International

Rummenigge revives idea of European superleague

2016-01-13 18:15
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich website)

Rome - Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reignited the idea of creating a "European league" with 20 of the continent's leading clubs, according to Italian media on Wednesday.

"You can't rule out that, in the future, we could create an European league with the major clubs from Italy, Germany, England, Spain and France, under the auspices of UEFA or a private organisation," Rummenigge said during a financial fair-play meeting in Milan on Tuesday.

"It would be a competition with 20 teams and perhaps we would play some matches in America and Asia," added Rummenigge, who is also president of the European Club Association (ECA), an independent body which represents clubs at European level.

According to Rummenigge, "the best teams are becoming stronger and stronger in relation to others in the main leagues and another league is in fact already being born beyond the Champions League".

The idea suggested by Rummenigge goes back to recurring calls for a "Superleague", a rival tournament to UEFA competitions proposed by leading European clubs who were part of the now-disbanded G14 group.

It would also appear to be a message sent to UEFA, whose president Michel Platini is appealing an eight-year ban from football that was handed down by a FIFA tribunal last month.

Rummenigge received the backing of Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, himself an ECA member, who claimed the financial benefits of the Champions League were insufficient.

"The Champions League is worth 1.5 billion euros in TV rights compared to almost seven billion for the NFL. However, market studies show that of the two billion sports fans worldwide, 1.6 billion are football fans with American football accouting for just 150 million fans," Agnelli said.

"This must make people think about the untapped potential regarding the format of current football competitions," he added.

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