Top clubs planning breakaway league

German magazine Der Spiegel reported that talks between some of Europe's leading clubs on a breakaway league were at an advanced stage, prior to a compromise deal in 2016 with Uefa over its elite Champions League competition.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported that talks between some of Europe's leading clubs on a breakaway league were at an advanced stage, prior to a compromise deal in 2016 with Uefa over its elite Champions League competition.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Plans for a breakaway European Super League to start in 2021, with five English clubs among 11 founding members, are back on the agenda, according to documents released by Der Spiegel.

The German magazine, as part of the latest Football Leaks revelations, claimed on Friday that Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City are among those in negotiations about a new competition to replace the 32-team Champions League in three years' time.

A draft of a 13-page "binding term sheet" sent on Oct 22 by the firm Key Capital Partners to Real Madrid's president, Florentino Perez, appears to show the English clubs would be joined by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Milan as founding members.

A further five clubs - Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Intern Milan and Roma would be "initial guests".

The founding teams could not be relegated and would be part of the league for the first 20 years. The date by which the 16 clubs are to sign the "binding term sheet" is listed as November 2018.

Uefa is not mentioned in the draft.

Key Capital Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while European champions Real Madrid declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

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    Teams revealed to be backing the plans for a breakaway league.

United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Atletico declined to comment. Barca, Juve, Manchester City, PSG, Arsenal, Milan, Inter Milan, Roma and Marseille were not immediately available to comment.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "FC Bayern Munich stands by its membership of the Bundesliga and, as long as I am chairman of the board of FC Bayern, also by the club competitions organised jointly by Uefa and the ECA."

The European Club Association, which represents more than 200 European clubs, said in a statement to Reuters: "ECA is completely unaware of any discussions by clubs to develop a break-away league. At present, ECA is working in close collaboration with Uefa on the next cycle and post-2024."

Talks between some of Europe's leading clubs on a breakaway league were at an advanced stage before a compromise deal in 2016 with Uefa over its Champions League competition.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 04, 2018, with the headline 'Top clubs planning breakaway league'. Print Edition | Subscribe