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Football

SO, A EUROPEAN PREMIER LEAGUE?

After the farce of Project big picture, the next slap in the face for the English football pyramid comes in the shape of a European Premier League

Another day and another plan from Liverpool and Manchester United to change the landscape of English football. After just having moved past the absolute debacle of “Project Big Picture”, news has now leaked of a different shake up in football now focusing on a European super league dubbed the European Premier League.

It’s Sky News that have found this one but the deal is supposed to be worth £4.6 billion and involves banks, European clubs and even FIFA. More than a dozen teams from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are in negotiations about becoming founder members of the competition. As many as five English clubs could sign up to join it, with a provisional start date said to be as early as bloody 2022.

According to Sky sources said that FIFA themselves had been involved in developing the new format, which is expected to comprise up to 18 teams, and involve fixtures played during the regular European season. It does not seem that this will replace domestic leagues so it doesn’t look like the plan involves clubs leaving their current leagues, not yet anyway.

Once again, its a format which will Americanise football with the top placed teams having a play off tournament with hundreds of millions of pounds up for grabs as rewards for winning.

European Premier League – key points

  • Liverpool, Man Utd in talks about joining new FIFA-backed tournament; Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham reportedly also approached
  • As many as five English clubs could sign up
  • More than a dozen teams from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain said to be in negotiations
  • Format would comprise up to 18 teams, with home and away fixtures played during regular European season
  • Top-placed teams would play in knockout tournament
  • Provisional start date as early as 2022
  • Wall Street bank JP Morgan in talks to provide £4.6bn in funding
  • Tournament could usurp Champions League

Sky sources say an official announcement may come at the end of the month but there is still a lot up in the air regarding the teams who would be invited to join. The plans have apparently been in discussions for 2 years so a lot of work has already gone into this edging it closer and closer to reality.

As expected FIFA have come out to say they wont say anything about it and UEFA have come out to absolutely stand against the plans especially as it threatens the Champions League.

A UEFA spokesperson told Sky Sports News they are against any proposals for a European league, adding that any such tournament would become “boring”.

“The UEFA President has made it clear on many occasions that UEFA strongly opposes a Super League,” a spokesperson said. “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.”

There’s obviously going to be a lot of discussions in the footballing world and in the mainstream media in the coming days and feedback to the plans so far seems as negative as Project Big Picture but the difference on this occasion seems to be that as other countries are involved, fans are wanting more concrete details.

There’s also details of the founding clubs receiving hundreds of millions as a joining fee so the question will be asked if this movie is really for the betterment of elite football or purely for greed and monetary gain. UEFA will definitely argue the latter despite the Champions league being their most lucrative competition. As far how fans will see this change, time will tell as more details come out.

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