More breakaway talks
Liverpool and Man Utd in Euro League plot
Anfield, home of Liverpool FC
A new plot to shake up English football has emerged and once again Manchester United and Liverpool FC have been revealed as the key conspirators.
The two clubs, deadly rivals on the pitch but brothers in arms in their apparent desire to seek change, are behind a plan to create a breakaway European competition.
It has been revealed just a week after they proposed ‘Project Big Picture’ which was billed as an attempt to rescue lower league football clubs struggling to survive without gate receipts but would also give elite clubs greater control of the English league system.
Other top clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are also being lined up to join the new European Premier League, according to a Sky News report.
They would compete with leading clubs from France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has long advocated a Super League format for Europe’s elite, is credited with a significant role in the latest proposals.
The report claims an 18 team competition could start as soon as early 2022. Games would be played in mid-week fixture slots during the European football season.
As things stand it would be a direct clash with the existing European Champions League.
A league format is proposed with an ‘NFL style’ playoff to crown a champion.
According to Sky, the prize would be ‘hundreds of millions’ for the winner.
A European breakaway would be a possible money-spinner for clubs like United – which is £430m in debt – and Liverpool, privately-owned by Fenway Sports Group.
Sky Sports will see any new league as lucrative
The US investment bank JP Morgan is reportedly engaged to potentially provide a $6bn (£4.6bn) debt financing package to fund the launch of the breakaway competition, with repayment tied to future broadcast revenues.
Sky is one of the English Premier League’s two primary broadcasters and was instrumental in the creation of the Premier League in 1992.
Its grip on the English game tightened when it secured exclusive rights to European Champions League games until BT Sports emerged as a rival with financial muscle.
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.