Wall Street assembling $6bn package for European Premier League
Financiers are putting together a $6 billion funding package to create a European Premier League, a project involving the continent's biggest soccer clubs and backed by Fifa, the sport's world governing body.
JP Morgan is leading the charge and in talks with other investors about financing the league, Sky News first reported today.
The concept of a European Super League is nothing new with the threat of a breakaway elite having been used for some time as a tool in commercial negotiations related to the Uefa Champions League, but this latest incarnation has raised eyebrows as it is said to have the support of Fifa.
The federation has reportedly been involved in developing the format of a league comprising as many as 18 teams.
Leading clubs from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are all in negotiations about becoming founder members of the competition. They are known to include Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
The league would conclude with the top teams competing in a knockout format.
A provisional start date as early as 2022 is said to have been discussed although that would appear to be at least two years too early as the next Uefa club competition commercial rights cycle runs from 2021-22 to 2023-24.
Some kind of revamp of the Champions League is expected from 2024-25, with latest reports suggesting an increase in the number of teams in the group stage, from 32 to 36, and possibly even greater protection offered to Europe's elite.
At present, the top nations of England, Spain, Germany and Italy all have four guaranteed places in the main competition, with clubs qualifying via their domestic league positions.
The group stage of the 2019-20 Champions League kicks off today.