European Super League’s new organiser open to English club talks

84
0

There were protests from football fans and players in England about the idea of the European Super League
The door is open for English clubs to join fresh talks around launching a European Super League, says a senior executive on the project.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham backed out of the project within 48 hours of its ill-fated launch in 2021.

But Bernd Reichart has indicated that talks with those clubs could still happen.

“It is a voluntary proposition to talk,” Reichart told BBC Sport.

The former chief executive at German broadcaster RTL has been appointed chief executive of A22 Sports Management, the company promoting a revamped Super League proposal.

He added: “If someone closes a door, I cannot talk to them but I would expect people to be interested and that important clubs will want to drive it and go into the discussions.

“A number of clubs continue to care and suggest solutions despite criticism. They come back, they listen, they learn and engage in a conversation.”

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain wedded to the idea of a Super League.

They were three of 12 elite European clubs who announced the formation of the competition – which would have operated outside of Uefa’s control – in April 2021.

But the six English clubs involved all withdrew swiftly amid widespread public and political opposition, with Prince William and then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson among those speaking out against it.

The Super League idea could be given fresh impetus, though, with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) scheduled to rule next spring on the validity of Uefa’s monopoly on organising cross-border competitions.

Since the initial plan collapsed, Uefa and the influential European Clubs’ Association, now headed by Paris St-German president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, have created a joint body for maximising commercial opportunities and negotiating broadcasting rights.

This has not stalled ESL supporters, with Reichart now leading the plan to revive the project.

Earlier this month, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said football was “sick”, with Juventus and Barcelona both experiencing severe financial pressures.

Reichart says he wants to create a competition where financial regulations are properly enforced, claiming this is not the case currently.

And he is keen to discuss a more open competition – with a lack of promotion and relegation one of the major factors in the downfall of the original plan.

“The central part of the criticism was about permanent membership, sporting merit and promotion and relegation,” said Reichart. “Now the format will be the result of constructive dialogue.

“I am having ideas thrown at me and I want to explore them. We don’t have a pre-determined format because that is what destroyed the dialogue last year. Then certain elements were picked up, Uefa came out with threats and sanctions and the debate was over.

“Now we are returning and making suggestions. It is the right approach and a credible one. There are a number of formats that could present the game in a more attractive and effective way.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here