European Leagues group slams reported plan for breakaway competition

LAUSANNE (AFP) – The Association of European Leagues on Tuesday slammed reported plans backed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to create a closed Super League for the world’s richest clubs.

“We are getting very tired of all the threats coming from a few rich clubs in football. Threats that they are going to break away from the football ecosystem as we know it and create their own private environment,” said the organisation, which represents leagues across Europe, in a statement penned by its president, Lars-Christer Olsson.

It comes after reports in the New York Times that Perez has held talks with officials from other leading clubs, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, about the possibility of creating a breakaway elite competition, comprised of two 20-team divisions.

It would chiefly feature clubs from the leading five European leagues – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France – as well as a handful of other leading sides.

“Professional club football is not a private business for a few where only the size of the pockets determines who is welcome,” said the European Leagues, before indicating that they would no longer be welcome in existing competitions – such as the Champions League – should a breakaway tournament be created.