Chief executives from the Premier League's five biggest clubs met with American billionaire Stephen Ross at the London's Dorchester Hotel to hold secret discussions over a potential European Super League.
In a massive scoop from The Sun, Manchester United's Ed Woodward, Liverpool’s Ian Ayre, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis and City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano were all caught on camera emerging from the swanky London hotel.
The meeting was believed to be one of the first over a potential Premier League breakaway. Ross, the brains behind the International Champions Cup and owner of the Miami Dolphins, wants to form a new league made up of the biggest clubs in Europe.
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That would certainly bring an end to the Champions League and would see the Premier League's standing in world football seriously damaged. For the elite clubs, it would see their risk of missing out on the biggest competition vanquished.
The emergence of clubs like Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur have got Manchester United and co. in a spin. They believe that the equally distributed TV revenue will hurt their chances of staying at the top end of the division. Essentially, they are afraid of losing out on the premiere places to the so-called lesser opposition.
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Premier League Assualt
Indeed, Manchester United look set to miss out on Champions League qualification for the second time in three seasons. That absence is not just bad from a footballing standpoint but a financial one as well.
Liverpool, of course, have hardly featured in the competition this decade but would still command a place in the European Super League simply because of their global appeal. For them, such a league would prove vastly more profitable than their current situation.
Arsenal have felt the strain of having to qualify for the Champions League over the past decade and, although they have always qualified, would certainly enjoy the guarantee that would come with this breakaway league.
Agreement within sight
Amazingly, this breakaway – potentially the biggest in sporting history – appears to be in advanced stages with the same report claiming Ross hopes to have an agreement with the Premier League clubs soon. He will, of course, need clubs from other divisions to agree with the likes of Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain obvious choices.
TV deals would naturally be huge, especially if interest from America and China continues to grow at the same rapid rate.
Would fans be open to a European Super League? Do you want to see your club facing Europe's best week in, week out? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!