Boris Johnson has condemned “very damaging plans” for a new football “Super League”, in which six leading English clubs would become permanent members of a new European competition.

The move would restrict entry to outside clubs and have potentially devastating consequences for smaller teams, while bringing in huge profits for the largely overseas owners of the Super League sides.

In a statement on Twitter, the PM said that he supported football authorities in trying to block the plans, which he said: “Would strike at the heart of the domestic game”. 

Both Johnson and Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary have called on clubs to think about their fans, with Dowden saying: “Football supporters are the heartbeat of our national sport and any major decisions made should have their backing.”

Even Sir Keir Starmer and French President Emmanuel Macron have joined team Johnson in condemning the move – and with widespread outrage from fans, politicians and the rest of the football world, the PM is under intense pressure to go further to block the plans.

On the sideline – other figures under pressure this morning are Theresa May’s former Downing Street Director of Communications Katie Perrior and former broadcast journalist Jo Tanner, who Politico London Playbook revealed, are doing the comms for the Super League.

Alex Wickham said: “Their phones are going to be blowing up with hostile press questions that will make working in No. 10 under Nick and Fi seem like an easy kick-about in the park.”

The fiercest response has come from a “disgusted” Gary Neville, who branded the proposals “an absolute disgrace” and a “criminal act against football fans”. Watch the ex-Manchester United star’s tirade here: