Just a week after it was revealed they were the driving forces behind Project Big Picture, Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly in talks to set up a European Premier League.
The league, estimated to be worth £4.6billion, has been revealed by Sky News in another bombshell power-play by England’s two biggest sides to re-shape the face of the game.
Project Big Picture was dismissed as a possibility with clubs concerned at the level of power clubs such as Liverpool and United would assume under the restructure.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the other English side that are reportedly pushing for the league
The groundbreaking proposals would see more than a dozen teams across England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain become founding members of the new competition.
There is a provisional date of 2022 for the European Premier League to get underway and as many as five English teams could be involved in it.
Governing body FIFA have reportedly been involved in the talks over the European Premier League
Wall Street giant JP Morgan is reportedly in talks to provide $6bn (£4.6bn) in debt financing to help get the European Premier League off the ground.
It is anticipated that future broadcast income generated by the league would work as a repayment.
Real Madrid are expected to make up part of the Spanish contingent in the new competition
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona would join them in a competition among Europe’s elite teams
Should the league get the green light, it would immediately become one of the most lucrative divisions in world football.
Former Liverpool defender and current Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher aired his annoyance after news of the proposed league broke.
He tweeted: ‘Oh f*** off’ in response to the story about Liverpool and Manchester United’s leading role in talks.
The 18-team competition is expected to involve fixtures played during the normal European club season.
A typical league format would follow before the top-performing teams would enter a knockout competition to crown a champion.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher reacted to the major story, writing ‘Oh f*** off’
The report goes on to add that prize money for the winning side is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds every single year.
Teams would be paid ‘lucrative sums’ to join the competition. Manchester United and Real Madrid are reported to be in line for thee largest welcome fee.
The growing concern for European governing body UEFA is that any European Premier League would all-but replace the pre-existing Champions League. It is unclear if UEFA support the proposals at this stage.
Opposition from UEFA would likely leave their fractious relationship with FIFA in danger of complete collapse with the two governing bodies then at odds over their flagship club competition.
While there has been no official confirmation of the bold plan, it is expected that it could arrive before the end of the month.
Current Champions League holders Bayern Munich would likely lead German representatives
Arsenal and Manchester City are seen as other English candidates to include in the league
Key Capital Partners, a Spanish finance company, are said to have played a key role in talks so far.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has long advocated for a Super League format for Europe’s elite, is another figure credited with a significant role in the latest proposals.
Sky’s report details that the latest version of the hotly-debated Super League for clubs like Real Madrid has been drafted over the last 12 months.
Current Champions League winners Bayern Munich denied their potential involvement when quizzed by Sky.
Along with Liverpool and Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham are seen as other potential candidates for the European Premier League.
But if the original report is correct, one of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ would miss out as part of the restructure.
It currently remains unclear exactly how the league would play out but it is reported that it would not take the form of a breakaway and clubs would still compete in their traditional domestic leagues.
Paris Saint-Germain are likely to have been quizzed on possible inclusion in the new league
Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus would expect to lead any Italian representation in the league
News of the European Premier League comes soon after Project Big Picture dominated conversation in the English game.
Under that proposal, a bailout would have been provided to the English Football League [EFL] but, in turn, more power would be handed to the ‘Big Six’.
Those plans also looked to reduce the Premier League to an 18-team competition, with only two sides automatically relegated each season.
The League Cup and Community Shield were to be scrapped under Liverpool and United’s plans for an overhaul of the English game.
Plans were quickly dismissed by the Premier League as well as the UK Government amid a period where clubs in the top flight have warned they are losing as much as £100m a month without supporters in stadiums.
Earlier this month the EFL rejected a bail-out offering of £50m from the Premier League to aid teams in League One and League Two.
More to follow.