United Kingdom

UEFA claim breakaway league would be 'boring'

UEFA and FIFA are at loggerheads over the threat of a breakaway European league, which resurfaced on Tuesday.

Reports in Spain claimed that a new competition, involving both Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and potentially Tottenham had moved a step closer, with investment banks in talks. The new league would, in all likelihood, replace the Champions League.

But UEFA sources were quick to dismiss the 'boring' idea, pointing out a legal framework would make it impossible to get off the ground. FIFA, who have been linked with the breakaway, did not deny the validity of the reports.

Reports in Spain labelled Manchester United as playing a key part in these fresh discussions

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are the other English side that are reportedly pushing for the league

Instead, they declined to comment 'on speculation which comes up every now and then' before diplomatically adding that 'institutional structures and regulatory frameworks are well in place'.

A UEFA spokesman said: 'The UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin 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 clubs are committed to build on such strength, not destroy it to create a Super League of 10, 12, even 24 clubs, which would inevitably become boring.'

JP Morgan, a bank that Sky News linked later with the proposed league, also declined to comment.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is likely to comment on the matter during a conference call with investors when the club announce quarterly financial figures on Wednesday.

The idea of a breakaway has always been pursued by some major clubs, including Real Madrid 

Sources at Old Trafford have disclosed Woodward is also likely to address the furore surrounding Project Big Picture, last week's failed bid by United and Liverpool to grab control of Premier League decision-making and dictate where revenues are directed.

The idea of a breakaway league has long been pursued by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Under the latest proposals, 18 clubs would be involved, with prize money of up to £913million, according to Spanish news site Vozpopuli. UEFA insiders believe the plans — and the timing of the leak — are designed to increase the pressure on the European competition organiser over changes to the Champions League in 2024, over which talks are due to take place in the coming weeks.

The Premier League, who declined to comment, are thought to hold a similar view. A source at one of the Big Six clubs said talks were ongoing.

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