Champions League - Clubs 'plan breakaway league'

Thu, 28 Jul 11:26:00 2011

Top clubs have threatened to break away from FIFA and UEFA and form their own super league unless their concerns over fixtures and finance are addressed.

Champions League - Clubs 'plan breakaway'

According to a report in The Guardian, clubs are disillusioned with the way the European and global game is run, and could create a sensation by setting up their own competitions, possibly under the banner of the European Club Association, which represents 197 clubs including 10 top Premier League sides.

Europe's clubs have an agreement with UEFA that commits them to tournaments like the Champions League, and obliges them to release players for FIFA competitions - however, this deal expires in 2014.

The strained relationship between the governing bodies and the clubs was illustrated by a stinging attack on FIFA by Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Wednesday, when he called for a "revolution" in football.

Rummenigge said: "Sepp Blatter is saying he is cleaning up the game, but the fact that no-one believes him, tells you everything you need to know. I'm not optimistic because they believe the system is working perfectly as it is. It is a money-machine.

"It is a nice game but it is decided by people who are corrupt. I am not ready to accept the system as it is and I am not alone."

There is an increasing feeling that FIFA has lost authority, and that its leadership lacks both the will and the means to eliminate corruption.

An ECA board member told The Guardian: "The fact that Bayern Munich, who have always been close to the institutions, are being so vocal and loud about the situation is a clear sign we're very close to breaking point.

"We have a memorandum of understanding with UEFA that expires in 2014. After that time we can no longer be forced to respect FIFA statutes or UEFA regulations. And we won't be obliged to compete in their competitions."

The ECA comprises all of Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and AC Milan, plus the following Premier League clubs: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Fulham.

Eurosport

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