A World Super League is being driven forward by the richest clubs on the planet and could see the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United playing in China, Australia and the USA on a weekly basis.
That is according to one of European football’s leading powerbrokers who claims Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich are all aggressively trying to convince clubs from China, Brazil and South Africa to join them.
Of course, there would also be an invitation for a number of Premier League clubs with as many as five having the required fan base. However, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs are already earning huge money from both domestic and European competitions and none are fully convinced of this new plan.
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But Jacco Swart, director of the European Professional Football Leagues, believes a global league, which could spell the end of the Champions League, is now "unstoppable" and thinks the gap between the richest and the poorest clubs is “beyond repair”.
He told The Mirror: “We will see a worldwide football competition in a few years. That is a development which nobody can stop anymore. It will be an exclusive party for the happy few — for the biggest football brands in the world.
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“This new Super League will be driven by TV markets, huge sponsors, branding and marketing all over the world. And not by real football factors. The traditional football formats will be snowed under.
“What it will mean exactly for the biggest football leagues in the world, the Premier League, La Liga (Spain) and the Bundesliga (Germany), I don’t know yet. It may sound weird, but for them it is a bigger threat than for us (the other leagues in Europe). For their leagues there are billions at stake, for us millions.”
The March meeting
This is the latest update fans have had on a potential breakaway league following the uncovering of a secret meeting of five football executives in a London hotel in March.
United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and Liverpool’s Ian Ayre were seen leaving the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane.
The meeting was believed to have taken place to try to provide extra stability at the top clubs with some even wanting automatic qualification to the Champions League regardless of their performance in the Premier League.
Uefa responded by announcing one rule change: champions will be given a bye past the group stage from the 2018-19 campaign. That, it seems, hasn't been enough to quell the discontent.