Everything about the proposed plans to form a new pan-continental competition, which could see the end of the Champions League as we know it
Two years on from Der Spiegel leaking documents that included plans for major European clubs forming a breakaway league starting from 2021, fresh rumours of a new iteration – titled the European Premier League – have surfaced.
Goal has what you need to know about the competition, which is still in the works, as well as which clubs could potentially be involved, how it would affect the Champions League and Premier League, and more.
- What is the European Premier League?
- Which teams could be involved in the European Premier League?
- When could the European Premier League start?
- How could the European Premier League affect the Champions League and English Premier League?
What is the European Premier League?
A Sky News report stated that a £4.6 billion ($6bn) package is being put together from Wall Street bank JP Morgan to see the creation of this new league, which would effectively replace the Champions League.
While no official statements have been made regarding this new competition, plans to form a European Super League had been in the works for years, and the European Premier League would be a rebrand of that concept.
A version of the European Super League‘s rules are likely to be the basis of the proposed European Premier League.
It would not replace the Premier League, but it could be the end of the current iteration of the Champions League as we know it – and would undoubtedly reshape the football landscape.
European Premier League fixtures would take place during the regular club season should the tournament be given the green light.
The Sky News report states that it will be played in a round-robin style with home and away fixtures, similar to how the Champions League is currently being played.
The teams who finish highest in the European Premier League rankings would then qualify for a knockout mini-tournament finale that will decide the new European champions, with the promise of extremely lucrative prize money packages.
Which teams could be involved in the European Premier League?
The European Premier League is likely to feature either 16 or 18 teams, with clubs then playing a minimum of 30 matches over the course of a season.
At least five clubs from the Premier League could be named as European Premier League participants, with Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham said to have been approached.
North-west giants Liverpool and Man Utd were already involved in the ‘Project Big Picture’ proposal, though it was voted against by the other 18 Premier League clubs.
Real Madrid – as well as club president Florentino Perez – are understood to have been heavily involved in plans to create the European Premier League, alongside the big guns of Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.
However, despite being cited in documents regarding the new league, Bayern denied involvement in the 2018 plans.
When could the European Premier League start?
A date of 2022 has been tentatively planned for the start of the European Premier League.
How could the European Premier League affect the Champions League and English Premier League?
The European Premier League would not replace the Premier League, but its fixtures would replace the Champions League fixture dates, meaning that the Champions League would be without a host of their star names – with this new competition becoming the showpiece European knockout competition.
European Premier League matches would be played in addition to English Premier League and other European domestic top-flight games.
The European Premier League would not end clubs’ involvement in domestic leagues, but even so, the financial ramifications would be extremely severe – especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the European Premier League could be treated as a priority over each clubs’ respective domestic leagues which would affect broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals.
The Sky News report states that should the European Premier League receive UEFA support, it would be branded as an enhanced, improved version of the Champions League, but if UEFA were not to give it their backing, it would be a move by FIFA that would «undermine» the European governing body.
Legal challenges by UEFA will act as an obstacle should they not cooperate, particularly with the Champions League set for a revamp by 2024.
A number of football figures have already voiced their disapproval of the new proposed plans.
Former Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher said on Twitter: «Oh f*** off.»
Oh f***off https://t.co/kOWyZ7ySHL
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 20, 2020
Stan Collymore added on his own Twitter: «If any English club joins a European Super League, then they should never be allowed back, ostracised completely and fam (sic) groups, real fan groups of those clubs stand up to condemn their club. F*ck them off and remind them where their bread was buttered for 100+ years.»
Gary Neville also joined in with his dissatisfaction, quoting the original story with the caption: «Independent Regulator Anyone?»