Liverpool, United in talks to form European Premier League

After Project Big Picture proved unable to get off the ground, Manchester United and Liverpool are now said to be involved in discussions over a European super league which apparently has backing from FIFA.

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly in talks to form a European Premier League, in a development which could send shockwaves through English football.

Having just been frustrated in attempts to reshape the English game via the doomed Project Big Picture, Liverpool and United are now reported by Sky News to be in discussions to form a European-wide league involving some of the continent’s biggest clubs.

More than 12 teams from La Liga, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Premier League have been approached to be founder members of the league, which could start as early as 2022.

The new tournament would hold 18 team and the games would be played throughout the regular football calendar. The top teams in the league would then take part in a playoff to decide the winner.

Prize money could be worth hundreds of millions pounds just for the winner of the tournament. A similar figure could be paid to teams simply for participating.

The report claims that details of the teams to take part could be announced in October but the plans are not yet concrete.

Liverpool and United, who have discussed their own new format of the Premier League, could also be joined by Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

The plans come off the back of reports of Project Big Picture, which would give the nine longest-serving clubs in the Premier League increasing influence in the top domestic league in England.

JP Morgan and other banks would lend the money in order to finance the creation of the league, and the entity would pay back the money through revenue created by the competition.

The report also suggests that the super league would not replace the UEFA Champions League though no outcome was yet certain, and it could be used instead of Europe's premier competition.

It is not known if UEFA are party to or in favour of the plan. Neither regulatory body has yet commented on the plans, and it may set the two at loggerheads, with any disputes potentially going to court.

Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid are two Spanish teams to be invited, and Atletico Madrid are also a contender, with Real a driving force behind the plans.

Other teams said to be involved are Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus, with talks involving Florentino Perez, Spanish financies Key Capital Partners, and FIFA head Gianni Infantino

The league could give semi-permanent membership to founder members, cap fees paid to agents, and put member teams at a huge financial advantage compared to their domestic rivals.

Due to the financial implications more cash may have to be redistributed amongst smaller teams. Any changes may not be made until 2024 when the current format of the Champions League is redrafted.

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