Friday 20 September 2019

Manchester United raise concerns over Super League

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin yesterday promised to 'fight against' the idea. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin yesterday promised to 'fight against' the idea. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis

Jeremy Wilson

Manchester United are among leading European clubs who have been urging most caution over the potential formation of a European Super League.

German magazine 'Der Spiegel' has claimed that talks had reached an advanced stage over a competition that could start as early as 2021, but it is understood that United, as well as Arsenal, have been resisting such a radical change.

It is clubs across the continent, whose domestic leagues have struggled to keep pace with the Premier League's financial might, who have been most vocal in arguing for a new competition.

A Westminster source has said that such a move would be strongly opposed by the government, while Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin yesterday promised to "fight against" the idea.

It has been claimed that plans for a European Super League, with 11 founding members - United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan and Bayern Munich - remain on the table.

The report added that, from as early as November 2018, the 11 teams could sign a "binding team sheet" and commit to the new European Super League from 2021.

This has been refuted by several club sources, who say that time-scale would be impossible because of a deal between Uefa and the European Club Association until 2022.

A European Super League would also be disastrous for Uefa, which runs the Champions League.

"It would damage football worldwide," Ceferin said.

"It would be boring. To see Juve versus Bayern every week would be more boring than, let's say, Juve v Torino. I will fight and do all I can against such a league. In the long run, the clubs would be the losers."

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge denied suggestions that his club have been pushing for change.

"I'm not aware of any Super League news," he told German magazine Kicker.

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