Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly in talks to form a European Premier League, in a development which could send shockwaves across the continent – though UEFA “strongly opposes” the idea.
Having just been frustrated in attempts to reshape the English game via the doomed Project Big Picture, Liverpool and United are now reported by Sky News to be in discussions to form a European-wide league involving some of the continent’s biggest clubs.
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More than 12 teams from La Liga, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Premier League have been approached to be founder members of the league, which could start as early as 2022.
The new tournament would hold 18 teams and the games would be played throughout the regular football calendar. The top teams in the league would then take part in a playoff to decide the winner.
Prize money could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds just for the winner of the tournament. A similar figure could be paid to teams simply for participating.
The report claims that details of the teams to take part could be announced in October but the plans are not yet concrete.
Liverpool and United, who have discussed their own new format of the Premier League, could also be joined by Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
The plans come off the back of the failed Project Big Picture proposals, which would have given the nine longest-serving clubs in the Premier League increasing influence in the top domestic league in England.
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JP Morgan and other banks would lend the money in order to finance the creation of the European Premier League, and the entity would pay back the money through revenue created by the competition.
The report also suggests that the super league would not replace the UEFA Champions League though no outcome was yet certain, and it could be used instead of Europe’s premier competition.
UEFA ‘strongly oppose’ plans
A UEFA statement read: “The UEFA President has made it clear on many occasions that UEFA strongly opposes a Super League. The principles of solidarity, of promotion, relegation and open leagues are non-negotiable.
“It is what makes European football work and the Champions League the best sports competition in the world. UEFA and the clubs are committed to build on such strength not to destroy it to create a super league of 10, 12, even 24 clubs, which would inevitably become boring.”
Who could feature in Euro PL?
Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid are two Spanish teams to be invited, and Atletico Madrid are also a contender, with Real a driving force behind the plans.
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Image credit: Getty Images
Other teams said to be involved are Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus, with talks involving Florentino Perez, Spanish financies Key Capital Partners, and FIFA head Gianni Infantino
The league could give semi-permanent membership to founder members, cap fees paid to agents, and put member teams at a huge financial advantage compared to their domestic rivals.
Due to the financial implications more cash may have to be redistributed amongst smaller teams. Any changes may not be made until 2024 when the current format of the Champions League is redrafted.
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