Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly leading ‘bombshell’ talks about joining a new European Premier League.
Sky News reports that the FIFA-backed tournament would involve Europe’s biggest football clubs and “reshape the sport’s global landscape”.
Clubs from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are said to be in negotiations about becoming founder members of the league.
Up to five English clubs could be involved, with United and Liverpool, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur named as potential candidates. A provisional start date of 2022 has apparently been discussed.
Sky News claims that financiers are putting together a $6bn (£4.6bn) package to fund the creation of the new league.
It is reported that the league would feature between 12 and 18 teams, with fixtures being played in midweek during the regular season.
The report suggests that FIFA have been involved in developing the new format with the top-placed teams playing in a knockout competition to conclude the tournament.
One football industry figure is quoted as saying that this was “potentially the most important development in world club football for decades”.
The source was quoted as saying that a formal announcement was possible as soon as the end of this month, although a number of key details had yet to be finalised and the plans could still fall apart.
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This latest development comes after Project Big Picture – proposals to restructure English football, backed by United and Liverpool – were abandoned last week. The two biggest clubs in the country had proposed to share funds with the EFL in exchange for greater powers for the ‘big six’ over the other 14 clubs, but the talks eventually collapsed jsut days after the proposals were leaked to the media.
The Premier League have been approached by MEN Sport for comment.