a breakaway European Super League as part of the biggest shake-up of club football in a generation. Sources have confirmed that an elite grouping - comprising Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur - have agreed to join Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus in forming a new tournament. German and French giants, notably Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain, have so far resisted the chance to join the rebel clubs, who would be acting in direct defiance of football’s major governing bodies. An announcement is imminent and will represent a seismic challenge to Uefa and the Premier League, who immediately warned that a Super League would “destroy” the competitive dream of clubs outside the traditional elite. Following emergency meetings, they have also written to the clubs directly and warned that such a breakaway would amount to a direct breach of league rules. “The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid,” a spokesperson said. “Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream. “A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs.” A joint statement by the Football Association, Uefa and the Premier League said that they were “united in our efforts to stop this cynical project” which is “founded on the self- interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever”. If proposed European super league is such a great idea why are its advocates so secretive? They also warned that any players who took part in such competitions would be banned from international tournaments, including the World Cup and the European Championships, and that they were ready to take legal action to block any proposals. “This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long - enough is enough,” said the statement. The rebel clubs still want to continue playing in domestic competition and the plans, which could come into force next year, will relate to midweek European competition. The move comes just as a new 36-team Champions League format was due to be announced by Uefa on Monday, before coming into force in 2024. That format had been designed by Uefa to resist proposals for a new Super League. A meeting of the European Club Association, however, was held on Friday and there was a major split over the potential benefits to its members. The rival Super League plans do not currently include the major clubs in France or Germany but, with a meeting of the Uefa executive committee on Monday and then its congress due to be held on Tuesday, the need for decisions has become urgent. Uefa were hoping to push forward with their plans to play 10 group matches instead of six. With the Premier League having signalled that it would refuse clubs permission to join the league, rebel teams may have to decide whether they would be prepared to walk out on the league. It is understood that broadcaster DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industrie, is involved in the new Super League plans. JP Morgan are also believed to have held discussions about debt financing for the league. Proposals have included a 20-team league, made up of 15 permanent members and five who would qualify annually. Founder clubs could each receive around £300 million to sign up. This format would see two groups of 10 clubs, with the top four from each group going through to a knockout phase that would be similar to the current Champions League. Matches would still be midweek and could continue alongside traditional domestic competition. The Premier League's chief executive Richard Masters has this weekend written to all 20 clubs, warning that permission from a two-thirds majority would be needed for anyone to compete in an unsanctioned competition. “Premier League rules contain a commitment amongst clubs to remain within the football pyramid and forbid clubs from entering competitions beyond those listed in Rule L9, without Premier League Board permission,” says the letter. “I cannot envisage any scenario where such permission would be granted. It is the duty of the Premier League Board to defend the integrity and the prospects of the League as a whole, and we will have no choice but to do everything we can to protect and maintain both. “As previously evidenced, we would expect complete condemnation from all parts of the game, fans groups and the UK Government. This venture cannot be launched without English clubs and we call upon any club contemplating associating themselves or joining this venture to walk away immediately before irreparable damage is done.” The dispute between Uefa and the leading English, Spanish and Italian clubs centres on the ownership of media and sponsorship rights. This has followed failed previous proposals for guaranteed access to the competition or weekend games. The Government have also expressed concern that the proposal would lead to a closed shop. "Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that undermines that is deeply troubling and damaging to football," said culture secretary Oliver Dowden. "We have a football pyramid where funds from the globally successful Premier League flows down the leagues and into local communities. I would be bitterly disappointed to see any action that destroys that." The plans were vocally rejected by two of the Premier League's most successful players. Roy Keane, the former Manchester United captain, said that it came down to "greed" and that the idea should be "stopped in its tracks". His former team-mate Gary Neville said that the 'big six' "should be ashamed of themselves" and that the Premier League should deduct points. "To do it during a season? It's a joke," he said. Christian Seifert, the chief executive of the Bundesliga, warned that it would "irreparably damage the national leagues as the basis of European professional football." The Telegraph revealed last year how Liverpool and Manchester United were seeking to overhaul the domestic football structure, with their 'Project Big Picture' proposals that were eventually rejected by a majority of other Premier League clubs.