Mon. Nov 30th, 2020

Man Utd

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European Super League threat may lead to revised Project Big Picture, fear top-flight club chiefs

3 min read

Premier League chiefs are convinced Manchester United and Liverpool will use the threat of a breakaway European league as leverage to agree a revised version of Project Big Picture.

Reports that both United and Liverpool have been involved in secret talks about plans to establish a new continental division involving the biggest clubs from across Europe have been met with contention by the pair’s domestic rivals.

Sources claim that top-flight club executives are becoming increasingly annoyed at the covert nature of United and Liverpool’s conduct in their apparent quest for a greater share of power domestically and in Europe.

Man United, (owners Avram (L) and Joel Glazer pictured), are key players in Super League talks

Man United, (owners Avram (L) and Joel Glazer pictured), are key players in Super League talks

Liverpool, owned by John W Henry (pictured), also involved in secret talks about new league

Liverpool, owned by John W Henry (pictured), also involved in secret talks about new league

The credence of Tuesday’s report were dismissed by European football’s governing body UEFA, intriguingly however FIFA – who have been linked with the elite breakaway – have not denied the claims.

And it is understood Premier League bosses fear United and Liverpool will use the notion of a new European league – and their potential involvement in it – as a pawn in the forthcoming top-flight strategy review.

There is a general acknowledgement the Premier League would lose much of its appeal without a full strength United and Liverpool – who are historically recognised as two of the biggest clubs on the planet.

The new league, which would also likely feature Barcelona and Real Madrid (pictured) reportedly has backing of FIFA and Wall Street financiers JP Morgan to the tune of £4.6billion

The new league, which would also likely feature Barcelona and Real Madrid (pictured) reportedly has backing of FIFA and Wall Street financiers JP Morgan to the tune of £4.6billion

A number of Premier League bosses fear the threat will be used for revised Project Big Picture

A number of Premier League bosses fear the threat will be used for revised Project Big Picture

There are emerging concerns that the giant clubs will use the lure of a breakaway league, which would leave their participation in the Premier League under a cloud, to double down on their proposals to revamp how English football operates.

The Premier League confirmed last week that the controversial Project Big Picture proposals – that were led by United and Liverpool – had been unanimously rejected by the Football Association and themselves.

But it was also confirmed the Premier League were committed to strategic review, over which United and Liverpool will look to have a heavy influence and the threat of a new overseas league looks set to be used as a bargaining chip in forthcoming discussions.

The Premier League, chief Richard Masters pictured, are committed to strategic review

The Premier League, chief Richard Masters pictured, are committed to strategic review 

Aston Villa's Dean Smith admitted he doesn't see the point in changing the Premier League

Aston Villa’s Dean Smith admitted he doesn’t see the point in changing the Premier League

Speaking on Wednesday, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith spoke of his concern, saying: ‘Maybe next week they’ll be a World League, who knows?

‘The Premier League just in itself is the most-watched league, most-entertaining league in the world at the moment and everybody’s a little bit envious of the plaudits it gets and the viewing figures it gets. With all of that comes an awful lot of money as well.

‘It’s a fantastic competition, one that I’ve only been in for a season and a bit but one that’s been very enjoyable and we’ve got a decent domestic structure.

‘It’s a great spectacle for everybody to see at the moment so why change?’

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