FIFA-backed European Premier League reportedly nearing inception with Manchester United and Liverpool in discussions to become founding members

Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA

Secret conversations

For years, the proposal of a European Super League has been touted. As far back as the 1990s, proposals for Europe’s biggest teams to break away from their domestic shackles and form a league of their own have been rumoured.

On Tuesday, news broke that Manchester United and Liverpool have been involved in talks surrounding a FIFA-backed tournament. It would comprise of 18 teams which would play a knock-out style system throughout the typical European season.

The report indicates that 5 English clubs could be in line to join the competition. The names of the other 3 sides are yet to be revealed. The Premier League is known for the ‘Big 6’ of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

If the reports prove truthful, one of those teams could indeed miss out. A report by Der Spiegel from 2018 stated that the teams included would be those with the greatest television presence and not necessarily those who had performed the best in European competition.

This means whilst Arsenal have been without Champions League football for several seasons, the draw and attention they garner would grant them entry. In fact, Arsenal were named on a list of 11 clubs in the same Der Spiegel report as possible “founders.”

Full list:

  • Real Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Manchester United
  • Juventus
  • Chelsea
  • Arsenal
  • PSG
  • Manchester City
  • Liverpool
  • AC Milan
  • Bayern Munich

Scary stuff

The Champions League itself is still a relatively new idea. The European Cup was previously comprised of purely the winners of the respective leagues throughout Europe. It expanded in the 1992/93 season and has evolved since.

Fans love the competition and many clubs who were not their country’s respective champions have won the trophy. The plans may seem outlandish initially but could, in time, similar to the Champions League, become the new normal.

The difference however is that hundreds of clubs would be effectively excluded. League systems would lose qualification positions and the money from the competition would be distributed solely to its members. Effectively widening the gap between the richest clubs and their counterparts.

FIFA-backed European Premier League reportedly nearing inception with Manchester United and Liverpool in discussions to become founding members

MONACO, MONACO – AUGUST 29: The UEFA Champions League trophy is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League Draw, part of the UEFA European Club Football Season Kick-Off 2019/2020 at Salle des Princes, Grimaldi Forum on August 29, 2019 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

A Sky News source described the proposal as “potentially the most important development in world club football for decades”.

Conflicting information within the report suggested the new FIFA tournament could get a formal announcement as early as this month. However, with no news as to any clubs officially signing up, things could remain unknown for longer.

A key factor within the report cited that UEFA’s backing of the proposal does not exist. Without it, there may be problems with its organization and implementation.

However, as is with football, money talks. US bank JP Morgan are supposedly looking to provide $6 billion worth of backing to aid with a launch.

It appears increasingly likely that the landscape of football will soon change again. Be it for the better, we do not yet know, but there will almost certainly clubs who suffer as a result.

See also: The best front 3 in Europe: Which team comes out on top?

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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